About this topic

There are three questions structuring the debate on perceptual relations. One question concerns the connection between perceptual relations to the environment and the representational content of experiences. Are perceptual relations or perceptual representations more fundamental in an account of the nature of perceptual experience? Austere relationalists have it that perceptual relations to the environment are more fundamental than any representations. Austere representationalists have it that representations are more fundamental than any perceptual relations to the environment. Hybrid views have it that perceptual experience is fundamentally both relational and representational. A second question is whether we are perceptually related to particulars or universals. Direct realists have it that we are perceptually related to particulars such as objects, events, and property-instances in our environment. Likewise, sense-data theorists have it that we are related to particulars, but understand the particulars in play to be strange particulars, namely sense-data. While it is compatible with a representationalist view to hold that we are perceptually related to particulars in our environment, at least some representationalists have it that we are perceptually related to properties and so to universals rather than particulars. A third question concerns the nature of the relation. Is the perceptual relation a causal relation, is it a sensory relation such as an awareness relation, or is it an epistemic relation such as an acquaintance relation?

Key works Brewer 2011Campbell 2002, Dretske 1981
Introductions Crane 2006Schellenberg 2010
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  1. Two Causation/Perception Constructions in French.Michel Achard - 1996 - Cognitive Linguistics 7 (4):315-358.
  2. Seeing Dark Things. The Philosophy of Shadows.István Aranyosi - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (3):513-515.
    Roy Sorensen’s adventure in Shadowland started with his prize-winning article, "Seeing Intersecting Eclipses" (published in The Journal of Philosophy, and chosen by the board of the Philosopher’s Annual as one of the ten best philosophy articles of 1999), which is the basis for the first two chapters in this book. The recipe adopted in that article is followed in most of the following thirteen chapters, five of them being based on Sorensen’s previous articles on the topic: start with an open (...)
  3. Irvin Rock, Indirect Perception.P. S. Arvidson - 1999 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 6:114-114.
  4. The Causal Theory of Perception.A. J. Ayer & L. J. Cohen - 1977 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 51 (1):105-142.
  5. Perception, Reference and Causation.Thomas Baldwin - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt1):1 - 26.
  6. Direct Perception: An Opponent and a Precursor of Computational Theories.O. J. Braddick - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):381.
  7. Realism and Explanation in Perception.Bill Brewer - 2011 - In Johannes Roessler, Hemdat Lerman & Naomi Eilan (eds.), Perception, Causation, and Objectivity. Oxford University Press.
    Suppose that wc identify physical objccts, in thc first instance, by extension, as things like stones, tables, trees, people and other animals: the persisting macroscopic constituents of the world in which we live. Of course, there is a substantive question of what it is to be y such things in the way relevant to categorization as a physical object. So this can hardly be the final word on the matter. Still, it is equally clear that this gives us all a (...)
  8. Direct Perception and a Call for Primary Perception.Bruce Bridgeman - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):382.
  9. 1 The Case for Indirect Realism.Harold I. Brown - 2008 - In Edmond Wright (ed.), The Case for Qualia. MIT Press. pp. 45.
  10. A Causal Theory of Perception.Harold Irwin Brown - 1970 - Dissertation, Northwestern University
  11. The Direct Relational Model of Object Perception.Nicolas J. Bullot - unknown
    This text aims at presenting a general characterization of the act of perceiving a particular object, in a framework in which perception is conceived of as a mental and cognitive faculty having specific functions that other faculties such as imagination and memory do not possess. I introduce the problem of determining the occurrence of singular perception of a physical object, as opposed to the occurrence of other mental states or attitudes. I propose that clarifying this occurrence problem requires making explicit (...)
  12. Toward a Defense of Direct Realism.Lawrence Richard Carleton - 1978 - Auslegung 5 (February):101-111.
  13. Direct Practice.Iris Carlton-LaNey & Janice Andrews - 1998 - In Josefina Figueira-McDonough, Ann Nichols-Casebolt & F. Ellen Netting (eds.), The Role of Gender in Practice Knowledge: Claiming Half the Human Experience. Garland. pp. 1086--93.
  14. Seeing Surfaces and Physical Objects.Thompson Clarke - 1965 - In Max Black (ed.), Philosophy in America. Allen & Unwin. pp. 98-114.
  15. Direct, Referential Realism : A Comment.P. Rowntree Clifford - 1964 - Dialogue 2 (4):452-453.
  16. Direct Perception Theory Needs to Include Computational Reasoning, Not Extraretinal Information.Niels da Vitoria Lobo - 1994 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (2):318.
