Does perceptual psychology rule out disjunctivism in the theory of perception?

Synthese:1-23 (forthcoming)
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Disjunctivist views in the theory of perception hold that genuine perceptions differ in some relevant kind from misperceptions, such as illusions and hallucinations. In recent papers, Tyler Burge has argued that such views conflict with the basic tenets of perceptual psychology. According to him, perceptual psychology is committed to the view that genuine perceptions and misperceptions produced by the same proximal stimuli must be or involve perceptual states of the same kind. This, he argues, conflicts with disjunctivism. In this paper, I defend epistemological disjunctivism from Burge’s inconsistency charge. To this end, I survey the perceptual psychological literature, and reveal that the perceptual kinds they tend to employ differ from and imply nothing about the kinds at issue for the epistemological disjunctivist. I then argue that Burge’s concerns with epistemological disjunctivism are best interpreted as motivated not by his commitment to empirical science, but instead by his views in epistemology and about human rationality.
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Archival date: 2021-02-18
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