Experience Does Justify Belief

In Ram Neta (ed.), Current Controversies In Epistemology. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 55-69 (2014)
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Abstract
According to Fumerton in his "How Does Perception Justify Belief?", it is misleading or wrong to say that perception is a source of justification for beliefs about the external world. Moreover, reliability does not have an essential role to play here either. I agree, and I explain why in section 1, using novel considerations about evil demon scenarios in which we are radically deceived. According to Fumerton, when it comes to how sensations or experiences supply justification, they do not do so on their own, and instead only do so only in conjunction with support for background beliefs about how the sensations or experiences are best explained. Here I disagree. In section 2, I first clarify the question of whether sensations or experiences provide justification on their own. I then respond to Fumerton’s arguments that use considerations about concept-possession and about how to close possible gaps between experience and truth. In section 3, I develop my main concern about his positive view, where that concern also brings out some of the merits of the view that experiences do justify beliefs about the external world on their own.
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