Indirect realism

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Indirect Realism is a theory of perception, most closely associated with Descartes and Locke, but is implicit in the thinking of many scientists. The theory, however, takes different forms, and some of its characterizations seem to have been introduced by its critics rather than its adherents. Indirect realism, together with the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, is part of an overall theoretical package. Both versions of Indirect Realism should be contrasted with a third version, which might be called “Inferential Indirect Perception”. One of the most important defences of Indirect Realism in recent times is the one that Jackson provides in his Perception, 1977. Indirect realism holds that when an object before our eyes holds our visual attention we are visually conscious of some feature of this object and that always this awareness of the object occurs in virtue of-and in part consists in-our (direct) awareness of something not before our eyes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge handbook for the Philosophy of Colour
EditorsFiona Macpherson, Derek Brown
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781351048514
ISBN (Print)9780415743037
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2020


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