Since Descartes, one of the central questions of Western philosophy has been that of how we know that the objects we seem to perceive are real. Philosophical skeptics claim that we know no such thing. Representationalists claim that we can gain such knowledge only by inference, by showing that the hypothesis of a real world is the best explanation for the kind of sensationSince Descartes, one of the central questions of Western philosophy has been that of how we know that the objects we seem to perceive are real. Philosophical skeptics claim that we know no such thing. Representationalists claim that we can gain such knowledge only by inference, by showing that the hypothesis of a real world is the best explanation for the kind of sensations and mental images we experience. Both accept the doctrine of a 'veil of perception: ' that perception can only give us direct awareness of images or representations of objects, not the external objects themselves. In contrast, Huemer develops a theory of perceptual awareness in which perception gives us direct awareness of real objects, not mental representations, and we have non-inferential knowledge of the properties of these objects. Further, Huemer confronts the four main arguments for philosophical skepticism, showing that they are powerless against this kind of theory of perceptual knowledge...
|Title||:||Skepticism and the Veil of Perception|
|Number of Pages||:||209 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Skepticism and the Veil of Perception Reviews
An easy to read monograph on various epistemological issues. Huemer's defense of foundationalism rests on his account of perception and the two work hand-in-hand to answer critiques put forth by advocates of skepticism.
I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Huemer over the summer of 2011. He is able to convey his opinions and arguments very clearly. He's got a lot of good opinions and reasoning to back it up. This short book is evidence of that. So much so that I ended up rereading it (and plan to again in case I missed anything) because there is a lot to take in. In this book he attacks skepticism of both sorts; external knowledge and universal skepticism. He explains the difference between the two. About half of the book is dedicated to his solution to the justification of belief. He builds it upon direct realism and foundationalism. Something which is called phenomenal conservatism. In this book, he explains it as:If it seems to S as if p, then S thereby has at least prima facie justification for believing that p. He has since expanded his version of it. I won't go into details, however. This book made me a PC believer and it will be hard for the skeptic to make a successful counter argument. He makes very strong arguments against skepticism, presents his theory, comes up with objections to his theory, and then he answers them. This is a very good epistemology book and I recommend it for anyone who is interested in epistemology rather than just learning what the popular theories are.
In Skepticism and the Veil of Perception Michael Huemer aims to undermine skepticism about direct realism and to articulate his own version of direct realism. It's a thoughtful book that is wide enough in scope that it can serve as a useful introduction to the external world realism debate in philosophy. Nevertheless, many of Huemer's most pivotal claims are vague to the extent that his ultimate project is unpersuasive (in my view). His theory of perception—on which his version of direct realism rests—is certainly controversial, and in many places, his presentation of it is far too simple to overcome the long 2,000-plus-year history of skepticism. It just can't be that easy (and it's not). Also, his assault on so-called global skepticism fares fairly well, but then that's too easy of a target; mitigated skeptics and indirect realists of many different stripes will simply be unpersuaded. Recommended for anyone who wants to learn more.
Huemer's book was a fantastic response to the global skeptic and skeptic about the external world. The direct realist thesis and phenomenological conservatism Huemer espouses are rather powerful tools in the common sense philosopher's arsenal to combat the skeptic's arguments.