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Seemings and Justification: An Introduction

In Seemings and Justification: New Essays on Dogmatism and Phenomenal Conservatism. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-29 (2013)

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  1. A defense of modal appearances.C. A. McIntosh - forthcoming - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-19.
    I argue that beliefs about what appears possible are justified in much the same way as beliefs about what appears actual. I do so by chisholming, and then modalizing, the epistemic principle associated with phenomenal conservatism. The principle is tested against a number of examples, and it gives the intuitively correct results. I conclude by considering how it can be used to defend two controversial modal arguments, a Cartesian argument for dualism and an ontological argument for the existence of God.
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  • Everything is Clear: All Perceptual Experiences Are Transparent.Laura Gow - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):412-425.
    The idea that perceptual experience is transparent is generally used by naïve realists and externalist representationalists to promote an externalist account of the metaphysics of perceptual experience. It is claimed that the phenomenal character of our perceptual experience can be explained solely with reference to the externally located objects and properties which (for the representationalist) we represent, or which (for the naïve realist) partly constitute our experience. Internalist qualia theorists deny this, and claim that the phenomenal character of our perceptual (...)
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  • The Prospects of Emotional Dogmatism.Eilidh Harrison - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    The idea that emotional experience is capable of lending immediate and defeasible justification to evaluative belief has been amassing significant support in recent years. The proposal that it is my anger, say, that justifies my belief that I’ve been wronged putatively provides us with an intuitive and naturalised explanation as to how we receive epistemic justification for a rich catalogue of our evaluative beliefs. However, despite the fact that this justificatory thesis of emotion is fundamentally an epistemological proposal, comparatively little (...)
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  • Phenomenal Conservatism and the Problem of Reflective Awareness.Luca Moretti - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (3):267-280.
    This paper criticizes phenomenal conservatism––the influential view according to which a subject S’s seeming that P provides S with defeasible justification for believing P. I argue that phenomenal conservatism, if true at all, has a significant limitation: seeming-based justification is elusive because S can easily lose it by just reflecting on her seemings and speculating about their causes––I call this the problem of reflective awareness. Because of this limitation, phenomenal conservatism doesn’t have all the epistemic merits attributed to it by (...)
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  • Phenomenal Conservatism.Luca Moretti - 2015 - Analysis 75 (2):296-309.
    I review recent work on Phenomenal Conservatism, the position introduced by Michael Huemer according to which if it seems that P to a subject S, in the absence of defeaters S has thereby some degree of justification for believing P.
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  • Basic Beliefs and the Perceptual Learning Problem: A Substantial Challenge for Moderate Foundationalism.Bram M. K. Vaassen - 2016 - Episteme 13 (1):133-149.
    In recent epistemology many philosophers have adhered to a moderate foundationalism according to which some beliefs do not depend on other beliefs for their justification. Reliance on such ‘basic beliefs’ pervades both internalist and externalist theories of justification. In this article I argue that the phenomenon of perceptual learning – the fact that certain ‘expert’ observers are able to form more justified basic beliefs than novice observers – constitutes a challenge for moderate foundationalists. In order to accommodate perceptual learning cases, (...)
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  • Intuitionism in the Philosophy of Mathematics: Introducing a Phenomenological Account.Philipp Berghofer - 2020 - Philosophia Mathematica 28 (2):204-235.
    ABSTRACT The aim of this paper is to establish a phenomenological mathematical intuitionism that is based on fundamental phenomenological-epistemological principles. According to this intuitionism, mathematical intuitions are sui generis mental states, namely experiences that exhibit a distinctive phenomenal character. The focus is on two questions: what does it mean to undergo a mathematical intuition and what role do mathematical intuitions play in mathematical reasoning? While I crucially draw on Husserlian principles and adopt ideas we find in phenomenologically minded mathematicians such (...)
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  • Perceptual Justification and the Cartesian Theater.David James Barnett - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6.
    According to a traditional Cartesian epistemology of perception, perception does not provide one with direct knowledge of the external world. Instead, your immediate perceptual evidence is limited to facts about your own visual experience, from which conclusions about the external world must be inferred. Cartesianism faces well-known skeptical challenges. But this chapter argues that any anti-Cartesian view strong enough to avoid these challenges must license a way of updating one’s beliefs in response to anticipated experiences that seems diachronically irrational. To (...)
