The Argument From the Hand

Philosophical Investigations 2 (4):47-70 (1979)
This paper is an "ordinary language" analysis of the philosophical discussion of visual perception in the context of Twentieth Century British "sense datum" theorists, primarily G.E. Moore. The title of the paper is derived from A.J. Ayer's "argument from illusion", which also forms part of the context of this paper. Both Moore and Ayer believed in sense datum theory, but Moore provides an interesting illustration that is intended to clarify (and also prove) sense datum theory in his paper, "A Defence of Common Sense". Moore invites us to inspect his hand. I try to follow suit, but succeed only in falling out with the viewpoints of both Moore and Ayer.
Keywords Appearances  Perception  Seeing  Sense Data  Visual  Moore  Ayer  Language  Surfaces  Illusion
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9205.1979.tb00401.x
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