Susanna Siegel
Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy Harvard University

Office: Emerson Hall 317
Cambridge, MA 02138
fax (617) 495 2192
ssiegel [at-sign] fas.harvard.edu

My CV in pdf format. Last updated: Fall 2018.


What's new:

My replies to Andy Clark and Christopher Peacocke's commentaries on The Rationality of Perception are forthcoming in Res Philosophica in October 2018.

Clark defends the Rationality of Perception thesis but objects to my analysis of when inferences lead to irrational perceptual experience, and argues that his predictive theory of perception draws a better distinction between epistemically good and bad forms of feedback loops between perception and its psychological precursors. The main difference between our defenses of the Rationality of Perception thesis lies in our different conceptions of inference. Peacocke rejects the Rationality of Perception thesis and argues that his Factive Theory of perception offers a better analysis of how perceptual experience can give us knowledge. I like this exchange for the way it highlights two approaches to perception shaped by fundamentally different guiding metaphors: perception as guessing vs. perception of knowing.

My replies to Endre Begby, Harmen Ghijsen, and Kateryna Samoilova were recently published in Analysis Reviews.

Begby focuses on my analysis of the epistemic features of the interface between individual minds and their cultural milieu (discussed in chapter 10 of *The Rationality of Perception*), Ghijsen focuses on the notion of inference and reliabilism (chapters 5 and 6), and Samoilova focuses on the relationship between epistemic charge (chapter 3) and shifts in the amount of justification needed for knowledge.

Other reviews and symposia on The Rationality of Perception are in Mind by Alan Millar, Journal of Philosophy by Bill Brewer, European Journal of Philosophy by Louise Richardson, Analysis Reviews (links above), Australasian Journal of Philosophy by Bence Nanay, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews by Dustin Stokes. Other reviews are forthcoming in Ratio by Zachary Irving, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research by Adam Pautz, Errol Lord and Peter Railton, and Res Philosophica by Christopher Peacocke and Andy Clark.

The Rationality of Perception was published by Oxford in 2017. Paperback coming in early 2019. Individual chapters can be found on Oxford Scholarship Online.

Here's a video a my talk from Ethics in the World series at Harvard Bookstore, April 2017, and four short blog posts on it. They are part the Brains' blog's excellent series highlighting new books.

Book sessions from 2018:

2018 Eastern APA in Savannah, GA. January 2018. Commentators: Jennifer Nagel, Adam Pautz, and Peter Railton.

2018 Pacific APA in San Diego, CA. March 2018. Commentators: Andy Clark, Sally Haslanger, and Christopher Peacocke.

Other new papers:

Inference without Reckoning This paper develops further the main idea about inference used in *The Rationality of Perception*. Forthcoming in Reasoning: Essays in Theoretical and Practical Thinking, edited by Brendan Balcerak-Jackson and Magdalena Balcerak-Jackson. To appear in 2018 or 2019 (Oxford University Press).

The Structure of Episodic Memory (with Nico Silins). This paper proposes a framework for analyzing episodic memory and responds to Jonardon Ganeri's discussion of Buddhaghosa and other Buddhist attempts to understand episodic memory.


On October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of 2018 I'll be giving the three Royce lectures in the Philosophy Department at Brown University on whether perception comes in degrees. The topics are: Epistemology, Phenomenology, and the science of Perception. Info here.

In Spring 2019 I'll be teaching a seminar on Inference and Memory.

In June and July 2016, I directed the NEH Summer Institute on Presupposition and Perception:Reasoning, Ethics, Politics, Aesthetics at Cornell University with Nico Silins.

In 2015 Zoe Jenkin and I co-edited a special issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology on Cognitive Penetrability. Our introduction gives an overview of the main philosophical problems that arise from the many varieties of effects of prior outlooks on perception. The volume includes excellent papers by Jonna Vance on double-counting in Bayesian predictive processing, Anya Farennikova on absence perception and cognitive penetration, Robert Cowan on ethical perception, an exchange between Fiona Macpherson and Gary Lupyan on evidence for cognitive penetration, Kestus Kveraga and Reg Adams on social vision and threat cues, and Francisco Marchi on emotion perception.


