In search of direct realism

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2):349-367 (2004)
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Abstract

It is fairly standard in accounts of the epistemology of perceptual knowledge to distinguish three main alternative positions: representationalism, phenomenalism, and a third view that is called either naïve realism or direct realism. I have always found the last of these views puzzling and elusive. My aim in this paper is to try to figure out what direct realism amounts to, mainly with an eye to seeing whether it offers a genuine epistemological alternative to the other two views and to representationalism in particular. My main thesis will be that it does not—that what is right in direct realist views turns out to have little bearing on the central epistemological issue concerning perceptual knowledge.

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Citations of this work

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