Cohen Hall, Room 402
Abstract: People sometimes say things like the following: Cabernet Sauvignon tastes differently to an expert wine taster, or Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony sounds differently to a seasoned conductor. Such claims are often made by philosophers, from the 14th-century Hindu philosopher Vedānta Deśika to Thomas Reid as well as to contemporary philosophers like Ned Block, Susanna Siegel, and Christopher Peacocke. But do experts really perceive the world differently from non-experts? According to an alternative story, the wine tastes (or the symphony sounds) the same to the expert and non-expert alike. On this view, it’s just that the expert has specialized concepts for the wine (or the symphony) that the non-expert lacks, while the wine tastes (or the symphony sounds) the same to both. Which of these two accounts is correct? In this talk, I examine and evaluate the evidence, drawing on philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience.