more from A.J. Ayer

Single Idea 6524

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / a. Sense-data theory]

Full Idea

Positivists prefer the sense-datum vocabulary because it is more inclusive than physical object vocabulary; it can report after-images, hallucinations, illusions and bodily sensations, as well as veridical perceptions.


A 'veridical' thing contains truth

Gist of Idea

Positivists prefer sense-data to objects, because the vocabulary covers both illusions and perceptions


report of A.J. Ayer (Language,Truth and Logic [1936]) by Howard Robinson - Perception IX.4

Book Reference

Robinson,Howard: 'Perception' [Routledge 2001], p.227

A Reaction

The assumption of this is that illusions and perceptions are frequently indistinguishable, but that is just nonsense. Illusions usually appeal to one sense only, when you are ill, and in an unclear way. Sensible people know objects when they see them.