Perception and Intention

Dissertation, The University of Connecticut (1999)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The guiding theme of the dissertation is that any theory of perception must also be a theory of intention. One cannot give a plausible theory of perception without an explanation of intention being front and center in the theory. The main argument presented is that current accounts of perception, both direct and indirect cannot succeed because of their inadequate accounts of perceptual intention. ;The first section of the dissertation looks at the idea that perception provides a foundation for knowledge about the world. The implications for perceptual theory of holding that knowledge must be certain is examined within in the context of two classic indirect theories of perception: C. D. Broad's theory of Sensa, and Bertrand Russell's account of sense-data. I argue that neither theory can account for the intentional content of perception, and the contrast of Broad's and Russell's account clearly brings out how their epistemological assumptions force the move to indirect theory. The structure of indirect theory, however, makes it impossible to give an account of intention that does not negate their claims to realism. Indirect realism, I argue, cannot support claims to knowledge of an external world. ;In the second section of the dissertation I examine Gibsonian perceptual theory, focusing on the work of Michael Turvey. I argue that while Gibsonian theory has made many inroads against indirect arguments, it ultimately fails to escape from the forces that shaped indirect theory because it shares the same epistemological assumptions. Their theory of intention faces an unmanageable choice between including incidents of 'perceptual error' to account for intentional inexistence, or leaving them out to preserve the nomic nature of the Gibsonian account of perceptual intentionality. ;In the third section it is argued that only by abandoning the epistemological assumptions shared by the examined perceptual theories that a realist theory of perception is possible. Doing so, however, prevents us from using any of the theories of intention advanced in the discussed positions. I argue that a robust direct realist theory of perception is possible by incorporating Ruth Millikan's theory of proper functions into the Gibsonian empirical framework.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,452

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The whereabouts of pictorial space.Monica Meijsing - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (3-4):3-4.
Direct perception and the predictive mind.Zoe Drayson - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3145-3164.
In Defence of a Structural Account of Indirect Realism.Michael Sollberger - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (4):815-837.
Perceptual Phenomenology and Direct Realism.Caleb Liang - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 42:103-148.
Indirect perceptual realism and demonstratives.Derek Henry Brown - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (3):377-394.
A Direct-Realist Alternative to Inferentialist Theories of Perceptual Knowledge.Zhaolu Lu - 1994 - Dissertation, The University of Western Ontario (Canada)
Perception, Reasons, and Causes.Jon Joseph Kanitz - 1983 - Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)


Added to PP


6 months

Historical graph of downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references