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Grant number: EH-231102-15

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Cornell University (Ithaca, NY 14853-2801)
Nicholas Leonids Silins (Project Director: February 2015 to present)

Presuppositions and Perception: Reasoning, Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics

A four-week college and university institute for twenty-five participants, exploring the ways in which people’s presuppositions affect their perceptions.

Perception and Reasoning To philosophers, one of the most important divisions in the human mind is between perception and reasoning. We reason from information that we take ourselves to have already, and often our reasoning is unconscious. In contrast, perception is a means of taking in new information, and it is typically a mode of conscious experience. These two aspects of the mind become deeply intertwined when beliefs, fears, or desires influence what we see, hear, taste, or smell. Such influences are called top-down effects on perception. We propose a four-week Summer Institute to explore the diverse issues raised by top-down effects, covering four major themes: varieties of top-down effects on perception, the epistemology of top-down effects, moral and political perception, and perception in aesthetics. Readings include selections from classical Greek philosophy, contemporary analytic philosophy, psychology, literary studies, and art history.

Project fields:
Epistemology; Ethics; Philosophy, General

Institutes for College and University Teachers

Education Programs

Total amounts:
$192,461 (approved)
$152,871 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2015 – 12/31/2016