Hi, I’m Madeleine Ransom, a PhD candidate in my fourth year at the Philosophy Department of the University of British Columbia. My main research interests lie in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science, the Philosophy of Perception and Aesthetics.
My doctoral research has been funded for the past three years by a SSHRC Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship, and will be funded this coming year by an ASA Dissertation Fellowship.
Here is the abstract for my dissertation:
What does the expert have that the novice does not? One component of expertise may be perceptual, involving a change in what we are able to perceive. Experts develop the ability to taste some subtle flavors of a wine, or hear minute variations in pitch imperceptible to the novice. More controversially, they see moves on a chessboard, or that something is a pileated woodpecker or a Picasso. In this dissertation I defend the perceptual expertise thesis: through perceptual learning experts come to perceive high-level properties imperceptible to novices. This provides the foundation needed for a theory of aesthetic perception, and reconciles a puzzle in aesthetic concerning our critical practices.