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Consciousness and Knowledge

In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2020)

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  1. On Experiencing High-Level Properties.Indrek Reiland - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (3):177-187.
    Tim Bayne and Susanna Siegel have recently offered interesting arguments in favor of the view that we can experience high-level properties like being a pine tree or being a stethoscope (Bayne 2009, Siegel 2006, 2011). We argue first that Bayne’s simpler argument fails. However, our main aim in this paper is to show that Siegel’s more sophisticated argument for her version of the high-level view can also be resisted if one adopts a view that distinguishes between perceptual experiences and seemings.
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  • Perception and Its Objects.Bill Brewer - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    Early modern empiricists thought that the nature of perceptual experience is given by citing the object presented to the mind in that experience. Hallucination and illusion suggest that this requires untenable mind-dependent objects. Current orthodoxy replaces the appeal to direct objects with the claim that perceptual experience is characterized instead by its representational content. This paper argues that the move to content is problematic, and reclaims the early modern empiricist insight as perfectly consistent, even in cases of illusion, with the (...)
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  • Intuition.Ole Koksvik - 2011 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    In this thesis I seek to advance our understanding of what intuitions are. I argue that intuitions are experiences of a certain kind. In particular, they are experiences with representational content, and with a certain phenomenal character. -/- In Chapter 1 I identify our target and provide some important reliminaries. Intuitions are mental states, but which ones? Giving examples helps: a person has an intuition when it seems to her that torturing the innocent is wrong, or that if something is (...)
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  • The Phenomenal Basis of Epistemic Justification.Declan Smithies - 2014 - In Mark Sprevak & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mind. London: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 98-124.
    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 (...)
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  • Phenomenal Seemings and Sensible Dogmatism.Berit Brogaard - 2013 - In Chris Tucker (ed.), Seemings and Justification: New Essays on Dogmatism and Phenomenal Conservatism. New York: Oxford University Press USA. pp. 270.
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  • Perceptual Reports.Berit Brogaard - 2015 - In Mohan Matthen (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Perception. New York, NY: Oxford University Press UK.
    Perceptual reports are utterances of sentences that contain a perceptual verb, such as ‘look’, ‘sound’, ‘feel’, ‘see’, and ‘perceive’. It is natural to suppose that at least in many cases, these types of reports reflect aspects of the phenomenal character and representational content of a subject’s perceptual experiences. For example, an utterance of ‘my chair looks red but it’s really white’ appears to reflect phenomenal properties of the speaker’s experience of a chair. Whether perceptual reports actually reflect these things is (...)
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  • Cognitive Penetration and the Perception of Art (Winner of 2012 Dialectica Essay Prize).Dustin Stokes - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (1):1-34.
    There are good, even if inconclusive, reasons to think that cognitive penetration of perception occurs: that cognitive states like belief causally affect, in a relatively direct way, the contents of perceptual experience. The supposed importance of – indeed as it is suggested here, what is definitive of – this possible phenomenon is that it would result in important epistemic and scientific consequences. One interesting and intuitive consequence entirely unremarked in the extant literature concerns the perception of art. Intuition has it (...)
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  • The significance of high-level content.Nicholas Silins - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (1):13-33.
    This paper is an essay in counterfactual epistemology. What if experience have high-level contents, to the effect that something is a lemon or that someone is sad? I survey the consequences for epistemology of such a scenario, and conclude that many of the striking consequences could be reached even if our experiences don't have high-level contents.
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  • The epistemic impact of the etiology of experience.Susanna Siegel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):697-722.
    In this paper I offer a theory of what makes certain influences on visual experiences by prior mental states (including desires, beliefs, moods, and fears) reduce the justificatory force of those experiences. The main idea is that experiences, like beliefs, can have rationally assessable etiologies, and when those etiologies are irrational, the experiences are epistemically downgraded.
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  • Intuitions and Experiments: A Defense of the Case Method in Epistemology.Jennifer Nagel - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):495-527.
    Many epistemologists use intuitive responses to particular cases as evidence for their theories. Recently, experimental philosophers have challenged the evidential value of intuitions, suggesting that our responses to particular cases are unstable, inconsistent with the responses of the untrained, and swayed by factors such as ethnicity and gender. This paper presents evidence that neither gender nor ethnicity influence epistemic intuitions, and that the standard responses to Gettier cases and the like are widely shared. It argues that epistemic intuitions are produced (...)
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  • Presentational Phenomenology.Elijah Chudnoff - 2012 - In Sofia Miguens & Gerhard Preyer (eds.), Consciousness and Subjectivity. [Place of publication not identified]: Ontos Verlag. pp. 51–72.
