Representative Realism

Mind Map by louisge, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by louisge almost 6 years ago


A-level Philosophy (Phil 2) Mind Map on Representative Realism, created by louisge on 05/06/2014.

Resource summary

Representative Realism
1 Realist perspective: Holds that the world consists of material objects as the direct realist does
1.1 Representation: We do not perceive objects directly as they are - Sense Data/Actual Perception
1.1.1 Explanation of sense deception: When sense data do not match up with objects, I am subject to illusion. This occurs because we perceive accurately the primary qualities of objects but the secondary ones are not real and are to an extent illusions There are useful illusions e.g.Smell represents the shape of a molecule which is itself a primary quality. Like the contour lines on map which show a rough outline of the way the terrain lies, secondary qualities are not mere illusions Seconondary qualities are not completely misleading as they map onto real differences in objects on a molecular scale. Colour represents the ability of an object to absorb and emit light
1.1.2 Respresntative realism explains the criticisms of naive realism - changes in perspective, hallucinations & time lags etc. The tree in the forest which falls does produce compression waves of air but there is no subjective experience of a noise
2 CRIT: How can we tell when our senses are deceiving us? We know when hallucinations occur, but it is difficult to know how accurately the real world is being represented. Critics say we only perceive secondary qualities directly as everything we perceive comes from the five senses, primary qualities must be inferred
2.1 E.g. We cannot compare our experience with reality as we can compare the map with real life, we know the contour lines vaguely represent real life because we can compare them
3 CRIT(Veil of Perception): There is a gap between what we perceive and what is really there
3.1 We have no real access to the real world, it could be radically different to how we perceive it
3.1.1 RESP: If the real world was in no way similar to our experience, we would not have survived as we do - we would not have been able to hunt etc. CRIT: Our senses could be rigged to allow us to survive but still present a wholly distorted image e.g. evil demon thesis
4 CRIT(Kant): There is no reason why our concepts should apply to the real world since they are derived from our perception
4.1 As far as we know, causation is a concept that applies only to the world of sense experience. The perceived world is the only place we can meaningfully speak about
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