On the Epistemological Significance of Value Perception

In Anna Bergqvist & Robert Cowan (eds.), Evaluative Perception. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 200-218 (2018)
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This paper explores the epistemological significance of the view that we can literally see, hear, and touch evaluative properties (the high-level theory of value perception). My central contention is that, from the perspective of epistemology, the question of whether there are such high-level experiences doesn’t matter. Insofar as there are such experiences, they most plausibly emerged through the right kind of interaction with evaluative capacities that are not literally perceptual (e.g., of the sort involved in imaginative evaluative reflection). But even if these other evaluative capacities turn out not to alter the content of perceptual experience, they would still be sufficient to do all of the justificatory work that high-level experiences are meant to do. I close by observing that it may matter a great deal whether a certain other picture of value perception is true. This alternative picture has it that desires and/or emotions are perceptual-like experiences of value.
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