Alisa Mandrigin’s research is in the philosophy of mind and psychology, combining analytic, continental and empirical approaches. She completed her PhD in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh with a thesis titled ‘The concept of self: Thinking of oneself as a subject of thought’. Currently she is working on issues concerning perception and the senses.
Prior to coming to IASH she held postdoctoral research positions at the Universities of Barcelona and Warwick. She holds a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award 2016/17, which she has used to create the Early Career Mind Network and support its activities (earlycareermindnetwork.squarespace.com/).
Cézanne’s paintbrush: multimodal perception and action
“Cézanne does not try to use color to suggest the tactile sensations which would give shape and depth. These distinctions between touch and sight are unknown in primordial perception. It is only as a result of a science of the human body that we finally learn to distinguish between our senses. The lived object is not rediscovered or constructed on the basis of the contributions of the senses; rather, it presents itself to us from the start as the centre from which contributions radiate.” (Merleau-Ponty 1993, p. 65)
For the most part, we think of ourselves as having five ways of perceiving the world, with distinct experiences corresponding to each of these five sense modalities: we see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Similarly, the sensory systems were, until recently, thought to operate independently from one another. Evidence from neurophysiology, neuroimaging and psychophysics showing that this is not the case now abounds: sensory processing is ‘multisensory’.
My project examines the implications of this empirical research for our understanding of conscious perceptual experience, and the way that the senses contribute to our perception of objects and events in the world.