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  Perception, in philosophy, is the process of apprehending objects by means of the senses. Philosophers have debated whether the immediate objects of perceptual awareness are sensory experiences as of objects or the objects themselves. They have also offered a causal theory of perception. In order to perceive an object it is not enough to have a perceptual experience as of an object which is there. One may have a sensory experience as of a dagger upon the table as a result of taking a hallucinatory drug when, as a matter of complete coincidence, there is a dagger upon the table. If so, one will have a sensory experience as of an object which is there, but one will not be perceiving it. For, it is said, one\'s sensory experience as of the dagger was not caused by it. According to the causal theory of perception, one perceives an object if and only if one has a sensory experience as of it, the object is there, and the object causes one\'s sensory experience as of it. AJ

See also causal theories; illusion, argument from; naive realism; representative theory of perception.Further reading D. Armstrong, Perception and the Physical World; , G. Warnock, The Philosophy of Perception.



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