"Basic Sensible Qualities and the Structure of Appearance" "Color Constancy and the Complexity of Color" "Hallucination, Sense-data and Direct Realism" "Hardin, Tye and Color Physicalism" According to this view, acceptance of the sense-data theory amounts to a decision to employ a certain terminology, without deep consequences for metaphysics and epistemology. I believe that the properties I am aware of in my experience, such as the roughly spherical shape, and red and green color, belong to the apple in front of me. ... A quick, common-sense answer of how we are ‘hooked up’ to the world is this: the world is made up of physical objects that exist outside, and independently of, ... P sense-data tell us of ‘relations’ between objects (Russell) This amounts to interpreting experience as a unitary representational state; seeing, hearing, etc, are fully intentional states whose structures in some way parallel that of thinking and desiring. First, condition (i): Everyone in the philosophy of perception agrees that perception makes us aware of something. As a consequence of the adoption of the act-object conception of awareness, sense-data are held to be, in an important way, distinct from the subject’s mind. Direct Realism involves a rejection of the Causal Theory of Perception, where the latter theory is understood as attempting to reductively analyze perceiving into separate components, involving an experience that is logically distinct from (though causally related to) the object perceived. However, the fact remains that in such cases things appear differently from the way they really are. Abstract. Some writers claim that the representational content of experience is non-conceptual, meaning that the subject need not exercise the concepts necessary to characterize the experiences they have (Tye, 1995 and 2000). The act-object conception of the awareness of sense-data is also connected with a fundamental tension in the notion, concerning the extent to which the subject becomes aware of all and only the properties of the sense-datum. For suppose we try to analyze the situation where S sees some physical object X by the postulation of an additional entity, a sense-datum Y, such that in seeing X, S is directly aware of the sense-datum Y; suppose further, that the relation of direct awareness of a sense-datum is explained as similar to the relation of seeing an object; then by a like argument, in order to explain how S can be aware of the sense-datum Y, it seems that we must postulate a third entity Z, in order to account for the relation of S to Y, and so on ad infinitum. It involves some kind of understanding on the subject’s part. The argument from illusion can be briefly summarized as follows: supposedly, what I am aware of immediately is just how things appear to me. As we have noted, in the original formulations of the concept, sense-data are initially introduced in a neutral way – the idea being that their exact ontological status is a matter to be investigated. A claim of the form: “It looks to subject S as if there is an F present…” can be made true by virtue of two quite different situations. In perceptual illusions, by definition, some physical object is perceived, but the way an object appears to the perceiving subject is not how it really is. We need to account for the fact that the sense-data which occur in hallucinations have phenomenal qualities that resemble those which occur in the direct perception of the sensible properties of physical objects. The notion was extensively appealed to in metaphysical and epistemological discussions throughout the first half of the twentieth century, for example in the work of Russell (1912 and 1918), Broad (1925), and Price (1932), and particularly in the works of Ayer (1940, 1956) and other positivistically inclined philosophers. Under the influence of “the argument from illusion” (discussed further below in section 3), some writers argued that the phenomenal qualities that appear immediately to the subject in experience belong to items that are distinct from physical objects. Epistemology: Kant and Theories of Truth. It focuses on sources of people’s consciousness, cognitive ability, cognitive form, cognitive nature, the structure of cognition, the relationship between objective truth … Naturalized Epistemology - by Richard Feldman. If sense-data can be understood in this way, then both ordinary common-sense objects, and hallucinatory images, might be constructed from them; and possibly even the self might be a logical construction out of such entities. If we are only aware of sense-data, and not of the physical objects themselves, how can we be sure that the properties of physical objects resemble those that appear to us? A dual component view can take many different forms. The emphasis is simply upon the qualitative nature of phenomenal experience. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). One motive, therefore, for introducing the notion of sense-data, involves the epistemic claim that there is a certainty attaching to propositions about experience, which propositions about the physical world are thought to lack. 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