Chapter

‘All Perceptions Are True’ <sup>1</sup>

C. C. W. Taylor

in Pleasure, Mind, and Soul

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780199226399
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191710209 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226399.003.0002
 ‘All Perceptions Are True’ 1

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This chapter examines the Epicurean thesis that all perceptions are true, arguing that what it means is that every instance of sensory presentation (widely construed, to include dreams, hallucinations, and imagination as well as perception proper) consists in the stimulation of a sense-organ by a real object, which is represented in that perception exactly as it is in reality. That thesis presupposes the truth of the physical theory as a whole. It is itself supported by the epistemological principle that it is possible to distinguish truth from falsity only if all perceptions are true. But since the latter thesis is unfalsifiable, it is empty, and cannot therefore refute scepticism.

Keywords: sense; sense-content; appearance; criterion; truth; epistemology; scepticism

Chapter.  8314 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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