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Episode 207

Direct and indirect realism
Sun, 2017-Nov-26 02:06 UTC
Length - 3:35

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Welcome to popular Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of a popular Wikipedia page every day.

With 616,907 views on Saturday, 25 November 2017 our article of the day is Direct and indirect realism.

The question of direct or naïve realism, as opposed to indirect or representational realism, arises in the philosophy of perception and of mind out of the debate over the nature of conscious experience; the epistemological question of whether the world we see around us is the real world itself or merely an internal perceptual copy of that world generated by neural processes in our brain. Naïve realism is known as direct realism when developed to counter indirect or representative realism, also known as epistemological dualism, the philosophical position that our conscious experience is not of the real world itself but of an internal representation, a miniature virtual-reality replica of the world.

Indirect realism is broadly equivalent to the accepted view of perception in natural science that states that we do not and cannot perceive the external world as it really is but know only our ideas and interpretations of the way the world is. Representationalism is one of the key assumptions of cognitivism in psychology. The representational realist would deny that "first-hand knowledge" is a coherent concept, since knowledge is always via some means. Our ideas of the world are interpretations of sensory input derived from an external world that is real (unlike the standpoint of idealism, which holds that only ideas are real, but mind-independent things are not). The alternative, direct realism, holds that we sense the world mostly as it is; the real, mind-independent things are part of our sensory experience. In this sense, our experience would not be merely a "representation" or a subjective interpretation of the real world, but would contain and be molded by concrete, mind-independent things (e. g. electromagnetic radiation, airwaves). According to direct realism, although our sensory experience does not entail absolute knowledge of the object being perceived (e.g. we can see light bouncing off of a tree, but only if that light is within the visible spectrum; we can hear sounds but only of a frequency recognizable by our nervous system), it is fairly accurate with respect to any of the limited range of physical characteristics that we are able to sense and experience from mind-independent things.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 02:06 UTC on Sunday, 26 November 2017.

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These podcasts are produced by Abulsme Productions based on Wikipedia content.

They are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons License

Abulsme Productions also produces Curmudgeon's Corner, a current events podcast.

If you like that sort of thing, check it out too!

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