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Is indirect realism a plausible theory of perception What are you directly aware of whilst reading this passage Is it the paper and ink that form the words Or is it something more abstract something intangible something internal According to indirect realism you are perceiving sense data an idea of this passage which is caused by the paper and ink a mental image which resembles the material objects properties primary at least In the following pages I shall examine the arguments for and against such a theory of perception The direct realists theory of perception says that to perceive an object is to perceive it directly through no medium Direct realism seems to suggest that the following statements hold true there exists a world of material objects we can learn of the nature and properties of these objects through sense-experience we perceive the object directly we are acquainted with the object itself we can in most cases be sure of our claim to possess knowledge of the external world When appealing purely to common sense then all of these initial statements appear to be fairly sound and obvious However if we look at a certain situation where perception in this manner seems to be fallible then doubt begins to encroach on the validity of these statements The situations of which I speak are illusions Perceptual illusion is where objects are conveyed to us falsely when we see an object in a certain manner which does not represent its true form An example of such an instance would be an optical illusion The second and more extreme case of illusion is perceptual hallucination Perceptual hallucination is where we perceive an object which in fact is not there to be perceived as opposed to misperceiving the properties of an object which is there to be perceived Such cases prove problematic for direct realism for how may an object appear differently to
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