causal theory of perception
(or memory) The view that to perceive an object is to be in a state that has some appropriate causal relationship to it, or that to remember an event is to stand in a similar causal relationship to its original occurrence. Whilst the basic idea is widely accepted, it proves difficult to pin down exactly the kind of relationship that counts as appropriate, for deviant causal chains may connect us with things that we nevertheless do not perceive or remember.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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