    A blindfolded clairvoyant walks into a room and immediately knows how it is arranged. You walk in and immediately see how it is arranged. Though both of you represent the room as being arranged in the same way, you have different experiences. Your experience doesn’t just represent that the room is arranged a certain way; it also visually presents the very items in the room that make that representation true. Call the felt aspect of your experience made salient by this (...)
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  • Why explain visual experience in terms of content?Adam Pautz - 2010 - In Bence Nanay (ed.), Perceiving the world. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 254--309.
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  • What Intuitions Are Like.Elijah Chudnoff - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (3):625-654.
    What are intuitions? According to doxastic views, they are doxastic attitudes or dispositions, such as judgments or inclinations to make judgments. According to perceptualist views, they are—like perceptual experiences—pre-doxastic experiences that—unlike perceptual experiences—represent abstract matters as being a certain way. In this paper I argue against doxasticism and in favor of perceptualism. I describe two features that militate against doxasticist views of perception itself: perception is belief-independent and perception is presentational. Then I argue that intuitions also have both features. The (...)
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  • Ethical Intuitionism.Michael Huemer - 2005 - New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
    This book defends a form of ethical intuitionism, according to which (i) there are objective moral truths; (ii) we know some of these truths through a kind of immediate, intellectual awareness, or "intuition"; and (iii) our knowledge of moral truths gives us reasons for action independent of our desires. The author rebuts all the major objections to this theory and shows that the alternative theories about the nature of ethics all face grave difficulties.
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  • There is immediate justification.James Pryor - 2013 - In Matthias Steup & John Turri (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Blackwell. pp. 181--202.
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  • Externalist Theories of Empirical Knowledge.Laurence Bonjour - 1980 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5 (1):53-73.
    One of the many problems that would have t o be solved by a satisfactory theory of empirical knowledge, perhaps the most central is a general structural problem which I shall call the epistemic regress problem: the problem of how to avoid an in- finite and presumably vicious regress of justification in ones account of the justifica- tion of empirical beliefs. Foundationalist theories of empirical knowledge, as we shall see further below, attempt t o avoid the regress by locating a (...)
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  • A coherence theory of truth and knowledge.Donald Davidson - 1986 - In Ernest LePore (ed.), Truth and Interpretation: Perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald Davidson. Cambridge: Blackwell. pp. 307-319.
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  • Perception, Hallucination, and Illusion.William Fish - 2009 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.
    In the first monograph in this exciting area since then, William Fish develops a comprehensive disjunctive theory, incorporating detailed accounts of the three ...
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  • Experience and content.Alex Byrne - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):429-451.
    The 'content view', in slogan form, is 'Perceptual experiences have representational content'. I explain why the content view should be reformulated to remove any reference to 'experiences'. I then argue, against Bill Brewer, Charles Travis and others, that the content view is true. One corollary of the discussion is that the content of perception is relatively thin (confined, in the visual case, to roughly the output of 'mid-level' vision). Finally, I argue (briefly) that the opponents of the content view are (...)
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  • Cognitive Penetrability and Perceptual Justification.Susanna Siegel - 2012 - Noûs 46 (2).
    In this paper I argue that it's possible that the contents of some visual experiences are influenced by the subject's prior beliefs, hopes, suspicions, desires, fears or other mental states, and that this possibility places constraints on the theory of perceptual justification that 'dogmatism' or 'phenomenal conservativism' cannot respect.
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  • Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Knowledge and its Limits presents a systematic new conception of knowledge as a kind of mental stage sensitive to the knower's environment. It makes a major contribution to the debate between externalist and internalist philosophies of mind, and breaks radically with the epistemological tradition of analyzing knowledge in terms of true belief. The theory casts new light on such philosophical problems as scepticism, evidence, probability and assertion, realism and anti-realism, and the limits of what can be known. The arguments are (...)
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  • In Defence of a Doxastic Account of Experience.Kathrin Glüer - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (3):297-327.
    Today, many philosophers think that perceptual experiences are conscious mental states with representational content and phenomenal character. Subscribers to this view often go on to construe experience more precisely as a propositional attitude sui generis ascribing sensible properties to ordinary material objects. I argue that experience is better construed as a kind of belief ascribing 'phenomenal' properties to such objects. A belief theory of this kind deals as well with the traditional arguments against doxastic accounts as the sui generis view. (...)
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  • The skeptic and the dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
    Consider the skeptic about the external world. Let’s straightaway concede to such a skeptic that perception gives us no conclusive or certain knowledge about our surroundings. Our perceptual justification for beliefs about our surroundings is always defeasible—there are always possible improvements in our epistemic state which would no longer support those beliefs. Let’s also concede to the skeptic that it’s metaphysically possible for us to have all the experiences we’re now having while all those experiences are false. Some philosophers dispute (...)
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  • Compassionate phenomenal conservatism.Michael Huemer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.
    I defend the principle of Phenomenal Conservatism, on which appearances of all kinds generate at least some justification for belief. I argue that there is no reason for privileging introspection or intuition over perceptual experience as a source of justified belief; that those who deny Phenomenal Conservatism are in a self-defeating position, in that their view cannot be both true and justified; and that thedemand for a metajustification for Phenomenal Conservatism either is an easily met demand, or is an unfair (...)
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  • Justification and truth.Stewart Cohen - 1984 - Philosophical Studies 46 (3):279--95.
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  • The visual experience of causation.Susanna Siegel - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):519-540.
    In this paper I argue that causal relations between objects are represented in visual experience, and contrast my argument and its conclusion with Michotte's results from the 1960's.
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  • Empiricism and the philosophy of mind.Wilfrid Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.
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  • The transparency of experience.Michael G. F. Martin - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (4):376-425.
    A common objection to sense-datum theories of perception is that they cannot give an adequate account of the fact that introspection indicates that our sensory experiences are directed on, or are about, the mind-independent entities in the world around us, that our sense experience is transparent to the world. In this paper I point out that the main force of this claim is to point out an explanatory challenge to sense-datum theories.
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  • The mystery of direct perceptual justification.Peter Markie - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 126 (3):347-373.
    In at least some cases of justified perceptual belief, our perceptual experience itself, as opposed to beliefs about it, evidences and thereby justifies our belief. While the phenomenon is common, it is also mysterious. There are good reasons to think that perceptions cannot justify beliefs directly, and there is a significant challenge in explaining how they do. After explaining just how direct perceptual justification is mysterious, I considerMichael Huemers (Skepticism and the Veil of Perception, 2001) and Bill Brewers (Perception and (...)
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  • Perceptual belief and nonexperiential looks.Jack Lyons - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):237-256.
    The “looks” of things are frequently invoked (a) to account for the epistemic status of perceptual beliefs and (b) to distinguish perceptual from inferential beliefs. ‘Looks’ for these purposes is normally understood in terms of a perceptual experience and its phenomenal character. Here I argue that there is also a nonexperiential sense of ‘looks’—one that relates to cognitive architecture, rather than phenomenology—and that this nonexperiential sense can do the work of (a) and (b).
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  • Is vision continuous with cognition?: The case for cognitive impenetrability of visual perception.Zenon Pylyshyn - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):341-365.
    Although the study of visual perception has made more progress in the past 40 years than any other area of cognitive science, there remain major disagreements as to how closely vision is tied to general cognition. This paper sets out some of the arguments for both sides and defends the position that an important part of visual perception, which may be called early vision or just vision, is prohibited from accessing relevant expectations, knowledge and utilities - in other words it (...)
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  • Which Properties Are Represented in Perception.Susanna Siegel - 2006 - In Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual experience. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 481-503.
    In discussions of perception and its relation to knowledge, it is common to distinguish what one comes to believe on the basis of perception from the distinctively perceptual basis of one's belief. The distinction can be drawn in terms of propositional contents: there are the contents that a perceiver comes to believe on the basis of her perception, on the one hand; and there are the contents properly attributed to perception itself, on the other. Consider the content.
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  • Perception, vision, and causation.Paul Snowdon - 1981 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 81:175-92.
    Paul Snowdon; XI*—Perception, Vision and Causation, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Volume 81, Issue 1, 1 June 1981, Pages 175–192, https://doi.org/10.
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  • Skepticism and the Veil of Perception.Michael Huemer (ed.) - 2001 - Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
    This book develops and defends a version of direct realism: the thesis that perception gives us direct awareness, and non-inferential knowledge, of the external..
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  • Perception: A Representative Theory.Frank Jackson - 1977 - Cambridge University Press.
    What is the nature of, and what is the relationship between, external objects and our visual perceptual experience of them? In this book, Frank Jackson defends the answers provided by the traditional Representative theory of perception. He argues, among other things that we are never immediately aware of external objects, that they are the causes of our perceptual experiences and that they have only the primary qualities. In the course of the argument, sense data and the distinction between mediate and (...)
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  • A Study of Concepts.Christopher Peacocke - 1992 - MIT Press.
