Bookmark and Share

Perceptual Evidence

Edited by Susanna Schellenberg (Rutgers University)
Assistant editor: Kurt Sylvan (Rutgers University)
About this topic
Summary

How should we explain why perceptual experience provides us with evidence? Dogmatism and evidential internalism treat conscious mental states as explanatorily basic and posits a particular rule for justification, namely, that if it perceptually seems that p, then one has prima facie justification for p (Pollock 1974, Feldman and Conee 1985, Pryor 2000, Huemer 2007, among others). The knowledge-first view treats knowledge as explanatorily basic and analyzes justification in terms of a deficiency of knowledge (McDowell 1982, Williamson 2000, Millar 2008, Nagel 2013, Byrne 2014 among others). Reliabilism treats the reliability of the perceptual or cognitive system as explanatorily basic and analyzes evidence and justification as a product of this reliable system—be it in virtue of a reliable indicator or a reliable process (Goldman 1979, 1986, Lyons 2009 among others). By contrast, capacity views treat capacities as explanatorily basic and analyze evidence, justification, and knowledge as a product of the capacities employed. Among capacity views there is a distinction to be drawn between normative capacity views, on which mental capacities are understood as virtues or in other normative ways (Sosa 1991, 2006, 2007, Greco 2001, 2010, Bergmann 2006), and capacity views that forego normative terms (Burge 2003, Graham 2011, Schellenberg 2013, 2014). So on the first cluster of views, conscious mental states are explanatorily basic, on the second cluster knowledge, on the third reliability, and on the fourth capacities. These options are neither exclusive nor exhaustive. One might think that more than one of these four elements are explanatorily basic, or one might think that what is explanatorily basic is something else entirely.

What evidence does perceptual experience provide us with? To answer this question lets first distinguish between phenomenal evidence and factive evidence. We can understand phenomenal evidence as determined by how our environment sensorily seems to us when we are experiencing. We can understand factive perceptual evidence as necessarily determined by the environment to which we are perceptually related such that the evidence is guaranteed to be an accurate guide to the environment.Standard internalist views have it that we have the very same phenomenal evidence when we perceive and when we hallucinate. Standard knowledge-first views have it that when we perceive, we have factive evidence; when we hallucinate we have no evidence provided directly through experience: When we hallucinate we have only introspective evidence. Capacity views can go either way on the question of whether we have the very same or different evidence when we perceive or when we hallucinate. One option is to argue that when we perceive we have phenomenal and factive evidence; when we hallucinate, we have only phenomenal evidence. 

Key works

For dogmatism and evidential internalism, see Pollock 1974, Feldman and Conee 1985, Pryor 2000, Huemer 2007, among others. For knowledge-first views, see McDowell 1982, Williamson 2000, Millar 2008, Nagel 2013, Byrne 2014 among others. For reliabilism, see Goldman 1979, 1986, Lyons 2009 among others. For normative capacity views, see Sosa 1991, 2006, 2007, Greco 2001, 2010, Bergmann 2006. For non-normative capacity views, see Burge 2003, Graham 2011, Schellenberg 2013. 

