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The Home Page of
Gary Hatfield

Adam Seybert Professor in Moral and Intellectual Philosophy
Visual Studies Program

Department of Philosophy
University of Pennsylvania
Cohen Hall, Rm. 433
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6304
Phone #: 215-898-6346
Fax #: 215-898-5576 (cover sheet required)
E-address: hatfield (at) phil.upenn.edu

Gary Hatfield received the PhD from the University of Wisconsin--Madison in 1979,
then taught at Harvard and Johns Hopkins before coming to Penn in 1987.
He works in the history of modern philosophy, the philosophy of psychology, theories of vision, and the philosophy of science.  In 1990, he published The Natural and the Normative: Theories of Spatial Perception from Kant to Helmholtz; at HOPOS 2016, the 25th anniversary of the book was celebrated. In 2009, Perception and Cognition: Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology appeared from the Clarendon Press; a revised version of his book on Descartes' Meditations appeared in 2014.  In 2012, an edited volume (co-edited with the psychologist Sarah Allred) arising from an IRCS workshop on the constancies was published by Oxford: Visual Experience.  The revised edition of his translation of Kant's Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics appeared in 2004.  He is affiliated with the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics, as well as the Visual Studies Program.  He has directed dissertations in history of philosophy, philosophy of psychology, and philosophy and history of science, and has advised several postdocs in these fields.  He has long been fascinated by visual perception and the mind–body problem.  For further information, consult Curriculum Vitae (selected [html] or full [pdf]) and research statement.

Office Hours for Spring, 2019 (Cohen 422): Tues, 1-2pm; Thurs, 12-1pm, & by apptmt.

Courses a picture appears here

Fall 2018
Phil 423, Philosophy and Visual Perception
The course is divided into three units. The first is color perception, which is a microcosm of issues. We will consider color phenomenology, evolution, epistemology, and metaphysics. What is color? How do we perceive it? How do we experience it? The second unit concerns theories of spatial perception, object perception, and perceptual realisms. We will start from theories of perception in psychology and cognitive science, and then move into question of phenomenology, perceptual constancy, and the implications for perceptual realisms. The third unit concerns how visual scenes are experienced by means of images and it assesses the representational relation between images and things imaged, including linear perspective and its status as arbitrary convention or optically and naturally based system.
Readings from authors such as David Hilbert, Stephen Palmer, James Gibson, Bertrand Russell, John Searle, Nelson Goodman, and Richard Wollheim.

Spring 2019
VLST 101, Eye, Mind & Image (TR 10:30) (with Prof. Brisman)
Satisfies GenEd IV (Humanities and Social Sciences) or VII (Natural Science and Mathematics). About VLST 101.

Phil 526, Philosophy of Psychology: Appearances from Descartes to Chisholm
We will examine various instances of appealing to appearances in analyzing perception and its relation to an external world. Authors to be studied include Descartes, Hume, Russell, Sellars, and Chisholm.
Registration Notes
UNDERGRADUATES NEED PERMISSION (write to hatfield@sas.upenn.edu)

Faculty Seminars and Working Groups

On-Line Publications (open access)

Review of John Bickle (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience, Oxford UP, 2009, in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

Descartes, in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Helmholtz and Philosophy: Science, Perception, and Metaphysics, with Variations on Some Fichtean Themes. The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 6.3 (2018).

Web talks and podcasts

OMNIA Podcast: Tribute to Hilary Putnam, C.48, HON.85 (Audio)
Professors of Philosophy Gary Hatfield, Scott Weinstein, and Daniel Singer discuss the influential scholar.s legacy in their field and his unique connection with Penn as scholar and alumnus. Thursday, July 7, 2016

Talk in Edinburgh, "Gibson and Gestalt: Representation (Presentation) and Constrution." Professor Gary Hatfield (Penn) speaks at the event "The World in Us: Gestalt Structure, Phenomenology and Embodied Cognition", 9th July 2017.

Gary Hatfield (Penn, Visual Studies, Philosophy): Introduction, on the concept of a liberal arts education, workshop on Making and Materiality: Studio Arts in a Liberal Arts Education, Friday, 15 Sept. 2017. (Includes the subsequent presentation by Nick Sousanis.)

Gary Hatfield (Penn) addresses the question: "Phenomenally Converging Railway Tracks: A Misperception?" at a conference entitled The Philosophy and Psychology of Visual Space: An Interdisciplinary Workshop, Ohio State University, Feb. 2019.

Papers in pdf format

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Papers On Line from IRCS.

The papers are compressed and formatted as postscript input to a printer. After downloading, run the unix command "gunzip" (e.g., gunzip 01-04.ps.gz or gunzip 96-05.ps.Z); a picture appears here
"lpr" the resulting file, specifying a printer if needed (e.g., lpr -Pcogsci 01-04.ps).

Links in History and Philosophy of Psychology

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Vision and Visual Studies

Early Modern Philosophy and Science

Philosophy of Science and Science Studies

Last modified 12 Oct 2018.
Gary Hatfield (hatfield (at) sas.upenn.edu)
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