Giorgio Mazzullo


Monist Naive Realism and the Character Question


Naïve Realism holds that the phenomenology of perceptual experiences is constituted, at least in part, by a non-analysable relation of conscious acquaintance with mind-independent aspects of one’s actual environment (Martin 2004; Campbell 2002). Naïve Realists are typically Disjunctivists: they hold that the phenomenology of (perfect) hallucinations is not Naïve Realists. Recently, however, some Naïve Realists have embraced Monism (Raleigh 2014; Ali 2018; Sethi 2020, 2021a, 2021b). Monist Naïve Realists hold that at least perfect hallucinations are naïve-realist. In this paper, I present a dilemma for Monist Naive Realism. Indeed, I contend that (1) if Monist Naïve Realists try to preserve the idea that the phenomenology of perceptual experiences is inherited from the qualitative nature of their constituents (the Inheritance Thesis), they end up being committed to the claim that entities that depend for their identity on conscious perceptions can be constituents of perceptual experiences – contra the naïve-realist orthodoxy. Moreover, I contend that (2) even if Monist Naïve Realists were to suggest a revision of the Naïve Realist commitments about the ontological status of the objects of acquaintance, they would end up jeopardising the idea that the phenomenology of perceptual experiences is determined by the character of their constituents. Indeed, they would be committed to a form of symmetric determination. I conclude the paper by sketching a way in which Monist Naïve Realism might be implemented that overcome my objections.

Date / Time / Place

June 23rd / 11:35 / Aula Magna