  Show all references
Related categories
Siblings:
31 found
Search inside:
(import / add options)   Sort by:
  1. Ralph Baergen (1992). Perceptual Consciousness and Perceptual Evidence. Philosophical Papers 21 (2):107-119.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  2. Daniele Bertini (2011). Esperienze, Linguaggio, Giustificazione. Su "A Manual of Experimental Philosophy" di David Berman. Giornale di Metafisica 33 (3):469-482.
    David Berman's work on experimental philosophy is a defence of a traditional approach to empiricism against both contemporary rationalism and logico-analytic philosophy. While his approach focuses on empirical evidence in support of theoretical claims, Berman distinguishes his position from the kind of experimentalism recently risen from the analytic world. After having highlighted the merit of Berman's approach to philosophy, I comment on his main views, addressing particularly the relationship between language, intuitions and experience from the standpoint of the epistemological topic (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  3. William F. Brewer & Bruce L. Lambert (2001). The Theory-Ladenness of Observation and the Theory-Ladenness of the Rest of the Scientific Process. Philosophy of Science 3 (September):S176-S186.
    We use evidence from cognitive psychology and the history of science to examine the issue of the theory-ladenness of perceptual observation. This evidence shows that perception is theory-laden, but that it is only strongly theory-laden when the perceptual evidence is ambiguous or degraded, or when it requires a difficult perceptual judgment. We argue that debates about the theory-ladenness issue have focused too narrowly on the issue of perceptual experience, and that a full account of the scientific process requires an examination (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  4. Thierry Chaminade & Jean Decety (2001). A Common Framework for Perception and Action: Neuroimaging Evidence. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):879-882.
    In recent years, neurophysiological evidence has accumulated in favor of a common coding between perception and execution of action. We review findings from recent neuroimaging experiments in the action domain with three complementary perspectives: perception of action, covert action triggered by perception, and reproduction of perceived action (imitation). All studies point to the parietal cortex as a key region for body movement representation, both observed and performed.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  5. Dan D. Crawford (1991). On Having Reasons for Perceptual Beliefs: A Sellarsian Perspective. Journal of Philosophical Research 16:107-123.
    I interpret and defend Sellars’ intemalist view of perceptual justification which argues that perceivers have evidence for their perceptual beliefs that includes a higher-order belief about the circumstances in which those beliefs arise, and an epistemic belief about the reliability of beliefs that are formed in those circumstances. The pattem of inference that occurs in ordinary cases of perception is elicited.I then defend this account of perceptual evidence against 1) AIston’s objection that ordinary perceivers are not as critical and reflective (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  6. Paul Draper (1992). God and Perceptual Evidence. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 32 (3):149 - 165.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  7. Martin F. Fricke & Paul Snowdon (2003). Solidity and Impediment. Analysis 63 (279):173–178.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (9 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  8. Emmett L. Holman (1977). Sensory Experience, Perceptual Evidence and Conceptual Frameworks. American Philosophical Quarterly 14 (April):99-108.
  9. Emmett L. Holman (1975). Sensory Experience, Epistemic Evaluation and Perceptual Knowledge. Philosophical Studies 28 (September):173-187.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  10. Douglas James McDermid (2001). What is Direct Perceptual Knowledge? A Fivefold Confusion. Grazer Philosophische Studien 62 (1):1-16.
    When philosophers speak of direct perceptual knowledge, they obviously mean to suggest that such knowledge is unmediated ? but unmediated by what? This is where we find evidence of violent disagreement. To clarify matters, I want to identify and briefly describe several important senses of "direct" that have helped shape our understanding of perceptual knowledge. They are (1) "Direct" as Non-Inferential Perception; (2) "Direct" as Unmediating by Objects of Perception; (3) "Direct" as Conceptually Unmediated Perception; (4) "Direct" as Independent Verification (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  11. Leslie M. Kay (2001). Chaotic Itinerancy: Insufficient Perceptual Evidence. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):819-820.
    Chaotic itinerancy is useful for illustrating transitions in attractor dynamics seen in the olfactory system. Cantor coding is a good model for information processing, but so far it lacks perceptual proof. The theories presented provide a large step toward bridging the use of chaos as an interpretive tool and hard examination of chaotic neural activity during perception.
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  12. David Kelley (1986). The Evidence Of The Senses: A Realist Theory Of Perception. Baton Rouge: Louisiana St University Press.
    Remove from this list |
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  13. Catherine Legg, Idealism Operationalized: How Pragmatism Can Help Explicate and Motivate the Possibly Surprising Idea of Reality as Representational.
  14. Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). Pritchard's Reasons. Journal of Philosophical Research.
    My contribution to the author meets critics discussion of Pritchard's _Epistemological Disjunctivism_. In this paper, I examine some of the possible motivations for epistemological disjunctivism and look at some of the costs associated with the view. While Pritchard's view seems to be that our visual beliefs constitute knowledge because they're based on reasons, I argue that the claim that visual beliefs are based on reasons or evidence hasn't been sufficiently motivated. In the end I suggest that we'll get all the (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  15. Jack C. Lyons (forthcoming). Experiential Evidence? Philosophical Studies.
    Much of the intuitive appeal of evidentialism results from running together two very difference conceptions of evidence. This is most clear in the case of perceptual justification, where experience is able to provide evidence in one sense of the term, though not in the sense that the evidentialist requires. I argue this, in part, by relying on a new and nonstandard reading of the Sellarsian dilemma.
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  16. Peter J. Markie (2004). Nondoxastic Perceptual Evidence. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):530-553.
    How does a particular experience evidence a particular perceptual belief for us? As Alvin Plantinga (Warrant and Proper Function, Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 98) puts it, "[W]hat makes it the case that a particular way of being appeared to--being appeared to greenly, say--is evidence for the proposition that I see something green?" Promising, but unsuccessful, answers cite a reliable connection between our having the experience and the belief's being true, our having good reason to believe in such a connection, (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (9 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  17. Douglas J. McDermid (2001). What is Direct Perceptual Knowledge? A Fivefold Confusion. Grazer Philosophische Studien 62 (1):1-16.
    When philosophers speak of direct perceptual knowledge, they obviously mean to suggest that such knowledge is unmediated ? but unmediated by what? This is where we find evidence of violent disagreement. To clarify matters, I want to identify and briefly describe several important senses of "direct" that have helped shape our understanding of perceptual knowledge. They are (1) "Direct" as Non-Inferential Perception; (2) "Direct" as Unmediating by Objects of Perception; (3) "Direct" as Conceptually Unmediated Perception; (4) "Direct" as Independent Verification (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  18. Luca Moretti (forthcoming). In Defence of Dogmatism. Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    According to Jim Pryor’s dogmatism, when you have an experience with content p, you often have prima facie justification to believe p that does not rest on your independent justification to believe any proposition. Although dogmatism has an intuitive appeal and seems to have an antisceptical bite, it has been targeted by different objections. This paper principally aims to answer the objections by Roger White according to which dogmatism is inconsistent with the Bayesian account of how evidence affects our credences. (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  19. Bence Nanay (forthcoming). Perceptual Representation / Perceptual Content. In Mohan Matthen (ed.), Oxford Handbook for the Philosophy of Perception. Oxford University Press.
    A straightforward way of thinking about perception is in terms of perceptual representation. Perception is the construction of perceptual representations that represent the world correctly or incorrectly. This way of thinking about perception has been questioned recently by those who deny that there are perceptual representations. This article examines some reasons for and against the concept of perceptual representation and explores some potential ways of resolving this debate. Then it analyzes what perceptual representations may be: if they attribute properties to (...)
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  20. Ram Neta (2004). Perceptual Evidence and the New Dogmatism. Philosophical Studies 119 (1-2):199-214.
    What is the epistemological value of perceptual experience? In his recently influential paper, “The Skeptic and the Dogmatist”1, James Pryor develops a seemingly plausible answer to this question. Pryor’s answer comprises the following three theses: (F) “Our perceptual justification for beliefs about our surroundings is always defeasible – there are always possible improvements in our epistemic state which would no longer support those beliefs.” (517) (PK) “This justification that you get merely by having an experience as of p can sometimes (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  21. Tommaso Piazza (2010). Perceptual Evidence and Information. Knowledge, Technology and Policy 23 (1-2):75-95.
    Quite recently, Luciano Floridi has put forward the fascinating suggestion that knowledge should be analyzed as special kind of information, in particular as accounted information. As I will try tentatively to show, one important consequence of Floridi’s proposal is that the notion of justification, and of evidence, should play no role in a philosophical understanding of knowledge. In this paper, I shall suggest one potential difficulty with which Floridi’s proposal might be consequently afflicted, yet accept the fundamental suggestion that traditional (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  22. Stephen E. Rosenbaum (1978). Chisholm on Evidence and Epistemic Priority. Philosophia 7 (3-4):461-475.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  23. Susanna Schellenberg (2014). The Epistemic Force of Perceptual Experience. Philosophical Studies 170 (1):87-100.
