Talk:Direct realism

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
WikiProject Philosophy / Epistemology / Mind (Rated Redirect-class)
WikiProject iconThis redirect is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
Redirect This redirect does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
Additional information:
Taskforce icon
Taskforce icon
Philosophy of mind
WikiProject Psychology (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject iconThis redirect is within the scope of WikiProject Psychology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Psychology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start This redirect does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This redirect has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Merge with naive realism article?[edit]

The merger was suggested by Srnec on 13th November 2008. It is clearly not a hot topic, however it is suggested that some kind of merger is required because it is thought that naive realism and direct realism are synonyms.

There is some overlap between the issues discussed in each article however the naive realism article is far more in-depth. For example, the Philosophy WikiProject has rated the direct realism article as Start-Class and the naive realism article as B-Class.

I would suggest that the sections from the direct realism article that are not already covered by the naive realism article should be integrated into the naive realism article and the direct realism article be redirected there. The reason for this is because the term naive realism is more commonly used than the term direct realism, especially in contemporary debates such as quantum mechanics. As a test of this here are some google results "naive realism" (57,400 results), "direct realism" (21,800 results), "naive realism" quantum (4,720 results), "direct realism" (1,750 results).

What do other's think? Anandavala (talk) 09:13, 31 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree that they should be merged FairfaxMoresby (talk) 04:17, 11 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Direct realism and naive realism are not synonyms and should therefore not be merged. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 2 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There aren't many links but clearly states the differences between direct and naive realism, and so does my philosophy textbook. Some differences: DR is not committed to holding that what we perceive always accurately portrays the world. DR only maintains that there is no intermediary regarding perception (such as sense-data) DR is supported by philosophers; naive realism is assumed a base viewpoint and subsequently chewed up by representative realists, and the whole straw man fallacy of conflating the two seems like those dastardly RRs just want to deceive everyone. do the rght thnig sucka st —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:22, 1 June 2009 (UTC) (moved here --Morton Shumway (talk) 14:04, 14 April 2010 (UTC))Reply[reply]

They shouldn't be merged, regardless of their similarities (they are very different theories anyway) because other than the reasons stated prior to my input, it is difficult enough for non-philosophers to understand the difference between the concepts without the confusion added by a merge. While we're at it, why not make epistemology one page? Oh, because that would be stupid. Do not merge these very different stances. (talk) 03:26, 8 November 2009 (UTC) (moved here --Morton Shumway (talk) 14:04, 14 April 2010 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Direct and naive realism are distinguished by particular researchers and should therefore not be merged. Naive realism can be argued to constitute a rather unscrutinised position, whereas direct realism has been posited as a full-fledged epistemological stance. Those who argue for direct realism more often than not explicitly differentiate it from naive realism. --Morton Shumway (talk) 13:26, 14 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The labels 'direct realism' and 'naive realism' are terms of art. But they are often used by philosophers of perception to pick out very different views. For example, it is sometimes said that whereas direct realism is the thesis that perception of a mind-independent reality does not require any intermediary, naive realism is the thesis that perception of a mind-independent reality (or the phenomenal character of such perception) is constituted by that reality. One could hold the former thesis but reject the latter thesis. At any rate, I believe that it would be very unfortunate to collapse the distinction.

FWIW, I think the whole idea of merging "Naive Realism" with "Direct Realism" is wrongheaded. I take "naive realism" to mean something like "Any relatively unsophisticated epistemological view according to which items that seem to be external to ostensible perceivers really are external to such ostensible perceivers and generally have many of the properties they seem to have--although they have many more as well." Such a position is consistent not only with direct realism (which, incidentally, may be quite sophisticated), but also with a number of varieties of indirect realism. That is, although I don't want to deny that there is considerable overlap, direct realism need not be naive and naive realism need not be direct. Anyhow, very poor idea. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:47, 7 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(random heading)[edit]

(inserted by ... said: Rursus (bork²) 20:49, 7 January 2009 (UTC))Reply[reply]

The following statement's spelling and grammar are far below standard and need to be revised.  : —Preceding unsigned comment added by M^A^L (talkcontribs) 13:12, 17 March 2008 (UTC) This entry is Far bellow standard and needs to be revised.  :Reply[reply]

"This conclusion shows that direct realism simply defines perception as perception of external objects where an 'external object' is allowed to be a photon in the eye but not an impulse in a nerve leading from the eye." --- This does not follow at all from what has been said. Further, most direct realists will maintain that you do not perceive light when you perceive an object via light. This is very much like the common genetic fallacy. For one example of a direct realist (about observables) who maintains light itself is unobservable, read Bas C van Fraassen "Constructive Empiricism Now".

"This conclusion shows that direct realism simply defines perception as perception of external objects where an 'external object' is allowed to be a photon in the eye but not an impulse in a nerve leading from the eye." This is incorrect. For a direct realist, the "external object" is not the photon in the eye or the retinal image before it is translated to the optic nerve; It is the actual object causing a viewer's perception. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:17, 7 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"At most Western universities, direct realism is taught as obviously false, a long-refuted theory in philosophy of perception. [citation needed]"

This is news to me! The first 5 decades of the 20th century were devoted to destroying the view that all we perceive, strictly speaking, are our own sense-data. Today there is a consensus extremely rare amongst philosophers: we are not aware of our own private sense-data; we can have non-inferential knowledge of material objects. Analytic philosophers are more or less agreed that it was a massive mistake to say otherwise. Locke lead to Berkeley who lead inexorably to Kant and then it was all down-hill to Hegel and the rest of the German philosophers whose names start with "H"! I strongly recommend emphasizing the opposite point:

``At most Western universities, INDIRECT realism is taught as obviously false, a long-refuted theory in philosophy of perception. Citations would include many of Austin's contemporaries, Stroud, McDowell, van Fraassen, Putnam (the more recent Putnam) and countless others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:03, August 27, 2007 (UTC)

The direct realist approach

The person who wrote this piece has given a really good example of direct realist reasoning. In the philosophy of perception it was a POV rant but it is a shame to waste it.

(JlAustin is well known for arguing this) Who is JlAustin? I don't have a problem with whoever he is, but how should we link it? Does he have an existing article I can't find? -- Dreamyshade

J L Austin?

I would assume that the author intends to refer to the philosopher J. L. Austin, for whom there is an article. J. L. Austin --Robert Bruce 12:55, 26 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The reference to Pierre le Morvan's 2004 paper is confused. le Morvan doesn't say anything about shared ontology or conclude that any neurophysiological results are problematic for direct realism.

Another problem is the use of "sense data," particularly in the first few paragraphs. Sense data are, literally, the direct data of the senses. Thus, without further explanation, a direct realist should not hold that there are no sense data, but that sense data are, generally, identical to physical objects (or parts/surfaces of physical objects). The author uses the term to mean something that simply cannot be physical objects or parts/surfaces of them. It would be better to use "ideas" or "mental images" to convey that meaning, I think. Alternatively, one could carefully explain one's particular use of 'sense-data' NOT to mean "direct data of the senses."

Walter Horn —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:50, 22 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Does this "philosophy" have proponents, or is it just a constructed philosophy used to disprove certain kinds of errors? Like f.ex. solipsism that is constructed as a point of view, and later on labeled onto dead philosophers (the safest ones) in order to prove a partially dishonest point? ... said: Rursus (bork²) 20:49, 7 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Many (if not most) contemporary philosophers of perception accept direct realism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another anonymous dirt bag ( tried to make the same claim over on the talk page on Naive Realism, and even attempted to back their claim up with references to survey data. The only problem is they interpreted the real data completely backwards as I pointed out in reply on that talk page. I've been working on the Consciousness Survey Project for several years now, going to conferences, interviewing experts, canonizing their views, and so on. Despite my efforts, I have failed to find many proponents of this view, non that were willing to support them in the survey project. Glen Sizemore at least participated in some discussion supporting this view, as can be seen in the survey forum here. But despite my best efforts encouraging him, and the few others I have found, non have been willing to put their neck on the line. As ever more experts contribute to this survey it appears there is a real possibility that the experts are abandoning all other theories of consciousness as being falsified, including Naieve realism, and that a revolutionary scientific consensus could be forming around what the early participating experts (including Lehar, Smythies, Hameroff... ) have just decided to call Representational Qualia Theory. The more people that contribute to this survey, the better we will be able to measure if, indeed, this revolution is taking place or not. Brent.Allsop (talk) 00:13, 23 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This article lacks any in-line citations and reads like a weak university essay rather than an encyclopedia article. It is an interesting topic as it spans both philosophy of mind and psychology of perception. I wonder if that can be represented better in the content and style of writing.Lord Spring Onion (talk) 10:15, 30 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]