Direct Realism: Philosophy Basics

Hello and welcome to Philosopher Ad Absurdum. This is a series which will run alongside my usual posts and that looks at the basics of philosophy through the perspective of A level philosophy. This can be used as a revision tool or as a starting point for learning philosophy. This part of the series is going to focus on theories of perception and we are going to start with direct realism.

~o~


Direct realism is a theory of perception where…

1. Objects are composed of material matter and occupy space.
2. The have properties which they possess within themselves. For instance a strawberry has the property of being red. This property belongs to the strawberry.
3. There is no intermediary between us and the object. That is why it is called DIRECT realism, because we perceive objects directly and DO NOT infer there existence by an intermediary.
4. Because objects exist in an external world, they continue to exist when you do not perceive them. For instance, if the world went completely dark so we can’t see, the objects would still exist despite us not being able to observe the objects at that particular moment.

Naïve Realism in particular…
1. We perceive objects as they exist in the external world. You perceive the strawberry as red because it genuinely is red. If someone else saw it, they would also perceive the object as you do and would see the strawberry as red.

~o~
I hope this was useful to you! If you want to learn more about philosophy then please subscribe to the blog so you can receive future updates on this series. If you have any questions, please comment them below or send me an email or a tweet. The next blog in the basic philosophy series will be on the problems that philosophers have with direct realism.

Published by Philosopher Ad Absurdum

Student studying MA Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science at the University of Birmingham; First Class BA Philosophy and History from the University of Southampton.

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