What is naive about naive realism?

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Reply Mon 1 Mar, 2010 11:05 pm
The term, "naive realism" is used often on this forum, usually in a disparaging way. And, I suppose that although "innocent realism" would be all right (if there were such a thing) no one wants to be naive. Realism is, of course, the view that there are external objects independent of us. But what is naive realism, and why is it naive? What would sophisticated realism be?
 
prothero
 
Reply Mon 1 Mar, 2010 11:27 pm
@kennethamy,
I suppose representational or indirect realism would be considered more sophisticated at least since Hume and Kant.

Naive realism is what you get if you do not spend too much time considering there might be a differece between what you "experience or perceive" and what "really is".
Hence the term "naive".
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Mon 1 Mar, 2010 11:32 pm
@prothero,
Descartes and Locke were also Representational Realists.

Naive realism is also sometimes called Natural Realism or Presentational Realism.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 12:50 am
@kennethamy,
Naive Realism AKA the Sloth as Philosopher. (How preferable to this a smiling sophist like Rorty....
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 06:04 am
@prothero,
prothero;134416 wrote:
I suppose representational or indirect realism would be considered more sophisticated at least since Hume and Kant.

Naive realism is what you get if you do not spend too much time considering there might be a differece between what you "experience or perceive" and what "really is".
Hence the term "naive".


It is hard to believe that naive realists don't realize that people sometimes make perceptual mistakes, if that is what you mean. So, tell me, how does representational or indirect realism better than naive realism. What do they know that naive realists don't know? And how do they know it?

---------- Post added 03-02-2010 at 07:10 AM ----------

Pythagorean;134419 wrote:
Descartes and Locke were also Representational Realists.



Yes they were. And so was Kant. But Thomas Reid was not. And neither was Wittgenstein (believe it or not). He thought that RR was based on the private language fallacy. The question is what are the arguments for RR, and are they good arguments? Do their premises support their conclusion?
What is the argument that we perceive only representations, and not objects of which they are the representations.

And, by the way, for those who believe there is something fishy about dualism, or the dichotomy between the subject and the object (of which a believe there are several on this forum) they should think there is something fishy about RR, since RR is a form of epistemic dualism. That was partly why it was rejected by Wittgenstein*. (Just a reminder).

*Yes, I mean the later, naive Wittgenstein.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 09:49 am
@kennethamy,
By "naive" realism don't we normally mean what we suppose to be the attitude by the man-in-the-street to the objects of the world around him, a "natural" perspective unencumbered by philosophical positions? This seems to be the point of departure for many modern phenomenological philosophies since Heidegger, including Schultz's lebenswelt philosophy.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 09:58 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;134597 wrote:
By "naive" realism don't we normally mean what we suppose to be the attitude by the man-in-the-street to the objects of the world around him, a "natural" perspective unencumbered by philosophical positions? This seems to be the point of departure for many modern phenomenological philosophies since Heidegger, including Schultz's lebenswelt philosophy.


I think there is a difference. The man-on-the-street does not know all the arguments against direct realism, but the naive realist, or at least, the sophisticated naive realist, is aware of those arguments, and presumably has rejected them. Naive realism is, in its philosophical form, direct realism, or non-representational realism, is man-on-the street realism with logos (as some might put it). So, it really is not so naive.

As for phenomenology, the phenomenologist "brackets" the central issue. The naive realist does not.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 10:12 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;134405 wrote:
The term, "naive realism" is used often on this forum, usually in a disparaging way. And, I suppose that although "innocent realism" would be all right (if there were such a thing) no one wants to be naive. Realism is, of course, the view that there are external objects independent of us. But what is naive realism, and why is it naive? What would sophisticated realism be?


Maybe people call it naive because they believe it's naive to actually believe in realism.
 
Emil
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 10:13 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;134539 wrote:
It is hard to believe that naive realists don't realize that people sometimes make perceptual mistakes, if that is what you mean. So, tell me, how does representational or indirect realism better than naive realism. What do they know that naive realists don't know? And how do they know it?

---------- Post added 03-02-2010 at 07:10 AM ----------



Yes they were. And so was Kant. But Thomas Reid was not. And neither was Wittgenstein (believe it or not). He thought that RR was based on the private language fallacy. The question is what are the arguments for RR, and are they good arguments? Do their premises support their conclusion?
What is the argument that we perceive only representations, and not objects of which they are the representations.

And, by the way, for those who believe there is something fishy about dualism, or the dichotomy between the subject and the object (of which a believe there are several on this forum) they should think there is something fishy about RR, since RR is a form of epistemic dualism. That was partly why it was rejected by Wittgenstein*. (Just a reminder).

*Yes, I mean the later, naive Wittgenstein.


I'm surprised that W. was not a RR. That is odd. That view seems obvious to me.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 10:14 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;134609 wrote:
Maybe people call it naive because they believe it's naive to actually believe in realism.


I don't think so, since often those same people claim to be realists.
 
Emil
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 10:15 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;134611 wrote:
I don't think so, since those same people claim to be realists.


