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Unconscious Evidence

Philosophical Issues 26 (1):243-262 (2016)

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  1. Introspection and Belief: Failures of Introspective Belief Formation.Chiara Caporuscio - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-20.
    Introspection has traditionally been defined as a privileged way of obtaining beliefs about one’s occurrent mental states, and the idea that it is psychologically and epistemically different from non-introspective belief formation processes has been widely defended. At the same time, philosophers and cognitive scientists alike have pointed out the unreliability of introspective reports in consciousness research. In this paper, I will argue that this dissonance in the literature can be explained by differentiating between infallible and informative introspective beliefs. I will (...)
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  • Predictive Processing and Foundationalism About Perception.Harmen Ghijsen - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 7):1751-1769.
    Predictive processing accounts of perception assume that perception does not work in a purely bottom-up fashion but also uses acquired knowledge to make top-down predictions about the incoming sensory signals. This provides a challenge for foundationalist accounts of perception according to which perceptual beliefs are epistemically basic, that is, epistemically independent from other beliefs. If prior beliefs rationally influence which perceptual beliefs we come to accept, then foundationalism about perception appears untenable. I review several ways in which foundationalism might be (...)
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  • Perceptual Consciousness Plays No Epistemic Role.Jacob Berger - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):7-23.
    It is often assumed that perceptual experience provides evidence about the external world. But much perception can occur unconsciously, as in cases of masked priming or blindsight. Does unconscious perception provide evidence as well? Many theorists maintain that it cannot, holding that perceptual experience provides evidence in virtue of its conscious character. Against such views, I challenge here both the necessity and, perhaps more controversially, the sufficiency of consciousness for perception to provide evidence about the external world. In addition to (...)
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  • Unconscious Perceptual Justification.Jacob Berger, Bence Nanay & Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):569-589.
    Perceptual experiences justify beliefs. A perceptual experience of a dog justifies the belief that there is a dog present. But there is much evidence that perceptual states can occur without being conscious, as in experiments involving masked priming. Do unconscious perceptual states provide justification as well? The answer depends on one’s theory of justification. While most varieties of externalism seem compatible with unconscious perceptual justification, several theories have recently afforded to consciousness a special role in perceptual justification. We argue that (...)
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  • The Epistemic Significance of Perceptual Learning.Elijah Chudnoff - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):520-542.
    First impressions suggest the following contrast between perception and memory: perception generates new beliefs and reasons, justification, or evidence for those beliefs; memory preserves old beliefs and reasons, justification, or evidence for those beliefs. In this paper, I argue that reflection on perceptual learning gives us reason to adopt an alternative picture on which perception plays both generative and preservative epistemic roles.
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  • Do Looks Constitute Our Perceptual Evidence?Harmen Ghijsen - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):132-147.
    Philosophical Issues, Volume 30, Issue 1, Page 132-147, October 2020.
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  • Credence: A Belief-First Approach.Andrew Moon & Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):652–669.
    This paper explains and defends a belief-first view of the relationship between belief and credence. On this view, credences are a species of beliefs, and the degree of credence is determined by the content of what is believed. We begin by developing what we take to be the most plausible belief-first view. Then, we offer several arguments for it. Finally, we show how it can resist objections that have been raised to belief-first views. We conclude that the belief-first view is (...)
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  • Varieties of Inference?Anna-Sara Malmgren - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):221-254.
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  • Imaginative Immersion, Regulation, and Doxastic Mediation.Alon Chasid - forthcoming - Synthese: 1-43.
    This paper puts forward an account of imaginative immersion. Elaborating on Kendall Walton’s thesis that imagining aims at the fictional truth, it first argues that imaginings are inherently rule- or norm-governed: they are ‘regulated’ by that which is presented as fictionally true. It then shows that an imaginer can follow the rule or norm mandating her to imagine the propositions presented as fictional truths either by acquiring explicit beliefs about how the rule (norm) is to be followed, or directly, without (...)
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  • Hearing Meanings: The Revenge of Context.Luca Gasparri & Michael Murez - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5229-5252.
    According to the perceptual view of language comprehension, listeners typically recover high-level linguistic properties such as utterance meaning without inferential work. The perceptual view is subject to the Objection from Context: since utterance meaning is massively context-sensitive, and context-sensitivity requires cognitive inference, the perceptual view is false. In recent work, Berit Brogaard provides a challenging reply to this objection. She argues that in language comprehension context-sensitivity is typically exercised not through inferences, but rather through top-down perceptual modulations or perceptual learning. (...)
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  • The Self, Self-Knowledge, and a Flattened Path to Self-Improvement.Robert D. Rupert - manuscript
    This essay explores the connection between theories of the self and theories of self-knowledge, arguing (a) that empirical results strongly support a certain negative thesis about the self, a thesis about what the self isn’t, and (b) that a more promising account of the self makes available unorthodox – but likely apt – ways of characterizing self-knowledge. Regarding (a), I argue that the human self does not appear at a personal level the autonomous (or quasi-autonomous) status of which might provide (...)
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  • All Evidential Basing is Phenomenal Basing.Andrew Moon - 2019 - In J. Adam Carter & Patrick Bondy (eds.), Well Founded Belief: New Essays on the Epistemic Basing Relation. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 34-52.
    My thesis, which I call the phenomenal basing thesis, is that the evidential basing relation obtains between someone’s belief and evidence E only if the mental state associated with E has phenomenal character. In §2, I explain the thesis and provide background. In §3–§6, I show that the phenomenal basing thesis holds for simple basic beliefs, inferential beliefs, and complex basic beliefs, both when the beliefs are being formed and when they are being sustained.
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