What's So Naïve About Naïve Realism?

Carlo Raineri

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Naïve Realism claims that veridical perceptual experiences essentially consist in genuine relations between perceivers and mind-independent objects and their features. The contemporary debate in the philosophy of perception has devoted little attention to assessing one of the main motivations to endorse Naïve Realism – namely, that it is the only view which articulates our ‘intuitive’ conception of perception. In this paper, I first clarify in which sense Naïve Realism is supposed to be ‘naïve’. In this respect, I argue that it is put forward as the only view which can take our introspective knowledge of perception at face value, and I identify the two (alleged) key features of such introspective knowledge. Second, I challenge the claim that one of these features – namely, that it seems as one could not be in the same perceptual state unless the putative objects of perception existed and were perceived – is introspectively evident. Consequently, I argue that a view of perceptual experience – such as Intentionalism – which denies that this feature is true of perception can still take introspection at face value. This undermines the claim that Naïve Realism is the only account which accommodates our intuitions on the nature of perception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3637-3657
Number of pages21
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021


  • Intentionalism
  • Introspection
  • Naïve realism
  • Phenomenology
  • Philosophy of perception


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