Reid’s direct realism and visible figure

Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253):783-803 (2013)

Authors
Keith A. Wilson
University of Oslo
Abstract
In his account of visual perception, Thomas Reid describes visible figure as both ‘real and external’ to the eye and as the ‘immediate object of sight’. These claims appear to conflict with Reid's direct realism, since if the ‘immediate’ object of vision is also its direct object, then sight would be perceptually indirect due to the role of visible figure as a perceptual intermediary. I argue that this apparent threat to Reid's direct realism may be resolved by understanding visible figure as the set of geometrical properties that holds between an object's visible surfaces and some particular perspective or point of view. On this relational interpretation of visible figure, and once an ambiguity over the use of the term ‘object’ is resolved, Reid's account of vision is both epistemically and perceptually direct, as well as consistent with his account of the other senses and doctrine of signs.
Keywords visual perception  direct realism  indirect realism  visible figure  Thomas Reid  Scottish Enlightenment  doctrine of signs
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2013.02002.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,179
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

In Defense of Perceptual Content.Susanna Schellenberg - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):409-447.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-09-14

Total views
316 ( #19,877 of 2,285,434 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
17 ( #49,663 of 2,285,434 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature