Abstract for Gomes’ talk

Early twentieth-century philosophers of perception often phrased their naïve realist accounts of perceptual experience in anti-Kantian terms. As I shall understand it, naïve realism claims that the phenomenal character of visual perception essentially involves a non-representational relation of acquaintance which subjects stand in to ordinary empirical objects. And this has been thought by many to be incompatible with Kant’s claim that the understanding is active in perceptual experience. This paper explores the possibility of situating a naïve realist account of visual experience within a recognisably Kantian framework. I will suggest that Kant’s account of sensibility can be profitably read on the model of naïve realist accounts of visual perception and that this is compatible with the understanding playing an active role in perceptual experience. The result is naïve realism in Kantian phrase.