Institute Co-Directors

The co-directors Nicholas Silins and Susanna Siegel have collaborated formally and informally for years about the epistemology of perception and other topics in philosophy.  Their discussions together have resulted in three co-authored articles:  “Consciousness, Attention, and Perceptual Justification” in Contemporary Perspectives on Scepticism and Perceptual Justification, "Attention and Perceptual Justification", forthcoming in a festschrift for Ned Block with MIT Press, and the entry on Perceptual Justification in The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Perception, which is an introduction to contemporary problems of perceptual justification in analytic epistemology.

Nicholas Silins is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Cornell University, and Associate Professor of Humanities (Philosophy) at Yale-NUS in Singapore. He has published widely in the epistemology of perception, and has written a commissioned overview of the epistemology of top-down effects for Blackwell Compass. His work includes papers about the acquisition of knowledge through inference (e.g. "Transmission Failure Failure" in Philosophical Studies), the epistemology of perception (e.g. "The Agony of Defeat?" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research and "Basic Justification and the Moorean Response to the Skeptic" in Oxford Studies in Epistemology), interactions between the epistemology of perception and philosophy of mind (e.g. "Seeing Through the 'Veil of Perception'" in Mind), and self-knowledge ("Introspection and Inference" in Philosophical Studies). His latest work brings research on visual attention to bear on epistemology, aesthetics, and value theory.

Susanna Siegel is Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. Her 2010 book The Contents of Visual Experience defends the view that perception can represent complex properties such as causation, kinds, and personal identity. She has written many articles about the varieties of effects on perception by what we fear, believe, prefer, know, or presume, and the epistemic consequences of these influences, including "Cognitive Penetrability and Perceptual Justification" published in the journal Nous, "Can Selection Effects on Experience Influence its rational role?" in Oxford Studies in Epistemology, and "How is wishful seeing like wishful thinking?" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. She is keenly interested in the perception of social properties, and finds the topics of the institute crucial to understanding how social hierarchies operate, especially in racial profiling. She is currently writing about  the role of perception in 'reasonable person' standards in US law. Her forthcoming book The Rationality of Perception treats many of the topics of the institute.

Graduate Assistant

Zoe Jenkin is a graduate student at Harvard University. She works on philosophy of perception and epistemology.

Visiting Speakers

Michael Brownstein (Philosophy, CUNY/John Jay)

Jonathan Dancy (Philosophy, UT Austin)

Kristie Dotson (Philosophy, Michigan State)

Anya Farennikova (Philosophy, Bristol)

Anil Gupta (Philosophy, Pittsburgh)

Jonathan Kramnick (English, Yale)

Rae Langton (Philosophy, Cambridge)

Fiona Macpherson (Philosophy, Glasgow)

Matthew McGrath (Philosophy, Missouri-Columbia)

Eric Mandelbaum (Philosophy, Baruch College CUNY)

Jessica Moss (Philosophy, NYU)

Phia Salter (Psychology and Africana Studies, Texas A&M)

Jason Stanley (Philosophy, Yale)

Ernest Sosa (Philosophy, Rutgers)

Winnie Wong (Rhetoric and History of Art, UC Berkeley)