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Summary

The objects of perception are what we are directly aware of when perceiving. Are these objects physical objects in our environment? Direct realists argue they are. A common challenge to direct realism draws on cases of hallucination: when I am hallucinating, I seem to be perceptually aware of something, yet there is no physical object present for me to be aware of. By contrast to direct realists, sense datum theorists maintain that sense data rather than physical objects in our environment are immediately present to the mind. Sense data are mind-dependent objects that actually have the properties (e.g., color and shape) that we may take external objects to possess in perception. There are two varieties of sense datum theory. On indirect realist views, sense data “stand in for” or represent physical objects. On idealist views, we are directly aware of sense data, yet there are no physical objects for which they stand in. A different type of position is developed by intentionalists, who distinguish the object of perception from its content. On this view, perceptual states are intentionally directed toward physical objects and their properties, yet physical objects can be misrepresented in perception because the content of a perceptual state may fail to match its object.

Key works Versions of direct realism have recently been defended by Brewer 2007, Campbell 2002, and Martin 2002. Versions of indirect realism have been defended by Broad 1925, Jackson 1978, Robinson 1994, and Russell 1912. Classic arguments for idealism appear in Berkeley 1988, and a recent defense can be found in Foster 2000. Intentionalist views have been developed by Anscombe 1965, Harman 1990, Crane 2001, and Byrne 2001.
Introductions Crane 2005, Huemer 2005, O'Brien 2003.
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  1. added 2020-03-24
    The Philosophy-Ladenness of Perception: A Philosophical Analysis of Perception In Husserl and Sartre.Mika Suojanen - 2018 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 17:110–129.
    The basic entity in phenomenology is the phenomenon. Knowing the phenomenon is another issue. The phenomenon has been described as the real natural object or the appearance directly perceived in phenomenology and analytic philosophy of perception. Within both traditions, philosophers such as Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Russell and Wittgenstein have considered that perceptual experience demonstrates what a phenomenon is on the line between the mind and the external world. Therefore, conceptualizing the phenomenon is based on the perceptual evidence. However, if the (...)
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  2. added 2020-03-23
    Perception as Recognizing.Mika Suojanen - 2018 - In Hemmo Laiho & Miira Tuominen (eds.), Havainto : Suomen Filosofisen Yhdistyksen yhden sanan kollokvion esitelmiä. Turku: University of Turku. pp. 161-167.
    Things appear in perception. My article will ask whether we can recognize the perceived object, without having a concept of that object, or even a concept "object". For example, can I experience a specific shade of red, without having a concept of that specific shade? Some philosophers, like McDowell (1994) and Brewer (1999), claim for the necessity of concepts for perception. Using simple examples the article will challenge the idea that recognizing the object is based on the use of concepts. (...)
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  3. added 2020-03-20
    The Immediate Object of Perception: A Sense-Datum.Mika Suojanen - 2017 - Turku: Reports from the Department of Philosophy.
    The question of what we immediately perceive from the first-person point of view has been an issue of philosophizing since the beginning of Western philosophy. However, many philosophers have not considered all theoretical and practical consequences concerning identity and causation in perceptual experience between a perceiver and the external world. Despite their meritorious studies, philosophers have failed to completely understand how the causal series of events affects what we immediately experience. Using facts relating to perceivers, logical reasoning, introspection, and philosophical (...)
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  4. added 2020-03-19
    The Immediate Object of Perception: A Sense-Datum.Mika Suojanen - 2017 - Turku: Reports from the Department of Philosophy.
    The question of what we immediately perceive from the first-person point of view has been an issue of philosophizing since the beginning of Western philosophy. However, many philosophers have not considered all theoretical and practical consequences concerning identity and causation in perceptual experience between a perceiver and the external world. Despite their meritorious studies, philosophers have failed to completely understand how the causal series of events affects what we immediately experience. Using facts relating to perceivers, logical reasoning, introspection, and philosophical (...)
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  5. added 2020-03-18
    The Nature of Object of Perception and Its Role in the Knowledge Concerning the External World.Mika Suojanen - 2015 - Turku: University of Turku.
