Since Descartes, one of the central questions of Western philosophy
has been that of how we know that the objects we seem to perceive
are real. Philosophical skeptics claim that we know no such thing.
Representationalists claim that we can gain such knowledge only by
inference, by showing that the hypothesis of a real world is the
best explanation for the kind of sensations and mental images we
experience. Both accept the doctrine of a 'veil of perception: '
that perception can only give us direct awareness of images or
representations of objects, not the external objects themselves. In
contrast, Huemer develops a theory of perceptual awareness in which
perception gives us direct awareness of real objects, not mental
representations, and we have non-inferential knowledge of the
properties of these objects. Further, Huemer confronts the four
main arguments for philosophical skepticism, showing that they are
powerless against this kind of theory of perceptual knowledge
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