Call: University of Essex Graduate Conference in Philosophy: ‘Perception’

The 15th Annual International Graduate Conference in Philosophy.

The University of Essex
12th May 2012


The nature and limits of perception are fiercely contested — both by analytic and continental philosophers as well as researchers in other disciplines. For example, some take ethical perception, or perceptual access to forms or structures, to be genuine phenomena, whereas others find this empirically or philosophically implausible. Furthermore, it remains disputed whether in ordinary sensory awareness we perceive objects, facts, representations, sense data, qualia, concepts, or other entities.

Furthermore, the intense interdisciplinary interest in perception — spanning psychology, art, neuroscience and psychiatry, amongst other areas — can promise to provide philosophy with exciting new resources and opportunities for collaborative inquiry. Yet, it also raises questions about the boundaries of philosophical investigation into perception, including whether philosophy has such any legitimate role at all.

In this conference, we seek to explore the scope of the philosophy of perception (understood as broadly as possible). We invite abstracts of around 500 words for presentations of 20 minutes on any topic related to perception.

Submissions from graduate students working within all traditions of philosophy are encouraged, alongside contributions from non-philosophers with research interests in this area. Possible questions and topics speakers include, but are in no means limited to:

  • To what degree is perception conceptually structured?
  • What is the relation between perception and cinema?
  • How does the philosophy of perception inform psychiatric and/or psychoanalytic practice?
  • How are we to understand the differences between animal and human perception?
  • What, if any, is the relation between perception, time and memory?
  • What role do identity and difference play in affording us perceptual access to the world?
  • Is there such a thing as moral/ethical perception?
  • What does hallucination tell us about veridical perception, if anything?
  • What is the brain’s function in perception?
  • Is perception representational?
  • Disjunctivism.
  • The phenomenology of perception.
  • Perception and the culture of the image.
  • Aesthetics and perception.
  • The methodological limits of a philosophy of perception.
  • Marx on real abstraction.
  • Aspect perception.
  • The phenomenology of the sign.

Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Charles Travis
Dr. David McNeill

Abstracts should be submitted to by 31st February 2012.

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