The Value of Perception

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This paper develops a form of transcendental naïve realism. According to naïve realism, veridical perceptual experiences are essentially relational. According to transcendental naïve realism, the naïve realist theory of perception is not just one theory of perception amongst others, to be established as an inference to the best explanation and assessed on the basis of a cost-benefit analysis that weighs performance along a number of different dimensions: for instance, fidelity to appearances, simplicity, systematicity, fit with scientific theories, and so on. Rather, naïve realism enjoys a special status in debates in the philosophy of perception because it represents part of the transcendental project of explaining how it is possible that perceptual experience has the distinctive characteristics it does. One of the potentially most interesting prospects of adopting a transcendental attitude towards naïve realism is that it promises to make the naïve realist theory of perception, in some sense, immune to falsification. This paper develops a modest form of transcendental naïve realism modelled loosely on the account of the reactive attitudes provided by Strawson in ‘Freedom and Resentment’, and suggests one way of understanding the claim that naïve realism is immune to falsification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-656
Number of pages24
JournalPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

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