Normativity in Perception

Part of the series New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science pp 117-127

Seeing Things in the Right Way: How Social Interaction Shapes Perception

  • Shaun Gallagher


As the story goes, God recognized the importance of human interaction at the very beginning, and thus created Eve as a second person. Moreover, at the very beginning there was no right or wrong, and everything was open for human experience. As the plot develops, however, interaction changes all of that. The same seems true for ontogenesis. For the newborn there is no right or wrong — including no right or wrong way to perceive the world. But interaction changes all of that. My aim is to make this point about perception generally, and then show how it applies to social perception in particular.