Title

A defense of the theory of appearing

Date of Award

5-2000

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Philosophy

Advisor(s)

William P. Alston

Keywords

Perception, Sensory consciousness, Epistemology, Appearing

Subject Categories

Philosophy of Mind

Abstract

In this work, I defend the Theory of Appearing, an explicatory account of the perceptual experience of concrete particulars. On this Direct Realist, act/object theory, the perceptual, experience of concrete particulars essentially consists in one or more physical space occupants (phenomenally) appearing as C (where C is one or more phenomenal characteristics) to a subject S . Perception ( i.e ., veridical perceptual experience) essentially consists in one or more physical space occupants (phenomenally) appearing as it is (they are). Misperception ( i.e ., falsidical perceptual experience, e.g ., illusion and hallucination) essentially consists in one or more physical space occupants (phenomenally) appearing as it is (they are) not.

My defense of the Theory of Appearing comes in four main interrelated parts: (i) noting the Theory of Appearing's close fit with important pretheoretical intuitions about perceptual experience, (ii) showing that none of the objections canvassed in this work defeats the Theory of Appearing, (iii) eliminating alternatives by undercutting reasons for, and by adducing reasons against, the main rivals to the Theory of Appearing and (iv) detailing some of the important epistemological and metaphysical payoff the Theory of Appearing affords, namely, a defensible account of Foundationalism and the Given, and support for an argument in the spirit of Kant's Refutation of Idealism.

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