Front Page Titles (by Subject) Do Concepts Mold Percepts? - Literature of Liberty, July/September 1978, vol. 1, No. 3
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Do Concepts Mold Percepts? - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, July/September 1978, vol. 1, No. 3 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Do Concepts Mold Percepts?
“Is Observation Theory-Laden? A Problem in Naturalistic Epistemology.” Logic, Laws, and Life: Some Philosophical Complications. Edited by Robert G. Colodny. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1977: 188–208.
Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Hanson have made much methodological capital from the theory that observation is theory-laden. They have defended this thesis largely from a selective use of experiments in Gestalt psychology. A broader sampling of the psychological literature does not unequivocally support the notion of theory-laden observation.
The argument is fairly simple. Although some Gestalt experiments demonstrate that what a human subject sees depends upon his mental “set” or expectation, other experiments tell against mental conceptions distorting perceptions. In fact, in some of these experiments, informing the subject that a certain figure may be perceived proves unhelpful. Even given such information, the subject not only does not alter his observation but seems resistant to altering it.
It is unlikely that we can carry out earlier epistemological programs that relied on a firm distinction between theory and observation. Nevertheless, we can salvage something from the popular attacks on observation as a test of theory. In particular, it is now clear that observations do not invariably confirm the pet theory of the observe. In clear-cut cases this has always been conceded to be false, but many have questioned the possibility of crucial, decisive experiments that would put opposing theories or paradigms to the test of observation. Now there is room for crucial experiments even in principle, and even given the strict constraints insisted upon by Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Hanson.