How are events represented? How are they linguistically encoded? What is the metaphysical or ontological basis for talk about events? PHLING's "events" project attempts to understand how such interdisciplinary questions relate, hoping that they do in a more fundamental way than differences in terminology and methodology might suggest.

As part of this project, we invited speakers, kept a running bibliography, and created PHLINC, Maryland's new, annual, graduate student symposium in philosophy, psychology, and linguistics. Our first PHLINC, on "events", was a smashing success.

 

Speakers

On October 21st, 2011, Brian Scholl of Yale University came to Maryland to give a colloquium talk, and participate in a day of roundtable discussion and meetings. Brian has done fantastic work on perception and cognition, including uncovering the fine parameters that enter into our perception of animacy and causality. We greatly enjoyed talking with him; the abstract of his talk follows.

Brian Scholl, Oct. 21: It's Alive!: Some Visual Roots of Social Cognition

Beyond features such as color and shape, visual percepts can also involve properties that we typically associate with higher-level cognition -- such as animacy, intentionality, and goal-directedness. Cognitive scientists have long been captivated by such phenomena, but have faced challenges in studying them with precision, and in distinguishing true perceptual effects from higher-level inferences. I will describe and demonstrate several projects from our group that address these challenges, exploring the perception of animacy from some new perspectives: (1) Demonstrations of several new types of perceived animacy (including the 'psychophysics of chasing', the 'wolfpack effect', and the 'slithering snake' animation; (2) Illustrations of how it is possible to assess the objective accuracy of certain types of perceived animacy; and (3) Explorations of how perceived animacy connects up with the rest of mind, and influences other aspects of perception and attention. Each of these research strands will involve perceptually salient demonstrations of various types. Collectively, these projects show how the perception of animacy and intentionality is wired into our minds in deep and pervasive ways, and how perception involves recovering not only the physical structure of the world, but also its causal and social structure.

 

Bibliography

We try to keep our bibliography as complete as possible, but some things may be missing. In any case, if you think there's something that should appear on this list and doesn't, please email us.

The bibliography is organized by the following subfields (click to jump-to): Cognitive Science, Philosophy, Development, Psychophysics, Linguistics.

Cognitive Science

Philosophy

Development

Psychophysics

Linguistics

PHLING is at the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Linguistics, at UMD
Address: PHLING, c/o A. Wellwood, 1401 Marie Mount Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-8505.
Email: phling@umd.edu (contact, or to get on the listserv)