An empirical refutation of the direct realist theory of perception

Inquiry 40 (4):437-438 (1997)
There are currently two main philosophical theories of perception - Direct Realism and the Representative Theory. The former is supported by most contemporary philosophers, whereas the latter forms the groundwork for most scientific theories in this area. The paper describes a recent experiment involving retinal and cortical rivalry that provides strong empirical evidence that the Direct Realist theory is incorrect. There are of course a large number of related experiments on visual perception that would tend to lead us to the same conclusion, but the experiment described in this paper does so in a singularly direct and straightforward manner. Often the most telling experiments are the simplest
Keywords Empiricism  Epistemology  Object  Perception  Realism
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DOI 10.1080/00201749708602462
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