Perception and Truth

Brian O'Shaughnessy

in Consciousness and the World

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780199256723
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598135 | DOI:
Perception and Truth

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Perception is here differentiated from the discovery‐experience that we describe as ‘perceiving that . . .’, the claim being that perception is of things (broadly conceived) and not of propositions. Perceiving‐that is shown to be a special case of perceptually acquired belief‐acquisition. Whereas ‘wanted’ retains the one sense in ‘He wanted to shout’ and ‘He wanted his team to win’, ‘aware’ is ambiguous in ‘he was aware of a whistle’ and ‘he was aware that a whistle was occurring’. Perception is differentiated further from the thought‐experience on the counts of object/content/constitution, and above all in its mode of agreement or disagreement with Reality. Thus, whereas thoughts are capable of truth and falsity, perceptions have no truth‐value. This is confirmed through a discussion of negative experience, in which it is claimed that, unlike thoughts, perception cannot take negative objects. Perception is of ‘positivity’ all the way.

Keywords: belief; concreteness; perceiving that; perception; proposition; thought; truth

Chapter.  11143 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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