Free Content WHAT IS DIRECT PERCEPTUAL KNOWLEDGE? A FIVEFOLD CONFUSION

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Abstract:

When philosophers speak of direct perceptual knowledge, they obviously mean to suggest that such knowledge is unmediated – but unmediated by what? This is where we find evidence of violent disagreement. To clarify matters, I want to identify and briefly describe several important senses of "direct" that have helped shape our understanding of perceptual knowledge. They are (1) "Direct" as Non-Inferential Perception; (2) "Direct" as Unmediating by Objects of Perception; (3) "Direct" as Conceptually Unmediated Perception; (4) "Direct" as Independent Verification of Perceptual Beliefs; and (5) "Direct" as Perception of What is Epistemically Prior.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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