    Questions concerning perception are as old as the field of philosophy itself. Using the first-person perspective as a starting point and philosophical documents, the study examines the relationship between knowledge and perception. The problem is that of how one knows what one immediately perceives. The everyday belief that an object of perception is known to be a material object on grounds of perception is demonstrated as unreliable. It is possible that directly perceived sensible particulars are mind-internal images, shapes, sounds, touches, (...)
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  6. added 2020-03-17
    The Nature of Object of Perception and Its Role in the Knowledge Concerning the External World.Mika Suojanen - 2015 - Turku: University of Turku.
    Questions concerning perception are as old as the field of philosophy itself. Using the first-person perspective as a starting point and philosophical documents, the study examines the relationship between knowledge and perception. The problem is that of how one knows what one immediately perceives. The everyday belief that an object of perception is known to be a material object on grounds of perception is demonstrated as unreliable. It is possible that directly perceived sensible particulars are mind-internal images, shapes, sounds, touches, (...)
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  7. added 2020-03-14
    A Direct Object of Perception.Mika Suojanen - 2015 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 22 (1):28-36.
    I will use three simple arguments to refute the thesis that I appear to directly perceive a mind-independent material object. The theses I will use are similar to the time-gap argument and the argument from the relativity of perception. The visual object of imagination and the object of experience are in the same place. They also share common qualities such as the content, subjectivity, change in virtue of conditions of observers, and the like. This leads to the conclusion that both (...)
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  8. added 2019-11-07
    Perception and the Ontology of Causation.Helen Steward - 2011 - In Johannes Roessler, Hemdat Lerman & Naomi Eilan (eds.), Perception, Causation, and Objectivity. Oxford University Press.
    The paper argues that the reconciliation of the Causal Theory of Perception with Disjunctivism requires the rejection of causal particularism – the idea that the ontology of causation is always and everywhere an ontology of particulars (e.g., events). The so-called ‘Humean Principle’ that causes must be distinct from their effects is argued to be a genuine barrier to any purported reconciliation, provided causal particularism is retained; but extensive arguments are provided for the rejection of causal particularism. It is then explained (...)
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  9. added 2019-11-07
    Perception and the Ontology of Causation.Helen Steward - 2011 - In Johannes Roessler, Hemdat Lerman & Naomi Eilan (eds.), Perception, Causation, and Objectivity. Oxford University Press. pp. 139.
    The paper argues that the reconciliation of the Causal Theory of Perception with Disjunctivism requires the rejection of causal particularism – the idea that the ontology of causation is always and everywhere an ontology of particulars (e.g., events). The so-called ‘Humean Principle’ that causes must be distinct from their effects is argued to be a genuine barrier to any purported reconciliation, provided causal particularism is retained; but extensive arguments are provided for the rejection of causal particularism. It is then explained (...)
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  10. added 2019-06-06
    Camouflaged Physical Objects: The Intentionality of Perception.Manuel Liz - 2006 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 21 (2):165-184.
    This paper is about perception and its objects. My aim is to suggest a new way to articulate some of the central ideas of direct realism. Sections 1 and 2 offer from different perspectives a panoramic view of the main problems and options in the philosophy of perception. Section 3 introduces the notion of “camouflage” as an interesting and promising alternative in order to explain the nature of the intentional objects of perception. Finally, section 4 makes use of this new (...)
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  11. added 2019-06-06
    How Does Visual Phenomenology Constrain Object-Seeing?Susanna Siegel - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (3):429-441.
    I argue that there are phenomenological constraints on what it is to see an object, and that these are overlooked by some theories that offer allegedly sufficient causal and counterfactual conditions on object-seeing.
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  12. added 2019-06-06
    Roderick M. Chisholm.Radu J. Bogdan (ed.) - 1986 - Reidel.
    RODERICK M. CHISHOLM SELF-PROFILE A. My Philosophical Education Academic What brought me into philosophy was an excellent introductory course in the subject ...
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  13. added 2019-06-06
    The Mind and its Place in Nature.C. D. Broad - 1925 - Routledge.
