Perception & Reality: A History from Descartes to Kant

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Cornell University Press, 1996 - Philosophy - 240 pages
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In 1984, John W. Yolton published Perceptual Acquaintance from Descartes to Reid. His most recent book builds on that seminal work and greatly extends its relevance to issues in current philosophical debate.
Perception and Reality examines the theories of perception implicit in the work of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century philosophers which centered on the question: How is knowledge of the body possible? That question raises issues of mind-body relation, the way that mentality links with physicality, and the nature of the known world. In contrast to commonsense realism, which suggests that the world is as it appears to be, a more complex theory developed throughout this period. Yolton traces its evolution from Descartes to Kant, via Arnauld, Malebranche, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume.
Yolton explains that the new theory postulated two interactive relations between perceivers and the physical world, one physical and causal, the other cognitive. An understanding of this double relation is important for an accurate construction of the history of philosophy. It is also important for contemporary thought because it suggests a way to account for representation (cognitivity) and realism at the same time.

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Contents

Gibsons Realism and Valbergs Puzzle
20
The Term Idea in Seventeenth
42
The Language of Presence to the Mind
84
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

John W. Yolton is John Locke Professor Emeritus of the History of Philosophy at Rutgers University.

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