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Thomas Reid on Mind, Knowledge, and Value$
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Rebecca Copenhaver and Todd Buras

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733676.001.0001

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Four Questions about Acquired Perception

Four Questions about Acquired Perception

(p.75) 4 Four Questions about Acquired Perception
Thomas Reid on Mind, Knowledge, and Value

James Van Cleve

Oxford University Press

“Acquired perception” is Reid’s name for the phenomenon in which perception is augmented by learning: owing to past association of object or quality A with object or quality B, one automatically takes B to be present when one perceives A. For example, when a person sees an appropriately shaded two-dimensional disk, he or she takes it to indicate the presence of a three-dimensional ball. This chapter addresses the following four questions: (1) Is acquired perception really perception? (2) Are secondary qualities objects of original perception or of acquired perception only? (3) Does acquired perception involve any alteration in the contents of our original perceptions? Finally, (4) are there any limits in principle to what might one day become an object of acquired perception for us?

Keywords:   Thomas Reid, perception, acquired perception, secondary property

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