Skepticism and the Veil of Perception
by Michael Huemer

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.

This is a page of information about my book, Skepticism and the Veil of Perception, which was published in July of 2001. Please consider buying it.

The publisher has kindly granted permission to post some excerpts. (Note: The material linked below is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission of the publisher.)


Analytical Contents ix
Figures xvii
Preface xix
I. Introduction: The Problem of Perceptual Knowledge 1
II. The Lure of Radical Skepticism 7
III. Easy Answers to Skepticism 27
IV. A Version of Direct Realism 51
V. A Version of Foundationalism [excerpt] 93
VI. Objections to Direct Realism 119
VII. An Objection to Indirect Realism: The Problem of Spatial Properties 149
VIII. The Direct Realist's Answer to Skepticism 175
References 197
Index 203
About the Author 209


Since Descartes, one of the central questions of Western philosophy has been that of how we know that the objects we seem to perceive are real. Philosophical skeptics claim that we know no such thing. Representationalists claim that we can gain such knowledge only by inference, by showing that the hypothesis of a real world is the best explanation for the kind of sensations and mental images we experience. Both accept the doctrine of a 'veil of perception': that perception can only give us direct awareness of images or representations of objects, not the external objects themselves. In contrast, I develop a theory of perceptual awareness in which (a) perception gives us direct awareness of real objects, not mental representations, and (b) we have non-inferential knowledge of (some of) the properties of these objects. Further, I confront the four main arguments for philosophical skepticism, showing that they are powerless against this kind of theory of perceptual knowledge.

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