The Phenomenal Basis of Epistemic Justification

In Jesper Kallestrup & Mark Sprevak (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mind. Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 98-124 (2014)
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Abstract

In this chapter, I argue for the thesis that phenomenal consciousness is the basis of epistemic justification. More precisely, I argue for the thesis of phenomenal mentalism, according to which epistemic facts about which doxastic attitudes one has justification to hold are determined by non-epistemic facts about one’s phenomenally individuated mental states. I begin by providing intuitive motivations for phenomenal mentalism and then proceed to sketch a more theoretical line of argument according to which phenomenal mentalism provides the best explanation of the independently motivated thesis of access internalism. The result is a theory of epistemic justification that brings intuition and theory into reflective equilibrium.

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Declan Smithies
Ohio State University

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