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Non-Passivity of Perceptual Experience

Non-Passivity of Perceptual Experience Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 7, No. 1 (June 2010), 149­164 Editions Rodopi © 2010 The main problems faced by a conception of perception as passive will be introduced through a critical examination of John McDowell's account of `empirical thinking'. Overcoming these difficulties will lead to a conception of perception as involving an active cognitive participation of the perceiver, and an account of how observational judgment is warranted that is focused on the conditions of experience. In both cases, analogies to inquiry in scientific experimental practice will be explored. "Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt" William Herschel, 1782. Seeing is believing, at least in the sense that perceiving something is a warrant and justification for belief that it is so. For perception to play this role, it appears that it must have content, suitably related to the content of the belief, and that what content it has must be a matter of receptivity rather than within our control. This basic intuitive understanding of the matter is prevalent; its articulation has proved exceedingly difficult. To arrive at a more precise understanding we shall explore analogies to inquiry in scientific practice. Taking the detailed account of `empirical http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Non-Passivity of Perceptual Experience

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 7 (1): 149 – Apr 21, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2010 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000160
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 7, No. 1 (June 2010), 149­164 Editions Rodopi © 2010 The main problems faced by a conception of perception as passive will be introduced through a critical examination of John McDowell's account of `empirical thinking'. Overcoming these difficulties will lead to a conception of perception as involving an active cognitive participation of the perceiver, and an account of how observational judgment is warranted that is focused on the conditions of experience. In both cases, analogies to inquiry in scientific experimental practice will be explored. "Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt" William Herschel, 1782. Seeing is believing, at least in the sense that perceiving something is a warrant and justification for belief that it is so. For perception to play this role, it appears that it must have content, suitably related to the content of the belief, and that what content it has must be a matter of receptivity rather than within our control. This basic intuitive understanding of the matter is prevalent; its articulation has proved exceedingly difficult. To arrive at a more precise understanding we shall explore analogies to inquiry in scientific practice. Taking the detailed account of `empirical

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2010

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