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Perceiving RealityConsciousness, Intentionality, and Cognition in Buddhist Philosophy$
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Christian Coseru

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199843381

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199843381.001.0001

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Perception as an Epistemic Modality

Perception as an Epistemic Modality

(p.141) Chapter 6 Perception as an Epistemic Modality
Perceiving Reality

Christian Coseru

Oxford University Press

In unpacking the main tenets of Buddhist epistemology, this chapter offers a detailed analysis of perception as an epistemic modality centred on three main points: (1) the cognitive function of perception as an epistemic warrant; (2) the ontological status of perceptual objects; and (3) the relation between perception and conception. A variety of arguments about word-meaning relations, and about the proper use of philosophical terminology are considered throughout. The chapter juxtaposes the views of Buddhists with those of their principal opponents, and explores different ways of casting this classical philosophical debate in terms of contemporary inquiries into such things as the nature and limits of perceptual knowledge. It also explores the tension between empirical knowledge and reportability, by differentiating between substantive philosophical disagreements and mere verbal disputes. The chapter concludes with an examination of the relation between cognitive errors and perceptual illusions, drawing from some recent empirical studies of perception.

Keywords:   perception, conception, reference, phenomenal concepts, perceptual illusion, verbal disputes, cognitive errors, phenomenal character, phenomenal content, color perception

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