A new objection to representationalist direct realism


Representationalism (aka intentionalism) has been the most significant weapon in the late twentieth century defence of direct realism. However, although the representationalist objection to the Phenomenal Principle might provide an effective response to the arguments from illusion and hallucination, plausible representationalist theories of perception are, when fleshed-out, incompatible with metaphysical direct realism’s directness-claim. Indeed within cognitive science, direct perception is the avowedly-radical anti-representationalist heterodoxy. Drawing on both the philosophy and cognitive science, we develop a robust argument against representationalist direct realism which does not rest on illusory cases or the notion of an object of immediate awareness. None of the representations so far posited, or in prospect, can supply the content required of a representation in a direct realist theory of veridical perception.

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