Phenomenalism

Phenomenalism is a philosophical theory of perception and the external world. Propositions about material objects are reducible to propositions about actual and possible sensations, or sense data, or appearances (EB, 2013). There is no distinction between independently existing physical objects and mind-dependent sense-data. To talk about any existing object is to talk about a collection of perceivable features localized in a particular portion of space-time (Stroll, 2013). The material things are permanent possibilities of sensation, of sense-data (BonJour, 2013).
All of these go back to Descartes where 'the way of ideas' represents the attempt in epistemology to provide a foundation for our knowledge of external world in the mental experiences of the individual; this is the Cartesian theory of knowledge through representative ideas (Watson, 2013).


Bibliography
BonJour, Laurence, "Epistemological Problems of Perception", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .
"phenomenalism." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2013.
Stroll, Avrum. "epistemology." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2013.
Watson, Richard A. "Cartesianism." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2013.
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