[hist-analytic] Sense Data and Volition

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Wed Jan 12 09:15:31 EST 2011


I have waxed negatively on the criticisms of the sense data theory. The childish criticisms of J. L. Austin and his epigones cannot be blamed, entirely, on the sense datists. What the sense datists failed to fully appreciate is the intimacy of perception and action. A sense datum is not like a photo flash using high speed film. It is dynamic and interactive with the mechanisms of action. Sense data, properly conceived, are durational. This ties in with the "specious present" concept. An examination of the usual criticisms of volition reveals a failure to attend to this dynamic relation of volition and experience. Key to my take on the relation is the concept of the "sensory continuum": the idea of continuity in experience is linked to that of action. Essential is the idea that the sense datist must be hold that there is no inexactness connected to sense data. Sense datists have often noted this. It has been ignored by the critics. Inexactness, on the view I will put forth, is the "stuff" of continuity, defined sensorily. 

Steve Bayne 
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