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What It Is Like to Perceive: Direct Realism and the Phenomenal Character of Perception

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2020.03.08 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews J. Christopher Maloney, What It Is Like to Perceive: Direct Realism and the Phenomenal Character of Perception, Oxford University Press, 2018, 360pp., $85.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190854751. Reviewed by Lauren Olin, University of Missouri-St. Louis Veritable orthodoxy among philosophers of cognitive science regards mental states, including conscious perceptual states, as fundamentally representational. J. Christopher Maloney is broadly sympathetic towards this disciplinary consensus -- he is "almost a representationalist" (xvii) -- but the positive arguments put forward in this book are articulated from the fringes of the mainstream. In his hands, Maloney explains, direct realism can adopt "the generally accepted representationalist thesis that perceptual experience is a kind of contentful cognition" (xix) and at the same time preserve the commonsensical intuition that: To perceive is to think in a distinctive way about something . . . perception secures its content in a peculiarly direct or immediate manner, in a fashion quite different from the... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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