50 Philosophy Ideas You Really Need to Know by Ben Dupré

By Ben Dupré

Have you lain wide awake at evening fretting over how we will ascertain of the truth of the exterior international? probably we're in truth disembodied brains, floating in vats on the whim of a few deranged puppet-master? if this is the case, you're not on my own -- and what's extra, you're in exalted corporation. For this question and different ones love it were the stuff of philosophical rumination from Plato to Popper.

In a chain of obtainable and engagingly written essays, 50 Philosophy rules you really want to understand introduces and explains the issues of data, consciousness,
identity, ethics, trust, justice and aesthetics that experience engaged the eye of thinkers from the period of the traditional Greeks to the current day.

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Wittgenstein goes on to consider how we come to think of perception as a relation between a judging subject, their experience and the world: Wittgenstein on perception: an overview 25 I look into the eye-piece of an instrument and draw or paint a picture of what I see. Whoever looks at it can say: “So that’s how it looks” – but also “So that’s how it looks to you”. I might call the picture a description of what I was looking at, but also a description of my visual impression. (RPP I 1083) But we should not take for granted that this fact reveals that perception is an inherently mediate relation between a subject’s impressions and the world; it may be that the fact that there are two ways of describing the perceptual experience creates the possibility of treating the relationship between subject and world as mediate.

Until one is familiar with ‘the natural history of human beings’, it says nothing to say that human beings can see. And, once one is familiar with it, to be told that humans can see adds nothing to what one already knows (319). These remarks are connected to Wittgenstein’s observations about the limits of physiological explanation of what it is to see. Here the important question is what the logical criterion is for failing to perceive a certain feature of the environment (for example, for failing to see the joy in a smiling face).

One would like to say that the will affects images directly. For if I voluntarily change my visual impression, then things obey my will. (RPP II 91) 22 Michael Campbell and Michael O’Sullivan As Wittgenstein notes, we are inclined to say that our control over images is direct; over sensations, only indirect. But, as these qualifications show, our understanding of the distinction between active and passive states of the subject presupposes a prior grasp of the difference between seeing and imagining.

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