    What is the metaphysical nature of perceptual experience? What evidence does experience provide us with? These questions are typically addressed in isolation. In order to make progress in answering both questions, perceptual experience needs to be studied in an integrated manner. I develop a unified account of the phenomenological and epistemological role of perceptual experience, by arguing that sensory states provide perceptual evidence due to their metaphysical structure. More specifically, I argue that sensory states are individuated by the perceptual capacities (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  24. Susanna Schellenberg (2013). Experience and Evidence. Mind 122 (487):699-747.
    I argue that perceptual experience provides us with both phenomenal and factive evidence. To a first approximation, we can understand phenomenal evidence as determined by how our environment sensorily seems to us when we are experiencing. To a first approximation, we can understand factive evidence as necessarily determined by the environment to which we are perceptually related such that the evidence is guaranteed to be an accurate guide to the environment. I argue that the rational source of both phenomenal and (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  25. Thomas D. Senor, Perception, Evidence, and the Epistemology of Disagreement.
    In this paper I argue for a version of the Total Evidence view according to which the rational response to disagreement depends upon one's total evidence. I argue that perceptual evidence of a certain kind is significantly weightier than many other types of evidence, including testimonial. Furthermore, what is generally called "The Uniqueness Thesis" is actually a conflation of two distinct principles that I dub "Evidential Uniqueness" and "Rationality Uniqueness." The former principle is likely true but the latter almost certainly (...)
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  26. Declan Smithies (2013). Review of Duncan Pritchard, Epistemological Disjunctivism. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  27. Gerald Vision (2009). Fixing Perceptual Belief. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):292-314.
    In specifying the sensory evidence for perceptual belief, thinkers have either chosen a common perceptual idiom or have invented one of their own as a starting-point for their enquiries. It is becoming clearer that the choice harbours crucial, often disputable, assumptions. I compare two sorts of constructions, a variety of propositional ones and an objectual one, and I argue that the objectual idiom is indispensable in order to explain how a perceptual belief can arise out of what is not already (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  28. Ioannis Votsis (forthcoming). Perception and Observation Unladened. Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    Let us call ‘veridicalism’ the view that perceptual beliefs and observational reports are largely truthful. This paper aims to make a case for veridicalism by, among other things, examining in detail and ultimately deflating in import what many consider to be the view’s greatest threat, the so-called ‘theory-ladenness’ of perception and/or observation. In what follows, it is argued that to the extent that theoretical factors influence the formation of perceptual beliefs and observational reports, as theory-ladenness demands, that influence is typically (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  29. Brian Weatherson, Easy Knowledge and Other Epistemic Virtues.
    This paper has three aims. First, I’ll argue that there’s no good reason to accept any kind of ‘easy knowledge’ objection to externalist foundationalism. It might be a little surprising that we can come to know that our perception is accurate by using our perception, but any attempt to argue this is impossible seems to rest on either false premises or fallacious reasoning. Second, there is something defective about using our perception to test whether our perception is working. What this (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  30. Brian Weatherson, Evidence Neutrality.
    • Perceptual Evidence is Psychological My perceptual evidence consists in facts about the psychological states I am in when undergoing a perceptual experience. (If you don’t think that evidence is propositional, the evidence might be the states themeslves; I’m going to presuppose evidence is propositional, and factive, for this talk.) So, for instance, my perceptual evidence might include that I’m visually representing that there is a table in front of me.
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  31. Edmond Wright, Perception as Epistemic: 'We Perceive Only What We Have Motivationally Selected as Entities'.
    If a sensory field exists as a pure natural sign open to all kinds of interpretation as evidence (see 'Sensing as non-epistemic'), what is it that does the interpreting? Borrowing from the old Gestalt psychologists, I have proposed a gestalt module that picks out wholes from the turmoil, it being the process of noticing or attending to , but the important difference from Koffka and Köhler (Koffka, 1935; Köhler, 1940), the originators of the term 'gestalt' in the psychology of perception (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation