Seemings as sui generis

Synthese 195 (7):3079-3096 (2018)
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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 content and a distinct phenomenal character. Rival conceptions are shown to succumb to numerous difficulties.

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Blake McAllister
Hillsdale College


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