The case against direct realism


Analytic philosophy took a wrong turn when it rehabilitated direct realism. From the perspective of cognitive science, it seems that we can have the directness-claim or the realism-claim but not both together. Up until the mid-1900s the vast majority of philosophers dismissed direct realism as hopelessly naïve, but by the close of the century it had become the orthodoxy within analytic philosophy. In contrast, mainstream cognitive science has remained constant in its opposition to the directness-claim, and when the directness-claim is maintained, by an avowedly-radical minority, it is at the expense of the realism-claim.

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