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Summary

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. The Perception/Cognition Distinction.Anders Nes, Kristoffer Sundberg & Sebastian Watzl - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-31.
    The difference between perception and cognition seems introspectively obvious in many cases. Perceiving and thinking have also been assigned quite different roles, in epistemology, in theories of reference and of mental content, in philosophy of psychology, and elsewhere. Yet what is the nature of the distinction? In what way, or ways, do perception and cognition differ? The paper reviews recent work on these questions. Four main respects in which perception and cognition have been held to differ are discussed. First, their (...)
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  2. Illusionism: Making the Problem of Hallucinations Disappear.Rami El Ali - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Miami
    My dissertation contributes to a central and ongoing debate in the philosophy of perception about the fundamental nature of perceptual states. Such states include cases like seeing, hearing, or tasting as well as cases of merely seeming to see, hear, or taste. A central question about perceptual states arises in light of misperceptual phenomena. A commonsensical view of perceptual states construes them as simply relating us to the external and mind independent objects. But some misperceptual cases suggest that these states (...)
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  3. Ways of Appearing: Experience and its Phenomenology.Miloš Vuletić - 2015 - Dissertation,
  4. Philosophical Problems in Sense Perception: Testing the Limits of Aristotelianism.David Bennett & Juhana Toivanen - 2020 - Cham: Springer.
    This volume focuses on philosophical problems concerning sense perception in the history of philosophy. It consists of thirteen essays that analyse the philosophical tradition originating in Aristotle’s writings. Each essay tackles a particular problem that tests the limits of Aristotle’s theory of perception and develops it in new directions. The problems discussed range from simultaneous perception to causality in perception, from the representational nature of sense-objects to the role of conscious attention, and from the physical/mental divide to perception as quasi-rational (...)
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  5. On the Possibility of Hallucinations.Farid Masrour - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):737-768.
    Many take the possibility of hallucinations to imply that a relationalist account, according to which perceptual experiences are constituted by direct relations to ordinary mind-independent objects, is false. The common reaction among relationalists is to adopt a disjunctivist view that denies that hallucinations have the same nature as perceptual experiences. This paper proposes a non-disjunctivist response to the argument from hallucination by arguing that the alleged empirical and a priori evidence in support of the possibility of hallucinations is inconclusive. A (...)
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  6. Reflective Intuitions About the Causal Theory of Perception Across Sensory Modalities.Pendaran Roberts, Keith Allen & Kelly Schmidtke - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (2):257-277.
    Many philosophers believe that there is a causal condition on perception, and that this condition is a conceptual truth about perception. A highly influential argument for this claim is based on intuitive responses to Gricean-style thought experiments. Do the folk share the intuitions of philosophers? Roberts et al. presented participants with two kinds of cases: Blocker cases and Non-Blocker cases. They found that a substantial minority agreed that seeing occurs in the Non-Blocker cases, and that in the Blocker cases significantly (...)
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  7. The Umwelt of Uexküll and Merleau-Ponty.Agustin Ostachuk - 2013 - Ludus Vitalis 21 (39):45-65.
    The organism against its environment. The organism against other organisms, competing and struggling for life. Antagonism and confrontment as the only possible relation in nature. The tendency to anthropomorphize nature and explain it using concepts and facts from the human sphere. A stroll through the worlds of Uexküll and Merleau-Ponty in the search of alternative knowledge that allow us to understand relation from another point of view. A counterpoint and identification of common tonalities between the research programs from both thinkers (...)
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  8. Knowledge and Representations: Explaining the Skeptical Puzzle.Guido Melchior - 2017 - In C. Limbeck-Lilienau and F. Stadler (ed.), The Philosophy of Perception and Observation. Papers of the 40th International Wittgenstein Symposium. pp. 150-152.
    (*This paper was awarded the Elisabeth and Werner Leinfellner Award 2017 for outstanding contributions.) -/- This paper provides an explanation of the skeptical puzzle. I argue that we can take two distinct points of view towards representations, mental representations like perceptual experiences and artificial representations like symbols. When focusing on what the representation represents we take an attached point of view. When focusing on the representational character of the representation we take a detached point view. From an attached point of (...)
