How to Explain the Rationality of Perception

Analysis 78 (3):500-512 (2018)
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In her book The Rationality of Perception, Susanna Siegel argues for the interesting idea that perceptual experiences are in an important epistemic sense much more like beliefs than has previously been supposed. Like beliefs, perceptual experiences themselves already manifest a certain epistemic status, and, like beliefs, the way in which those experiences are formed will impact what that epistemic status will be. In what follows, I will first contrast this view of the rationality of perception with the usual way of thinking about perception and justification and explain some of its crucial motivations (§1). I will then go on to critically discuss some of the details of Siegel’s account about what grounds the epistemic status of experience (§2) and how that status is inferentially modulated (§3). Although this raises some doubts about the specific way in which Siegel cashes out the rationality of perception, the core idea remains an interesting open possibility.



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Harmen Ghijsen
Radboud University Nijmegen

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References found in this work

What is Justified Belief?Alvin I. Goldman - 1979 - In George Pappas (ed.), Justification and Knowledge. Boston: D. Reidel. pp. 1-25.
What's wrong with Moore's argument?James Pryor - 2004 - Philosophical Issues 14 (1):349–378.
The Intellectual Given.John Bengson - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):707-760.
Skepticism and the Veil of Perception.Michael Huemer - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (1):234-237.

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