An actionist approach to the justificational role of perceptual experience

Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 72 (2-3):545-572 (2016)
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In this paper, I defend an account of how perceptual experience can bear rational relation to our empirical thought. In the first part, I elaborate two claims that are central for the justificational role of perceptual experience, namely, the claim that perception and belief share the same kind of content, and the claim that perception is independent from belief. At first sight, these claims seem not to be compatible, since the first one seems to require the truth of content conceptualism, while the second one seems to require its falsity. In the second part, based on Alva Noë's actionist theory of perception, I argue in favor of a less intellectualist interpretation of the first claim, uncommitted to content conceptualism, and then I show how it can be reconciled with the second claim. Finally, I explain how perception holds rational relationships with our empirical thought through the exercise of observational concepts. These concepts link what I propose to call 'space of actions' to the logical space of reasons.

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Eros Carvalho
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

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