The World as We See it. A Late-Wittgensteinian Argument for Direct Realism

Wolfgang Huemer


Ever since Brentano (re-)introduced the notion of 'intentional inexistence' it has
become a commonplace in philosophy of mind to characterize (at least) most of our
mental episodes by their being directed towards something as an object. The majority
of these mental episodes, most notably our perceptual experiences, are directed
towards objects that are part of our physical environment. The difficulty that
philosophers since Brentano struggle with is to explain how our mental episodes that
are part of the realm of the mental can be directed towards physical objects. In this
paper I will argue that many of these attempts have had little success because they
work with an underlying picture that is deceiving, a picture according to which there
is a gap between mental episodes on the one side and physical objects that are "out
there," on the other; and according to which that gap is bridged, in some mysterious
way, by the intentional relation.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; realism; experience; intentionality; seeing as; perception

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