Philosophy



Perceptual Content


GERALD VISION 

Abstract

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.