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A Level Philosophy 25 marker - please help!

Hello all!
Would anyone mind reading my 25 marker for philosophy? It's kind of urgent I have a mock this week.
PS - could you help me out on the 2nd paragraph (should I swap it for time lag??)


How convincing is Direct Realism? [25]
Direct realism (DR) is the claim that our immediate objects of perception are mind-independent objects. DR is not a very convincing theory of perception because it faces many flaws that it cannot overcome. For example, it is not able to provide a convincing enough reason for why perceptual variation occurs. It also is incoherent with the master argument and the primary and secondary distinction of mind-independent objects.

The strongest argument proving DR to be weak is perceptual variation which was developed by Russel. This is when the same object is perceived differently in different conditions. Russel uses an example of a table; a table may seem to be a darker shade of brown when in a darker room. This proves to be a strong problem for DR because an object cannot suddenly change its properties and therefore our perceptions of it must be wrong. This is a strong argument because it points out a flaw in the way we perceive mind-independent objects and if DR cannot explain it in a convincing manner, it proves to be inconsistent with how we think we perceive objects. A direct realist’s response to this is that our perceptions are not wrong or false, they are just being misinterpreted by us. This seems to appear to solve the issue because they accept that the object doesn’t change properties. However, it is still not a convincing response because if we can doubt our perceptions in this case, surely we can doubt them in all other cases? This is because we would be oblivious to what the true nature of an object actually is. A direct realist could respond to this further and claim that our perceptions change due to relational properties. Relational properties are ones that vary as they are relative to the situations. This means that the object itself does not change but the perceiver does, and therefore they get a different perception. However, this is still not a convincing response because it is repeating the problem. The problem is that if we change the conditions, our perceptions change which is what is echoed through the response. So, it doesn’t actually provide a response to why perceptual variation occurs and therefore, it is not able to stand up to its flaws. Overall, perceptual variation remains a problem for DR and direct realist’s responses are not strong enough to defend the theory.

Another strong argument to portray DR as a weak argument is that perceptions are mind-dependent. Berkeley’s Master Argument challenges us to think of a mind-independent tree. This is impossible because as soon as you think of it, it becomes mind-dependent. Therefore, all our perceptions are mind-dependent as mind-independent perceptions are impossible. This proves to be a problem for DR because the master argument attacks the method in which we perceive things. DR claims our immediate objects of perception are mind-independent objects, whereas the master argument argues that our perceptions are mind-dependent. (Not sure what to write here, please help!)

A reason why DR may seem to be initially convincing is the fact it isn’t susceptible to solipsism and it matches the way in which we think we perceive objects. Solipsism is the claim that only the mind exists because that is all we can be sure of. This means we cannot be sure that other minds exist. This arises because of other theories which do not claim we perceive objects directly. DR however, claims that we do perceive the mind-independent objects directly so there is no room for solipsism as we perceive the world the way it is. This however is a weak claim because as I demonstrated in previous paragraphs, we can doubt the nature of the objects we see. So, although we may be sure that other minds exist, we cannot be 100% sure that what we perceive actually is the nature of the external world. This overall limits how convincing DR can be. A direct realist, again, could respond to this by claiming that relational properties are what causes the change in perception. This, as I demonstrated earlier, is still a weak argument because it doesn’t explain why the perceptions change as we change the conditions. Ultimately, DR does have some strengths however, these do not outweigh its flaws, making it overall not as conniving.

Another argument why DR may initially seem to be convincing is because it describes how we understand perception on a daily basis. For example, when asked ‘what do you see?’ we reply with something like ‘the sun in the middle of the blue sky .’ We do not say things like ‘I see a yellow patch surrounded by blue.’ This demonstrates that our understanding of perception is that we perceive the mind-independent objects and their properties directly with no intermediary. This is a strength for DR as it makes it easy to understand. Also, our language depends on the physical objects anyway; to use words like sun is to understand what a sun is. This strengthens the theory because we all understand what the sun is. This shows that we must all be perceiving the same object directly. This is because we know of the object’’s properties. However, this is still not strong enough to make DR convincing, as the time lag argument is not defeated. Just because we all seem to understand what the sun is, does not mean that we all perceive the sun in the moment. This is because it takes 8 minutes for the sun to reach our eyes. This attacks DR because although it’s still a simple theory, it cannot explain why we don't perceive the objects in the moment. This attack on DR is strong because if DR fails to explain why we have a delay, then the whole theory collapses. A possible direct realist response to this is that the world seems to work fine. This means our world is not chaotic. For example, at a red light, most road users will stop. This must show that even if we have a time lag, it doesn’t impact our life too much. This seems to strengthen DR as it explains the impact of time lag on our day to day lives. However, it’s still not a strong defence.This is because we could all be lagging by different times and that can lead to a problematic world. This is a strong attack on DR because it shows that time lag does impact our lives.A direct realist’s response to this could be that the time lag doesn’t matter because we are perceiving the object as it is at the time we perceive it. This however, doesn’t solve the problem because by the time we perceive it, the object may have changed. Although our time lag doesn’t impact us directly in our lives, it still seems to be a strong problem for DR. This is because it doesn’t match with the definition; that we perceive the mind-independent objects and their properties directly. Therefore, although DR is easy to understand and a simple theory, it is not able to overcome its problems, especially with perceptual variation. This overall makes it a less convincing theory for perception.

In conclusion, asI have demonstrated, DR is not a convincing theory because it fails to stand up to problems such as perceptual variation and time lag arguments. This is because the definition of DR states that we perceive the mind-independent objects directly whereas time lag and perceptual variation show that we do not.

Thanks all in advance!!!

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Bump!
Reply 2
How did your mock go?
Reply 3
Original post by hi12345679
How did your mock go?


Hi! I’m not gonna lie I completely forgot I posted this! 😅 They went ok, they were my year 12 mocks and Direct Realism didn’t come up haha. Are you doing philosophy a level too?
Reply 4
Yeah. I got my year 12 exams in 2 and a half weeks which determine my university predictions 😬. I was trying to answer a question on how convincing is direct realism and what I came up with is that I disagreed with it and I would argue that direct realism, berkleys idealism and the concept of hallucinations overcome dr. Because all 25 markers are so different though, sometimes its hard to know what to write and how to get the structure write, same as some 12 markers. Right now im just stressed for my exams😓😅
Reply 5
Original post by hi12345679
Yeah. I got my year 12 exams in 2 and a half weeks which determine my university predictions 😬. I was trying to answer a question on how convincing is direct realism and what I came up with is that I disagreed with it and I would argue that direct realism, berkleys idealism and the concept of hallucinations overcome dr. Because all 25 markers are so different though, sometimes its hard to know what to write and how to get the structure write, same as some 12 markers. Right now im just stressed for my exams😓😅


Ahh good luck for your exams, I’m sure you’ll do great!! Tbh u can usually get good marks if u focus on getting most of the marks on the small questions and around 15 and over in the 25 marks. Yeah 25 markers are so weird I have my actual a level coming up and still don’t understand them that much 😭 I think the main thing u should never do in a 25 marker is talk about another topic. For example, if it gives u direct realism don’t try to say direct realism isn’t convincing because X is convincing. Apparently it makes u drop the evaluation marks
Reply 6
Original post by starrynight01
Ahh good luck for your exams, I’m sure you’ll do great!! Tbh u can usually get good marks if u focus on getting most of the marks on the small questions and around 15 and over in the 25 marks. Yeah 25 markers are so weird I have my actual a level coming up and still don’t understand them that much 😭 I think the main thing u should never do in a 25 marker is talk about another topic. For example, if it gives u direct realism don’t try to say direct realism isn’t convincing because X is convincing. Apparently it makes u drop the evaluation marks


Thank you so much! It means a lot. Also, by when you say don’t say that direct realism isn’t convincing because x is convincing, what do you mean by that? So what I was gonna do was say that I feel like the strongest objection to direct realism is indirect realism and is the most convincing theory at the end, and idealism and hallucinations are also important objections. Is it wrong to say this because the actual question is “How convincing is direct realism,” so would it be wrong to say that? Thanks a lot for the help😁
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 7
Original post by hi12345679
Thank you so much! It means a lot. Also, by when you say don’t say that direct realism isn’t convincing because x is convincing, what do you mean by that? So what I was gonna do was say that I feel like the strongest objection to direct realism is indirect realism and is the most convincing theory at the end, and idealism and hallucinations are also important objections. Is it wrong to say this because the actual question is “How convincing is direct realism,” so would it be wrong to say that? Thanks a lot for the help😁


