ABSTRACT. The basic entity in phenomenology is the phenomenon. Knowing the phenomenon is another issue. The phenomenon has been described as the real natural object or the appearance directly perceived in phenomenology and analytic philosophy of perception. Within both traditions, philosophers such as Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Russell and Wittgenstein have considered that perceptual experience demonstrates what a phenomenon is on the line between the mind and the external world. Therefore, conceptualizing the phenomenon is based on the perceptual evidence. However, if the belief that perception is “theory-laden” is true, then perception can also be “philosophy-laden.” These philosophers have not noticed whether perceptual knowledge is independent of philosophies. If perceptual knowledge is not independent of philosophies, a philosopher’s background philosophy can influence what he or she claims to know about the phenomenon. For Husserl, experience is direct evidence of what exists. The textual evidence shows that Sartre rejects the distinction between appearance and reality based on the assumption of the phenomenon. By examining Husserl’s Ideas and Sartre’s Being and Nothingness I conclude that these philosophers’ philosophical languages influence their perceptual knowledge. Philosophical traditions affect the thoughts of perception.

Keywords: philosophical language; phenomenon; perception; philosophical tradition; analytic philosophy; continental philosophy; discourse analysis

How to cite: Suojanen, Mika (2018). “The Philosophy-Ladenness of Perception: A Philosophical Analysis of Perception in Husserl and Sartre,” Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 17: 110–129.

Received 13 September 2017 • Received in revised form 20 October 2017
Accepted 21 October 2017 • Available online 15 November 2017


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