Che natura ha l'oggetto della percezione? E come dobbiamo pensare le proprietà che lo caratterizzano percettivamente? Sono questi i temi che vengono discussi in queste pagine che cercano di far luce sul concetto di percezione, riflettendo sulla filosofia di Locke, Berkeley, Reid e sulle diverse forme del realismo diretto.
On the old story about early modern philosophy, Descartes is a “rationalist” who devalues the senses, and Berkeley an “empiricist” who rejects this. Berkeley plays into this story in his Notebooks, where he writes: “in vindication of the senses effectually to confute wt Descartes saith in ye last par. of the last Med: viz. that the senses oftener inform him falsly than truely”. But when we turn to this “last par.,” we find Descartes maintaining that “my senses report the truth (...) much more frequently than not”. In this paper, I draw on recent commentary to outline Descartes' positive account of sensation. I then look carefully at Berkeley's account of the same, in particular, by considering his distinction between human and divine perception and his account of the laws of nature. In so doing, I suggest that there are noteworthy parallels between Descartes' and Berkeley's accounts with respect to the function of sensation and the ways in which sensations can fulfill this function. I conclude by sketching some ways in which this understanding of Berkeley can illuminate some aspects of Berkeley scholarship. (shrink)
This chapter discusses eighteenth-century British theories of perception, beginning with George Berkeley’s Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision. The chapter traces Berkeley’s influence through Thomas Reid, David Hume, David Hartley, Adam Smith and Dugald Stewart. The chapter presents theories of perception in this time a place a primarily concerned with metaphysics, mind and methodology rather than epistemology.
One of Berkeley’s main goals in the Principles and in the Three Dialogues, as expressly stated in the full titles these two works, as well as in the Philosophical Commen-taries, is the refutation of skepticism. This article aims to elucidate what Berkeley means by skepticism and to indicate which principles or doctrines, according to him, are at the root of the skeptics’ doubts. An attempt is made to show how Berkeley elaborated his opposition to skepticism. Finally, it is suggested that (...) Berkeley’s (alleged) refutation of the skepticism, given his doctrine of immaterialism, is not based only on the esse est percipi principle, but also on the thesis that the objects and their sensible qualities are immedi-ately perceived. It is pointed out that, in Berkeley’s view, this thesis is compatible with common sense, what makes it plausible to consider his theory of perception as a form of direct realism. (shrink)
Berkeley introduces his water experiment in order to demonstrate that in perception the perceiver does not reach the world itself but is confined to a realm of representations or sense data. We will attempt to demonstrate that Berkeley's description of our experience at the end of the water experiment is inauthentic, that it is not so much a description of an experience as a reconstruction of what we would experience if the receptor organs were objects existing in a space partes (...) extra partes. Our argument is that there is nothing in our experience of the illusion to suggest that under normal conditions perception does not reach the world itself. (shrink)
"One basic and underlying assumption of this investigation will be that there is a distinct continuity and development in Berkeley's thought which can be traced through all of his reflective analyses of the problem of perception." The essay argues for Berkeley's theory of perception as a "prototype of the phenomenalists." It argues also for Berkeley's incorporation of elements from the representative theory of perception. Of special interest is the treatment of Berkeley's doctrine of "suggestion" and its connection with the role (...) of imagination in the perception of physical objects. The linguistic aspect of Berkeley's work is minimized. Berkeley's theory of notions receives only a passing reference. The last third of the book is a clear and useful discussion of Berkeley and contemporary phenomenalism. It is suggested, though not shown, that Berkeley has affinity with contemporary phenomenology of perception.--A. S. C. (shrink)