Our knowledge of the world, and our ability to act in it, depends on our grasp of causal relationships among things—the ways they act and interact. How do we identify cause and effect? Where does such knowledge begin? David Kelley discusses the issues of whether and how we can perceive causality, drawing on the theory of perception in his book The Evidence of the Senses. He also addresses recent and related work by other Objectivists. (This presentation was filmed at the 2011 Free Minds conference in Anaheim, California.)
The Evidence of the Senses: A Realist Theory of Perception by David Kelley
In this highly original defense of realism, 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.
David Kelley is the founder of The Atlas Society. A professional philosopher, teacher, and best-selling author, he has been a leading proponent of Objectivism for more than 25 years.