Indirect realism: Perception

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  • Indirect realism
    • Physical objects exist but their properties are dependant on the mind
      • Primary properties: shape, size, extension and other physical properties of an object
      • Secondary properties: subjective properties, such as colour, taste, smell, texture and sound
    • Has three parts: perceiver ==> perception ==> real world
      • Veil of perception
        • invisible 'barrier' between the real world and our perception
    • Locke: sense data
      • what one is directly aware of during perception
      • Sense data is subjective
      • Differences between sense data and objects
        • O
          • Mind independent
          • Objective/ physical
            • Can be doubted
            • Public
        • SD
          • Mind dependant
          • Subjective/ mental
            • Cant be doubted
            • Private
      • We uses sense data to build a picture of the physical world
    • Qualia: the subjectiveness of something
    • Weaknesses and counter arguments
      • Scepticism of the nature of the mind: independent objects
        • If we cannot directly perceive objects, how do I know if my perception of them is correct?
        • Response: the veil of perception- if the VOP changed our view of the real world too much, then we would not survive
          • We can eat and hunt, which are visual perceptions caused by the real world
      • Scepticism about the existence of mind: independent objects
        • If Descartes demons theory is true, then how do we know that our sense data is actually perceiving the real world, and not some evil image?
        • Responses
          • Locke: we lack choice in what we perceive and we can verify them through various sense
            • If I can smell flowers and see/touch them at the same time, we can probably conclude that they exist
          • Russell: the external world is the best idea, it is better than having no real world
      • Kant: we should call the perceived world the real world, as it is beyond our comprehension to know what the real world is actually liek
      • If we cannot justify that there is a real world, then we cannot conclude that there is one
    • Strengths
      • Intuative: easily recognisable that there is a gap between perception and the real world
        • Sunlight take 8 mins to reach the earth

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