Repository | Book | Chapter


(2015) Normativity in perception, Dordrecht, Springer.

The grammar of sensation

Valérie Aucouturier

pp. 208-225

In her 1965 paper, "The Intentionality of Sensation', Elizabeth Anscombe addresses one of the key issues in philosophy of perception at least since George Berkeley (1710): is perception 1 direct or not? And if not, by what is it mediated? Philosophers of her time called the alleged intermediary objects of sensation "sense-data' (Ayer, 1955). But, unlike the "sense-data' theorist and rather like John Austin at the time or Charles Travis today, Anscombe takes sides for what we may call a non-mediated view of perception and claims that we do not perceive intermediary "intentional objects', that we simply do (at least normally) perceive what is to be perceived. However, she maintains that there is some truth to what we may call the "mediated' view, namely that sensation has an essentially intentional character in virtue of a "grammatical feature' of sensation-verbs. My hypothesis will be that to grasp the truth that rests behind mediated views of perception we need to get clearer about the concept of "grammatical feature', which, properly understood, sheds light on the both unmediated and intentional character of sensation.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1057/9781137377920_13

Full citation:

Aucouturier, V. (2015)., The grammar of sensation, in M. Doyon & T. Breyer (eds.), Normativity in perception, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 208-225.

This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.