Seeing Things as They Are: A Theory of Perception

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9780199385157: Seeing Things as They Are: A Theory of Perception

This book provides a comprehensive account of the intentionality of perceptual experience. With special emphasis on vision Searle explains how the raw phenomenology of perception sets the content and the conditions of satisfaction of experience. The central question concerns the relation between the subjective conscious perceptual field and the objective perceptual field. Everything in the objective field is either perceived or can be perceived. Nothing in the subjective field is perceived nor can be perceived precisely because the events in the subjective field consist of the perceivings , whether veridical or not, of the events in the objective field.

Searle begins by criticizing the classical theories of perception and identifies a single fallacy, what he calls the Bad Argument, as the source of nearly all of the confusions in the history of the philosophy of perception. He next justifies the claim that perceptual experiences have presentational intentionality and shows how this justifies the direct realism of his account. In the central theoretical chapters, he shows how it is possible that the raw phenomenology must necessarily determine certain form of intentionality. Searle introduces, in detail, the distinction between different levels of perception from the basic level to the higher levels and shows the internal relation between the features of the experience and the states of affairs presented by the experience. The account applies not just to language possessing human beings but to infants and conscious animals. He also discusses how the account relates to certain traditional puzzles about spectrum inversion, color and size constancy and the brain-in-the-vat thought experiments. In the final chapters he explains and refutes Disjunctivist theories of perception, explains the role of unconscious perception, and concludes by discussing traditional problems of perception such as skepticism.

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About the Author:


John R. Searle is Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. His previous publications include Making the Social World (2010) and Mind: A Brief introduction (2004), both from Oxford University Press.

Review:


"...[O]ffers a straightforward, realistic account of how one perceives objects and states of affairs... Highly recommended." --Choice


"Immensely refreshing." --The Weekly Standard


"Seeing Things As They Are is full of interesting ideas. It is engagingly written, and deals with big questions about the mind-world relations and the relation between the phenomenology and intentionality of perception. I recommned it to anyone interested in what makes perceptual contact with a mind-independent world possible."
-- The Philosophers's Magazine


"Searle's book is a wonderful addition to the philosophical discipline of perception, and a useful way for someone who is not well versed in the subject to receive and extensive overview of the historical arguments. The overarching thesis is a strong defense of Direct Realism that will inspire the reader to contemplate the ways they discern meaning through experience." -- Englewood Review of Books


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John (Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor of Philosophy Searle
Verlag: Oxford University Press Inc Feb 2015 (2015)
ISBN 10: 0199385157 ISBN 13: 9780199385157
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Buchbeschreibung Oxford University Press Inc Feb 2015, 2015. Buch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - One of the world's most influential philosophers presents his ideas on perception to a wider general audience. 256 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9780199385157

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