What is direct perceptual knowledge? A fivefold confusion

Grazer Philosophische Studien 62 (1):1-16 (2001)
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Abstract

When philosophers speak of direct perceptual knowledge, they obviously mean to suggest that such knowledge is unmediated ? but unmediated by what? This is where we find evidence of violent disagreement. To clarify matters, I want to identify and briefly describe several important senses of "direct" that have helped shape our understanding of perceptual knowledge. They are (1) "Direct" as Non-Inferential Perception; (2) "Direct" as Unmediating by Objects of Perception; (3) "Direct" as Conceptually Unmediated Perception; (4) "Direct" as Independent Verification of Perceptual Beliefs; and (5) "Direct" as Perception of What is Epistemically Prior.

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Douglas McDermid
Trent University

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