Mike Martin

in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199234769
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:



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Typically philosophers who have thought that there is a distinction to be drawn between direct and indirect perception have thought it also obvious that we cannot directly perceive the objects around us which we suppose ourselves to know about through perception even if we do not perceive mere representatives of them in the form of sense-data, impressions, or percepts. For it has been common to suppose that if we perceive solid objects, we do so through perceiving only proper parts of them, their surfaces. The first section of this article focuses on the grounds for supposing this to be so and one radical strategy for resisting it. The second section turns to the persisting reasons for supposing that we cannot perceptually be directly in contact with the world around us. Whether the argument is successful depends in part on what we take perceptual awareness of ordinary objects to involve.

Keywords: perception; sense-data; impressions; perceptual awareness; ordinary objects; context-sensitivity

Article.  20258 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind ; Epistemology

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