DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-PLAY3587-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2015
Retrieved October 18, 2021, from

Article Summary

If you want to get to grips with philosophy of perception, the best place to start is M.G.F. Martin’s entry on (you guessed it) perception!

However, you shouldn’t stop with that one—there are many other entries in the REP that discuss core issues in philosophy of perception. One way of dividing the territory is to distinguish perception’s epistemological role (the role it plays in generating beliefs, justification, and knowledge concerning one’s environment) from its phenomenal character (“what it’s like” to perceive, or sometimes referred to as the “qualia” associated with perception).

Here are entries focused on topics that primarily concern the epistemological dimension of perception:

And here are entries that are more focused on phenomenological issues:

Some entries are devoted to issues that are of central importance to both the epistemology and phenomenology of perception:

A metaphysical theory of perception aims to get both the epistemology and the phenomenology right. Here are entries devoted to specific metaphysical theories:

The entry Sense perception, Indian views of provides a helpful overview of contributions from Indian philosophical traditions, and the entry on Vision provides essential background regarding the sense modality that is often the main focus (pun intended) of philosophical work on perception.

Finally, there are many entries with components that intersect with key issues in philosophy of perception, which can give you a sense of how philosophy of perception is situated within the broader context of philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and epistemology:

Citing this article:
Logue, Heather. Perception, 2015, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-PLAY3587-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.