Institut Jean Nicod

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Présentation

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Directeurs de thèse : Jérôme Dokic et Claudine Tiercelin

PhD Project : PERCEPTION AS MODIFICATION, WORLD AS DIFFERENCE.

CAN WE CLAIM A DIRECT RELATION TO THE EXTERNAL WORLD FROM TRUTH-MAKING DIFFERENCE ?

The fundamental insight and primary target of this project is a defence of direct realism.

Direct realism claims that a direct relation of mind to real mind independent objects is not only possible but unequivocal. I will propose a sketch of a hypothesis in which direct realism, or an attenuated version of direct realism, is not only viable but necessary for a clear understanding of perception, mind and knowledge.

External Perception is in many circles considered to be a special kind of representation, that conception, doesn’t say much about the reality of things presented in it, neither does it warrant us into believing the existence of the external world and objects.

Perception instantiates different operations,amongst them the one of being a representational operation, nevertheless this last type of operation is not what constitutes the specificity and uniqueness of perception.

I’ll try to show that perception must indeed carry over some elements that make it a direct relation to the world or a direct modification, and that those elements are differences.

Differences,I claim, are what is really grasped from the external world via perceptual relation, they are not mere representations nor propositional representations.

Differences could inddeed be seen as possibility conditions for the mental, since our capacities are not only exercised or actualised by their existence, but they are in a strong sense configured by those same external differences.

 


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