John Searle on Perception and Intentionality

Below is a video recording of philosopher and professor John Searle delivering a lecture on ‘Perception and Intentionality’ at the University of Cologne upon accepting Albertus Magnus Professorship in 2013:

He discusses here the problem of perception and the views adopted throughout the history of philosophy, most of which involve the rejection of naive realism, which Searle takes to be the fundamental mistake. Searle doesn’t really give much of his own account here, but just gives a general overview of the epistemological problem and the various arguments from illusion and hallucination which drove many to reject naive realism in the first place, inevitably creating a gulf between subject and object, and thereby causing skeptical anxiety about how we could possibly know the external world if we never have perceptual access to it. Searle thinks that you can only hold onto realism without falling into radical skepticism if you take a naive, direct realist conception of perception, which doesn’t cut us off from external reality in the way that sense datum, representationalist, and idealist views tend to do. Searle then goes on to discuss intentionality and how it relates to perceptual experience.

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