Philosophy of Perception and Liberal Naturalism

In David Macarthur & Mario De Caro (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Liberal Naturalism. Routledge. pp. 299-319 (2022)
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This chapter considers how Liberal Naturalism interacts with the main problems and theories in the philosophy of perception. After briefly summarising the traditional philosophical problems of perception and outlining the standard philosophical theories of perceptual experience, it discusses whether a Liberal Naturalist outlook should incline one towards or away from any of these standard theories. Particular attention is paid to the work of John McDowell and Hilary Putnam, two of the most prominent Liberal Naturalists, whose work was also very influential in the philosophy of perception. There is also a section focusing on colour, an especially important topic not only for debates about perceptual experience but also for debates concerning how our ‘manifest image’ of the natural world relates to our best theories in the physical sciences.

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Thomas Raleigh
University of Luxembourg


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