The medieval roots of reliabilist epistemology: Albert of saxony's view of immediate apprehension

Synthese 136 (3):409 - 434 (2003)
Abstract
In the essay I first argue that Albert ofSaxony's defense of perceptual ``directrealism'' is in fact a forerunner of contemporaryforms of ``process reliabilist''epistemologies. Second, I argue that Albert's defenseof perceptual direct realism has aninteresting consequence for his philosophy oflanguage. His semantic notion of `naturalsignification' does not require any semanticintermediary entity called a `concept' or`description', to function as the directsignificatum of written or spoken termsfor them to designate perceptual objects. AlthoughAlbert is inspired by Ockham's mentalact theory, I conclude that Albert seemsto be striking out in a very new direction.
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