Do you know who coined the term? It may have been coined by an opponent of the theory similar to the Big Bag Theory being coined by an opponent and the proponents then eventually stuck by the name.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 10:20 am
@Emil,
Emil;134613 wrote:
Do you know who coined the term? It may have been coined by an opponent of the theory similar to the Big Bag Theory being coined by an opponent and the proponents then eventually stuck by the name.


It must have been coined by an opponent, since "naive" is not a compliment. I don't think that those who are called "naive realists" by their opponents think of themselves as naive. I don't know the origins of the term.
 
Emil
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 10:23 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;134615 wrote:
It must have been coined by an opponent, since "naive" is not a compliment. I don't think that those who are called "naive realists" by their opponents think of themselves as naive. I don't know the origins of the term.


Another theory is that "naive" meant something else when it was coined. Perhaps it did not have negative connotations back when it was coined.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 10:25 am
@Emil,
Emil;134617 wrote:
Another theory is that "naive" meant something else when it was coined. Perhaps it did not have negative connotations back when it was coined.


I don't think that is likely, do you? I think that "naive" is a kind of insinuation.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 10:26 am
@kennethamy,
"Properly speaking, naive realism is supposed to be the view of the 'naive' (that is, not philosophically trained) common sense. But common sense has no systemically developed view, so that when naive realism is held as a philosophical theory and defended against objections it is often, and probably should be, called direct realism."

Naive Realism

Thought that may be useful. Still not sure on the origin, though.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 10:34 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;134619 wrote:
"Properly speaking, naive realism is supposed to be the view of the 'naive' (that is, not philosophically trained) common sense. But common sense has no systemically developed view, so that when naive realism is held as a philosophical theory and defended against objections it is often, and probably should be, called direct realism."

Naive Realism



I think that what you wrote here is exactly right. I am sure, though, that direct realism will be continued to be called, "naive". Some people think that nothing that seems true, can be true.
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 12:17 pm
@kennethamy,
The oposite of naive realism would be synical realism?
 
Night Ripper
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 12:34 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;134405 wrote:
The term, "naive realism" is used often on this forum, usually in a disparaging way. And, I suppose that although "innocent realism" would be all right (if there were such a thing) no one wants to be naive. Realism is, of course, the view that there are external objects independent of us. But what is naive realism, and why is it naive? What would sophisticated realism be?


The "naive" in "naive realism" isn't supposed to be taken as insulting. It merely highlights the assertion that secondary qualities like color are properties of the objects they belong to and not of our internal mental states. A better term would probably be "direct realism".

In the view of direct realism, apples are a certain color and anyone that sees a different color is "wrong". In the view of indirect realism, apples have no color per se. They simply reflect/absorb different wavelengths of light differently and our brains interpret these wavelengths into various colors based on context.

The evidence for indirect realism is overwhelming, I think. My favorite optical illusion is attached below.

Sqaures A and B are the exact same shade of gray. The only reason why your brain represents them differently to your consciousness is because of the fake shadow that's been drawn. This provides context that tells your brain "if this were a real scene, those would be different colors".

The fact that color depends on context is strong evidence that color is in our heads and not out there in the world. If you agree then you're an indirect realist.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 12:47 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;134647 wrote:
The "naive" in "naive realism" isn't supposed to be taken as insulting. It merely highlights the assertion that secondary qualities like color are properties of the objects they belong to and not of our internal mental states. A better term would probably be "direct realism".

In the view of direct realism, apples are a certain color and anyone that sees a different color is "wrong". In the view of indirect realism, apples have no color per se. They simply reflect/absorb different wavelengths of light differently and our brains interpret these wavelengths into various colors based on context.

The evidence for indirect realism is overwhelming, I think. My favorite optical illusion is attached below.

Sqaures A and B are the exact same shade of gray. The only reason why your brain represents them differently to your consciousness is because of the fake shadow that's been drawn. This provides context that tells your brain "if this were a real scene, those would be different colors".

The fact that color depends on context is strong evidence that color is in our heads and not out there in the world. If you agree then you're an indirect realist.


But is "naive" a compliment? It insinuates that you are innocent of the facts, or appreciating the facts.

I have always thought that the naive realist is supposed to be someone who holds that what we perceive are objects and not representations (sense-data) of those objects, and that we infer the objects from the representations.

The business about primary and secondary properties is, of course, involved in that, but naive realism is not defined by that.

I don't think that "colors are in the head" except in some metaphorical sense. They are certainly not literally in the head. And, although the perception of color depends on context, it does not follow that color depends on context. Even if the light is bad, and we cannot detect the color of that apple, why isn't the apple red anyway?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 12:56 pm
@kennethamy,
Night Ripper wrote:

Sqaures A and B are the exact same shade of gray. The only reason why your brain represents them differently to your consciousness is because of the fake shadow that's been drawn. This provides context that tells your brain "if this were a real scene, those would be different colors".

The fact that color depends on context is strong evidence that color is in our heads and not out there in the world. If you agree then you're an indirect realist.


But optical illusions demonstrate that our perception of reality can be flawed; they say nothing about what is. And you even note, in your example, that what really is the case is that A and B are the same color. If it were all in my head, why would you bother distinguishing what really is, from what I perceived?
 
 

 
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