Perceptual Variation and Relativism

In Epistemology After Sextus Empiricus. pp. p.13–47 (2020)
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There is variation in how people perceive colors and other secondary qualities. The challenge of perceptual variation is to say whose perceptions are accurate. According to Sextus, Protagoras’ response is that all of our perceptions might be accurate. As this response is traditionally developed, it is difficult to explain color illusion and color constancy. This difficulty is due to a widespread assumption called perceptual atomism. This chapter argues that, if we want to develop Protagoras’ response, we need to give up perceptual atomism. It ends with a brief sketch of an alternative called perceptual structuralism.

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John Morrison
Barnard College


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