Perception and the Fall from Eden
In the Garden of Eden, we had unmediated contact with the world. We were directly acquainted with objects in the world and with their properties. Objects were simply presented to us without causal mediation, and properties were revealed to us in their true intrinsic glory. Eden was a world of perfect colour. But then there was a Fall. First, we ate from the Tree of Illusion. Second, we ate from the Tree of Science. We no longer live in Eden. Perhaps Eden never existed, and perhaps it could not have existed. But Eden still plays a powerful role in our perceptual experience of the world. At some level, perception represents our world as an Edenic one, populated by perfect colors and shapes, with objects and properties that are revealed to us directly. This chapter argues that even though we have fallen from Eden, Eden still acts as a sort of ideal that regulates the content of our perceptual experience.
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