Read e-book online The Nature of Perception PDF

By John Foster

ISBN-10: 0198237693

ISBN-13: 9780198237693

John Foster addresses the query: what's it to understand a actual item? He rejects the view that we understand such items at once, and argues for a brand new model of the normal empiricist account, which locates the rapid gadgets of belief within the brain. yet this account turns out to suggest that we don't understand actual gadgets in any respect. Foster deals a shocking answer, which contains embracing an idealist view of the actual international.

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Sample text

But not all forms of perceptual appearance count as sensible. Thus, in the case of Pauline, it may be that, as well as appearing to her as something with a certain shape, size, and colouring, the item she Φ-terminally sees appears to (is seen by) her as part of the surface of an apple; and this further aspect of how things visually appear goes beyond what is purely sensible. Likewise, the item which I Φ-terminally feel may appear to me not just as something with a certain smoothness, hardness, and curvature, but as part of the surface of a milkbottle; and again this further aspect of how things perceptually appear transcends the purely sensible.

Thus if the psychological state involved in perception is always in itself perceptive of a particular physical item, and if a causally indispensable part of what directs the subject on to a particular target is the fact that a particular physical item plays a certain type of causal role in bringing about the relevant brain event, then the lack of that sort of causal factor—there not being any physical item which plays that sort of role—is bound to have a causal influence in the other direction.

It should be noted that, although, in the way I have demarcated it, the first group of qualities (the spatial and temporal) does not, as a group, have any distinctive link with the relevant sense-realm, I am not excluding the possibility that some of its members have such a link, and, in particular, stand in the same special relationship to it as the qualities which occur in the second group. For example, in the case of the visual realm, I am leaving open the possibility that the group contains, amongst other things, distinctively visual qualities of shape and spatial patterning—qualities which are distinctively equipped to provide the spatial arrangement of colour, and which stand in the same special relationship to this realm as colours themselves.

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The Nature of Perception by John Foster


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