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  • Commonsense, Skeptical Theism, and Different Sorts of Closure of Inquiry Defeat.Jonathan Curtis Rutledge - 2017 - Faith and Philosophy 34 (1):17-32.
    Trent Dougherty argues (contra Jonathan Matheson) that when taking into consideration the probabilities involving skeptical theism (ST) and gratuitous evils, an agent may reasonably affirm both ST and that gratuitous evils exist. In other words, Dougherty thinks that assigning a greater than .5 probability to ST is insufficient to defeat the commonsense problem of evil. I argue that Dougherty’s response assumes, incorrectly, that ST functions solely as an evidential defeater, and that, when understood as a closure of inquiry defeater, ST (...)
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  • Moore’s proof, theory-ladenness of perception, and many proofs.Mark Walker - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2163-2183.
    I argue that if we allow that Moore’s Method, which involves taking an ordinary knowledge claim to support a substantive metaphysical conclusion, can be used to support Moore’s proof an external world, then we should accept that Moore’s Method can be used to support a variety of incompatible metaphysical conclusions. I shall refer to this as “the problem of many proofs”. The problem of many proofs, I claim, stems from the theory-ladenness of perception. I shall argue further that this plethora (...)
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  • Phenomenal Conservatism and Bergmann’s Dilemma.Luca Moretti & Tommaso Piazza - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (6):1271-1290.
    In this paper we argue that Michael Huemer’s phenomenal conservatism—the internalist view according to which our beliefs are prima facie justified if based on how things seems or appears to us to be—doesn’t fall afoul of Michael Bergmann’s dilemma for epistemological internalism. We start by showing that the thought experiment that Bergmann adduces to conclude that is vulnerable to his dilemma misses its target. After that, we distinguish between two ways in which a mental state can contribute to the justification (...)
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  • Phenomenal Conservatism.Logan Paul Gage & Blake McAllister - 2020 - In John M. DePoe & Tyler McNabb (eds.), Debating Christian Religious Epistemology: An Introduction to Five Views on the Knowledge of God. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 61-81.
    In this chapter, we argue for a phenomenal conservative perspective on religious epistemology and attempt to answer some common criticisms of this perspective.
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  • Intuition as a Capacity for a Priori Knowledge.Henry W. Pickford - 2019 - Philosophical Investigations 13 (28):147-169.
    This article lays the groundwork for a defense of rational intuitions by first arguing against a prevalent view according to which intuition is a distinctive psychological state, an “intellectual seeming” that p, that then constitutes evidence that p. An alternative account is then offered, according to which an intuition that p constitutes non-inferential a priori knowledge that p in virtue of the concepts exercised in judging that p. This account of rational intuition as the exercise of conceptual capacities in a (...)
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  • The Limitations of Perceptual Transparency.Laura Gow - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):723-744.
    My first aim in this paper is to show that the transparency claim cannot serve the purpose to which it is assigned; that is, the idea that perceptual experience is transparent is no help whatsoever in motivating an externalist account of phenomenal character. My second aim is to show that the internalist qualia theorist's response to the transparency idea has been unnecessarily concessive to the externalist. Surprisingly, internalists seem to allow that much of the phenomenal character of perceptual experience depends (...)
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  • If Dogmatists Have a Problem with Cognitive Penetration, You Do Too.Chris Tucker - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (1):35-62.
    Perceptual dogmatism holds that if it perceptually seems to S that P, then S thereby has prima facie perceptual justification for P. But suppose Wishful Willy's desire for gold cognitively penetrates his perceptual experience and makes it seem to him that the yellow object is a gold nugget. Intuitively, his desire-penetrated seeming can't provide him with prima facie justification for thinking that the object is gold. If this intuitive response is correct, dogmatists have a problem. But if dogmatists have a (...)
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  • How to Solve Hume's Problem of Induction.Alexander Jackson - 2019 - Episteme 16 (2):157-174.
    This paper explains what’s wrong with a Hume-inspired argument for skepticism about induction. Hume’s argument takes as a premise that inductive reasoning presupposes that the future will resemble the past. I explain why that claim is not plausible. The most plausible premise in the vicinity is that inductive reasoning from E to H presupposes that if E then H. I formulate and then refute a skeptical argument based on that premise. Central to my response is a psychological explanation for how (...)
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  • Moore’s Proof, Perception, and Scepticism.Simon Dierig - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (4):552-576.
    _ Source: _Volume 94, Issue 4, pp 552 - 576 Two major arguments have been advanced for the claim that there is a transmission failure in G.E. Moore’s famous proof of an external world. The first argument, due to Crispin Wright, is based on an epistemological doctrine now known as ‘conservatism’. Proponents of the second argument, like Nicholas Silins, invoke probabilistic considerations, most important among them Bayes’ theorem. The aim of this essay is to defend Moore’s proof against these two (...)
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  • The Evolution of Moral Intuitions and Their Feeling of Rightness.Christine Clavien & Chloë FitzGerald - forthcoming - In Joyce R. (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy.
    Despite the widespread use of the notion of moral intuition, its psychological features remain a matter of debate and it is unclear why the capacity to experience moral intuitions evolved in humans. We first survey standard accounts of moral intuition, pointing out their interesting and problematic aspects. Drawing lessons from this analysis, we propose a novel account of moral intuitions which captures their phenomenological, mechanistic, and evolutionary features. Moral intuitions are composed of two elements: an evaluative mental state and a (...)
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  • How You Know You Are Not a Brain in a Vat.Alexander Jackson - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2799-2822.
    A sensible epistemologist may not see how she could know that she is not a brain in a vat ; but she doesn’t panic. She sticks with her empirical beliefs, and as that requires, believes that she is not a BIV. (She does not inferentially base her belief that she is not a BIV on her empirical knowledge—she rejects that ‘Moorean’ response to skepticism.) Drawing on the psychological literature on metacognition, I describe a mechanism that’s plausibly responsible for a sensible (...)
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  • Epistemic Internalism, Justification, and Memory.B. J. C. Madison - 2014 - Logos and Episteme 5 (1):33-62.
    Epistemic internalism, by stressing the indispensability of the subject’s perspective, strikes many as plausible at first blush. However, many people have tended to reject the position because certain kinds of beliefs have been thought to pose special problems for epistemic internalism. For example, internalists tend to hold that so long as a justifier is available to the subject either immediately or upon introspection, it can serve to justify beliefs. Many have thought it obvious that no such view can be correct, (...)
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  • What Seemings Seem to Be.Samuel A. Taylor - 2015 - Episteme 12 (3):363-384.
    According to Phenomenal Conservatism (PC), if it seems to a subject S that P, S thereby has some degree of (defeasible) justification for believing P. But what is it for P to seem true? Answering this question is vital for assessing what role (if any) such states can play. Many have appeared to adopt a kind of non-reductionism that construes seemings as intentional states which cannot be reduced to more familiar mental states like beliefs or sensations. In this paper I (...)
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  • Against an Inferentialist Dogma.Thomas Raleigh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1397-1421.
    I consider the ‘inferentialist’ thesis that whenever a mental state rationally justifies a belief it is in virtue of inferential relations holding between the contents of the two states. I suggest that no good argument has yet been given for the thesis. I focus in particular on Williamson (2000) and Ginsborg (2011) and show that neither provides us with a reason to deny the plausible idea that experience can provide non-inferential justification for belief. I finish by pointing out some theoretical (...)
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  • Expressions, Looks and Others' Minds.William E. S. McNeill - forthcoming - In Matthew Parrott & Anita Avramides (eds.), Other Minds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We can know some things about each others' mental lives. The view that some of this knowledge is genuinely perceptual is getting traction. But the idea that we can see any of each others' mental states themselves - the Simple Perceptual Hypothesis - remains unpopular. Very often the view that we can perceptually know, for example, that James is angry, is thought to depend either on our awareness of James' expression or on the way James appears - versions of what (...)
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  • Moores Beweis, Wahrnehmung und Skeptizismus.Simon Dierig - forthcoming - New Content is Available for Grazer Philosophische Studien.
    _ Source: _Page Count 25 Two major arguments have been advanced for the claim that there is a transmission failure in G.E. Moore’s famous proof of an external world. The first argument, due to Crispin Wright, is based on an epistemological doctrine now known as ‘conservatism’. Proponents of the second argument, like Nicholas Silins, invoke probabilistic considerations, most important among them Bayes’ theorem. The aim of this essay is to defend Moore’s proof against these two arguments. It is shown, first, (...)
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  • Husserl’s Noetics – Towards a Phenomenological Epistemology.Philipp Berghofer - 2018 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 50 (2):120-138.
    ABSTRACTFor Husserl, noetics is the most fundamental science and the centrepiece of a phenomenological epistemology. Since in his major works Husserl does not develop noetics systematically but uses its main ideas and achievements often in apparent isolation without clarifying their systematic unity, the significance of noetics is often overlooked. Although Husserl has repeatedly stressed the importance of a phenomenological epistemology, what the concrete theses of such an undertaking are supposed to be often remains obscure. We shall see that the best (...)
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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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  • Religious Epistemology.Chris Tweedt & Trent Dougherty - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (8):547-559.
    Religious epistemology is the study of how subjects' religious beliefs can have, or fail to have, some form of positive epistemic status and whether they even need such status appropriate to their kind. The current debate is focused most centrally upon the kind of basis upon which a religious believer can be rationally justified in holding certain beliefs about God and whether it is necessary to be so justified to believe as a religious believer ought. Engaging these issues are primarily (...)
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  • The Explanatory Challenge: Moral Realism Is No Better Than Theism.Dan Baras - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):368-389.
    Many of the arguments for and against robust moral realism parallel arguments for and against theism. In this article, I consider one of the shared challenges: the explanatory challenge. The article begins with a presentation of Harman's formulation of the explanatory challenge as applied to moral realism and theism. I then examine two responses offered by robust moral realists to the explanatory challenge, one by Russ Shafer-Landau and another by David Enoch. Shafer-Landau argues that the moral realist can plausibly respond (...)
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  • Explanationist Evidentialism.Kevin McCain - 2013 - Episteme 10 (3):299-315.
    In their most recent co-authored work, Conee and Feldman (2008) suggest that epistemic support should be understood in terms of best explanations. Although this suggestion is plausible, Conee and Feldman admit that they have not provided the necessary details for a complete account of epistemic support. This article offers an explanationist account of epistemic support of the kind that Conee and Feldman suggest. It is argued that this account of epistemic support yields the intuitively correct results in a wide variety (...)
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  • Predictive Processing and Foundationalism About Perception.Harmen Ghijsen - forthcoming - Synthese.
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  • Explanationist Aid for Phenomenal Conservatism.Kevin McCain - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3035-3050.
    Phenomenal conservatism is a popular theory of epistemic justification. Despite its popularity and the fact that some think that phenomenal conservatism can provide a complete account of justification, it faces several challenges. Among these challenges are the need to provide accounts of defeaters and inferential justification. Fortunately, there is hope for phenomenal conservatism. Explanationism, the view on which justification is a matter of explanatory considerations, can help phenomenal conservatism with both of these challenges. The resulting view is one that respects (...)
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  • Husserl’s Conception of Experiential Justification: What It Is and Why It Matters.Philipp Berghofer - 2018 - Husserl Studies 34 (2):145-170.
    The aim of this paper is twofold. The first is an interpretative one as I wish to provide a detailed account of Husserl’s conception of experiential justification. Here Ideas I and Introduction to Logic and Theory of Knowledge: Lectures 1906/07 will be my main resources. My second aim is to demonstrate the currency and relevance of Husserl’s conception. This means two things: Firstly, I will show that in current debates in analytic epistemology there is a movement sharing with Husserl the (...)
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  • Seemings as Sui Generis.Blake McAllister - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3079-3096.
    The epistemic value of seemings is increasingly debated. Such debates are hindered, however, by a lack of consensus about the nature of seemings. There are four prominent conceptions in the literature, and the plausibility of principles such as phenomenal conservatism, which assign a prominent epistemic role to seemings, varies greatly from one conception to another. It is therefore crucial that we identify the correct conception of seemings. I argue that seemings are best understood as sui generis mental states with propositional (...)
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  • Perceptual Experience and Cognitive Penetrability.Somogy Varga - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):376-397.
    This paper starts by distinguishing three views about the phenomenal character of perceptual experience. ‘Low-level theorists’ argue that perceptual experience is reducible to the experience of low-level properties, ‘high-level theorists’ argue that we have perceptual experiences of high-level properties, while ‘disunified view theorists’ argue that perceptual seemings can present high-level properties. The paper explores how cognitive states can penetrate perceptual experience and provides an interpretation of cognitive penetration that offers some support for the high-level view.
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  • Moral Sentimentalism.Antti Kauppinen - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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