Four Questions about Acquired Perception

James Van Cleve

in Thomas Reid on Mind, Knowledge, and Value

Published in print August 2015 | ISBN: 9780198733676
Published online October 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191798047 | DOI:

Series: Mind Association Occasional Series

Four Questions about Acquired Perception

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“Acquired perception” is Reid’s name for the phenomenon in which perception is augmented by learning: owing to past association of object or quality A with object or quality B, one automatically takes B to be present when one perceives A. For example, when a person sees an appropriately shaded two-dimensional disk, he or she takes it to indicate the presence of a three-dimensional ball. This chapter addresses the following four questions: (1) Is acquired perception really perception? (2) Are secondary qualities objects of original perception or of acquired perception only? (3) Does acquired perception involve any alteration in the contents of our original perceptions? Finally, (4) are there any limits in principle to what might one day become an object of acquired perception for us?

Keywords: Thomas Reid; perception; acquired perception; secondary property

Chapter.  12831 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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