Descartes, Malebranche, and the Crisis of Perception by Walter OttDescartes, Malebranche, and the Crisis of Perception by Walter Ott

Descartes, Malebranche, and the Crisis of Perception

byWalter Ott

Hardcover | May 10, 2017

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The seventeenth century witnesses the demise of two core doctrines in the theory of perception: naive realism about color, sound, and other sensible qualities and the empirical theory, drawn from Alhacen and Roger Bacon, which underwrote it. This created a problem for seventeenth centuryphilosophers: how is that we use qualities such as color, feel, and sound to locate objects in the world, even though these qualities are not real?Ejecting such sensible qualities from the mind-independent world at once makes for a cleaner ontology, since bodies can now be understood in purely geometrical terms, and spawns a variety of fascinating complications for the philosophy of perception. If sensible qualities are not part of themind-independent world, just what are they, and what role, if any, do they play in our cognitive economy? We seemingly have to use color to visually experience objects. Do we do so by inferring size, shape, and motion from color? Or is it a purely automatic operation, accomplished by divine decree? This volume traces the debate over perceptual experience in early modern France, covering such figures as Antoine Arnauld, Robert Desgabets, and Pierre-Sylvain Regis alongside their better-known countrymen Rene Descartes and Nicolas Malebranche.
Walter Ott is the author of Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy (Oxford University Press), Locke's Philosophy of Language (Cambridge University Press), and numerous journal articles. He taught at Colby College, East Tennessee State University, and Virginia Tech before joining the faculty of the University of Virgini...
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Title:Descartes, Malebranche, and the Crisis of PerceptionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pagesPublished:May 10, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198791712

ISBN - 13:9780198791713

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Table of Contents

1. The crisis of perception2. The early Descartes3. The Meditations4. The Dioptrique5. Later Descartes6. The Cartesians7. Malebranche on sensation8. Early Malebranche9. Middle Malebranche10. Later Malebranche11. ConclusionAppendix: The development of the theory of natural judgement