Perception and Reality: A History from Descartes to Kant

Philosophical Review 107 (2):332 (1998)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This book does several things, and it does them all well. Yolton firmly contextualizes the debates about perception within the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, while showing how these debates are often repeated in contemporary philosophy of mind. Along the way, he provides novel interpretations of Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant that are clearly and convincingly presented. Perhaps the most important feature of his treatment is that it so vividly shows the Moderns grappling with issues about perception that continue to plague us. The uniting theme of the work is Yolton’s insistence that direct realism and representationalism are compatible. Yolton’s defense of direct realism is largely motivated by the thesis that many philosophers incorrectly take a representational theory of mind to necessitate indirect realism. This mistake arises, according to Yolton, because they suppose that the representations themselves become the objects of perception and therefore stand between the perceiver and the world of objects. Yolton’s argument that the philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were struggling to establish two interactive relations between perceivers and the physical world underlies his compatibility thesis: There is a physical and causal relationship and, more importantly, there is what Yolton calls a “cognitive” or “semantic” relationship. The latter relationship holds the key to the compatibility of representationalism with direct realism.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,349

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Perception and Reality: A History from Descartes to Kant.John W. Yolton - 1998 - Philosophical Quarterly 48 (193):540-542.
Perception & reality: a history from Descartes to Kant.John W. Yolton - 1996 - Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Subjectivity in Descartes and Kant.Hubert Schwyzer - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (188):342-357.
Two Charges of Intellectualism against Kant.Arthur Melnick - 2013 - Kantian Review 18 (2):197-219.
Clear and Distinct Perception in Descartes's Philosophy.Shoshana Smith - 2005 - Dissertation, University of California Berkeley
Descartes em Kant.Luciano Codato - 2009 - Discurso 39 (39):195-222.
Natural Geometry in Descartes and Kepler.Gary Hatfield - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (1):117-148.
Images and Kant’s Theory of Perception.Samantha Matherne - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2.
Manifest reality: Kant's idealism and his realism, by Lucy Allais. [REVIEW]Andrew Stephenson - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (6):1220-1223.
Perception and Reality. [REVIEW]Nancy Kendrick - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (2):332-334.


Added to PP

25 (#614,662)

6 months
14 (#170,850)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Nancy Kendrick
Wheaton College, Massachusetts

Citations of this work

Is Margaret Cavendish a Naïve Realist?Daniel Whiting - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
The tripartite model of representation.Peter Slezak - 2002 - Philosophical Psychology 15 (3):239-270.
Descartes and the Aristotelian Framework of Sensory Perception1.Joseph W. Hwang - 2011 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 35 (1):111-148.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references