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Summary

There are three questions structuring the debate on perceptual relations. One question concerns the connection between perceptual relations to the environment and the representational content of experiences. Are perceptual relations or perceptual representations more fundamental in an account of the nature of perceptual experience? Austere relationalists have it that perceptual relations to the environment are more fundamental than any representations. Austere representationalists have it that representations are more fundamental than any perceptual relations to the environment. Hybrid views have it that perceptual experience is fundamentally both relational and representational. A second question is whether we are perceptually related to particulars or universals. Direct realists have it that we are perceptually related to particulars such as objects, events, and property-instances in our environment. Likewise, sense-data theorists have it that we are related to particulars, but understand the particulars in play to be strange particulars, namely sense-data. While it is compatible with a representationalist view to hold that we are perceptually related to particulars in our environment, at least some representationalists have it that we are perceptually related to properties and so to universals rather than particulars. A third question concerns the nature of the relation. Is the perceptual relation a causal relation, is it a sensory relation such as an awareness relation, or is it an epistemic relation such as an acquaintance relation?

Key works Brewer 2011Campbell 2002, Dretske 1981
Introductions Crane 2006Schellenberg 2010
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  1. R. J. B. (1964). The Perception of Causality. Review of Metaphysics 18 (1):180-181.
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  2. Sven Bernecker (2008). Against Representative Realism. In , The Metaphysics of Memory. Springer. 81--104.
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  3. Harold I. Brown (2008). 1 The Case for Indirect Realism. In Edmond Wright (ed.), The Case for Qualia. The Mit Press. 45.
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  4. Lawrence Richard Carleton (1978). Toward a Defense of Direct Realism. Auslegung 5 (February):101-111.
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  5. Iris Carlton-LaNey & Janice Andrews (1998). Direct Practice. In Josefina Figueira-McDonough, Ann Nichols-Casebolt & F. Ellen Netting (eds.), The Role of Gender in Practice Knowledge: Claiming Half the Human Experience. Garland Pub.. 1086--93.
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  6. P. Rowntree Clifford (1964). Direct, Referential Realism : A Comment. Dialogue 2 (04):452-453.
  7. E. E. Dawson (1961). Sense Experience and Physical Objects. Theoria 27 (2):49-57.
  8. Georges Dicker (1985). Moltke S. Gram, Direct Realism: A Study of Perception Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 5 (5):196-198.
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  9. D. Goldstick (1980). The Leninist Theory of Perception. Dialogue 19 (March):1-19.
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  10. R. N. Haber & C. A. Levin (1992). The Perception of Object Size is Independent of Object Distance. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 30 (6):440-440.
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  11. Barbara Hannan (1994). Radical Realism: Direct Knowing in Science and Philosophy. Philosophical Books 35 (2):137-138.
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  12. Ryan Hickerson (2004). An Indirect Defense of Direct Realism. Journal of Mind and Behavior 25 (1):1-6.
    Smythies and Ramachandran claim that the direct realist theory of perception has been refuted by recent psychophysics. This paper takes up the psychophysics, and the definition of direct realism employed by Smythies and Ramachandran, to show that direct realism has not been so refuted. I argue that the direct realist may grant that perceptual images are constructed by the central nervous system, without treating those images as “phenomenal objects.” Until phenomenal objects are shown to be distinct from extra-mental objects, and (...)
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  13. Michael Huemer (2000). Direct Realism and the Brain-in-a-Vat Argument. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):397-413.
    The brain-in-a-vat argument for skepticism is best formulated, not using the closure principle, but using the “Preference Principle,” which states that in order to be justified in believing H on the basis of E, one must have grounds for preferring H over each alternative explanation of E. When the argument is formulated this way, Dretske’s and Klein’s responses to it fail. However, the strengthened argument can be refuted using a direct realist account of perception. For the direct realist, refuting the (...)
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  14. Mikhail Kissine (2009). In Defence of Direct Perception Through Language. In Jesus M. Larrazabal & Larraitz Zubeldia (eds.), Meaning, Content and Argument. University of the Basque Country Press. 365--381.
