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Perception Naturalised: Relocation and the Sensible Qualities

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Perception Naturalised: Relocation and the Sensible Qualities. / Coates, Paul.

In: Synthese, 12.09.2017.

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@article{08690e8663834133aebb11d360857433,
title = "Perception Naturalised: Relocation and the Sensible Qualities",
abstract = "This paper offers a partial defence of a Sellarsian-inspired form of scientificrealism. It defends the relocation strategy that Sellars adopts in his project ofreconciling the manifest and scientific images. It concentrates on defending thecausal analysis of perception that is essential to his treatment of sensible qualities.One fundamental metaphysical issue in perception theory concerns the nature ofthe perceptual relation; it is argued that a philosophical exploration of this issue is continuous with the scientific investigation of perceptual processes. Perception, it is argued, can, and should be naturalised.A challenge for any account of perception arises from the fact that a subject'sexperiences are connected with particular objects. We need to supply principledgrounds for identifying which external physical object the subject stands in aperceptual relation to when they have an experience. According to the particularity objection presented in the paper, naive realism (or disjunctivism) does not constitute an independently viable theory since, taken on its own, it is unable to answer the objection. In appealing to a 'direct experiential relation', it posits a relation that cannot be identified independently of the underlying causal facts. A proper understanding of one central function of perception, as guiding extended patterns of actions, supports a causal analysis of perception. It allows us to draw up a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for perceiving that avoids well-known counterexamples. An analysis of this kind is congruent with the scientific account, according to which experiences are interpreted as inner states: sensible qualities, such as colours, are in the mind (but not as objects of perception). A Sellarsian version of the relocation story is thus vindicated.",
keywords = "Causal theory of perception, Manifest image, Naive realism, Navigational account, Perceptual content, Relocation, Scientific realism, Sensible qualities, Wilfred Sellars",
author = "Paul Coates",
note = "This document is the Accepted Manuscript of the following article: Paul Coates, {\textquoteleft}Perception naturalised: relocation and the sensible qualities{\textquoteright}, Synthese, September 2017. Under embargo. Embargo end date: 12 September 2018. the final publication is available at Springer via: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-017-1556-z.",
year = "2017",
month = sep,
day = "12",
doi = "10.1007/s11229-017-1556-z",
language = "English",
journal = "Synthese",
issn = "0039-7857",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Perception Naturalised: Relocation and the Sensible Qualities

AU - Coates, Paul

N1 - This document is the Accepted Manuscript of the following article: Paul Coates, ‘Perception naturalised: relocation and the sensible qualities’, Synthese, September 2017. Under embargo. Embargo end date: 12 September 2018. the final publication is available at Springer via: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-017-1556-z.

PY - 2017/9/12

Y1 - 2017/9/12

N2 - This paper offers a partial defence of a Sellarsian-inspired form of scientificrealism. It defends the relocation strategy that Sellars adopts in his project ofreconciling the manifest and scientific images. It concentrates on defending thecausal analysis of perception that is essential to his treatment of sensible qualities.One fundamental metaphysical issue in perception theory concerns the nature ofthe perceptual relation; it is argued that a philosophical exploration of this issue is continuous with the scientific investigation of perceptual processes. Perception, it is argued, can, and should be naturalised.A challenge for any account of perception arises from the fact that a subject'sexperiences are connected with particular objects. We need to supply principledgrounds for identifying which external physical object the subject stands in aperceptual relation to when they have an experience. According to the particularity objection presented in the paper, naive realism (or disjunctivism) does not constitute an independently viable theory since, taken on its own, it is unable to answer the objection. In appealing to a 'direct experiential relation', it posits a relation that cannot be identified independently of the underlying causal facts. A proper understanding of one central function of perception, as guiding extended patterns of actions, supports a causal analysis of perception. It allows us to draw up a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for perceiving that avoids well-known counterexamples. An analysis of this kind is congruent with the scientific account, according to which experiences are interpreted as inner states: sensible qualities, such as colours, are in the mind (but not as objects of perception). A Sellarsian version of the relocation story is thus vindicated.

AB - This paper offers a partial defence of a Sellarsian-inspired form of scientificrealism. It defends the relocation strategy that Sellars adopts in his project ofreconciling the manifest and scientific images. It concentrates on defending thecausal analysis of perception that is essential to his treatment of sensible qualities.One fundamental metaphysical issue in perception theory concerns the nature ofthe perceptual relation; it is argued that a philosophical exploration of this issue is continuous with the scientific investigation of perceptual processes. Perception, it is argued, can, and should be naturalised.A challenge for any account of perception arises from the fact that a subject'sexperiences are connected with particular objects. We need to supply principledgrounds for identifying which external physical object the subject stands in aperceptual relation to when they have an experience. According to the particularity objection presented in the paper, naive realism (or disjunctivism) does not constitute an independently viable theory since, taken on its own, it is unable to answer the objection. In appealing to a 'direct experiential relation', it posits a relation that cannot be identified independently of the underlying causal facts. A proper understanding of one central function of perception, as guiding extended patterns of actions, supports a causal analysis of perception. It allows us to draw up a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for perceiving that avoids well-known counterexamples. An analysis of this kind is congruent with the scientific account, according to which experiences are interpreted as inner states: sensible qualities, such as colours, are in the mind (but not as objects of perception). A Sellarsian version of the relocation story is thus vindicated.

KW - Causal theory of perception

KW - Manifest image

KW - Naive realism

KW - Navigational account

KW - Perceptual content

KW - Relocation

KW - Scientific realism

KW - Sensible qualities

KW - Wilfred Sellars

U2 - 10.1007/s11229-017-1556-z

DO - 10.1007/s11229-017-1556-z

M3 - Article

JO - Synthese

JF - Synthese

SN - 0039-7857

ER -