Seeing things

Fred Adams, Gary Fuller, Murray Clarke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


When we experience the world (open our eyes, smell the roses, touch the steering wheel), we come into contact with the world. On one end of this relation is the mental state, the experience. On other end are the objects, events experienced. Though we shall often use examples from vision because of its dominance as a sensory modality, what we say will apply to all senses. If experiences are on one end of this relation, what is on the other end? We will defend the view that when the experiences are veridical and of the world, the world itself is on the other end. The alternative would be some events caused by the world, perhaps in the mind, but not the world itself. So on the view we want to defend, experiencing the world is a two-placed relation. On the view we will reject, experiencing the world is at least a three-placed relation and the world itself (its objects, properties) is never the direct object of perception. We will reply to several objections to the two-placed view of “direct perception”-objections such as “infinite regress” objection, argument from “illusion and hallucination,” and the argument this ordinary language needs a radical reconstruction yielding the distinction between “perception of objects” and “objects of perception.” For the purposes of this paper, we will outline the basic tenets of this view and reply to the reasons that lead Robert French to reject the view.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDirect versus Indirect Realism
Subtitle of host publicationA Neurophilosophical Debate on Consciousness
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780128121412
ISBN (Print)9780128121429
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Causal chain
  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Perception
  • Qualia
  • Realism
  • Regress argument
  • Representation


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