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COMPLETE REVISION NOTES FOR KNOWLEDGE OF THE EXTERNAL WORLD ­
AQA AS PHILOSOPHY
Direct Realism

DIRECT REALISM
Humans simply experience that which is already there to be perceived
We experience the material objects themselves- our perception of the qualities is
unmediated
Often referred to as the `man in the street…

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question be raised about what we see when we look at it? We see, of course, a church that now
looks like a barn"

Our perception still matches the object and an illusion is not a failure of senses but a property
of the object
we not see the object…

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the penny itself remains constant
my perception of the penny, what I perceive, must be distinct

COUNTER ARGUMENT
Appearance is defined as being a direct experience of an object from a specific position;
different positions yield different perceptions. Perspectival distortion is as much a
physical fact of the world as…

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Hallucinatory perceptions are distinct from veridical perception. If they were not then we would
not be able to distinguish them in the first place.

For example, Descartes Phantom Limb. The people may feel that their missing limb is in
pain, however, when they rationalise and refer to their prior knowledge…

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Representative Realism

PROBLEMS WITH SENSE DATA
The Ontological Question

If sense data sustain no physical existence then it becomes hard to pinpoint their location.
Russell, for example, argued that they are mental phenomena. However, if both sense
data and sensation are mental, how sense data is supposed to provide a…

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- cause secondary qualities - caused by the `power' of primary qualities
- constitute reality - constitute experience
Solidity, Extension, Number Colour, Taste, Smell, Sound
Motion, Figure

If we apply this to a world with no humans, then the primary qualities of the physical world
will exist, whereas the secondary…

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These are further reducible to the quantum level where they share qualities of waves and
particles.
At this level the table is not solid at all but rather a lattice of energy.
Common Sense realism fails as if we were to approach the physical world directly that the
objects of…

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We can substitute the word God for the idea of a material universe without any loss of
meaning
In both objects still exist regardless if someone is perceiving them or not
Reality is not reliant upon a perceiver
They have opposing opinions about the existence of an external world

Idealism…

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He pushes Locke's empiricism to the extreme. Locke says that we can only experience the
world via the sense data that is created from primary qualities. From an empirical point, we
can never know material substance at all.

Idealism

PRIEST
"No one has refuted Berkeley, even though most people insist…

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