Perceptual knowledge : an analytical and historical study


Perceptual knowledge : an analytical and historical study

Georges Dicker

(Philosophical studies series in philosophy / editors, Wilfrid Sellars, Keith Lehrer, v. 22)

D. Reidel Pub. Co. , Sold and distributed in the U.S.A. and Canada by Kluwer Boston, c1980

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Bibliography: p. 216-219

Includes indexes



This book grew out of the lectures that I prepared for my students in epis temology at SUNY College at Brockport beginning in 1974. The conception of the problem of perception and the interpretation of the sense-datum theory and its supporting arguments that are developed in Chapters One through Four originated in these lectures. The rest of the manuscript was first written during the 1975-1976 academic year, while I held an NEH Fellowship in Residence for College Teachers at Brown University, and during the ensuing summer, under a SUNY Faculty Research Fellowship. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the National Endowment for the Humanities and to the Research Foundation of the State University of New York for their support of my research. I am grateful to many former students, colleagues, and friends for their stimulating, constructive comments and criticisms. Among the former stu dents whose reactions and objections were most helpful are Richard Motroni, Donald Callen, Hilary Porter, and Glenn Shaikun. Among my colleagues at Brockport, I wish to thank Kevin Donaghy and Jack Glickman for their comments and encouragement. I am indebted to Eli Hirsch for reading and commenting most helpfully on the entire manuscript, to Peter M. Brown for a useful correspondence concerning key arguments in Chapters Five and Seven, to Keith Lehrer for a criticism of one of my arguments that led me to make some important revisions, and to Roderick M.


One: A Philosophical Problem Concerning Perception and Knowledge.- 1. Why Perception Does not Amount to Knowledge.- 2. Does Perception Under Normal Conditions of Observation Amount to Knowledge?.- 3. The Requirement that the Conditions be Known to be Normal.- 4. An Attempt to Avoid the Regress: The Sense-Datum Theory.- Two: The Argument from Perceptual Relativity.- 1. Exposition of the Argument.- 2. Evaluation of the Argument.- Three: The Argument from Causation.- 1. Some Ineffective Versions of the Argument.- 2. An Epistemological Version of the Argument.- 3. Psychological and Epistemic Immediacy: A Crucial Distinction.- Four: The Argument from Hallucination.- 1. Analysis of the Argument from Hallucination.- 2. A Reformulation of the Argument.- Five: The Causal Theory of Perception.- 1. General Formulation of the Causal Theory.- 2. The Analytic Thesis.- 3. Does the Causal Theory Imply that Physical Objects are Unperceivable?.- 4. The Justification Thesis (I).- 5. The Justification Thesis (II).- Six: Phenomenalism.- 1. Ontological Phenomenalism: Its Advantages.- 2. Ontological Phenomenalism: Its Paradoxes.- 3. The Linguistic Version of the Sense-Datum Theory and Analytical Phenomenalism.- Seven: Phenomenalism and the Causal Theory of Perception: A Combined Theory.- 1. Preliminary Considerations in Favor of a Combined Theory.- 2. The Adverbial Theory of Appearing.- 3. A Combined Theory.- 4. Epistemological Phenomenalism and 'Critical Cognitivism'.- 5. Epistemological Phenomenalism (I): The Entailment of Appear-Statements by Thing-Statements.- 6. Epistemological Phenomenalism (II): The Entailment of Thing-Statements by Appear-Statements.- Index of Names.- Index of Subjects.

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  • Philosophical studies series in philosophy

    editors, Wilfrid Sellars, Keith Lehrer

    D. Reidel , Sold and distributed in the U.S.A. and Canada by Kluwer Academic Publishers , Sold and distributed in the U.S.A. and Canada by Kluwer Boston