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  15. Paul A. Macdonald (2007). Direct Realism and Aquinas's Account of Sensory Cognition. The Thomist 71 (3):343-378.
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  16. Peter Machamer & Lisa Osbeck (2002). Perception, Conception, and the Limits of the Direct Theory. In R. E. Auxier & L. E. Hahn (eds.), The Philosophy of Marjorie Grene. La Salle, Illinois: Open Court. 29--129.
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  17. Jennifer Matey (2012). Review of Perception, Reference and the Problem of Realism. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  18. Terrance Mcconnell (1995). Moral Perception and Particularity. Philosophical Books 36 (4):277-280.
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  19. L. M. Oakes (2003). Development of Causal Perception. In L. Nadel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group. 1--456.
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  20. S. E. Palmer & A. B. Sekuler (1988). Is Perception Direct-Evidence From a Primed Matching Paradigm. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 26 (6):487-487.
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  21. J. B. R. (1964). The Perception of Causality. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 18 (1):180-181.
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  22. Eyal M. Reingold & Philip M. Merikle (1988). Using Direct and Indirect Measures to Study Perception Without Awareness. Perception and Psychophysics 44:563-575.
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  23. Morton D. Rich (1991). On Writing by Morton D. Rich: To Direct or Not to Direct. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 8 (4):2-2.
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  24. Johannes Roessler (2011). 1 Strawson's Rationale for the Causal Theory of Perception. In Johannes Roessler, Hemdat Lerman & Naomi Eilan (eds.), Perception, Causation, and Objectivity. Oxford University Press. 103.
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  25. Bede Rundle (1978). A Representative Theory of Perception. Philosophical Books 19 (2):49-53.
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  26. Roy Wood Sellars (1963). Direct, Referential Realism. Dialogue 2 (02):135-143.
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  27. A. D. Smith (2006). In Defence of Direct Realism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):411-424.
  28. Elizabeth S. Spelke (1993). Object Perception. In Alvin Goldman (ed.), Readings in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Cambridge: Mit Press.
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  29. Elizabeth S. Spelke (1993). 1Q Object Perception. In Alvin Goldman (ed.), Readings in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Cambridge: Mit Press. 447.
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  30. Ann Taylor (1964). The Perception of Causality. Philosophical Books 5 (1):12-13.
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  31. Margaret Urban Walker (1987). Moral Particularity. Metaphilosophy 18 (3-4):171-185.
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  32. Stephen L. White (2008). On the Absence of an Inteerface: Putnam, Direct Perception, and Frege's Constraint. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 4 (2):11-28.
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The Causal Theory of Perception
  1. Kathleen Akins (ed.) (1996). Perception. Oxford University Press.
  2. Virgil C. Aldrich (1932). Taking the Causal Theory of Perception Seriously. Journal of Philosophy 29 (3):69-78.
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  3. Jan Almäng (2013). The Causal Self‐Referential Theory of Perception Revisited. Dialectica 67 (1):29-53.
    This is a paper about The Causal Self-Referential Theory of Perception. According to The Causal Self-Referential Theory as developed by above all John Searle and David Woodruff Smith, perceptual content is satisfied by an object only if the object in question has caused the perceptual experience. I argue initially that Searle's account cannot explain the distinction between hallucination and illusion since it requires that the state of affairs that is presented in the perceptual experience must exist in order for the (...)
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  4. István Aranyosi (2009). The Reappearing Act. Acta Analytica 24 (1):1 - 10.
    In his latest book, Roy Sorensen offers a solution to a puzzle he put forward in an earlier article -The Disappearing Act. The puzzle involves various question about how the causal theory perception is to be applied to the case of seeing shadows. Sorensen argues that the puzzle should be taken as bringing out a new way of seeing shadows. I point out a problem for Sorensen’s solution, and offer and defend an alternative view, according to which the puzzle is (...)
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  5. István Aranyosi (2008). Review of Roy Sorensen's Seeing Dark Things. The Philosophy of Shadows. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (3):513-515.