    Philosophers from Hume, Kant, and Wittgenstein to the recent realists and antirealists have sought to answer the question, What are concepts? This book provides a detailed, systematic, and accessible introduction to an original philosophical theory of concepts that Christopher Peacocke has developed in recent years to explain facts about the nature of thought, including its systematic character, its relations to truth and reference, and its normative dimension. Particular concepts are also treated within the general framework: perceptual concepts, logical concepts, and (...)
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  • The representational character of experience.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - In Brian Leiter (ed.), The future for philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 153--181.
    This chapter analyzes aspects of the relationship between consciousness and intentionality. It focuses on the phenomenal character and the intentional content of perceptual states, canvassing various possible relations among them. It argues that there is a good case for a sort of representationalism, although this may not take the form that its advocates often suggest. By mapping out some of the landscape, the chapter tries to open up territory for different and promising forms of representationalism to be explored in the (...)
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  • Epistemic Elitism and Other Minds.Elijah Chudnoff - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):276-298.
    Experiences justify beliefs about our environment. Sometimes the justification is immediate: seeing a red light immediately justifies believing there is a red light. Other times the justification is mediate: seeing a red light justifies believing one should brake in a way that is mediated by background knowledge of traffic signals. How does this distinction map onto the distinction between what is and what isn't part of the content of experience? Epistemic egalitarians think that experiences immediately justify whatever is part of (...)
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  • Perceiving : A Philosophical Study.Rodrick Chisholm - 1957 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 63 (4):500-500.
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  • Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):452-458.
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  • Skepticism and the Veil of Perception.Michael Huemer - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (1):234-237.
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  • A Study of Concepts.Christopher Peacocke - 1992 - Studia Logica 54 (1):132-133.
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  • Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
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  • Perceiving: A Philosophical Study.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1957 - Philosophy 34 (131):366-367.
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  • Perceiving: A Philosophical Study. Roderick M. Chisholm Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1957. Pp. xi, 203. $2.75.John W. Yolton - 1958 - Philosophy of Science 25 (4):302-305.
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  • In defense of hearing meanings.Berit Brogaard - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):2967-2983.
    According to the inferential view of language comprehension, we hear a speaker’s utterance and infer what was said, drawing on our competence in the syntax and semantics of the language together with background information. On the alternative perceptual view, fluent speakers have a non-inferential capacity to perceive the content of speech. On this view, when we hear a speaker’s utterance, the experience confers some degree of justification on our beliefs about what was said in the absence of defeaters. So, in (...)
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  • Perceptual Learning Explains Two Candidates for Cognitive Penetration.Valtteri Arstila - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1151-1172.
    The cognitive penetrability of perceptual experiences has been a long-standing topic of disagreement among philosophers and psychologists. Although the notion of cognitive penetrability itself has also been under dispute, the debate has mainly focused on the cases in which cognitive states allegedly penetrate perceptual experiences. This paper concerns the plausibility of two prominent cases. The first one originates from Susanna Siegel’s claim that perceptual experiences can represent natural kind properties. If this is true, then the concepts we possess change the (...)
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  • Intuitions.Anthony Robert Booth & Darrell P. Rowbottom (eds.) - 2014 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press UK.
    Intuitions may seem to play a fundamental role in philosophy: but their role and their value have been challenged recently. What are intuitions? Should we ever trust them? And if so, when? Do they have an indispensable role in science—in thought experiments, for instance—as well as in philosophy? Or should appeal to intuitions be abandoned altogether? This collection brings together leading philosophers, from early to late career, to tackle such questions. It presents the state of the art thinking on the (...)
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  • Experience, Seemings, and Evidence.Indrek Reiland - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (4):510-534.
    Many people have recently argued that we need to distinguish between experiences and seemings and that this has consequences for views about how perception provides evidence. In this article I spell out my take on these issues by doing three things. First, I distinguish between mere sensations like seeing pitch black all around you and perceptual experiences like seeing a red apple. Both have sensory phenomenology in presenting us with sensory qualities like colors, being analog in Dretske's sense, and being (...)
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  • On Experiencing Meanings.Indrek Reiland - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (4):481-492.
    Do we perceptually experience meanings? For example, when we hear an utterance of a sentence like ‘Bertrand is British’ do we hear its meaning in the sense of being auditorily aware of it? Several philosophers like Tim Bayne and Susanna Siegel have suggested that we do (Bayne 2009: 390, Siegel 2006: 490-491, 2011: 99-100). They argue roughly as follows: 1) experiencing speech/writing in a language you are incompetent in is phenomenally different from experiencing speech/writing you are competent in; 2) this (...)
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