2022 Carl G. Hempel Lecture 1: "Puzzles of Perception"

Apr 19, 2022, 4:30 pm6:00 pm
Robertson Hall, Bowl 2 (and Zoom)



Event Description

Series title: " Uncovering Appearances"
Abstract: Worrying about appearances and sense perception is one of the oldest of philosophical professions. The persistence of debate reflects a deep puzzle about the terms of philosophical discussion: disputants start off from what is obvious to us all, and from there aim to end up with conclusions that no one can deny. Yet, substantive disagreement and debate arose early in the Western tradition and persists 2,500 years on.

How can there be such substantive debate about the obvious? Answering the puzzles of perception requires us to make sense of these persisting disagreements. And these lectures set out to give the outline of a solution.

Lecture 1: "Puzzles of Perception"
Abstract:  Sixty years ago, in "Sense & Sensibilia," JL Austin came to bury, not praise, philosophy of perception. Times change and so does philosophical fashion: philosophers debate the problems of perception yet again. The new fashion comes with new terminology. Once, the different parties argued about direct and indirect perception, or the nature of the objects of perception. Now, the concern is with sense experience and the existence of qualia or the role of intentional content. Have the current debates superseded the old ones, do the new terms draw importantly different distinctions from the old ones? Are Austin’s put downs agilely avoided, or are the potential targets simply cloth-eared to his withering scorn? In this lecture I sketch answers to these questions.

* Please note start time of 4:30pm

** This will be offered as a hybrid event.  Masks are required for in person attendance.  Zoom meeting link: https://princeton.zoom.us/j/99807698249