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Jonathan Knowles and Thomas Raleigh

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803461

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803461.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

Relationalism, Berkeley’s Puzzle, and Phenomenological Externalism

Relationalism, Berkeley’s Puzzle, and Phenomenological Externalism

(p.169) 7 Relationalism, Berkeley’s Puzzle, and Phenomenological Externalism

Jonathan Knowles

Oxford University Press

Relationalism, also called ‘the Relational View’, is a theory of perceptual experience which sees at least a central core of such experience as consisting in a non-representational relation between subjects and features of their environment—a relation that is also seen as at least analogous to Russellian acquaintance. In addition to phenomenological support, relationalism is according to one of its major proponents John Campbell needed to solve what he calls ‘Berkeley’s puzzle’: how it can be that we can gain a conception of objects as mind-independent from sensory experience. I examine Campbell’s arguments for this claim and suggest they fail to convince insofar as it is unclear that experience is necessary to acquire a conception of mind-independent objects. I close by showing how phenomenological externalism can do justice to our conflicting intuitions regarding Berkeley’s puzzle.

Keywords:   perceptual experience, relationalism, Berkeley’s puzzle, John Campbell, Quassim Cassam, mind-independence, phenomenological externalism

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