chapter  8
37 Pages

Beyond dispute: sense-data, intentionality and the mind–body problem M . G . F . MARTIN

Thomas Reid remarked that we hardly ever attend to the visible appearance of objects, but that our attention is normally drawn to the objects themselves and those features of them which best fit our intentions and interests.2 For example, I can with a cursory glance take in the lavender bush at the end of my street, some fifty metres away, and note the overall colour of the bush – a dull green at this time of year – and its rough, somewhat square, shape. But it takes more attention, reflection and skill to move beyond this description and to discover the distinctive ways in which these objects can appear to me. I may note, for example, that the lavender bush appears more flattened than the garden hedge some mere ten metres from me. Or it may strike me that the distinctions that I can make among the branches of the lavender bush are a matter of the pattern of shading across its apparent surface while for the hedge each branch stands out distinctly.