Indirect perceptual realism and demonstratives

Philosophical Studies 145 (3):377-394 (2009)
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I defend indirect perceptual realism against two recent and related charges to it offered by A. D. Smith and P. Snowdon, both stemming from demonstrative reference involving indirect perception. The needed aspects of the theory of demonstratives are not terribly new, but their connection to these objections has not been discussed. The groundwork for my solution emerges from considering normal cases of indirect perception (e.g., seeing something depicted on a television) and examining the role this indirectness plays in demonstrative assertions. I argue that indirectness routinely if not typically plays a justificatory role in such judgements, and not a semantic one, and that the same can be said of such judgements when considered within the indirect realist framework. The denial of this, on my analysis, is essential to the criticisms of Snowdon and Smith. The discussion is extended to include scenarios involving the sorts of misconceptions Smith employs.



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Derek H. Brown
University of Glasgow

Citations of this work

Afterimages and Sensation.Ian Phillips - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):417-453.
Perception from the First‐Person Perspective.Robert J. Howell - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):187-213.

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References found in this work

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Literal Meaning.François Recanati - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
Sense and Sensibilia.John Langshaw Austin - 1962 - Oxford University Press.
The Foundations of Arithmetic.Gottlob Frege - 1884/1950 - Evanston: Ill., Northwestern University Press.

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