Warren (2005)

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Warren, William. (2005) Direct Perception: The View From Here. Philosophical Topics 33 (1), 335-361.

Title Direct Perception: The View From Here
Resource Type journal article
Author(s) William Warren
Year 2005
Journal Philosophical Topics
Volume 33
Number 1
Pages 335-361


The view that perception is direct holds that a perceiver is aware of or in contact with ordinary mind-independent objects, rather than mind-dependent surrogates thereof. In this paper I try to articulate an account of direct perception from a Gibsonian point of view, located within the wider terrain of cognitive science and psychology. James Gibson's ecological theory proposes that perception is a relation in which an active agent is in contact with behaviorally relevant features and properties of its environment; this relation is causally supported by perceptual systems that are attuned to information which specifies those features and properties. I will argue that the theory offers the means to resist the main lines of attack on direct perception, including the Arguments from Illusion,-Hallucination, Appearances, and Underspecification. In so doing, it also suggests a positive account of illusions and hallucinations, as well as the intentional (object-directed) and perspectival (from here) aspects of perception.