Hey! Yes my teacher always said to never use another theory as your main argument. So, if you were trying to argue Direct realism (DR) is wrong look for reasons as to why it is without using indirect realism or idealism. For example, it faces problems with perceptual variation, it’s too simple etc… You can use idealism and Direct realism in the evaluation but I personally find that confusing so I avoid it altogether. I hope this helps and isn’t too confusing haha 😅
Reply 8
Original post by starrynight01
Hey! Yes my teacher always said to never use another theory as your main argument. So, if you were trying to argue Direct realism (DR) is wrong look for reasons as to why it is without using indirect realism or idealism. For example, it faces problems with perceptual variation, it’s too simple etc… You can use idealism and Direct realism in the evaluation but I personally find that confusing so I avoid it altogether. I hope this helps and isn’t too confusing haha 😅

Actually yeah that does make sense. So for arguments against direct realism, can I then use perceptual variation as strongest, hallucinations as 2nd strongest/strong and illusion as 3rd strong/strong? Also, when you’re doing the 3 big paragraphs, how do you structure it? In my mind I would write about why and how perceptual variation overcomes direct realism because everyone will see things differently from different angles etc, but then what do you do next? Do I say how dr responds to this claim or write about why direct realism feels it can overcome this, and then evaluate? I’m still a bit lost on the paragraph structure.
Reply 9
Original post by hi12345679
Actually yeah that does make sense. So for arguments against direct realism, can I then use perceptual variation as strongest, hallucinations as 2nd strongest/strong and illusion as 3rd strong/strong? Also, when you’re doing the 3 big paragraphs, how do you structure it? In my mind I would write about why and how perceptual variation overcomes direct realism because everyone will see things differently from different angles etc, but then what do you do next? Do I say how dr responds to this claim or write about why direct realism feels it can overcome this, and then evaluate? I’m still a bit lost on the paragraph structure.


Yeah you can use those! I’m actually doing an essay now and I’m looking back on an essay I did which scored high to see what the structure was. I use the following;
- say your view and give an example of how it supports your view (ie how perceptual variation shows DR is wrong)
- say why it’s a strong view (for example, perceptual variation occurs in real life so it fits with our intuition)
- Give a response from DR ( such as the relational properties response)
- say why the DR response is weak (for example, it still shows we don’t perceive an object as it is directly)
Usually I’d give another response and then respond to the response again but I’m not sure if you have to do that to get high marks.
- Finish the paragraph with a sentence to summarise how DR is still wrong as it’s defeated by perceptual variation (this ensures you have 1 line of argument throughout)
I use this structure for each paragraph. Also can I suggest you write 2 paragraphs which support your view and then 1 which shows DR is convincing (but ultimately show it’s not) . (So for the DR essay, you should have a final paragraph showing why DR is convincing but then respond and say it’s actually not - you have to give both sides of the argument in each essay)
The most important thing is the evaluation so basically chuck words like : convincing, crucial, strong, weak ect… after every response you give.
I hope this helps!
Reply 10
Original post by starrynight01
Yeah you can use those! I’m actually doing an essay now and I’m looking back on an essay I did which scored high to see what the structure was. I use the following;
- say your view and give an example of how it supports your view (ie how perceptual variation shows DR is wrong)
- say why it’s a strong view (for example, perceptual variation occurs in real life so it fits with our intuition)
- Give a response from DR ( such as the relational properties response)
- say why the DR response is weak (for example, it still shows we don’t perceive an object as it is directly)
Usually I’d give another response and then respond to the response again but I’m not sure if you have to do that to get high marks.
- Finish the paragraph with a sentence to summarise how DR is still wrong as it’s defeated by perceptual variation (this ensures you have 1 line of argument throughout)
I use this structure for each paragraph. Also can I suggest you write 2 paragraphs which support your view and then 1 which shows DR is convincing (but ultimately show it’s not) . (So for the DR essay, you should have a final paragraph showing why DR is convincing but then respond and say it’s actually not - you have to give both sides of the argument in each essay)
The most important thing is the evaluation so basically chuck words like : convincing, crucial, strong, weak ect… after every response you give.
I hope this helps!


