Philosophical Topics

Volume 44, Issue 2, Fall 2016

New Directions in the Philosophy of Perception

Ian Phillips
Pages 353-380

Naive Realism and the Science of (Some) Illusions

Critics have long complained that naive realism cannot adequately account for perceptual illusion. This complaint has a tendency to ally itself with the aspersion that naive realism is hopelessly out of touch with vision science. Here I offer a partial reply to both complaint and aspersion. I do so by showing how careful reflection on a simple, empirically grounded model of illusion reveals heterodox ways of thinking about familiar illusions which are quite congenial to the naive realist.