  14. added 2019-06-06
    Consciousness and its Object.Boyd H. Bode - 1912 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 9 (19):505-513.
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  15. added 2019-06-05
    Kantian Nonconceptualism.Dennis Schulting (ed.) - 2016 - Palgrave.
  16. added 2019-06-05
    V—Material Objects and Perceptual Standpoint.Brian O'Shaughnessy - 1964 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 65 (1):77-98.
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  17. added 2019-04-17
    Alternatywizm, dysjunktywizm i pluralizm doświadczeniowy.Paweł J. Zięba - 2018 - Studia Humanistyczne AGH 17 (1):7-19.
    The claim currently known as “disjunctivism” is usually interpreted in terms of exclusive disjunction. However, it can be also explicated through the lens of alternative denial. The aim of this paper is to show that the latter interpretation is more accurate. Firstly, it reflects the core of disjunctivism more precisely. Secondly, it reduces metaphysical weight of the claim, thereby making it more plausible.
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  18. added 2019-03-08
    Foster, John. The Nature of Perception.Simon Prosser - 2001 - Review of Metaphysics 55 (1):132-134.
    This is a review of John Foster's book, The Nature of Perception (OUP, 2000).
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  19. added 2018-09-11
    How Naïve Realism Can Explain Both the Particularity and the Generality of Experience.Craig French & Anil Gomes - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):41-63.
    Visual experiences seem to exhibit phenomenological particularity: when you look at some object, it – that particular object – looks some way to you. But experiences exhibit generality too: when you look at a distinct but qualitatively identical object, things seem the same to you as they did in seeing the first object. Naïve realist accounts of visual experience have often been thought to have a problem with each of these observations. It has been claimed that naïve realist views cannot (...)
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  20. added 2018-06-08
    On Silhouettes, Surfaces and Sorensen.Thomas Raleigh - 2018 - In Clare Mac Cumhaill & Thomas Crowther (eds.), Perceptual Ephemera. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 194-218.
    In his book “Seeing Dark Things” (2008), Roy Sorensen provides many wonderfully ingenious arguments for many surprising, counter-intuitive claims. One such claim in particular is that when we a silhouetted object – i.e. an opaque object lit entirely from behind – we literally see its back-side – i.e. we see the full expanse of the surface facing away from us that is blocking the incoming light. Sorensen himself admits that this seems a tough pill to swallow, later characterising it as (...)
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  21. added 2018-05-21
    Naïve Realism: A Simple Approach.Justin Christy - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2167-2185.
    Naïve realism is often characterized, by its proponents and detractors alike, as the view that for a subject to undergo a perceptual experience is for her to stand in a simple two-place acquaintance relation toward an object. However, two of the leading defenders of naïve realism, John Campbell and Bill Brewer, have thought it necessary to complicate this picture, claiming that a third relatum is needed to account for various possible differences between distinct visual experiences of the same object. This, (...)
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  22. added 2018-04-08
    Naive Realism and the Scientific Narration of Perception.Andrea Bucci - 2018 - Brainfactor:01-05.
    Naive realism is a widely debated topic in the philosophy of the mind. In this article I will review the theses of naive realism through the works of one of the most influential philosophers who supported and developed them, Michael Martin. Once the reasons why naive realism should be supported are discussed, I will propose an empirical argument to show that naive realism and the most basic scientific knowledge of perceptive processes are contradictory.
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  23. added 2018-03-09
    Perception Pragmatized: A Pragmatic Reconciliation of Representationalism and Relationalism.André Sant’Anna - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (2):411-432.
    This paper develops a theory of perception that reconciles representationalism and relationalism by relying on pragmatist ideas. I call it the pragmatic view of perception. I argue that fully reconciling representationalism and relationalism requires, first, providing a theory in which how we perceive the world involves representations; second, preserving the idea that perception is constitutively shaped by its objects; and third, offering a direct realist account of perception. This constitutes what I call the Hybrid Triad. I discuss how Charles Peirce’s (...)
