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Visible Figure and Reid's Theory of Visual Perception

Visible Figure and Reid's Theory of Visual Perception Hume Studies Volume 28, Number 1, April 2002, pp. 49-82 RYAN NICHOLS 1. Inconsistency in Reid We can make a good prima facie case for the inconsistency of Reid's theory of perception with his rejection of the Ideal Theory. Most scholars believe Reid adopts a theory on which the immediate object of perception is a physical body. Reid is thought to do this in order to avoid problems generated by the veil of perception in the Ideal Theory, a conjunction of commitments Reid closely associates with Hume and Locke. Reid explains that the Ideal Theory "leans with its whole weight upon a hypothesis. . .[t]hat nothing is perceived but what is in the mind which perceives it" (I 96a; B 4).1 Reid attributes to the Ideal Theory thesis (1): (1) No immediate objects of perception are mind-independent. Let's leave (1) at this level of generality for the time being and show how Reid's rejection of the Ideal Theory conflicts with his theory of perception. Reid's attempt to banish perceptual intermediaries in his analysis of visual perception does not obviously succeed. This is because he recognizes that what he dubs "visible figures" are the immediate objects of our visual http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hume Studies Hume Society

Visible Figure and Reid's Theory of Visual Perception

Hume Studies , Volume 28 (1) – Jan 26, 2002

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Abstract

Hume Studies Volume 28, Number 1, April 2002, pp. 49-82 RYAN NICHOLS 1. Inconsistency in Reid We can make a good prima facie case for the inconsistency of Reid's theory of perception with his rejection of the Ideal Theory. Most scholars believe Reid adopts a theory on which the immediate object of perception is a physical body. Reid is thought to do this in order to avoid problems generated by the veil of perception in the Ideal Theory, a conjunction of commitments Reid closely associates with Hume and Locke. Reid explains that the Ideal Theory "leans with its whole weight upon a hypothesis. . .[t]hat nothing is perceived but what is in the mind which perceives it" (I 96a; B 4).1 Reid attributes to the Ideal Theory thesis (1): (1) No immediate objects of perception are mind-independent. Let's leave (1) at this level of generality for the time being and show how Reid's rejection of the Ideal Theory conflicts with his theory of perception. Reid's attempt to banish perceptual intermediaries in his analysis of visual perception does not obviously succeed. This is because he recognizes that what he dubs "visible figures" are the immediate objects of our visual

Journal

Hume StudiesHume Society

Published: Jan 26, 2002

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