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Knowing and SeeingGroundwork for a new empiricism$
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Michael Ayers

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198833567

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198833567.001.0001

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Perception and Primary Knowledge

Perception and Primary Knowledge

Chapter:
(p.34) 2 Perception and Primary Knowledge
Source:
Knowing and Seeing
Author(s):

Michael Ayers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198833567.003.0002

A phenomenological analysis of perceptual experience, conducted with an eye on experimental psychology, addresses a series of questions. What is phenomenology? What makes perception of one’s environment as one’s environment? Does the phenomenal integration of the senses give decisive reason for ‘direct realism’? Do we perceive causal relations, or only infer them? Are we perceptually aware of acting? Are we perceptually aware of the causality of perception itself, and if so, in some cases or in all? It is argued that perceiving is not only direct cognitive contact with reality, but that the perceptual relation is itself an object of perceptual awareness. Accordingly, conscious perceptual knowledge comes with knowledge that and of how one has it. Other forms of knowledge (e.g. a priori knowledge) are analogous. A distinction is drawn between primary and secondary knowledge, such that that there could be no secondary knowledge without some primary knowledge.

Keywords:   phenomenology of perception, intentional content, sensory multimodality, sensory integration, cross-modal perception, proprioception, perception of causality, the KK Principle, primary/secondary knowledge, direct realism

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