Philosophy of Perception: A Contemporary Introduction, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Philosophy of Perception

A Contemporary Introduction, 1st Edition

By William Fish


180 pages

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Paperback: 9780415999120
pub: 2010-03-17
Hardback: 9780415999113
pub: 2010-03-17
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203880586
pub: 2010-05-07
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The philosophy of perception investigates the nature of our sensory experiences and their relation to reality. Raising questions about the conscious character of perceptual experiences, how they enable us to acquire knowledge of the world in which we live, and what exactly it is we are aware of when we hallucinate or dream, the philosophy of perception is a growing area of interest in metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind.

William Fish’s Philosophy of Perception introduces the subject thematically, setting out the major theories of perception together with their motivations and attendant problems. While providing historical background to debates in the field, this comprehensive overview focuses on recent presentations and defenses of the different theories, and looks beyond visual perception to take into account the role of other senses.

Topics covered include:

  • the phenomenal principle
  • perception and hallucination
  • perception and content
  • sense-data, adverbialism and idealism
  • disjunctivism and relationalism
  • intentionalism and combined theories
  • the nature of content
  • veridicality
  • perception and empirical science
  • non-visual perception.

With summaries and suggested further reading at the end of each chapter, this is an ideal introduction to the philosophy of perception.


'A comprehensive introduction to contemporary philosophy of perception, written in an admirably clear and engaging style … It will fill a real gap in the existing literature … Fish’s book presents a balanced account of the principal theories in the field, noting strengths and weaknesses, uncovering potentially problematic assumptions, and raising issues for further discussion – exactly what a text should do. I welcome the publication of this book. I will likely use it alone in my undergraduate courses, and paired with a selection of readings in graduate courses.'Frances Egan, Rutgers University, USA

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Three Key Principles

2. Sense Datum Theories

3. Adverbial Theories

4. Belief Acquisition Theories

5. Intentional Theories

6. Disjunctive Theories

7. Perception and Causation

8. Perception and the Sciences of the Mind

9. Perception and Other Sense Modalities

About the Author

William Fish is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Massey University, New Zealand.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy

An innovative, well structured series, the Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy are designed for students who already have completed an introductory-level course in philosophy.  Each book introduces a core general subject in contemporary philosophy and offers students an accessible but substantial transition from introductory to higher-level college work in that subject.  The series is accessible to non-specialists and each book clearly motivates and expounds the problems and positions introduced.  An orientating chapter briefly introduces its topic and reminds readers of any crucial material they need to have retained from a typical introductory course.  Considerable attention is given to explaining central philosophical problems of a subject and the main competing solutions and arguments for those solutions.  The primary aim is to educate students in the main problems, positions and arguments of contemporary philosophy rather than to convince students of a single position.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Epistemology