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  9. Locating Consciousness: Why Experience Can't Be Objectified.T. W. Clark - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (11-12):60-85.
    The world appears to conscious creatures in terms of experienced sensory qualities, but science doesn't find sensory experience in that world, only physical objects and properties. I argue that the failure to locate consciousness in the world is a function of our necessarily representational relation to reality as knowers: we won't discover the terms in which reality is represented by us in the world as it appears in those terms. Qualia -- arguably a type of representational content -- will therefore (...)
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  10. The Way Things Look: A Defence of Content.Andrea Giananti - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (3):541-562.
    How does perceptual experience disclose the world to our view? In the first introductory section, I set up a contrast between the representational and the purely relational conception of perceptual experience. In the second section, I discuss an argument given by Charles Travis against perceptual content. The third section is devoted to the phenomenon of perceptual constancy: in 3.1 I describe the phenomenon. In 3.2 I argue that the description given suggests a phenomenological distinction that can be deployed for a (...)
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  11. Book Review of Perception, Realism, and the Problem of Reference. [REVIEW]Jennifer Matey - 2012 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 1.
  12. The Good, the Bad and the Naive.Michael Schmitz - 2019 - In Christoph Limbeck-Lilienau & Friedrich Stadler (eds.), The Philosophy of Perception. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 57-74.
    A perceptual realism that is naive in a good way must be naively realistic about world and mind. But contemporary self-described naive realists often have trouble acknowledging that both the good cases of successful perception and the bad cases of illusion and hallucination involve internal experiential states with intentional contents that present the world as being a certain way. They prefer to think about experience solely in relational terms because they worry that otherwise we won’t be able to escape from (...)
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  13. Daubert’s Naïve Realist Challenge to Husserl.Matt E. M. Bower - 2019 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 96 (2):211-243.
    Despite extensive discussion of naïve realism in the wider philosophical literature, those influenced by the phenomenological movement who work in the philosophy of perception have hardly weighed in on the matter. It is thus interesting to discover that Edmund Husserl’s close philosophical interlocutor and friend, the early twentieth-century phenomenologist Johannes Daubert, held the naive realist view. This article presents Daubert’s views on the fundamental nature of perceptual experience and shows how they differ radically from those of Husserl’s. The author argues, (...)
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  14. Structure and Openness in the Development of Self in Infancy.N. Rossmanith & V. Reddy - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (1-2):237-257.
    From early infancy, structures are created in engaging with the world. Increasingly complex forms of self, other, and world emerge with shared rhythms, affective patterns and interpersonal routines, cultural norms, concepts and symbols, and so on. These open up an increasing number of possibilities for new kinds and levels of engagement and for further developing a world together. However, these same structures, becoming more rigid, salient, and perhaps reified with time, may obscure or obstruct engagement and constrain development. We explore (...)
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  15. From Sensorimotor Dependencies to Perceptual Practices: Making Enactivism Social.Alejandro Arango - 2018 - Adaptive Behavior 27 (1):31-45.
    Proponents of enactivism should be interested in exploring what notion of action best captures the type of action-perception link that the view proposes, such that it covers all the aspects in which our doings constitute and are constituted by our perceiving. This article proposes and defends the thesis that the notion of sensorimotor dependencies is insufficient to account for the reality of human perception, and that the central enactive notion should be that of perceptual practices. Sensorimotor enactivism is insufficient because (...)
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  16. Elusive Objects.M. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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.
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  19. 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 (...)
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  20. The Causal Theory of Perception.H. P. Grice & Alan R. White - 1961 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 35 (1):121-168.
  21. The Causal Theory of Perception.A. J. Ayer & L. J. Cohen - 1977 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 51 (1):105-142.
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  22. XI—Perception, Vision and Causation.Paul Snowdon - 1981 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 81 (1):175-192.
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  23. Two Causation/Perception Constructions in French.Michel Achard - 1996 - Cognitive Linguistics 7 (4):315-358.
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  24. 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. -/- (...)
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  25. Are the Senses Silent? Travis’s Argument From Looks.Keith A. Wilson - 2018 - In John Collins & Tamara Dobler (eds.), The Philosophy of Charles Travis: Language, Thought, and Perception. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 199-221.
