The distinction between perception and cognition has always had a firm footing in both cognitive science and folk psychology. However, there is little agreement as to how the distinction should be drawn. In fact, a number of theorists have recently argued that, given the ubiquity of top-down influences (at all levels of the processing hierarchy), we should jettison the distinction altogether. I reject this approach, and defend a pluralist account of the distinction. At the heart of my account is the claim that each legitimate way of marking a border between perception and cognition deploys a notion I call ‘stimulus-control.’ Thus, rather than being a grab bag of unrelated kinds, the various categories of the perceptual are unified into a superordinate natural kind (mutatis mutandis for the complimentary categories of the cognitive).
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