Is Thomas Reid a Direct Realist about Perception?

European Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):1-29 (2009)

Authors
Hagit Benbaji
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Abstract
The controversy over the interpretative issue—is Thomas Reid a perceptual direct realist?—has recently had channelled into it a host of imaginative ideas about what direct perception truly means. Paradoxically enough, it is the apparent contradiction at the heart of his view of perception which keeps teasing us to review our concepts: time and again, Reid stresses that the very idea of any mental intermediaries implies scepticism, yet, nevertheless insists that sensations are signs of objects. But if sensory signs are not mental intermediaries, what are they? Hasn't Reid merely swapped the common ‘sensation’ for the notorious ‘idea’, ending up with indirect realism?1 Current imaginative strategies answer negatively: Reid's sensory sign does not contradict direct perception, and those who think otherwise merely fail to understand what it means.
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DOI 10.1111/ejop.2009.17.issue-1
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References found in this work BETA

Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.Thomas Reid - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Reference and Consciousness.J. Campbell - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
The Intrinsic Quality of Experience.Gilbert Harman - 1990 - Philosophical Perspectives 4:31-52.

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Citations of this work BETA

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