The Eye and the Mind: Reflections on Perception and the Problem of Knowledge

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Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 31, 1993 - Philosophy - 162 pages
This book is a discussion of some of the major philosophical problems centering around the topic of sense perception and the foundations of human knowledge. It begins with a characterization of our common sense understanding of the role of the senses in the acquisition of belief, and it argues that scientific accounts of the processes of perception undermine salient parts of this understanding. The naive point of view of direct realism cannot be sustained in the light of a scientifically instructed understanding of perception. This critique of direct realism points to the correctness of the representative theory of perception characteristic of such early modem philosophers as Descartes and Locke, and it also endorses the subjective tum that they defended. It argues that these positions do not require introducing sense data into the picture, and thus it avoids the intractable problems that the sense datum philosophy introduces. In addition, several versions of cognitive accounts of sense perception are criticized with the result that it is unnecessary to characterize sensory processes in intentional terms. The book then turns to a leading question introduced into modem philosophy by Descartes and Locke, the question of the accuracy of the information delivered by the senses to our faculty of belief. In particular, how accurate are our representations of the secondary qualities? The case of color is considered in detail.
 

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Contents

UNDERSTANDING VISION COMMON SENSE VS SCIENCE
11
Seeing Stars
11
Explanation and Justification
11
THE SUBJECTIVE TURN AND THE PROBLEM OF TRANSPARENCY
17
The Subjective Turn
19
The Problem of Transparency
23
Skepticism about Consciousness
26
Belief and Judgment
27
The Dispositional Theory
88
The Microstate Theory
89
The Concept of Color
92
The Meaning of Color Terms
94
Meaning and Essence
96
Color and Causation
99
Color Skepticism
102
The Argument for Color Skepticism Summariezed
103

COGNITIVE THEORIES OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION A CRITIQUE
33
Seeing and Seeing That
35
Looking and Seeing
37
Sensations and Meaning
40
Perceiving and Inferring
42
Sensations and Hypotheses
45
A REPRESENTATIVE THEORY OF SENSATION
49
Heat
51
Taste and Smell
56
Sounds
59
COLOR SUBJECTIVELY CONSIDERED
63
Visual Sensations
65
Visual Sensing and Visual Sense Data
68
The Problem of Visual Sensing
70
The Adverbial Theory of Color Sensing
73
The Metaphysics of Color
76
COLOR OBJECTIVELY CONSIDERED
83
Color as a Secondary Quality
85
OBJECTIONS TO COLOR SKEPTICISM
109
The Question of Relativity
110
Wittgensteins Argument
114
Emergence
117
The Evidence of the Senses
121
KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEPTION
127
Knowledge and Belief
128
Knowledge and Justification
132
Justified Acceptance
136
Justification and Faith
139
Knowledge and Certainly
141
Understanding and Insight
143
NonPropositional Justification
145
Foundations
146
Perceptual Judgments
148
Perceptual Knowledge
150
INDEX
155
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