A Naïve Realist Theory of Colour

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There is a difference between not perceiving something that is there and not perceiving something that is there which renders it not there. Naive realists assert that those who believe in indirect realism are lead astray by representations of reality that they believe they perceive but which are not true direct perceptions.


For example, the image of a person in a photograph is not the real person nor is the voice on the phone the real speaker. We make inferences about what we see and hear based on representations of reality, but this is not the same as direct realism. There is an objective reality and whatever interpretations we make about what we believe we see in a photo or hear in a conversation do not necessarily reflect what is real.

Indirect realists would respond that while indirect perception may not imply objective existence, it is crucial in our construction of reality. This points out the complexity that exists between the point in time when we perceive an object and the route this perception takes to establish direct awareness of the world. When relying on this type of indirect route and viewing it as the end point instead of part of the process, fallacies can occur, especially in our social perceptions.

Social media has set up a perfect environment to display the effects of indirect perception. Online profiles and communication are often altered so the person will be viewed as socially desirable. However, it is possible that someone who appears male is actually female and one who seems young is actually old. In such an anonymous setting almost anything can become believable. Does this mean there is no real individual behind the one on the screen?

The natural realists would state of course there is, but it is not the same as the representation that is perceived via online platforms. Another person without a history of being bullied will perceive the person differently as will someone who is attractive and popular and who bullied those they considered less than them. Each will be convinced their description is the accurate one and negate the other two.

Naive realists on the other hand, will point out that these indirect realists have lost track of what is important in determining reality, the failure to move past their individual ideas to the point where they test them out. By testing their beliefs and hypotheses in a rational manner, reality can be gleaned from within the representation.

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They act on these beliefs as if they are reality and by acting as if, their beliefs take on the properties of reality for them. This is why indirect realists believe while there is objective reality, it is not truly perceived by people such that we act on subjective reality.

Another problem indirect realists have with naive realism is found in the way representation and interpretation are viewed. Indirect realists argue that very nature of sensation is defined by indirect perception. No two people see things exactly the same, perceive colors as precisely the same shade, hear music in the identical way, or experience smells or taste entirely alike. This means that we are always operating from a perspective of representation and interpretation, even when taking a raw stimulus such as a lemon and using our senses of smell, taste and sight to define its reality.

In conclusion, direct realism provides a way of grounding people everywhere so that they are able to relate to each other through a common language based on physical reality. However, naive realism does not provide for the effects of the vast array of human experiences that alter the way we view and perceive the world. The theory also does not account for the judgments and interpretations we make and the manner in which we attribute causation for good and bad events.

Even when we have the same experiences as others each of us may view them differently, which will shape our perception of reality. Indirect realists provide a framework that gives latitude for our experiences and interactions with others to help define reality. It is difficult to believe anyone would argue that we are all exactly the same, always perceive things in exactly the same way and react to this reality exactly the same. The large number of differences sometimes makes our world difficult but also provides diversity, which keeps it interesting and exciting.

It also provides the opportunity to continuously learn and grow based on our perceptions and our openness to the perceptions of others. However, indirect realists sometimes ignore the science of sensation and perceptions in favor of the subjective experience of reality such that they lose the ability to make their position more robust by defining limits for their theory. As for the idealists — the age-old debate of if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, did it really make a sound and further, did it really fall or does it exist at all?

There is little that suggests this these debates about whether there is an objective reality or is there just a world of differences in perception will ever be completely agreed upon. Gomes, A. The Philosophical Quarterly , 64 , Reed, E. Naive realism in everyday life: Implications for social conflict and misunderstanding. In Values and knowledge pp.

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Thank you for your stimulating article. Reading your article made me wrap my mind around what I wanted to say last night to an idealist friend. We now have scientific realism where thousands of scientists from all over the world of different psychologies and cultural backgrounds cooperate to build a model of reality and continually improve upon it using evidence experimentations, observations, critical thinking and creativity.

A scientific realist, while observing a tree could focus on just the tree or zoom out and also take the mind observing the tree as a subject for observation; to the scientific realist everything is grist to the mill. Good point Kari! I think it goes to what frame of reference you are coming from then tempering it with common sense.

It's a bit silly to define somethings existence on whether we perceive it or not - that would mean the majority of the world we don't ever have the chance to perceive would not exist. At the same time existence alone isn't enough to make something subjectively real to us. It needs to be meaningful, salient, relevant etc. Thanks for the comment. How would the idealists explain the person so distracted they walked into the tree. It was not there, then it suddenly jumped into reality?

I love learning about reality. I think I would be somewhere between native realism and indirect realism.

I leave the weighty discussions for those much smarter than me I just live! Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others. HubPages Inc, a part of Maven Inc. As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things.

A Naive Realist Theory of Colour

To provide a better website experience, owlcation. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. Natalie Frank more. What is Naive Realism? The Tenets of Naive Realism The layperson's social interactions and interpretations of social events are based on three tenets of naive realism: 1 I see things the way they are based on objective reality. Opposing Theory: Indirect Realism The first theory to challenge naive realism is representational or indirect realism.

Opposing Theory: Idealism Another contrasting theory to naive realism is idealism. Naive Realism vs. Indirect Realism and The Nature of Reality Naive realists assert that those who believe in indirect realism are lead astray by representations of reality that they believe they perceive but which are not true direct perceptions. Summary and Conclusion In conclusion, direct realism provides a way of grounding people everywhere so that they are able to relate to each other through a common language based on physical reality. References BonJour, L. Epistemological problems of perception.

Questions must be on-topic, written with proper grammar usage, and understandable to a wide audience. This is a very interesting article, Natalie. You've given me a lot to think about.

Reid’s Non-Naïve Direct Realism

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A Naïve realist theory of colour

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