Hume and Reid on the Perception of Hardness

Hume Studies 28 (1):27-48 (2002)
This paper considers an objection to the Humean view that perception involves introspective acquaintance with representative images. The objection, originally raised by Thomas Reid and recently endorsed by Nicholas Wolterstorff, states that no representative image can be hard, and concludes that acquaintance with such images cannot therefore account for our perception of hardness. I argue in response that a case has not been made for denying that representative images can be hard. Hardness, as understood by Hume and Reid, is the quality of having parts that resist motion relative to one another. This means that as long as it is allowed that representative images can consist of spatially disposed parts, there can be no a priori reason to deny that they might be hard as well
Keywords History of Philosophy  Major Philosophers
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ISBN(s) 0319-7336
DOI 10.1353/hms.2011.0171
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