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Speaker Series: Tyler Burge (UCLA)
April 22 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: A Map of Lower Representational Mind
Abstract: Lower Representational Mind is roughly the system of mental capacities that are less complex, less sophisticated, and more widespread in the animal kingdom, than propositional attitudes. Lower representational mind centers in perception. I begin by discussing, the border between perception and non-perceptual, non-representational sensing. Then I discuss some basic facts about perception–its iconic or map-like character and its representing at various levels of abstraction. I also touch on what is known about the fastest-formed perceptual states, because these may very well tell us something about some of the earliest-evolved perceptual systems. I discuss briefly relations between the perceptual system and another system that is also central to lower representational mind: the perceptual-conative system, or the perceptual-motor system. Then I sketch why these two inter-related systems are served by satellite capacities, also in lower-representational mind: perceptual attention, perceptual memory, perceptual anticipation, perceptual affect, perceptual learning, perceptual imagining. Often such capacities are assumed to be cognitive, in a sense that would make them supra-perceptual–on the ground that they are less tied to the here-and-now than perception is. I explain why I think that such assumptions are mistaken. The map that I discuss is firmly grounded in reflection on science–centrally vision science–not primarily in intuitive reflection.