<philosophical terminology> awareness of an object of thought, especially that of apparently external objects through use of the senses. Since things don't always turn out actually to be as they seem to us, there is ample reason to wonder about the epistemological reliability of sense perception, and theories of perception offer a variety of responses. The skeptical challenge to direct realism is often answered by representative realism, phenomenalism, or idealism. Recommended Reading: Howard Robinson, Perception (Routldege, 2001); John Foster, The Nature of Perception (Oxford, 2000); R. J. Hirst, Problems of Perception (Prometheus, 1992); Fred I. Dretske, Perception, Knowledge and Belief (Cambridge, 2000); and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception (Routledge, 1992).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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