The Department of Philosophy and the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program congratulate PNP PhD Student Ben Henke, who successfully defended his doctoral dissertation The Disunity of Perception (abstract below). In 2021 Ben will begin a postdoc at the University of Haifa.
Abstract: My dissertation argues that vision is functionally disunified. We commonly think of visual processing as culminating in a unified representation that uniquely guides our thoughts and actions. On this view, the role of the visual system is to transform retinal stimulation into a format accessible for thought. Against this view, I argue that the visual system creates multiple visual state-types which serve different person-level functions. Thus, there is no ‘role’ for the vision, but rather a set of roles for different visual state-types. This functional disunity requires that we revise our conceptions of the functional role of perception, of the centrality of cognition, and of the kinds of relationships that exist between the two.