Phenomenal Conservatism and the Principle of Credulity

In Chris Tucker (ed.), Seemings and Justification: New Essays on Dogmatism and Phenomenal Conservatism. New York: Oxford University Press USA. pp. 293-305 (2013)
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Lycan (1985, 1988) defended a “Principle of Credulity”: “Accept at the outset each of those things that seem to be true” (1988, p. 165). Though that takes the form of a rule rather than a thesis, it does not seem very different from Huemer’s (2001, 2006, 2007) doctrine of phenomenal conservatism (PC): “If it seems to S that p , then, in the absence of defeaters, S thereby has at least some degree of justification for believing that p ” (2007, p. 30). My Principle was differently motivated and put to uses different from Huemer’s. In this paper I shall explore some of the differences.



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William G. Lycan
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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