    Many philosophers and scientists take perceptual experience, whatever else it involves, to be representational. In ‘The Silence of the Senses’, Charles Travis argues that this view involves a kind of category mistake, and consequently, that perceptual experience is not a representational or intentional phenomenon. The details of Travis’s argument, however, have been widely misinterpreted by his representationalist opponents, many of whom dismiss it out of hand. This chapter offers an interpretation of Travis’s argument from looks that it is argued presents (...)
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  26. Narrative and Direct Experience: A Dialogue on Metaphysical Realism.Ernest John McCullough - 2014 - In Louis F. Groarke & Paolo C. Biondi (eds.), Shifting the Paradigm: Alternative Perspectives on Induction. De Gruyter. pp. 359-384.
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  27. Direct Realism Revisited;or No One Asked Aristotle The Right Question.Brian O'neil - 1974 - Southwest Philosophical Studies.
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  28. The Perception of Causality.A. Michotte, T. R. Miles & Elaine Miles - 1964 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 15 (59):254-259.
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  29. Direct Awareness.Mark Alan Levensky - 1966 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
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  30. Direct Perception in Mathematics: A Case for Epistemological Priority.Bart Kerkhove & Erik Myin - 2002 - Logique Et Analyse 45.
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  31. Moltke S. Gram, Direct Realism: A Study of Perception. [REVIEW]Georges Dicker - 1985 - Philosophy in Review 5:196-198.
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  32. Unidentified Performing Objects: Perception, Phenomenology, and the Object as Actor.Wanda Mary Strukus - 2002 - Dissertation, Tufts University
    Most theories of theater assume a relationship or bond between the human actor on stage and the human beings in the audience. The biological and physical similarities between the two groups of human beings, and the experience, thought, and emotion based on these similarities, are central to the phenomena of theater. Human-to-human interconnectedness enables an audience member to feel something in response to an actor. Object theater is a genre in which the primary agents of performance are objects, such as (...)
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  33. 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 (...)
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  34. 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 (...)
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  35. A Causal Theory of Perception.Harold Irwin Brown - 1970 - Dissertation, Northwestern University
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  36. 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 (...)
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  37. RAM, M. S.: "Direct Realism". [REVIEW]B. Maund - 1985 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63:538.
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  38. The Nature and Reality of Objects of Perception.G. E. Moore - 1906 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 6:68.
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  39. A Theory of Direct Realism.J. E. Turner - 1927 - Philosophical Review 36 (1):76-80.
  40. Perception: A Representative Theory. [REVIEW]E. C. R. - 1978 - Review of Metaphysics 31 (4):675-677.
    Frank Jackson’s defense of a Lockean representationalist theory of perception is both tightly and boldly argued. It is a first-rate analytic dissection of the relevant arguments for and objections against the representationalist position and takes up swords with D. M. Armstrong, J. J. C. Smart, G. J. Warnock, Aune, Anscombe, Price, and others, with meticulous care. It is equally forthright in accepting and defending implications of the theory which have heretofore, for one reason or another, caused the less clear and (...)
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  41. Moral Perception and Particularity by Lawrence A. Blum. [REVIEW]David McNaughton - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):89-92.
  42. 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.
  43. Is Perception Direct-Evidence From a Primed Matching Paradigm.S. E. Palmer & A. B. Sekuler - 1988 - Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 26 (6):487-487.
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  44. 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.
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  45. Moltke S. Gram, Direct Realism: A Study of Perception Reviewed By.Georges Dicker - 1985 - Philosophy in Review 5 (5):196-198.
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  46. 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.
  47. 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.
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  48. 1 The Case for Indirect Realism.Harold I. Brown - 2008 - In Edmond Wright (ed.), The Case for Qualia. MIT Press. pp. 45.
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  49. 1Q Object Perception.Elizabeth S. Spelke - 1993 - In Alvin Goldman (ed.), Readings in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Cambridge: MIT Press. pp. 447.
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  50. Object Perception.Elizabeth S. Spelke - 1993 - In Alvin Goldman (ed.), Readings in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Cambridge: MIT Press.
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