  17. The Grice Problem: A Critical Analysis of the Causal Theory of Perception.S. S. Dadzie - 1987 - Dissertation, Temple University
    The essay examines H. P. Grice's attempt to formulate the necessary and sufficient conditions of perceiving in purely causal terms. It involves appraisal of P. F. Strawson's criticism of the thesis as inherently circular; George Pitcher's defence of it against Strawson's challenge; Alvin I. Goldman's Historical Reliabilism, a causal-cum-belief theory of knowledge which had started off as a strictly Gricean analysis; and, finally, Donald Davidson's theory of the explanation of action which construes reasons as causes and, hence, explanation by reasons (...)
  18. Sense Experience and Physical Objects.E. E. Dawson - 1961 - Theoria 27 (2):49-57.
  19. Direct Action (1912?).Voltairine de Cleyre - unknown
    for human progress to pursue, if it is to be progress at all, who, having such a route on his mind’s map, has endeavored to point it out to others; to make them see it as he sees it; who in so doing has chosen what appeared to him clear and simple expressions to convey his thoughts to others. – to such a one it appears matter for regret and confusion of spirit that the phrase “Direct Action” has suddenly acquired (...)
  20. Direct Warrant Realism.Keith DeRose - 2005 - In Andrew Dole & Andrew Chignell (eds.), God and the Ethics of Belief: New Essays in Philosophy of Religion. Cambridge University Press.
    Direct Realism often emerges as a solution to a certain type of problem. Hume and, especially, Berkeley, wielding some of the most powerful arguments of 18th Century philosophy, forcefully attacked the notion that there could be good inferences from the occurrence of one’s sensations to the existence of external, mind-independent bodies. Given the success of these attacks, and also given the assumption, made by Berkeley and arguably by Hume as well, that our knowledge of and rational belief in the existence (...)
  21. Moltke S. Gram, Direct Realism: A Study of Perception Reviewed By.Georges Dicker - 1985 - Philosophy in Review 5 (5):196-198.
  22. Moltke S. Gram, Direct Realism: A Study of Perception. [REVIEW]Georges Dicker - 1985 - Philosophy in Review 5:196-198.
  23. The Phenomenal Presence of Perceptual Reasons.Fabian Dorsch - forthcoming - In Fabian Dorsch & Fiona Macpherson (eds.), Phenomenal Presence. Oxford University Press.
    Doxasticism about our awareness of normative (i.e. justifying) reasons – the view that we can recognise reasons for forming attitudes or performing actions only by means of normative judgements or beliefs – is incompatible with the following triad of claims: -/- (1) Being motivated (i.e. forming attitudes or performing actions for a motive) requires responding to and, hence, recognising a relevant reason. -/- (2) Infants are capable of being motivated. -/- (3) Infants are incapable of normative judgement or belief. -/- (...)
  24. Causality and the Perception of Time.David M. Eagleman & Alex O. Holcombe - 2002 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6 (8):323-325.
  25. A Relational Response to Newman's Objection to Russell's Causal Theory of Perception.Naomi Eilan - 2015 - Theoria 81 (1):4-26.
    The causal theory of perception has come under a great deal of critical scrutiny from philosophers of mind interested in the nature of perception. M. H. Newman's set-theoretic objection to Russell's structuralist version of the CTP, in his 1928 paper “Mr Russell's Causal Theory of Perception” has not, to my knowledge, figured in these discussions. In this paper I aim to show that it should: Newman's objection can be generalized to yield a particularly powerful and incisive challenge to all versions (...)
  26. Direct Perception or Mediated Perception: A Comparison of Rival Viewpoints.William Epstein - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):384.
  27. Aristotle's Direct Realism in "De Anima".Michael Esfeld - 2000 - Review of Metaphysics 54 (2):321 - 336.
  28. The Role of Object-Dependent Singular Thought in Visual Cognition.Gregory David Gilson - 1998 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
    This dissertation investigates various theoretical defenses or explanations which have been provided to the classic philosophic question: what are the objects of perception? Traditionally two general answers have been provided: direct and indirect realism. Direct realists maintain that the objects of perception are external, medium sized material objects. The arguments from illusion and secondary qualities are thought to provide counterexamples to this common sense approach. Indirect realism has grown out of the perceived difficulty posed by illusions and secondary qualities. According (...)
  29. The Leninist Theory of Perception.D. Goldstick - 1980 - Dialogue 19 (1):1-19.
  30. 2. Causal Theories of Objects and Grice’s Causal Theory of Perception.Robert Greenberg - 2016 - In The Bounds of Freedom: Kant’s Causal Theory of Action. De Gruyter. pp. 14-40.
  31. The Causal Theory of Perception.H. P. Grice & Alan R. White - 1961 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 35 (1):121-168.
