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The Epistemology of Perception

In Mohan Matthen (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Perception. Oxford University Press (2015)

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  1. In Defence of Dogmatism.Luca Moretti - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):261-282.
    According to Jim Pryor’s dogmatism, when you have an experience with content p, you often have prima facie justification for believing p that doesn’t rest on your independent justification for believing any proposition. Although dogmatism has an intuitive appeal and seems to have an antisceptical bite, it has been targeted by various objections. This paper principally aims to answer the objections by Roger White according to which dogmatism is inconsistent with the Bayesian account of how evidence affects our rational credences. (...)
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  • The Value of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):503-520.
    Recent work within such disparate research areas as the epistemology of perception, theories of well-being, animal and medical ethics, the philosophy of consciousness, and theories of understanding in philosophy of science and epistemology has featured disconnected discussions of what is arguably a single underlying question: What is the value of consciousness? The purpose of this paper is to review some of this work and place it within a unified theoretical framework that makes contributions (and contributors) from these disparate areas more (...)
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  • Kant, the Paradox of Knowability, and the Meaning of ‘Experience’.Andrew Stephenson - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    It is often claimed that anti-realism is a form of transcendental idealism or that Kant is an anti-realist. It is also often claimed that anti-realists are committed to some form of knowability principle and that such principles have problematic consequences. It is therefore natural to ask whether Kant is so committed, and if he is, whether this leads him into difficulties. I argue that a standard reading of Kant does indeed have him committed to the claim that all empirical truths (...)
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  • Is Phenomenal Force Sufficient for Immediate Perceptual Justification?Lu Teng - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):637-656.
    As an important view in the epistemology of perception, dogmatism proposes that for any experience, if it has a distinctive kind of phenomenal character, then it thereby provides us with immediate justification for beliefs about the external world. This paper rejects dogmatism by looking into the epistemology of imagining. In particular, this paper first appeals to some empirical studies on perceptual experiences and imaginings to show that it is possible for imaginings to have the distinctive phenomenal character dogmatists have in (...)
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  • Imaginative Vividness.Kind Amy - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (1):32-50.
    How are we to understand the phenomenology of imagining? Attempts to answer this question often invoke descriptors concerning the “vivacity” or “vividness” of our imaginative states. Not only are particular imaginings often phenomenologically compared and contrasted with other imaginings on grounds of how vivid they are, but such imaginings are also often compared and contrasted with perceptions and memories on similar grounds. Yet however natural it may be to use “vividness” and cognate terms in discussions of imagination, it does not (...)
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  • Aesthetic Reasons.McGonigal Andrew - forthcoming - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  • Can Representationism Explain How Attention Affects Appearances?Sebastian Watzl - forthcoming - In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Themes from Block. Boston, USA: The MIT Press.
    Recent psychological research shows that attention affects appearances. An “attended item looks bigger, faster, earlier, more saturated, stripier.” (Block 2010, p. 41). What is the significance of these findings? Ned Block has argued that they undermine representationism, roughly the view that the phenomenal character of perception is determined by its representational content. My first goal in this paper is to show that Block’s argument has the structure of a Problem of Arbitrary Phenomenal Variation and that it improves on other instances (...)
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  • Mental Imagery and Fiction.Dustin Stokes - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):731-754.
    Fictions evoke imagery, and their value consists partly in that achievement. This paper offers analysis of this neglected topic. Section 2 identifies relevant philosophical background. Section 3 offers a working definition of imagery. Section 4 identifies empirical work on visual imagery. Sections 5 and 6 criticize imagery essentialism, through the lens of genuine fictional narratives. This outcome, though, is not wholly critical. The expressed spirit of imagery essentialism is to encourage philosophers to ‘put the image back into the imagination’. The (...)
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  • Experiences of Duration and Cognitive Penetrability.Carrie Figdor - forthcoming - In B. Brogaard and D. Gatzia (ed.), The Rational Roles of Perceptual Experience: Beyond Vision. New York: Oxford University Press.
    This paper considers the cognitive penetrability of our experiences of the durations of everyday events. I defend an account of subjective duration based in contemporary psychological and neurobiological research. I show its philosophical adequacy by demonstrating its utility in explain-ing the phenomenology of duration experiences. I then consider whether cognitive penetrability is a problem for these experiences. I argue that, to the contrary, the problem presupposes a relationship between perception and belief that duration perceptions and beliefs do not exhibit. In-stead, (...)
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  • The Epistemic Significance of Experience.Alex Byrne - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173:947-67.
    According to orthodoxy, perceptual beliefs are caused by perceptual experiences. The paper argues that this view makes it impossible to explain how experiences can be epistemically significant. A rival account, on which experiences in the “good case” are ways of knowing, is set out and defended.
