Seeing, certainty and apprehension

Kevin Mulligan
Università della Svizzera Italiana
§1 Simple Seeing and its Relations §2 Acquaintance, Apprehension, Belief, Knowledge, Action & Externalism §3 Simple Seeing, Sense and Meaning §4 Simple Seeing and Primitive Certainty one time they dispute eagerly over certainty of thought, though certainty is not a habit of the mind at all, but a quality of propositions, and the speakers are really arguing about certitude... (James Joyce, 1903, Occasional, Critical and Political Writing, ed. Kevin Barry, 2000, OUP, 69) Like many others, I believe that to see is not, in the simplest cases, to believe or judge. This is a purely negative thesis. What sort of attitude, then, is involved in simple seeing? The answer set out here is that to see is typically to enjoy a form of primitive certainty which is not any type of belief. In order to make the answer plausible it is important to set out also the relations between seeing, belief, knowledge, and certainty.
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