L'attention et la justification des croyances perceptives

Lato Sensu: Revue de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences 7 (3):1-15 (2020)
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This essay defends the claim that endogenous attention is necessary for the justification of perceptual beliefs. I criticize the so-called phenomenal approach, according to which perceptual experiences provide justification in virtue of being phenomenally conscious. I specifically target Siegel and Silins’ (2014 ; 2019) version of the phenomenal approach. As against their view, I claim that perceptual justification cannot be understood without reference to the cognitive mechanisms which underlie the mobilization of reasons in support of propositional attitudes – attention being instrumental to those very mechanisms. Relying on the distinction between propositional and doxastic justification, I first criticize the alleged cases of justification in the absence of attention before elaborating a two-stage argument in favor of the necessity of attention for perceptual justification. In the first stage, I contend that the functional role of endogenous attention makes it a necessary condition for doxastic justification. In the second stage, by relying on Turri’s (2010) analysis, I establish that propositional justification itself necessitates attention.

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Emile Thalabard
Sorbonne Université


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