Perceptual Content



Some hold that perceptual contents are an unresolvable mixture of what is received from the world and the contributions of our own conceptual resources. This is a broadly Kantian outlook. On some versions, such as that of John McDowell, it is offered as a defense of direct realism. My counterclaims are, first, that the defense works only by underestimating the force of the particular antirealist challenge; second, that we must take more seriously the fact that we share perceptual faculties with other creatures to whom we are unwilling to accord similar conceptual faculties; third, if we dispense with certain unwarranted assumptions associated with notions of the ‘Given’, that the predicament from which Kantianism is supposed to save us needn't arise; and, finally, once we are clear on these matters, and how we may be viewed as selective and selected detectors of scenes, stubborn challenges to direct realism from this quarter should dissipate.