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Cognitive penetration and the rationality of perception

School of Divinity, History & Philosophy

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Dr L Moretti Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Philosophers have claimed that the content of perceptual experiences is penetrable (i.e. can be influenced) by other mental sates of the subject (e.g. beliefs, fears, desires, expectations). Authors like P. Markie, M. McGrath, and S. Siegel contend that in these cases, perceptual experiences can become irrational and lose their ability to justify the subject’s beliefs. This project aims to assess whether this claim is correct against alternative views such as that cognitive penetration undermines the reliability of perceptual experience (e.g. J. Lyons), or has no relevant epistemic consequence (e.g. M. Huemer).
Essential background in Analytic philosophy.

Funding Notes

The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting There is no funding attached to this project.

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