Brewer’s switching argument

Grazer Philosophische Studien 85 (1):255-277 (2012)

Abstract

In his Perception and Reason, Bill Brewer argues that one can only have empirical beliefs if one’s perceptual experiences serve as reasons for such beliefs. His argument for this idea relies on a premise according to which in order for the relations with perceptual experience to determine the contents of empirical beliefs, these relations must be reason-giving. He offers an argument for this premise, the so-called Switching Argument. In this paper, I show that the Switching Argument does not work, in which case we have no reason to accept the premise the argument is supposed to establish, and hence no reason to accept Brewer’s argument in favour of the idea that one can only have empirical beliefs if one’s perceptual experiences serve as reasons for such beliefs.

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Andre Abath
Federal University of Minas Gerais

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