My interviews with 3am magazine (from 2013) and PhilosopHER (from 2014) and Filosofuj! (from 2017 and in Polish).

My debate with Steven Pinker on Science, Humanities, and the Mind (2014)

My philpapers page (contains links to all published papers and a few unpublished ones.


Courses

Spring 2019

Phil 158a: Mind, Brain, and Behavior Proseminar on Inference and Memory

Phil 312: Workshop in Metaphysics and Epistemology

Fall 2018

Colloquium for first-year graduate students

Placement seminar (for job candidates)

Spring 2018

Phil 258: Perception and indeterminateness

Phil 312: Workshop in Metaphysics and Epistemology

Fall 2017

Placement officer 2017-18

Placement seminar (for job candidates)

Phil 158a: Mind, Brain, and Behavior Proseminar on Episodic Memory

2016-2017: On leave.

Spring 2016

Phil 312. Workshop in Metaphysics and Epistemology (with Susanna Rinard)

Graduate Seminar in General Education: Democracy and Violence

Fall 2015

Phil 303: Seminar for job market candidates

Phil 300: First-year Colloquium for Graduate Students (with Susanna Rinard)

Spring 2015

Phil 160: Philosophy of Psychology

Phil 312: Workshop in Metaphysics and Epistemology

Spring 2014

Phil 158a: Classic Readings in Philosophical Psychology

Phil 312: Workshop in Metaphysics and Epistemology

Fall 2013

Phil 303: Seminar for job market candidates

Ethical Reasoning 21: Moral Reasoning about Social Protest

Placement Officer 2013-14

Fall 12-Spring 13: On leave

Spring 12

Phil 157z:MBB Proseminar: Epistemology Meets the Science of Perception and Belief (with Ned Block)

Fall 2011

Placement Officer 2011-12

Phil 300a: First-year Colloquium for Graduate Students (with Mark Richard)

Phil 303: Seminar for job market candidates

Phil 312: Workshop in Metaphysics and Epistemology

Spring 2011

Phil 240: Seminar on perceptual justification (with Farid Masrour)

Phil 157: Proseminar on perception, prediction and action (with Sean Kelly)

Fall 10

Placement Officer 2010-11

Gen Ed 21: Moral Reasoning about Social Protest

Placement Officer 2009-10

Spring 10
Phil 253z: Perception

Gen Ed/MR 66: Moral Reasoning about Social Protest

Fall 09
Phil 312: Workshop in Metaphysics and Epistemology

On leave, Spring '09

Placement Officer 2008-09

Spring 2008
Phil 156: Philosophy of Mind
MR 66: Moral Reasoning about Social Protest

Fall 2007
Phil 300: First-year Colloquium

Spring 2007
Phil 312: Workshop in Metaphysics and Epistemology
Seminar on Perceptual Experience (with Alex Byrne, MIT)
MR66 Moral Reasoning About Social Protest

Fall 2006
Phil 312: Workshop in Metaphysics and Epistemology

Spring 2006
MR 66: Moral Reasoning about Social Protest
Phil 312: Workshop in Metaphysics and Epistemology

Fall 2005
Phil 312: Workshop in Metaphysics and Epistemology

On leave, 2004-05

Spring 2004
MR 66 Moral Reasoning about Social Protest

Fall 2003
Phil 239 Introspection and Phenomenality
Phil 158a Proseminar in Mind, Brain and Behavior

On leave, 2002-03

Spring 2002
Phil 245/24.729 (with Michael Glanzberg, MIT): Demonstratives, Definites and Reference
Phil 146 Philosophy of Language: Pragmatics

Fall 2001
MR 66: Moral Reasoning about Social Protest
Tutorial Authority, Obligation and Disobedience

Spring 2001
Phil 245z Reference and Particularity
Phil 156 Philosophy of Mind

Fall 2000
MR 66: Moral Reasoning about Social Protest
Tutorial on P.F.Strawson's Individuals

Spring 2000
Phil 143z Proseminar on Perception
Phil 145z Proseminar on Demonstratives

Fall 1999
Phil 15: Political Obligation and Civil Disobedience