NEH Summer Institute on Presupposition and Perception

Type: Summer Program
Date: June 26, 2016 to July 21, 2016
Location: New York, United States
Subject Fields: Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Film and Film History, Fine Arts, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Philosophy

Call For Applications
NEH Summer Institute: Presupposition and Perception: Reasoning, Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Institute Co-Directors: Susanna Siegel and Nicholas Silins

About: To philosophers, 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, and often our reasoning is unconscious. In contrast, perception is a means of taking in new information, and it is typically a mode of conscious experience. These two aspects of the mind become deeply intertwined when beliefs, fears, or desires influence what we see, hear, taste, or smell. Such influences are called top-down effects on perception. We will hold a four-week long Summer Institute to explore the diverse philosophical issues raised by top-down effects, covering four major themes: varieties of top-down effects on perception, the epistemology of top-down effects, moral and political perception, and perception in aesthetics. Along the way we will consider the various kinds of norms that govern the mind, and the interface between perception and broader social forces.

Schedule: We will meet five days a week, with half-days on Thursdays and Fridays, for four weeks. Sessions will include presentations by visiting faculty, presentations by participants, and roundtable discussions.

Visiting Faculty: Michael Brownstein, Andy Clark, Jonathan Dancy, Kristie Dotson, Anil Gupta, Jonathan Kramnick, Rae Langton, Fiona Macpherson, Kate Manne, Matthew McGrath, Eric Mandelbaum, Jessica Moss, Phia Salter, Jason Stanley, Ernest Sosa, Winnie Wong.

Participants: We will have 25 fully funded participants. We hope to draw applications across fields (including but not limited to philosophy, psychology, art history, English, and sociology). Participants will be for the most part faculty (including adjuncts and part-time faculty), with up to 3 spots reserved for graduate students.

Application Deadline: March 1st 2016

More Information: For detailed instructions on eligibility and how to apply, please visit the institute website:

Questions: Please email any questions to
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