The Harvard Review of Philosophy

Volume 27, 2020

Philosophy of Mind

Søren Overgaard
Pages 121-132

How Not to Think of Perception

Perception seems like it puts us directly in touch with real things in our environment. But according to a popular view, perception actually does no such thing. Perceptual experiences are internally generated imagery, and we don’t see what is really out there. I call this view “the Hard-Nosed View,” and I argue that it is deeply problematic. In fact, the view is self-defeating: it undermines the very evidence supposed to establish or support the view. Indeed, if perceptual experiences are just internally generated images that generally don’t reflect what is really out there, the very notion of a scientific finding is put in jeopardy. So, the Hard-Nosed View had better be false.