chapter  VIII
56 Pages

Perception

This chapter shows that the activity concerned entirely absorbs everything analogous to data, which, so far from being hard, are merely the vague rudiments of what is subsequently articulated as a cognizable object. It examines the epistemological implications of all this presently; for, clearly, if scientific procedure is one of evolving, testing and establishing hypotheses, the view that the touchstone by which they are tested is sense-perception must be significantly affected by the discovery that sense-perception is itself a process of forming and testing hypotheses. The chapter considers the question whether and to what extent the schemata, or hypotheses, which guide the activity of perceiving are inherited or to what extent they are learned; although, whatever the outcome, the principle remains the same. Sense-datum theorists are primarily concerned about the distinctions between the veridical and the illusory, between the indubitable and the corrigible, and these are matters essential to any epistemological treatment of perception.