Tag Archives: philosophy of perception

Naive or Direct Realism

Naive realism holds that its philosophy of perception can be summed up in the following way:

  1. There exists a world of material objects.
  2. Statements about these objects can be known to be true through sense-experience.
  3. These objects exist not only when they are being perceived but also when they are not perceived. The objects of perception are largely, we might want to say, perception-independent.
  4. These objects are also able to retain properties of the types we perceive them as having, even when they are not being perceived. Their properties are perception-independent.
  5. By means of our senses, we perceive the world directly, and pretty much as it is. In the main, our claims to have knowledge of it are justified.

I am satisfied with Statements 1 and 2.

But I have trouble with part of Statement 3 – “The objects of perception are largely, we might want to say, perception-independent”. “largely” seems to suggest that there is something that is perception-dependent.

The concept of object-property in Statement 4 is also problematic. Whether an object has properties or not is unknown.

And Statement 5 also suggests that perception is an unproblematic or non-existent medium. Direct perception must mean without needing sense faculties. A damaged eye or clouded view must necessarily suggest that the medium is not perfect and therefore not direct.