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  24. added 2018-01-13
    How Reliably Misrepresenting Olfactory Experiences Justify True Beliefs.Angela Mendelovici - forthcoming - In Berit Brogaard & Dimitria Gatzia (eds.), The Epistemology of Non-visual Perception. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter argues that olfactory experiences represent either everyday objects or ad hoc olfactory objects as having primitive olfactory properties, which happen to be uninstantiated. On this picture, olfactory experiences reliably misrepresent: they falsely represent everyday objects or ad hoc objects as having properties they do not have, and they misrepresent in the same way on multiple occasions. One might worry that this view is incompatible with the plausible claim that olfactory experiences at least sometimes justify true beliefs about the (...)
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  25. added 2016-12-08
    Contextualism About Object-Seeing.Ben Phillips - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2377-2396.
    When is seeing part of an object enough to qualify as seeing the object itself? For instance, is seeing a cat’s tail enough to qualify as seeing the cat itself? I argue that whether a subject qualifies as seeing a given object varies with the context of the ascriber. Having made an initial case for the context-sensitivity of object-seeing, I then address the contention that it is merely a feature of the ordinary notion. I argue that the notions of object-seeing (...)
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  26. added 2016-12-08
    The Disappearing Act.R. Sorensen - 2006 - Analysis 66 (4):319-325.
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  27. added 2016-12-08
    Seeing the Unobservable: Van Fraassen and the Limits of Experience. [REVIEW]Marc Alspector-Kelly - 2004 - Synthese 140 (3):331-353.
    Van Fraassen maintains that the information that we canglean from experience is limited to those entities and processes that are detectable bymeans of our unaided senses. His challenge to the realist, I suggest, is that the attemptto inferentially transcend those limits amounts to a reversion to rationalism. Under pressurefrom such examples as microscopic observation, he has recently widened the scope of thephenomena to include object-like experiences without empirical objects of experience.With this change in mind, I argue that van Fraassen needs (...)
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  28. added 2016-12-08
    Professor Whitehead's "Perceptual Object".L. Susan Stebbing - 1926 - Journal of Philosophy 23 (8):197-213.
  29. added 2016-12-08
    Percept and Object in Common Sense and in Philosophy. II.George Stuart Fullerton - 1913 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 10 (6):149-158.
  30. added 2016-12-08
    Percept and Object in Common Sense and in Philosophy.George Stuart Fullerton - 1913 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 10 (3):57-64.
  31. added 2016-10-03
    Smelling Matter.Benjamin D. Young - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):1-18.
    While the objects of olfaction are intuitively individuated by reference to the ordinary objects from which they arise, this intuition does not accurately capture the complex nature of smells. Smells are neither ordinary three-dimensional objects, nor Platonic vapors, nor odors. Rather, smells are the molecular structures of chemical compounds within odor plumes. Molecular Structure Theory is offered as an account of smells, which can explain the nature of the external object of olfactory perception, what we experience as olfactory objects, and (...)
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  32. added 2016-08-04
    Review of James Stazicker (Ed.) The Structure of Perceptual Experience. [REVIEW]Christopher Mole - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:1.
    NDPR review of James Stazicker (ed.) The Structure of Perceptual Experience.
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  33. added 2016-07-07
    The Visual Role of Objects' Facing Surfaces.William E. S. Mcneill - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):411-431.
    It is often assumed that when we see common opaque objects in standard light this is in virtue of seeing their facing surfaces. Here I argue that we should reject that claim. Either we don't see objects' facing surfaces, or—if we hold on to the claim that we do see such things—it is at least not in virtue of seeing them that we see common opaque objects. I end by showing how this conclusion squares both with our intuitions and with (...)
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  34. added 2015-12-23
    Bill Brewer, Perception and Its Objects. [REVIEW]Kenneth Hobson - 2013 - Philosophy in Review 33 (6):437-439.
    In this focused and carefully argued book, Bill Brewer develops and defends the Object View (OV), a version of direct realism. Brewer appropriates for his foundational concept what he considers to be a key insight of the early modern tradition: perceptual experience is an irreducibly relational act of direct acquaintance, the direct object of which constitutes the fundamental nature of experience. While many of the early moderns held—partly as a consequence of the arguments from hallucination and illusion—that the direct objects (...)
