2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

A Defense of Representationalism
Andrew J. McCall
Dr. Chad Mohler, Faculty Mentor

There are two major theories in philosophy concerning human perception: Direct Realism and Representationalism. The first holds that human beings perceive the physical world directly, while Representationalism suggests that we are capable of perceiving only sense data. In his work Perception and the Physical World, D.M. Armstrong makes several attacks against Representationalism, some of which were answered in Frank Jackson’s Perception: A Representative Theory. This paper explores several of those accusations, such as the assertion that the perception of sense-data would not be reason enough to believe in a physical world, which turn out to be either weak or inappropriate in a discussion of perception. It also discusses sensations that Armstrong does not consider, which may cast doubt upon whether the Direct Realist theory of perception is accurate.

Keywords: Perception, Representationalism, Direct Realism, D.M. Armstrong

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 41-5
Location: VH 1212
Time: 2:15

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