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The mechanics of perception

Models of Perception

Direct Realism: World of mind independent objects just is what we perceive. When you see the world, you are only aware of the world.

Indirect Realism: World of mind independent objects is (supposedly) known to you, but only in virtue of your mental sense data which are 'representing' the objects that are out there in the world

Phenomenalism: World is mind dependent. If physical objects are something that exist, they do so as logical constructions of your mind. You combine sense data in various ways to make these 'objects'. We do not have to tell any kind of story about the 'real' world.

Role of Causation:

Grice? the reason we seem to see a dog in the park, just is because that dog is there to cause my perception.

We discussed many problems with the notion of causation. In summary:

- Question of whether we can understand the idea that there are two things in play here: a cause and an effect. In terms of one billiard ball hitting another, this seems fine. In terms of the mental image we have being something 'logically distinct' to its represented object, we feel less comfortable.

- We can never see the two parts, that is, we exist 'in' the effect right? We only see using our sense data. They don't seem to tell us in themselves that they are representing something 'out there'.

-Besides, even if we could trust that they do represent the world, why should we assume what we see is an accurate or 'veridical' representation?

If we can conceive of tables and chairs and dogs in parks as existing without our perceiving them, then it seems quite a nice story that our perceiving them is just an effect that may or may not happen (i.e. it doesn't impinge on the ontology (existence) of the cause). However, causation being a feature of an account like this is different to being its justification.