Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1243-1253 (2017)

Jon Morgan
Montclair State University
Many arguments against naïve realism are arguments against its corollary: disjunctivism. But there is a simpler argument—due to Mehta —that targets naïve realism directly. In broad strokes, the argument is the following. There are certain experiences that are, allegedly, in no way phenomenally similar. Nevertheless, naïve realism predicts that they are phenomenally similar. Hence, naïve realism is false. Mehta and Ganson successfully defend this argument from an objection raised by French and Gomes :451–460, 2016). However, all parties to this dispute have missed the real problem with Mehta’s argument. As I see it, the real problem is twofold. First, despite his claims to the contrary, the experiences Mehta cites are phenomenally similar. Moreover, finding experiences that are in no way phenomenally similar turns out to be a difficult task. Second, there are motivated versions of naïve realism that are immune to Mehta’s argument. The upshot is that even if Mehta’s argument is sound, the most that it can show is that one version of naïve realism is false.
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-016-0753-9
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References found in this work BETA

Reference and Consciousness.J. Campbell - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
Perception and Its Objects.Bill Brewer - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
The Transparency of Experience.Michael G. F. Martin - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (4):376-425.
The Limits of Self-Awareness.Michael G. F. Martin - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 120 (1-3):37-89.

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Citations of this work BETA

Naïve Realism and Phenomenal Similarity.Sam Clarke & Alfonso Anaya - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-18.

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