Perceiving Bodies Immediately: Thomas Reid's Insight

History of Philosophy Quarterly 32 (1):19-36 (2015)
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Abstract

In An Inquiry into the Human Mind and in Essays on Intellectual Powers, Thomas Reid discusses what kinds of things perceivers are related to in perception. Are these things qualities of bodies, the bodies themselves, or both? This question places him in a long tradition of philosophers concerned with understanding how human perception works in connecting us with the external world. It is still an open question in the philosophy of perception whether the human perceptual system is providing us with representations as of bodies, or only as of their properties. My project in this article is to explain how, on Reid's view, we can have perceptual representations as of bodies. This, in turn, enables him to argue that we have a robust understanding of the world around us, an understanding that would be missing if our perceptual system only supplied us with representations as of free-floating properties of bodies.

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M. Folescu
University of Missouri, Columbia

Citations of this work

Thomas Reid on Signs and Language.Lewis Powell - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (3):e12409.
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Replies to Falkenstein, Copenhaver, and Winkler.James Van Cleve - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):232-245.

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References found in this work

Reid on Testimony and Perception.Keith Lehrer - 1985 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 11:21-38.

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