About this Research Topic
The way that we perceive our environment via our sensory systems has always been a source of deep theoretical questions and problems concerning this very basic characteristic of our existence. Beginning with 'Plato's Cave', or perhaps even earlier, the Philosophers were the first to raise issues regarding the nature of perception, the identity of the perceiving subject as well as of the object being perceived, the relationship between the perceptual world and the real world, the subjectivity of our perceptual experiences, the relationship between perception and knowledge acquisition, the possible intentionality and representational character of perception, the `special` cases of illusion and hallucination, perceptual experiences in sleep & dreams, the problem of objectively talking at the 3rd person about something which is subjectively experienced at the 1st person, the relationship between perceptual experience and beauty, and many more. On the one hand, these questions remain alive today and are as important and as fundamental as ever, since they run deep down in exploring the reality of the `worlds` that we live in, as shown in inspiring films like "The Matrix"” . On the other hand, one would expect that with the advances in the field of Sensory Neuroscience and our understanding of both the structure and functioning of processing and perceptual systems in the brain, combined with our accumulated scientific knowledge regarding the behavioral characteristics of perception from the point of view of experimental and cognitive psychology, we should today be in a better position to address theoretical issues on the nature of perceptual experiences. The aim of the proposed Research Topic is to have a fresh look at many of these long-standing Philosophical questions and try to address them today, using the equipment and knowledge that scientific research has provided us with over the last few years of scientific explosion in the Mind & Brain Sciences. For such a state-of-the-art update to be complete, an interdisciplinary contribution from researchers working in the field of Sensory Perception is necessary, bringing together philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists, who in essence struggle to address the same fundamental questions but from different perspectives.
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