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The Rationality of Perception

The Rationality of Perception

ISBN 9780198797081
Edition 1st
Publication Date
Publisher Oxford University Press
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, but perception is a means of taking in new information. Reasoning can be better or worse, but perception is considered beyond reproach. The Rationality of Perception argues that these two aspects of the mind become deeply intertwined when beliefs, fears, desires, or prejudice influence what we perceive. When the influences reach all the way to perceptual appearances, we face a philosophical problem: is it reasonable to strengthen what one believes or fears or suspects on the basis of an experience that was generated by those very same beliefs, fears, or suspicions? Drawing on examples involving racism, emotion, and scientific theories, Siegel argues that perception itself can be rational or irrational, and makes vivid the relationship between perception and culture.

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