Against the Phenomenal View of Evidence: Disagreement and Shared Evidence

In Kevin McCain, Scott Stapleford & Matthias Steup (eds.), Seemings: New Arguments, New Angles. New York: Routledge (forthcoming)
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On the phenomenal view of evidence, seemings are evidence. More precisely, if it seems to S that p, S has evidence for p. Here, I raise a worry for this view of evidence; namely, that it has the counterintuitive consequence that two people who disagree would rarely, if ever, share evidence. This is because almost all differences in beliefs would involve differences in seemings: if S believes p, it seems to S that p; if S believes not-p, it seems to S that not-p. However, many literatures in epistemology, including the disagreement literature and the permissivism literature, presuppose that people who disagree can share evidence. I conclude that this is a reason to question the phenomenal view of evidence.

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Elizabeth Jackson
Ryerson University


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