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Abstract

Thomas Reid's distinction between original and acquired perception is not merely metaphysical; it has psychological and phenomenological stories to tell. Psychologically, acquired perception provides increased sensitivity to features in the environment. Phenomenologically, Reid's theory resists the notion that original perception is exhaustive of perceptual experience. James Van Cleve has argued that most cases of acquired perception do not count as perception and so do not pose a threat to Reid's direct realism. I argue that acquired perception is genuine perception and as direct as original perception. Perception is grounded in a productive and developing relationship between the mind and world.