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What It Is Like To PerceiveDirect Realism and the Phenomenal Character of Perception$
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J. Christopher Maloney

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190854751

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190854751.001.0001

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Direct Realism and Illusion

Direct Realism and Illusion

(p.240) Chapter 8 Direct Realism and Illusion
What It Is Like To Perceive

J. Christopher Maloney

Oxford University Press

The supposed problem of perceptual error, including illusion and hallucination, has led most theories of perception to deny formulations of direct realism. The standard response to this apparent problem adopts the mistaken presupposition that perception is indeed liable to error. However, the prevailing conditions of observation are themselves elements of perceptual representation, functioning in the manner of predicate modifiers. They ensure that the predicates applied in perceptual representations do indeed correctly attribute properties that perceived physical objects actually instantiate. Thus, perceptual representations are immune to misrepresentation of the sort misguidedly supposed by the spurious problem of perceptual misrepresentation. Granted the possibility that perceptual attribution admits of predicate modification, it is quite possible that perceptual experience permits both rudimentary and sophisticated conceptualization. Moreover, such treatment of perceptual predication rewards by providing an account of aspect alteration exemplified by perception of ambiguous stimuli.

Keywords:   Key words: ambiguous stimulus, aspect alteration, conditions of observation, direct realism, hallucination, illusion, perception, perceptual error, perceptual representation, predicate modifier

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