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  35. added 2015-11-13
    What Do We See (When We Do)?Sean D. Kelly - 1999 - In Thomas Baldwin (ed.), Philosophical Topics. Routledge. pp. 107-128.
    1. The philosophical problem of what we see My topic revolves around what is apparently a very basic question. Stripped of all additions and in its leanest, most economical form, this is the question: "What do we see?" But in this most basic form the question admits of at least three different interpretations. In the first place, one might understand it to be an epistemological question, perhaps one with skeptical overtones. "What do we see?", on this reading, is short for (...)
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  36. added 2015-08-26
    Objects for Multisensory Perception.Casey O’Callaghan - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1269-1289.
    Object perception deploys a suite of perceptual capacities that constrains attention, guides reidentification, subserves recognition, and anchors demonstrative thought. Objects for perception—perceptual objects—are the targets of such capacities. Characterizing perceptual objects for multisensory perception faces two puzzles. First is the diversity of objects across sensory modalities. Second is the unity of multisensory perceptual objects. This paper resolves the puzzles. Objects for perception are structured mereologically complex individuals. Perceptual objects are items that bear perceptible features and have perceptible parts arranged to (...)
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  37. added 2015-06-12
    On Gilbert Harman's The Intrisic Quality of Experience.Tim Klaassen - manuscript
    I propose that there are two kind's of qualia realism, and that Harman's observations about the transparency of experience pose a threat to only one of these.
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  38. added 2015-06-10
    Perceiving Bodies Immediately: Thomas Reid's Insight.Marina Folescu - 2015 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 32 (1):19-36.
    In An Inquiry into the Human Mind and in Essays on Intellectual Powers, Thomas Reid discusses what kinds of things perceivers are related to in perception. Are these things qualities of bodies, the bodies themselves, or both? This question places him in a long tradition of philosophers concerned with understanding how human perception works in connecting us with the external world. It is still an open question in the philosophy of perception whether the human perceptual system is providing us with (...)
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  39. added 2015-04-07
    The Many-Relations Problem for Adverbialism.Alexander Dinges - 2015 - Analysis 75 (2):231-237.
    Adverbialists propose to analyse sentences of the form ‘Jane has a blue afterimage’ as ‘Jane afterimages blue-ly’. One commonly raised objection to adverbialism is the many-property problem, the problem of accounting for sentences that seem to ascribe more than one property to an afterimage . Plausible responses to this objection may be on offer. In this note, however, I will argue that the many-property problem resurfaces at the level of relations and that, at this level, no solution for the problem (...)
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  40. added 2015-03-30
    A Theory of Direct Visual Perception.James J. Gibson - 1972 - In A. Noe & E. Thompson (eds.), Vision and Mind: Selected Readings in the Philosophy of Perception. MIT Press. pp. 77--89.
  41. added 2015-01-21
    Indexing the World? Visual Tracking, Modularity, and the Perception–Cognition Interface.Santiago Echeverri - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):215-245.
    Research in vision science, developmental psychology, and the foundations of cognitive science has led some theorists to posit referential mechanisms similar to indices. This hypothesis has been framed within a Fodorian conception of the early vision module. The article shows that this conception is mistaken, for it cannot handle the ‘interface problem’—roughly, how indexing mechanisms relate to higher cognition and conceptual thought. As a result, I reject the inaccessibility of early vision to higher cognition and make some constructive remarks on (...)
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  42. added 2014-09-01
    Perceptual Presence.Jason Leddington - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (4):482-502.
    Plausibly, any adequate theory of perception must (a) solve what Alva Noë calls 'the problem of perceptual presence,' and (b) do justice to the direct realist idea that what is given in perception are garden-variety spatiotemporal particulars. This paper shows that, while Noë's sensorimotor view arguably satisfies the first of these conditions, it does not satisfy the second. Moreover, Noë is wrong to think that a naïve realist approach to perception cannot handle the problem of perceptual presence. Section three of (...)
