Naive Realism, Seeing Stars, and Perceiving the Past

13 Jun 2018

Abstract. It seems possible to see a star that no longer exists. Yet it also seems right to say that what no longer exists cannot be seen. We therefore face a puzzle, the traditional answer to which involves abandoning naïve realism in favour of a sense datum view. In this paper, however, I offer a novel exploration of the puzzle within a naïve realist framework. As will emerge, the best option for naïve realists is to embrace an eternalist view of time, and claim that in the relevant case, one sees a still existent star-stage located somewhere in the distant past.