A Reply to "Sensory Qualities...": A letter to Alex Byrne from a perplexed reader


This is a letter from an amateur philosopher to Alex Byrne expressing perplexity on reading Byrne's chapter in The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Mind, "Sensory Qualities, Sensible Qualities, Sensational Qualities" (2009). A version of the theory of indirect perception is described using several analogies and one autobiographical episode. It is described as a realization that occurred historically and may occur to individuals, supplanting default naive realism. Byrne's readings of various philosophers' accounts of sensory qualities are then contrasted with an interpretation consistent with the adduced theory of indirect perception. The difficulty of imagining the view from the opposite side of the direct/indirect perception divide is remarked upon.

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