September 19, 2012 -- We're very pleased to announce that David Kelley's classic treatise on epistemology, The Evidence of the Senses: A Realist Theory of Perception , is now available on Amazon.com.
About Evidence of the Senses: In this highly original defense of realism, Atlas Society founder David Kelley argues that perception is the discrimination of objects as entities, that the awareness of these objects is direct, and that perception is a reliable foundation for empirical knowledge. His argument relies on the basic principle of the "primacy of existence," in opposition to Cartesian representationalism and Kantian idealism.
In the first part of the book, Kelley discusses the nature and validity of perception. He argues against classical sensationalist and modern computational theories, according to which perception involves inferences from sensory input. Unlike most realists, he also offers an in-depth consideration of the problems of perceptual relativity. His theory incorporates a key distinction between the object and the form in which it is perceived. This distinction provides insights into the status of phenomenal qualities, the nature of perceptual constancy, and the difference between primary and secondary qualities.
In the second part of the book, Kelley is concerned with the way we distinguish conceptual knowledge from perception. His theory of non-propositional justification shows how perceptual judgments are supported by the direct awareness of objects, and it allows a novel defense of empiricism.
An original and substantial contribution to the philosophical literature, this book will be invaluable to philosophers, psychologists, and anyone interested in the complex subject of perceptual theory.
About David Kelley: David Kelley is a professional philosopher, teacher, and writer. After earning a PhD in philosophy from Princeton University in 1975, he joined the philosophy department of Vassar College, where he remained until 1984. He has also taught at Brandeis University as a Visiting Lecturer. Among his books are Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence; The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand; The Evidence of the Senses, a treatise on epistemology; and The Art of Reasoning, one of the most widely used logic textbooks in the country. With Roger Donway, he co-authored Laissez Parler: Freedom in the Electronic Media, a critique of government regulation. He is also the author of A Life of One's Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State, a critique of the moral premises of the welfare state and defense of private alternatives that preserve individual autonomy, responsibility, and dignity.
His articles on social issues and public policy have appeared in Harper's, The Sciences, Reason, Harvard Business Review, The Freeman, and elsewhere. He has been an editorial writer for Barron's, has appeared on 20/20 and the ABC News special, "Greed" With John Stossel, and has written and lectured extensively on issues in philosophy, politics, and public affairs.
An active proponent of Objectivism for more than 25 years, he has lectured to student groups at Harvard, Yale, University of Michigan, Berkeley, Amherst, and many other colleges and universities. He has also addressed the Mont Pelerin Society, the Free Press Association, the Cato Institute, and Heartland Institute, as well as many Objectivist conferences. Kelley is the founder and chief intellectual officer of The Atlas Society.