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Descartes, Malebranche, and the Crisis of Perception - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Descartes, Malebranche, and the Crisis of Perception

Walter Ott


The seventeenth century witnesses the demise of two core doctrines in the theory of perception: naïve realism about color, sound, and other sensible qualities and the empirical theory, drawn from Alhacen and Roger Bacon, that underwrote it. Ejecting such sensible qualities from the mind-independent world at once makes for a cleaner ontology, since bodies can now be understood in purely geometrical terms, and spawns a variety of fascinating complications for the philosophy of perception. If sensible qualities are not part of the mind-independent world, just what are they, and what role, if any, ... More

Keywords: Descartes, Malebranche, perception, representation, sensation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198791713
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198791713.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Walter Ott, author
University of Virginia