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Core physics in perception and judgement

Core physics in perception and judgement

By In PhD proposals 2019 On April 5, 2019


Project: Core physics in perception and judgement

Laboratory: Institut Jean Nicod

Affiliation
Affiliation: UMR 8129, Ecole normale supérieure (ENS), Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)
Address: Pavillon Jardin, 29 rue d’Ulm, 75005, Paris
Website: www.institutnicod.org
E-mail: nathalie.evin@ens.fr

LAB Director
Name: Roberto Casati
Phone number: 0144322695
E-mail: casati@ehess.fr

Supervisor
Name: Brent Strickland
Phone number: 0144322661
E-mail: stricklandbrent@gmail.com

Subject Keywords: Visual perception, judgement, naïve physics, core knowledge, cognitive architecture
Summary of lab’s interests: The Institut Jean Nicod is a cognitive science laboratory. Research carried out by its members studies the human mind, with interdisciplinary approaches ranging across philosophy of mind, psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, social science and anthropology.
Project summary: The human mind comes equipped with a basic set of expectations about physical events and objects. Such “core physics” has typically been considered to be part of reasoning systems (“core knowledge” systems) that emerge early in infancy (Kim & Spelke, 1999). However, recent work on adult vision suggests high-level perception, as distinct from judgment (i.e. reasoning), traffics in representations of physical events (Strickland & Scholl, 2015). Inspired by this latter view, we will examine (in adult populations) the perception of vs. judgments about “core” categories of physical events. Experimental studies will be conducted to investigate this question.

At the end of this project, we aim to have gathered sufficient knowledge of (1) an account of core physics as to which events are coded in perception and which in judgment, and (2) the differences and links between the perception and the judgement of physical events. Such work promises to shed light on the place of core cognition in cognitive architecture.
Interdisciplinary aspect of the project: This project lies at the interface between cognitive psychology and philosophy of mind. From the perspective of cognitive psychology, we ask how humans perceive and judge physical properties and physical events. From the perspective of philosophy of mind (where researchers study the cognitive architecture of the human mind), we investigate whether “core knowledge” refers to a natural kind, or rather to different things wrongly grouped under the term “core knowledge”. In other words, core knowledge may not be entirely at the conceptual level. Instead, part of it could be at the perceptual level.
Funding: None.