  32. A Direct Attribution Theory of Perceptual Knowledge.Jong-ho Ha - 1988 - Dissertation, Brown University
    My purposes in this dissertation are to defend Chisholm's direct attribution theory as a theory of reference and intentionality and to propose a revised version of that theory with respect to the problems of perception and epistemic justification in perceptual knowledge. The direct attribution theory of reference has a remarkable merit that it can solve some theoretical difficulties with other theories of reference and explain comprehensively our intentional acts. Although I accept Chisholm's viewpoint on reference and intentionality, however, I disagree (...)
  33. The Perception of Object Size is Independent of Object Distance.R. N. Haber & C. A. Levin - 1992 - Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 30 (6):440-440.
  34. Radical Realism: Direct Knowing in Science and Philosophy.Barbara Hannan - 1994 - Philosophical Books 35 (2):137-138.
  35. Causal Relations in Visual Perception in Naturalistic Epistemology: A Symposium of Two Decades.J. Heffner - 1987 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 100:193-214.
  36. Schopenhauer and Direct Realism.R. J. Henle - 1992 - Review of Metaphysics 46 (1):125 - 140.
  37. An Indirect Defense of Direct Realism.Ryan Hickerson - 2004 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 25 (1):1-6.
    Smythies and Ramachandran claim that the direct realist theory of perception has been refuted by recent psychophysics. This paper takes up the psychophysics, and the definition of direct realism employed by Smythies and Ramachandran, to show that direct realism has not been so refuted. I argue that the direct realist may grant that perceptual images are constructed by the central nervous system, without treating those images as “phenomenal objects.” Until phenomenal objects are shown to be distinct from extra-mental objects, and (...)
  38. Direct Realism and the Brain-in-a-Vat Argument.Michael Huemer - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):397-413.
    The brain-in-a-vat argument for skepticism is best formulated, not using the closure principle, but using the “Preference Principle,” which states that in order to be justified in believing H on the basis of E, one must have grounds for preferring H over each alternative explanation of E. When the argument is formulated this way, Dretske’s and Klein’s responses to it fail. However, the strengthened argument can be refuted using a direct realist account of perception. For the direct realist, refuting the (...)
  39. Direct Perception in Mathematics: A Case for Epistemological Priority.Bart Kerkhove & Erik Myin - 2002 - Logique Et Analyse 45.
  40. In Defence of Direct Perception Through Language.Mikhail Kissine - 2009 - In Jesus M. Larrazabal & Larraitz Zubeldia (eds.), Meaning, Content and Argument. University of the Basque Country Press. pp. 365--381.
  41. Why Argue About Direct Perception?J. J. Koenderink - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):390.
  42. Brain Science: A More Direct Way of Understanding Our Senses.Teija Kujala - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (2):224-224.
    Stoffregen & Bardy suggest that the senses are not separable. However, they have a philosophical approach rather than using direct evidence that the nervous system analyzes sensory information in a highly flexible manner.
  43. Object Perception and Object Naming in Early Development.Barbara Landau, Linda Smith & Susan Jones - 1998 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2 (1):19-24.
  44. Direct Awareness.Mark Alan Levensky - 1966 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
  45. Perceptual Phenomenology and Direct Realism.Caleb Liang - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 42:103-148.
    I discuss the so-called “problem of perception” in relation to the Argument from Illusion: Can we directly perceive the external world? According to Direct Realism, at least sometimes perception provides direct and immediate awareness of reality. But the Argument from Illusion threatens to undermine the possibility of genuine perception. In The Problem of Perception (2002), A. D. Smith proposes a novel defense of Direct Realism based on a careful study of perceptual phenomenology. According to his theory, the intentionality of perception (...)
  46. 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 (...)
  47. Direct Realism and Aquinas's Account of Sensory Cognition.Paul A. Macdonald Jr - 2007 - The Thomist 71 (3):343-378.
    In this paper, I show how Thomas Aquinas's account of sensory cognition is undergirded by a strong commitment to direct realism. According to the specific form of direct realism I articulate and defend here, which I claim emerges from a proper study of Aquinas's account of sensory cognition, it is only by having sense experiences that possess definitive content--content that is isomorphic or formally identical with the sensible features of mind-independent reality--that we can be credited with occupying world-intending sensory states, (...)
  48. Perceptual Activity and Direct Perception.William M. Mace - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):392.
  49. Perception, Conception, and the Limits of the Direct Theory.Peter Machamer & Lisa Osbeck - 2002 - In R. E. Auxier & L. E. Hahn (eds.), The Philosophy of Marjorie Grene. La Salle, Illinois: Open Court. pp. 29--129.
  50. Elusive Objects.M. G. F. Martin - 2017 - Topoi 36 (2):247-271.
    Do we directly perceive physical objects? What is the significance of the qualification ‘directly’ here? Austin famously denied that there was a unique interpretation by which we could make sense of the traditional debate in the philosophy of perception. I look here at Thompson Clarke’s discussion of G. E. Moore and surface perception to answer Austin’s scepticism.
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