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Philosophy | Theories of Perception in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy

Theories of Perception in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy

Knuuttila, Simo, Kärkkäinen, Pekka (Eds.)

2008, XII, 292 p.

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  • The first extensive account of philosophical psychology of perception from ancient to early modern times
  • Includes contributions from several leading scholars in the field of history of philosophy
  • Suitable as a textbook on the history of philosophical psychology

Sense perception is one of the classical themes in philosophy. It is traditionally considered a necessary preamble to many important topics, such as the mind-body relationship, consciousness, knowledge, and scepticism. Perception is also a phenomenon which itself raises philosophical questions, such as what is perceptible, what the content of perception is, whether this content is conceptual and how perception is related to epistemic attitudes. While the philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology are the main areas in which perception is dealt with in contemporary philosophy, it is also discussed in the theory of knowledge, cognitive science, philosophical aesthetics and metaphysics. In recent years, the rich tradition of various philosophical theories of perception has been increasingly studied by scholars of the history of philosophy of mind.

The aim of this collection is to shed light on the developments in the theories of sense-perception in medieval Arabic and Latin philosophy, their ancient background and traditional and new themes in early modern thought. Particular attention is paid to the philosophically significant parts of the theories. The articles concentrate on the so-called external senses and related themes. Many of the central ideas are discussed, although the collection is also meant to shed light on less studied subjects.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Aristotle - Avicenna - Plotin - aesthetics - history of philosophy - metaphysics - philosophy - psychology - time

Related subjects » Philosophical Traditions - Philosophy - Psychology

Table of contents 

Aristotle’s Theory of Perception and Medieval Aristotelianism.- Plotinus on Sense Perception.- The Stoics on Sense Perception.- Degrees of Abstraction in Avicenna.- The Ontological Entailments of Averroes’ Understanding of Perception.- Robert Kilwardby on Sense Perception.- Perceiving One’s Own Body.- Pietro d’Abano and the Anatomy of Perception.- Id Quo Cognoscimus.- Seeing and Judging: Ockham and Wodeham on Sensory Cognition.- Horse Sense and Human Sense: The Heterogeneity of Sense Perception in Buridan’s Philosophical Psychology.- Objects of Sense Perception in Late Medieval Erfurtian Nominalism.- Renaissance Views of Active Perception.- Time and Perception in Late Renaissance Aristotelianism.- Malebranche’s Ontological Problem of the Perception of Bodies.- Locke on the Intentionality of Sensory Ideas.

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