Ah right. Thank you so much. So for the evaluation, where are you supposed to evaluate.? What I mean by that is do you evaluate at the end of every paragraph?
Original post by hi12345679
Ah right. Thank you so much. So for the evaluation, where are you supposed to evaluate.? What I mean by that is do you evaluate at the end of every paragraph?


No worries! I think you’re supposed to evaluate throughout. For example when you give a criticism you say whether it’s strong or weak and then say why (which I think is the equivalent to the evaluation??) ngl the evaluation is what throws me off too 😭
Reply 12
Original post by starrynight01
No worries! I think you’re supposed to evaluate throughout. For example when you give a criticism you say whether it’s strong or weak and then say why (which I think is the equivalent to the evaluation??) ngl the evaluation is what throws me off too 😭


Ah right makes sense. Thanks for all the help. If you don’t mind me asking, and if its ok with you, could you tell me what a levels you do and what universities you’ve applied to and got offers from? I study philosophy, business and economics at a level and I’m so lost on the course I want to do at uni or even which uni I want to go to😭
Original post by hi12345679
Ah right makes sense. Thanks for all the help. If you don’t mind me asking, and if its ok with you, could you tell me what a levels you do and what universities you’ve applied to and got offers from? I study philosophy, business and economics at a level and I’m so lost on the course I want to do at uni or even which uni I want to go to😭


No problem, philosophy is a hard subject! I do Biology, Chemistry and Philosophy so Philosophy is the odd one out haha. I applied to; Cambridge, UEA, UCL, KCL, Queen Mary London for chemistry originally but then changed it to natural science. I got offers from all except for Cambridge 😭 Which subject do u enjoy the most and do u have a rough idea of a job you want to do in the future?
Reply 14
Original post by starrynight01
No problem, philosophy is a hard subject! I do Biology, Chemistry and Philosophy so Philosophy is the odd one out haha. I applied to; Cambridge, UEA, UCL, KCL, Queen Mary London for chemistry originally but then changed it to natural science. I got offers from all except for Cambridge 😭 Which subject do u enjoy the most and do u have a rough idea of a job you want to do in the future?


Wow congratulations you’re really really smart. Cambridge you gotta be a next next level nerd to get in so don’t worry too much. I have friends in my school who do nothing but study at break and lunch aswell and may not get in. UCL and KCL are both top tier universities. What were your predicted grades btw? Also, for myself, id say I enjoy philosophy the most just because of how interesting it is. I was planning to study a philosophy and economics course at university, but I also have the option of studying business management at a university like Durham which looks good, so I’m a bit confused. Although first I gotta get the grades which is the tough part and im not the brightest student. At gcse I got 2 9’s, 3 7’s, 2 6’s and 2 4’s which aren’t the best and rn, my projected attainment is BCB and my target grades are AAA, but im really hoping to get A*AA as predicted grades which is so difficult but hopefully I can do it😭😭. Ive always wanted to work in finance but since I don’t study maths, I can’t do something like accounting and finance since you will need maths which will make getting into finance a lot harder. Sorry if I’m boring you btw😭
Original post by hi12345679
Wow congratulations you’re really really smart. Cambridge you gotta be a next next level nerd to get in so don’t worry too much. I have friends in my school who do nothing but study at break and lunch aswell and may not get in. UCL and KCL are both top tier universities. What were your predicted grades btw? Also, for myself, id say I enjoy philosophy the most just because of how interesting it is. I was planning to study a philosophy and economics course at university, but I also have the option of studying business management at a university like Durham which looks good, so I’m a bit confused. Although first I gotta get the grades which is the tough part and im not the brightest student. At gcse I got 2 9’s, 3 7’s, 2 6’s and 2 4’s which aren’t the best and rn, my projected attainment is BCB and my target grades are AAA, but im really hoping to get A*AA as predicted grades which is so difficult but hopefully I can do it😭😭. Ive always wanted to work in finance but since I don’t study maths, I can’t do something like accounting and finance since you will need maths which will make getting into finance a lot harder. Sorry if I’m boring you btw😭


