Synthese 191 (7):1549-1566 (2014)

Harmen Ghijsen
Radboud University Nijmegen
Phenomenalist dogmatist experientialism (PDE) holds the following thesis: if $S$ has a perceptual experience that $p$ , then $S$ has immediate prima facie evidential justification for the belief that $p$ in virtue of the experience’s phenomenology. The benefits of PDE are that it (a) provides an undemanding view of perceptual justification that allows most of our ordinary perceptual beliefs to be justified, and (b) accommodates two important internalist intuitions, viz. the New Evil Demon Intuition and the Blindsight Intuition. However, in the face of a specific version of the Sellarsian dilemma, PDE is ad hoc. PDE needs to explain what is so distinct about perceptual experience that enables it to fulfill its evidential role without being itself in need of justification. I argue that neither an experience’s presentational phenomenology, nor its phenomenal forcefulness can be used to answer this question, and that prospects look dim for any other phenomenalist account. The subjective distinctness of perceptual experience might instead just stem from a higher-order belief that the experience is a perceptual one, but this will only serve to strengthen the case for externalism: externalism is better suited to provide an account of how we attain justified higher-order beliefs and can use this account to accommodate the Blindsight Intuition.
Keywords Perceptual justification  Dogmatism  Experientialism  Externalism  Perception  Imagination
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-013-0348-3
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,018
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Empirical Knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin Ira Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.
The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Value of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):503-520.
The Real Epistemic Problem of Cognitive Penetration.Harmen Ghijsen - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1457-1475.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

How To Be Conservative: A Partial Defense of Epistemic Conservatism.Paul Silva - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):501-514.
Perceptual Evidence and the New Dogmatism.Ram Neta - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 119 (1-2):199-214.
The Mystery of Direct Perceptual Justification.Peter Markie - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 126 (3):347-373.
Two Dogmas of Coherentism.Daniel Enrique Kalpokas - 2012 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 85 (1):213-236.
On Having Reasons for Perceptual Beliefs: A Sellarsian Perspective.Dan D. Crawford - 1991 - Journal of Philosophical Research 16:107-123.
Perception and Virtue Reliabilism.Jack C. Lyons - 2009 - Acta Analytica 24 (4):249-261.
The Empirical Foundation and Justification of Knowledge.Jiaming Chen - 2008 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 3 (1):67-82.
Emotion as a Basis of Belief.Monica Holland - 1989 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 35 (1):67-71.


Added to PP index

Total views
128 ( #89,962 of 2,498,304 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #212,099 of 2,498,304 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes