By Harry Binswanger
The perceptual level of awareness, which man shares with the higher animals, is the incontestable base of all knowledge. Objectivism provides an understanding of perception that differs radically from the representationalist and subjectivist views infecting all philosophy since Thomas Aquinas. In this lecture, Dr. Binswanger explains the actual nature of perception, contrasting it with three widely held misconceptions about perception--misconceptions that make the concept of "objectivity" impossible and cut man's consciousness off from reality. Integrating philosophy with recent scientific work in the psychology of perception, especially that of the late J. J. Gibson, Dr. Binswanger defends perception as an active, unified, form of awareness that is infallible and unchallengeable.
Topics covered include: perception and the axiom of consciousness, the form-object distinction, the Argument from Delusion, the error of "naive realism," the seductive fallacy of representationalism, why there is no such thing as "misperceiving," not even in so-called perceptual illusions, perception as awareness of entities vs. sensationalism, and the disastrous error of the "snapshot" view of visual perception.
This talk was recorded at the 2006 Objectivist Summer Conference in Boston, MA.
(MP3 download; 87 min., with Q & A, 53 MB)