Cognitive Penetrability

  • Athanassios RaftopoulosEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Innovations in Philosophy book series (PIIP)


In this chapter, I assess the definitions of CI in the literature and synthesize them to propose a new definition of CP that incorporates the much-heated discussion about the effects of CP on the epistemic role of perception. I distinguish this definition from the other definitions that I had examined underlying at the same time the commonalities with them. Then, I propose to approach CP by factoring in the epistemic role of perception in justifying perceptual beliefs. This means that one should determine and assess the epistemic role of each stage of visual processing separately, in view of the different roles that the two stages play in perception and in view of the fact that cognition affects early and late vision differently. In view of the two threads that exist in definition of CP, one imposing the demand that for a perceptual process to be CP it must be directly affected by cognition, and the other imposing the demand that for a perceptual process to be CP cognition should affect in an interesting way its epistemic role, I discuss the relation between these two conditions. Finally, in view of my thesis that late vision is CP because cognitive states affect hitherto purely perceptual processes, I propose a way in which states with cognitive contents that are symbolically structured could affect states with purely iconic or analog contents.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CyprusNicosiaCyprus

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