Ah thank you haha, the admission process was so stressful 😭 My predicted grades were A*A*A. It is hard to get into finance without maths but have u considered doing either a business or economics course and then going into finance? I went to open day for chemistry and they said some of their alumni got into finance (I think it was banking too?). I feel like economics and business are more closely related to finance so I think that’s a possible route? But I feel ur pain about not doing maths I originally wanted to wanted to do chemical engineering but you need maths for that too. I’d say scrap your GCSE results unis don’t really look at them unless ur doing medicine, so don’t worry about them. As for improving your a levels I’d recommend doing as many exam questions as possible. Idk what it’s like for business and economics but if you make sure you understand and learn the content after every lesson it should make it easier to get higher marks. (One tip is to look over the lesson your doing before attending the actual lesson. Then, try to learn as much of that info during the lesson as possible. Then, after the lesson just do exam questions on the topic for the rest of that week.) Are business and economics essay based or?? Also don’t worry haha you’re not boring me!
Reply 16
Original post by starrynight01
Ah thank you haha, the admission process was so stressful 😭 My predicted grades were A*A*A. It is hard to get into finance without maths but have u considered doing either a business or economics course and then going into finance? I went to open day for chemistry and they said some of their alumni got into finance (I think it was banking too?). I feel like economics and business are more closely related to finance so I think that’s a possible route? But I feel ur pain about not doing maths I originally wanted to wanted to do chemical engineering but you need maths for that too. I’d say scrap your GCSE results unis don’t really look at them unless ur doing medicine, so don’t worry about them. As for improving your a levels I’d recommend doing as many exam questions as possible. Idk what it’s like for business and economics but if you make sure you understand and learn the content after every lesson it should make it easier to get higher marks. (One tip is to look over the lesson your doing before attending the actual lesson. Then, try to learn as much of that info during the lesson as possible. Then, after the lesson just do exam questions on the topic for the rest of that week.) Are business and economics essay based or?? Also don’t worry haha you’re not boring me!

Yep econ and business are both essay based. Ive always been pretty good at writing in general which is why I picked them. Maths I was always good at but just never tried, and at gcse I got a 7 but my school didn’t allow you to do maths unless you got an 8. Thanks for the advice though its really helpful. If you’re ok with it, do you mind chatting on a social media platform just because its a lot easier, but if not thats ok😁. But yeah so id either go into business management or do economics and philosophy together, but as a career im still uncertain honestly. Just winging it and hopefully I’ll be alright 🤣🤣😭
Original post by hi12345679
Yep econ and business are both essay based. Ive always been pretty good at writing in general which is why I picked them. Maths I was always good at but just never tried, and at gcse I got a 7 but my school didn’t allow you to do maths unless you got an 8. Thanks for the advice though its really helpful. If you’re ok with it, do you mind chatting on a social media platform just because its a lot easier, but if not thats ok😁. But yeah so id either go into business management or do economics and philosophy together, but as a career im still uncertain honestly. Just winging it and hopefully I’ll be alright 🤣🤣😭


Ohh right that makes sense. It’s so weird that what we pick at the ages 17-18 determines our whole career 😬😅 Good luck with either one that you pick though! As for the social media platform sure! I’ll PM you! 😁
Reply 18
Original post by starrynight01
Ohh right that makes sense. It’s so weird that what we pick at the ages 17-18 determines our whole career 😬😅 Good luck with either one that you pick though! As for the social media platform sure! I’ll PM you! 😁

Honestly its so annoying😭😭. Also, because my account is new, I cant pm anyone yet😭. I’ll just type mine in here because I don’t think anyone will be arsed to read the whole text chain and get to here🤣. Im aayan.15 on instagram 😁
Original post by hi12345679
Honestly its so annoying😭😭. Also, because my account is new, I cant pm anyone yet😭. I’ll just type mine in here because I don’t think anyone will be arsed to read the whole text chain and get to here🤣. Im aayan.15 on instagram 😁


Ahh ok I’ve sent you a request - I hope it actually you haha 😂

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