  6. Valtteri Arstila & Kalle Pihlainen (2009). The Causal Theory of Perception Revisited. Erkenntnis 70 (3):397 - 417.
    It is generally agreed upon that Grice's causal theory of perception describes a necessary condition for perception. It does not describe sufficient conditions, however, since there are entities in causal chains that we do not perceive and not all causal chains yield perceptions. One strategy for overcoming these problems is that of strengthening the notion of causality (as done by David Lewis). Another is that of specifying the criteria according to which perceptual experiences should match the way the world is (...)
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  7. Michael P. Bradie (1976). The Causal Theory of Perception. Synthese 33 (2-4):41 - 74.
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  8. Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert (1995). Perception and Causation. Journal of Philosophy 92 (6):323-329.
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  9. Scott Campbell (2002). Causal Analyses of Seeing. Erkenntnis 56 (2):169-180.
    I critically analyse two causal analyses of seeing, by Frank Jackson and Michael Tye. I show that both are unacceptable. I argue that Jackson's analysis fails because it does not rule out cases of non-seeing. Tye's analysis seems to be superior to Jackson's in this respect, but I show that it too lets in cases of non-seeing. I also show that Tye's proposed solution to a problem for his theory -- which involves a robot that mimics another (unseen) robot -- (...)
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  10. William Child (1994). Causality, Interpretation, and the Mind. Oxford University Press.
    Philosophers of mind have long been interested in the relation between two ideas: that causality plays an essential role in our understanding of the mental; and that we can gain an understanding of belief and desire by considering the ascription of attitudes to people on the basis of what they say and do. Many have thought that those ideas are incompatible. William Child argues that there is in fact no tension between them, and that we should accept both. He shows (...)
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  11. William Child (1994). Vision and Causation: Reply to Hyman. Philosophical Quarterly 44 (176):361-369.
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  12. William Child (1992). Vision and Experience: The Causal Theory and the Disjunctive Conception. Philosophical Quarterly 42 (168):297-316.
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  13. Paul Coates (2000). Deviant Causal Chains and Hallucinations: A Problem for the Anti-Causalist. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (200):320-331.
    The subjective character of a given experience leaves open the question of its precise status. If it looks to a subject K as if there is an object of a kind F in front of him, the experience he is having could be veridical, or hallucinatory. Advocates of the Causal Theory of perception (whom I shall call.
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  14. Paul Coates (1998). Perception and Metaphysical Skepticism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 72 (72):1-28.
    Much recent discussion about the nature of perception has focused on the dispute between the Causal Theory of Perception and the rival Disjunctive View. There are different versions of the Causal Theory (the abbreviation I shall use), but the point upon which they agree is that perception involves a conscious experience which is logically distinct from the particular physical object perceived. 1 On the opposed Disjunctive View, the perceptual experience is held to be inseparable from the object perceived; what is (...)
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  15. L. Jonathan Cohen (1977). The Causal Theory of Perception. Aristotelian Society 127:127-141.
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  16. Martin Davies (1983). Function in Perception. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (December):409-426.
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  17. Steven Davis (ed.) (1983). Causal Theories Of Mind: Action, Knowledge, Memory, Perception, And Reference. Ny: De Gruyter.
    INTRODUCTION SECTION I In the last 20 years or so philosophers in the analytic tradition have taken an increasing interest in causal theories of a wide ...
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  18. John Dilworth (2006). A Reflexive Dispositional Analysis of Mechanistic Perception. Minds and Machines 16 (4):479-493.
    The field of machine perception is based on standard informational and computational approaches to perception. But naturalistic informational theories are widely regarded as being inadequate, while purely syntactic computational approaches give no account of perceptual content. Thus there is a significant need for a novel, purely naturalistic perceptual theory not based on informational or computational concepts, which could provide a new paradigm for mechanistic perception. Now specifically evolutionary naturalistic approaches to perception have been—perhaps surprisingly—almost completely neglected for this purpose. Arguably (...)
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