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The Case for Qualia$
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Edmond Wright

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262232661

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262232661.001.0001

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The Case for Indirect Realism

The Case for Indirect Realism

(p.45) 1 The Case for Indirect Realism
The Case for Qualia

Harold I. Brown

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the approach taken by many proponents of indirect realism and posits that the main evidence for their position comes from empirical considerations. It begins with a discussion of illusions, which, it is argued here, provide initial support for the thesis that we perceive qualia and should push philosophers to examine the scientific literature on perception. The next section replies to the objection that maintains that indirect realism undermines our ability to learn about the world. It is assumed throughout this chapter that normal perception is caused by physical items that act on a perceiver’s sense organs. The concept of illusion is used broadly here to describe any qualitative mismatch between a perceptual display and the external arrangement that causes it. It should be noted that describing something as an illusion does not imply that anyone is deceived by it.

Keywords:   indirect realism, empirical considerations, illusions, qualia, scientific literature, perception, sense organs

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