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An argument against the conjunction of direct realism and the standard causal picture

Griffiths, Paul H (2016) An argument against the conjunction of direct realism and the standard causal picture. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Recent work in defence of direct realism has concentrated on the representationalist and disjunctivist responses to the arguments from illusion and hallucination, whilst relatively little attention has been given to the argument from causation which has been dismissed lightly as irrelevant or confused. However such charges arise from an ambiguity in the thesis which is being defended and the failure to distinguish between metaphysical and epistemological issues and between factual and conceptual claims. The argument from causation, as an argument against the conjunction of metaphysical direct realism and an explanation of the perceptual process in terms of a naturalistically understood causal chain of events, has not been answered in the philosophical literature. Moreover when the process of perception is fleshed out in terms of contemporary cognitive science, the difficulties are compounded. Neither representation-friendly mainstream cognitive science, nor representation-averse radical embodied cognitive science, is compatible with a theory of perception which is at the same time both direct and robustly realist.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: perception, representation, direct realism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
Depositing User: Paul Griffiths
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2016 11:44
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2016 11:44

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