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José Filipe Pereira da Silva

Filipe da Silva imagePh.D (philosophy)

Room 225

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Tel +358-(0)2941 24982

Email  jose.pereiradasilva (AT) helsinki.fi     

Curriculum vitae

List of publications


Research interests

  • History of philosophy
  • Medieval philosophical psychology
  • Epistemology

Current research

Medieval Theories of Active Perception From Augustine to Giles of Rome

Perception conceived as an active process, built around the notions of intentionality and attention, has become central for contemporary cognitive psychology and philosophy of mind. Such conception of perception has ancient roots and was extensively developed in the Middle Ages, especially by authors of the Augustinian hue. My project investigates the medieval developments of the theory of active perception, divided into two main periods: from Augustine to mid-twelfth century; and from here to the fourteenth century, when, due to the translation of Aristotelian works on natural philosophy and Arabic treatises on optics, a more systematic theory of active perception emerges. The project aims at understanding the main developments of the Augustinian theory, to examine the common (and distinctive) core commitments of those developments, their continuity or departure from Augustine’s original formulation, and how they relate to the dominant Aristotelian passive model of sense perception. Special attention is paid to the body-soul relation, the role of awareness in perceptual acts, and the selective nature of attention.