The Illusion Criticism for Direct Realism: Philosophy Basics 2

Published by


Hello! Welcome to this weeks Philosophy Basic, focusing on the problem that illusions present to Direct Realism. If you haven’t read my post on direct realism,  then click on the link and have a read.

The argument from illusion is as followed…

1. Direct realism claims that we perceive objects directly, with no intermediaries. 
2. However this can’t be the case, due to illusions. When we observe an illusion, we don’t perceive the qualities of the object that we know the object to have. For example, we know that a straw is straight and this is one of the properties it possesses. However, when we put it into water, we perceive the straw as bent. 
3. Therefore, we can’t perceive objects directly, as we don’t always perceive objects with the qualities they have in the external world.
4. Therefore, direct realism must be false.
Some may defend direct realism because…

1.The argument above states we can’t perceive objects directly because we don’t always perceive objects as how they exist in the external world.
2. However, we are not fooled by the refraction of water. It is purely based on a misinterpretation of what we are seeing. 
3. Despite this, it does not mean that we perceive something distinct from reality. Instead, we simply misinterpret the reality of the object.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Philosophy Basics. Next week, we will be looking into the problem of perceptual variation for direct realism. Do  you have any questions about direct realism and its problems? Comment below or email me. If you want to receive notifications about when I put up blogs, subscribe. You can also now follow me on twitter @p_a_absurdum. See you Wednesday for my explanation of the Euthyphro Dilemma and how it can be explained by “Heathers: the Musical!”

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: