Perceptual Justification Outside of Consciousness

In Richard Brown (ed.), Consciousness Inside and Out: Phenomenology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Experience. Springer. pp. 137-145 (2013)
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In his paper “There It Is” and his précis “There It Was,” Benj Hellie develops a sophisticated semantics for perceptual justification according to which perceptions in good cases can be explained by intentional psychology and can justify beliefs, whereas bad cases of perception are defective and so cannot justify beliefs. Importantly, Hellie also affords consciousness a central role in rationality insofar as only those good cases of perception within consciousness can play a justificatory function. In this commentary, I reserve judgment regarding Hellie’s treatment of the rational difference between good and bad cases, but I argue there can be what he views as good cases of perceptual justification outside of consciousness.

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Jacob Berger
Lycoming College


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