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  43. added 2014-06-25
    The Limited Role of Particulars in Phenomenal Experience.Neil Mehta - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (6):311-331.
    Consider two deeply appealing thoughts: first, that we experience external particulars, and second, that what it’s like to have an experience – the phenomenal character of an experience – is somehow independent of external particulars. The first thought is readily captured by phenomenal particularism, the view that external particulars are sometimes part of the phenomenal character of experience. The second thought is readily captured by phenomenal generalism, the view that external particulars are never part of phenomenal character. -/- Here I (...)
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  44. added 2014-04-03
    The Representationalism Versus Relationalism Debate: Explanatory Contextualism About Perception.Bence Nanay - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (2):321-336.
    There are two very different ways of thinking about perception. According to representationalism, perceptual states are representations: they represent the world as being a certain way. They have content, which may or may not be different from the content of beliefs. They represent objects as having properties, sometimes veridically, sometimes not. According to relationalism, perception is a relation between the agent and the perceived object. Perceived objects are literally constituents of our perceptual states and not of the contents thereof. Perceptual (...)
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  45. added 2014-04-02
    Perception of Features and Perception of Objects.Daniel Burnston & Jonathan Cohen - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):283-314.
    There is a long and distinguished tradition in philosophy and psychology according to which the mind’s fundamental, foundational connection to the world is made by connecting perceptually to features of objects. On this picture, which we’ll call feature prioritarianism, minds like ours first make contact with the colors, shapes, and sizes of distal items, and then, only on the basis of the representations so obtained, build up representations of the objects that bear these features. The feature priority view maintains, then, (...)
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  46. added 2014-04-02
    Locke and the Visual Array.Michael Jacovides - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):69-91.
    A.D. Smith opens his excellent paper, “Space and Sight,” by remarking, One of the most notable features of both philosophy and psychology throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is the almost universal denial that we are immediately aware through sight of objects arrayed in three-dimensional space. This was not merely a denial of Direct Realism, but a denial that truly visual objects are even phenomenally presented in depth (481). Times have changed. As Smith writes, “It is hard to think of (...)
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  47. added 2014-03-31
    Beyond Internalism and Externalism: Husserl and Sartre's Image Consciousness in Hitchcock and Buñuel.Gregory Minissale - 2010 - Film-Philosophy 14 (1):174-201.
    Husserl and Sartre’s analyses of mental imagery and some of the latest cognitive research on vision provide a framework for understanding a number of films by Hitchcock (Psycho and Rear Window) and Buñuel (Un Chien Andalou), films which similarly probe the subtleties and uses of mental imagery. One of the many ways to enjoy these films is to see them as explorations of visual phenomenology; they allow us to enact, as well as reflect upon, mental images as part of the (...)
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  48. added 2014-03-30
    Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues.George Berkeley - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
    Berkeley's idealism started a revolution in philosophy. As one of the great empiricist thinkers he not only influenced British philosophers from Hume to Russell and the logical positivists in the twentieth century, he also set the scene for the continental idealism of Hegel and even the philosophy of Marx. -/- There has never been such a radical critique of common sense and perception as that given in Berkeley's Principles of Human Knowledge (1710). His views were met with disfavour, and his (...)
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  49. added 2014-03-27
    Perception and its Objects.Bill Brewer - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):87-97.
    Physical objects are such things as stones, tables, trees, people and other animals: the persisting macroscopic constituents of the world we live in. therefore expresses a commonsense commitment to physical realism: the persisting macroscopic constituents of the world we live in exist, and are as they are, quite independently of anyone.
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  50. added 2014-03-25
    Visual Indexes, Preconceptual Objects, and Situated Vision.Zenon W. Pylyshyn - 2001 - Cognition 80 (1-2):127-158.
    This paper argues that a theory of situated vision, suited for the dual purposes of object recognition and the control of action, will have to provide something more than a system that constructs a conceptual representation from visual stimuli: it will also need to provide a special kind of direct (preconceptual, unmediated) connection between elements of a visual representation and certain elements in the world. Like natural language demonstratives (such as `this' or `that') this direct connection allows entities to be (...)
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1 — 50 / 135