The Function of Perception

In Abrol Fairweather (ed.), Virtue Scientia: Bridges between Virtue Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Synthese Library. pp. 13-31 (2014)
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Abstract

What is the biological function of perception? I hold perception, especially visual perception in humans, has the biological function of accurately representing the environment. Tyler Burge argues this cannot be so in Origins of Objectivity (Oxford, 2010), for accuracy is a semantical relationship and not, as such, a practical matter. Burge also provides a supporting example. I rebut the argument and the example. Accuracy is sometimes also a practical matter if accuracy partly explains how perception contributes to survival and reproduction.

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Peter Graham
University of California, Riverside

Citations of this work

Teleological theories of mental content.Peter Schulte & Karen Neander - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Proper Functionalism and the Organizational Theory of Functions.Peter J. Graham - 2023 - In Luis R. G. Oliveira (ed.), Externalism about Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 249-276.
Imagining the Actual.Daniel Munro - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (17).

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References found in this work

Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Warrant and proper function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Functional analysis.Robert E. Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.

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