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  • Intentionalism, Defeasibility, and Justification.Glüer-Pagin Kathrin - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1007-1030.
    According to intentionalism, perceptual experience is a mental state with representational content. When it comes to the epistemology of perception, it is only natural for the intentionalist to hold that the justificatory role of experience is at least in part a function of its content. In this paper, I argue that standard versions of intentionalism trying to hold on to this natural principle face what I call the “defeasibility problem”. This problem arises from the combination of standard intentionalism with further (...)
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  • Inferential Seemings and the Problem of Reflective Awareness.Luca Moretti - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):253-271.
    Phenomenal conservatism (PC) is the internalist view that non-inferential justification rests on appearances. PC’s advocates have recently argued that seemings are also required to explain inferential justification. The most general and developed view to this effect is Huemer (2016)’s theory of inferential seemings (ToIS). Moretti (2018) has shown that PC is affected by the problem of reflective awareness, which makes PC open to sceptical challenges. In this paper I argue that ToIS is afflicted by a version of the same problem (...)
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  • Global Scepticism, Underdetermination and Metaphysical Possibility.Luca Moretti - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (2):381-403.
    I focus on a key argument for global external world scepticism resting on the underdetermination thesis: the argument according to which we cannot know any proposition about our physical environment because sense evidence for it equally justifies some sceptical alternative (e.g. the Cartesian demon conjecture). I contend that the underdetermination argument can go through only if the controversial thesis that conceivability is per se a source of evidence for metaphysical possibility is true. I also suggest a reason to doubt that (...)
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  • Ensemble Representation and the Contents of Visual Experience.McClelland Tom - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    Of late philosophers of mind have been greatly exercised by a debate about the ‘admissible contents of perceptual experience’. The issue, roughly put, concerns the range of properties that ‘figure in’ perceptual experience. The focus of the debate has been very much on the contents of visual experience. It is relatively uncontroversial that colour, shape, illumination, spatial relations, motion, and texture can all figure in the contents of visual experience. The controversy begins when we ask whether any properties besides these (...)
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  • Inferentialism and Cognitive Penetration of Perception.Jack C. Lyons - 2016 - Episteme 13 (1):1-28.
    Cognitive penetration of perception is the idea that what we see is influenced by such states as beliefs, expectations, and so on. A perceptual belief that results from cognitive penetration may be less justified than a nonpenetrated one. Inferentialism is a kind of internalist view that tries to account for this by claiming that some experiences are epistemically evaluable, on the basis of why the perceiver has that experience, and the familiar canons of good inference provide the appropriate standards by (...)
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  • Intentionalism, Defeasibility, and Justification.Kathrin Glüer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1007-1030.
    According to intentionalism, perceptual experience is a mental state with representational content. When it comes to the epistemology of perception, it is only natural for the intentionalist to hold that the justificatory role of experience is at least in part a function of its content. In this paper, I argue that standard versions of intentionalism trying to hold on to this natural principle face what I call the “defeasibility problem”. This problem arises from the combination of standard intentionalism with further (...)
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  • Toward a Noninferentialist, Nonreliabilist Account of Perceptual Justification.Martin Roth - 2019 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 57 (1):80-102.
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  • Ensemble Representation and the Contents of Visual Experience.Tim Bayne & Tom McClelland - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):733-753.
    The on-going debate over the ‘admissible contents of perceptual experience’ concerns the range of properties that human beings are directly acquainted with in perceptual experience. Regarding vision, it is relatively uncontroversial that the following properties can figure in the contents of visual experience: colour, shape, illumination, spatial relations, motion, and texture. The controversy begins when we ask whether any properties besides these figure in visual experience. We argue that ‘ensemble properties’ should be added to the list of visually admissible properties. (...)
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  • The Epistemic Impact of the Etiology of Experience.Susanna Siegel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):697-722.
    In this paper I offer a theory of what makes certain influences on visual experiences by prior mental states (including desires, beliefs, moods, and fears) reduce the justificatory force of those experiences. The main idea is that experiences, like beliefs, can have rationally assessable etiologies, and when those etiologies are irrational, the experiences are epistemically downgraded.
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  • Experiencing Gendered Seeing.Katherine Tullmann - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (4):475-499.
    This paper explores the concept of “gendered seeing”: the capacity to visually perceive another person's gender and the role that one's own gender plays in that perception. Assuming that gendered properties are actually perceptible, my goal is to provide some support from the philosophy of perception on how gendered visual experiences are possible. I begin by exploring the ways in which sociologists and psychologists study how we perceive one's sex and the implications of these studies for the sex/gender distinction. I (...)
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