Representative realism

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Representative realism, Aka Representative Theory of Perception, also known as Indirect realism, epistemological dualism, and The veil of perception, is a philosophical concept. It states that we do not (and can not) perceive the external world directly; instead we know only our ideas or interpretations of objects in the world. Thus, a barrier or a veil of perception prevents first-hand knowledge of anything beyond it. The "veil" exists between the mind and the existing world.

The debate then occurs about where our ideas come from, and what this place is like. An indirect realist believes our ideas come from sense data of a real, material, external world (unlike idealists). The doctrine states that in any act of perception, the immediate (direct) object of perception is only a sense-datum that represents an external object.

Aristotle was the first to provide an in-depth description of Indirect realism. In "On the Soul" he describes how the eye must be affected by changes in an intervening medium rather than by objects themselves. He then speculates on how these sense impressions can form our experience of seeing and reasons that an endless regress would occur unless the sense itself were self aware. He concludes by proposing that the mind is the things it thinks. He calls the images in the mind "ideas".