From MIT Readers in Contemporary Philosophy


Contemporary Readings

Edited by Alex Byrne and Heather Logue

Classic texts that define the disjunctivist theory of perception.





Classic texts that define the disjunctivist theory of perception.

A central debate in contemporary philosophy of perception concerns the disjunctive theory of perceptual experience. Until the 1960s, philosophers of perception generally assumed that a veridical perception (a perceptual experience that presents the world as it really is) and a subjectively similar hallucination must have significant mental commonalities. Disjunctivists challenge this assumption, contending that the veridical perception and the corresponding hallucination share no mental core. Suppose that while you are looking at a lemon, God suddenly removes it, while keeping your brain activity constant. Although you notice no change, disjunctivists argue that the preremoval and postremoval experiences are radically different. Disjunctivism has gained prominent supporters in recent years, as well as attracting much criticism. This reader collects for the first time in one volume classic texts that define and react to disjunctivism. These include an excerpt from a book by the late J. M. Hinton, who was the first to propose an explicitly disjunctivist position, and papers stating a number of important objections.

ContributorsAlex Byrne, Jonathan Dancy, J. M. Hinton, Mark Johnston, Harold Langsam, Heather Logue, M. G. F. Martin, John McDowell, Alan Millar, Howard Robinson, A. D. Smith, Paul Snowdon


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262026550 368 pp. | 6 in x 9 in illus.


$40.00 X ISBN: 9780262524902 368 pp. | 6 in x 9 in illus.


Alex Byrne

Alex Byrne is Professor of Philosophy at MIT and the coeditor of Fact and Value: Essays on Ethics and Metaphysics for Judith Jarvis Thomson (2001) and Readings on Color, volumes 1 and 2 (1997), all published by the MIT Press.

Heather Logue

Heather Logue is a graduate student in Philosophy at MIT.


  • [Disjunctivism], a reprinting of some of the most important articles on disjunctivism, shows how the history of disjunctivism developed.

    Times Literary Supplement


  • This is a marvelous collection that brings together the key documents in one of the most exciting (but controversial) developments in recent philosophy of perception. The papers constitute a very orderly line of inquiry starting from Hinton's original work in the 1960s and continuing to the present day. Moreover Byrne and Logue's introduction is excellent and will be especially helpful for those who always wanted to know what disjunctivism is but were afraid to ask.

    Daniel Stoljar

    Department of Philosophy, Australian National University