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Summary What is the role of perception in providing rational support for beliefs? Can perceptual states or events provide any rational support at all? According to a traditional foundationalism, perceptual states all by themselves were rationally inert, and only introspective beliefs in which the subjects self-ascribes such states played a role in the justifying external-world beliefs. One of the main issues is whether perception can ever provide rational support for external worlds beliefs, without the help of introspective beliefs. If they can, then several further questions arise. Which beliefs do perceptual states provide justification for? What is the relationship between the beliefs that a perceptual state can justify, and the contents of the perceptual state? Are perceptual states ever sufficient to provide justification, or do they need help from other factors?  Which features of the perceptual states are relevant to providing justification? What is the role of concepts in perceptual justification? How is the internal structure of perceptual states related to their rational role?  Does consciousness have any special rational role? What difference does it make for the rational role of perception whether disjunctivism, sense-datum theory, intentionalism, or other theories are correct about the nature of perceptual experience? Are the distinctions between perceptual states, events, and processes important for understanding the rational role of perception?
Key works Two elaborate but classic discussions of perceptual justification are Sellars 1956 and McDowell 1994McDowell 1994 argues against Davidson 1986, who in turn locates perception within coherentist theory that seems to exclude it from playing any rational role.  Pryor 2000 , Huemer 2006, and Campbell 2002 argue for a central role of conscious experience in providing justification. Goldman 1986 lays the basis for reliabilist theories of justification and their application to perception. McDowell 1982 set off discussion of whether hallucinations and non-hallucinations can have the same rational role.
Introductions Siegel & Silins forthcoming  provides an overview of the topic. The first chapter of McDowell 1994 sets up the problem in terms of an opposition between foundationalism and coherentism. The opening pages of both McDowell 1994 and Gupta 2006 make it seem counterintuitive to deny perceptual states any rational role.
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  1. Keith Allen (2010). Perception and Basic Beliefs: Zombies, Modules, and the Problem of the External World * By JACK C. LYONS. Analysis 70 (2):391-393.
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  2. William P. Alston (1993). The Reliability of Sense Perception. Cornell University Press.
    Chapter INTRODUCTION i. The Problem Why suppose that sense perception is, by and large, an accurate source of information about the physical environment? ...
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  3. Jon Altschul, Epistemic Entitlement. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In the early 1990s there emerged a growing interest with the concept of epistemic entitlement. Philosophers who acknowledge the existence of entitlements maintain that there are beliefs or judgments unsupported by evidence available to the subject, but which the subject nonetheless has the epistemic right to hold. Some of these may include beliefs non-inferentially sourced in perception, memory, introspection, testimony, and the a priori. Unlike the traditional notion of justification, entitlement is often characterized as an externalist type of epistemic warrant, (...)
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  4. D. M. Armstrong (1988). Perception and Belief. In Jonathan Dancy (ed.), Perceptual Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
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  5. Ralph Baergen (1992). Perceptual Consciousness and Perceptual Evidence. Philosophical Papers 21 (2):107-119.
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  6. Andrew R. Bailey (1998). Phenomenal Properties: The Epistemology and Metaphysics of Qualia. Dissertation, University of Calgary
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  7. Selim Berker (2011). Gupta's Gambit. Philosophical Studies 152 (1):17-39.
    After summarizing the essential details of Anil Gupta’s account of perceptual justification in his book _Empiricism and Experience_, I argue for three claims: (1) Gupta’s proposal is closer to rationalism than advertised; (2) there is a major lacuna in Gupta’s account of how convergence in light of experience yields absolute entitlements to form beliefs; and (3) Gupta has not adequately explained how ordinary courses of experience can lead to convergence on a commonsense view of the world.
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  8. Tim Black (2011). Review of John McDowell, Perception as a Capacity for Knowledge. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  9. Bill Brewer (1999/2002). Perception and Reason. Oxford University Press.
    Bill Brewer presents an original view of the role of conscious experience in the acquisition of empirical knowledge. He argues that perceptual experiences must provide reasons for empirical beliefs if there are to be any determinate beliefs at all about particular objects in the world. This fresh approach to epistemology turns away from the search for necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge and works instead from a theory of understanding in a particular area.
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  10. Bill Brewer (1998). Experience and Reason in Perception. In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Current Issues in Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 203-227.
    The question I am interested in is this. What exactly is the role of conscious experience in the acquisition of knowledge on the basis of perception? The problem here, as I see it, is to solve simultaneously for the nature of this experience, and its role in acquiring and sustaining the relevant beliefs, in such a away as to vindicate what I regard as an undeniable datum, that perception is a basic source of knowledge about the mind- independent world, in (...)
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  11. Robert Briscoe (forthcoming). Cognitive Penetration and the Reach of Phenomenal Content. In Athanassios Raftopoulos & John Zeimbekis (eds.), Cognitive Penetrability.
  12. Robert Briscoe (2007). Communication and Rational Responsiveness to the World. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):135-159.
    Donald Davidson has long maintained that in order to be credited with the concept of objectivity – and, so, with language and thought – it is necessary to communicate with at least one other speaker. I here examine Davidson’s central argument for this thesis and argue that it is unsuccessful. Subsequently, I turn to Robert Brandom’s defense of the thesis in Making It Explicit. I argue that, contrary to Brandom, in order to possess the concept of objectivity it is not (...)
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  13. Berit Brogaard (2013). Phenomenal Seemings and Sensible Dogmatism. In Chris Tucker (ed.), Seemings and Justification. Oup Usa. 270.
  14. Anthony Brueckner (2009). Internalism and Evidence of Reliability. Philosophia 37 (1):47-54.
    This paper concerns various competing views on the nature of perceptual justification. Various thought experiments that motivate various views are discussed. Once reliabilism is rejected and some form of internalism is instead embraced, the following issue arises: must an internalist nevertheless require that perceptual justification involve the possession of evidence for the reliability of our perceptual processes? Matthias Steup answers in the affirmative, espousing what he calls internalist reliabilism. Some problems are raised for this form of internalism.
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  15. Tyler Burge (2003). Perceptual Entitlement. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):503-548.
    The paper develops a conception of epistemic warrant as applied to perceptual belief, called entitlement, that does not require the warranted individual to be capable of understanding the warrant. The conception is situated within an account of animal perception and unsophisticated perceptual belief. It characterizes entitlement as fulfillment of an epistemic norm that is apriori associated with a certain representational function that can be known apriori to be a function of perception. The paper connects anti-individualism, a thesis about the nature (...)
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  16. Tyler Burge (2003). Perceptual Entitlement. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):503-48.
    The paper develops a conception of epistemic warrant as applied to perceptual belief, called "entitlement", that does not require the warranted individual to be capable of understanding the warrant. The conception is situated within an account of animal perception and unsophisticated perceptual belief. It characterizes entitlement as fulfillment of an epistemic norm that is apriori associated with a certain representational function that can be known apriori to be a function of perception. The paper connects anti-individualism, a thesis about the nature (...)
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  17. Alex Byrne (1996). Spin Control. In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Perception. Ridgeview. 261--74.
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  18. Alex Byrne (1996). Spin Control: Comment on McDowell's Mind and World. Philosophical Issues 7:261-73.
    We have justified beliefs about the external world, and some of these are formed directly on the basis of perception. I may justifiably believe that a certain dog is in certain manger, and I may have this belief because I can see that the dog is in the manger. So far, so good.
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  19. Quassim Cassam (2008). Knowledge, Perception and Analysis. South African Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):214-226.
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  20. Cheryl K. Chen (2006). Empirical Content and Rational Constraint. Inquiry 49 (3):242 – 264.
    It is often thought that epistemic relations between experience and belief make it possible for our beliefs to be about or "directed towards" the empirical world. I focus on an influential attempt by John McDowell to defend a view along these lines. According to McDowell, unless experiences are the sorts of things that can be our reasons for holding beliefs, our beliefs would not be "answerable" to the facts they purportedly represent, and so would lack all empirical content. I argue (...)
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  21. Jiaming Chen (2008). The Empirical Foundation and Justification of Knowledge. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 3 (1):67-82.
    Whether empirical givenness has the reliability that foundationalists expect is a point about which some philosophers are highly skeptical. Sellars took the doctrine of givenness as a “myth,” denying the existence of immediate perceptual experience. The arguments in contemporary Western epistemology are concentrated on whether sensory experience has conceptual contents, and whether there is any logical relationship between perceptions and beliefs. In fact, once the elements of words and conceptions in empirical perception are affirmed, the logical relationship between perceptual experience (...)
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  22. Philippe Chuard, Perceptual Reasons.
    According to Conceptualists like John McDowell and Bill Brewer, the representational content of perceptual experiences is wholly conceptual. One of the main!and only!arguments they advance for this claim has to do with the epistemological role of perceptual experiences. I focus on Bill Brewers "1999# version of the argument. I show why Brewer fails to satisfactorily motivate the premises of his argument, and suggest that opponents of Conceptualism could accept these premises without thereby endorsing the conclusion. Finally, I consider whether the (...)
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  23. Stewart Cohen (2010). Bootstrapping, Defeasible Reasoning, and a Priori Justification. Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):141-159.
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  24. Juan Comesaña (2005). Justified Vs. Warranted Perceptual Belief: Resisting Disjunctivism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (2):367-383.
    In this paper I argue that McDowell’s brand of disjunctivism about perceptual knowledge is ill-motivated. First, I present a reconstruction of one main motivation for disjunctivism, in the form of an argument that theories that posit a “highest common factor” between veridical and non-veridical experiences must be wrong. Then I show that the argument owes its plausibility to a failure to distinguish between justification and warrant (where “warrant” is understood as whatever has to be added to true belief to yield (...)
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  25. Earl Conee, Opposing Skepticism Disjunctively.
    Disjunctivists hold that perceiving external objects is fundamentally different from any experiential state that is not a perception. In fact, roughly speaking, disjunctivists say that they have nothing in common. Suppose that it appears to someone as though she perceives something. Disjunctivists say that there are two disparate sorts of facts that could make this true. Either she is genuinely perceiving something, or she is in an experiential state of merely apparent perception. An apparent perception is fundamentally unlike a perception. (...)
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  26. D. R. Cousin (1940). Perceptual Assurance, Part II. Mind 49 (April):150-170.
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  27. 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 (...)
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  28. Matthew Davidson & Gordon Barnes (forthcoming). Internalism and Properly Basic Belief. In David Werther Mark Linville (ed.), Philosophy and the Christian Worldview : Analysis, Assessment and Development. Continuum.
    In this paper we set out a view on which internalist proper basicality is secured by sensory experience.
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  29. Santiago Echeverri (2013). Is Perception a Source of Reasons? Theoria 79 (1):22-56.
    It is widely assumed that perception is a source of reasons (SR). There is a weak sense in which this claim is trivially true: even if one characterizes perception in purely causal terms, perceptual beliefs originate from the mind's interaction with the world. When philosophers argue for (SR), however, they have a stronger view in mind: they claim that perception provides pre- or non-doxastic reasons for belief. In this article I examine some ways of developing this view and criticize them. (...)
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  30. Santiago Echeverri (2011). Epistemic Responsibility and Perceptual Experience. In David Lauer, Christophe Laudou, Robin Celikates & Georg W. Bertram (eds.), Expérience et réflexivité: perspectives au-delà de l’empirisme et de l’idéalisme. L'Harmattan.
    Any theory of perceptual experience should elucidate the way humans exploit it in activities proper to responsible agents, like justifying and revising their beliefs. In this paper I examine the hypothesis that this capacity requires the positing of a perceptual awareness involving a pre-doxastic actualization of concepts. I conclude that this hypothesis is neither necessary nor sufficient to account for empirical rationality. This leaves open the possibility to introduce a doxastic account, according to which the epistemic function of perception is (...)
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  31. Carl Ginet (1975). Knowledge, Perception, and Memory. D. Reidel Pub. Co..
    INTRODUCTION . What is it to know that something is the case? What am I saying when I say, 'I know that the temperature outside is below freezing' or 'I ...
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  32. Hannah Ginsborg (2011). Perception, Generality, and Reasons. In Andrew Reisner & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Reasons for Belief. Cambridge University Press. 131--57.
    During the last fifteen years or so there has been much debate, among philosophers interested in perception, on the question of whether the representational content of perceptual experience is conceptual or nonconceptual. Recently, however, a number of philosophers have challenged the terms of this debate, arguing that one of its most basic assumptions is mistaken. Experience, they claim, does not have representational content at all. On the kind of approach they suggest, having a perceptual experience is not to be understood (...)
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  33. Hannah Ginsborg (2006). Reasons for Belief. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (2):286 - 318.
    Davidson claims that nothing can count as a reason for a belief except another belief. This claim is challenged by McDowell, who holds that perceptual experiences can count as reasons for beliefs. I argue that McDowell fails to take account of a distinction between two different senses in which something can count as a reason for belief. While a non-doxastic experience can count as a reason for belief in one of the two senses, this is not the sense which is (...)
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  34. Kathrin Glüer (2009). In Defence of a Doxastic Account of Experience. Mind and Language 24 (3):297-327.
    Today, many philosophers think that perceptual experiences are conscious mental states with representational content and phenomenal character. Subscribers to this view often go on to construe experience more precisely as a propositional attitude sui generis ascribing sensible properties to ordinary material objects. I argue that experience is better construed as a kind of belief ascribing 'phenomenal' properties to such objects. A belief theory of this kind deals as well with the traditional arguments against doxastic accounts as the sui generis view. (...)
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  35. Alan H. Goldman (2004). Epistemological Foundations: Can Experiences Justify Beliefs? American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (4):273-285.
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  36. Alan H. Goldman (1981). Epistemology and the Psychology of Perception. American Philosophical Quarterly 18 (January):43-51.
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  37. A. Gupta (2006). Empiricism and Experience. Harvard University Press.
    This book offers a novel account of the relationship of experience to knowledge. The account builds on the intuitive idea that our ordinary perceptual judgments are not autonomous, that an interdependence obtains between our view of the world and our perceptual judgments. Anil Gupta shows in this important study that this interdependence is the key to a satisfactory account of experience. He uses tools from logic and the philosophy of language to argue that his account of experience makes available an (...)
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  38. A. Gupta (2006). Experience and Knowledge. In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press.
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  39. Anil Gupta (2013). The Relationship of Experience to Thought. The Monist 96 (2):252-294.
  40. Anil Gupta (2012). An Account of Conscious Experience. Analytic Philosophy 53 (1):1-29.
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  41. Anil Gupta (2011). Frey on Experiential Transparency and Its Rational Role. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (3):717-720.
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  42. Anil Gupta (2011). Replies to Selim Berker and Karl Schafer. Philosophical Studies 152 (1):41 - 53.
    I respond to six objections, raised by Selim Berker and Karl Schafer, against the theory offered in my Empiricism and Experience: (1) that the theory needs a problematic notion of subjective character of experience; (2) that the transition from the hypothetical to the categorical fails because of a logical difficulty; (3) that the constraints imposed on admissible views are too weak; (4) that the theory does not deserve the label 'empiricism'; (5) that the motivations provided for the Reliability constraint are (...)
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  43. Anil Gupta (2009). Précis of Empiricism and Experience. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):461-467.
  44. Adrian Haddock & Fiona Macpherson (eds.) (2008). Disjunctivism: Perception, Action, Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
  45. Adrian Haddock & Fiona Macpherson (2008). Introduction: Varieties of Disjunctivism. In Adrian Haddock & Fiona Macpherson (eds.), Disjunctivism: Perception, Action, Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
    Inspired by the writings of J. M. Hinton (1967a, 1967b, 1973), but ushered into the mainstream by Paul Snowdon (1980–1, 1990–1), John McDowell (1982, 1986), and M. G. F. Martin (2002, 2004, 2006), disjunctivism is currently discussed, advocated, and opposed in the philosophy of perception, the theory of knowledge, the theory of practical reason, and the philosophy of action. But what is disjunctivism?
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  46. Rudolf Haller (1974). Perception and Inferences. Ajatus 36:166-177.
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  47. Robert Hanna (2011). Beyond the Myth of the Myth: A Kantian Theory of Non-Conceptual Content. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (3):323 - 398.
    Abstract In this essay I argue that a broadly Kantian strategy for demonstrating and explaining the existence, semantic structure, and psychological function of essentially non-conceptual content can also provide an intelligible and defensible bottom-up theory of the foundations of rationality in minded animals. Otherwise put, if I am correct, then essentially non-conceptual content constitutes the semantic and psychological substructure, or matrix, out of which the categorically normative a priori superstructure of epistemic rationality and practical rationality ? Sellars?s ?logical space of (...)
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  48. Benj Hellie (forthcoming). It's Still There! In Richard Brown (ed.), Proceedings of Consciousness Online 3. Springer.
    The view concerning perception developed in ‘There it is’ (Hellie 2011) involves, most centrally, the following theses: I. A. One brings a within the scope of attention only if a is an aspect of one’s perceptual (or sense-perceptual) condition; B. If one sees veridically, one ordinarily brings within the scope of attention such an a partly constituted by the condition of the bodies surrounding one; C. The perceptual condition of a dreaming subject is never partly constituted by the bodies surrounding (...)
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  49. Benj Hellie (forthcoming). Love in the Time of Cholera. In Berit Brogaard (ed.), Does Perception Have Content? Oxford UP.
    We begin with a theory of the structure of sensory consciousness; a target phenomenon of 'presentation' can be clearly located within this structure. We then defend the rational-psychological necessity of presentation. We conclude with discussion of these philosophical challenges to the possibility of presentation. One crucial aspect of the discussion is recognition of the <cite>nonobjectivity</cite> of consciousness (a technical appendix explains what I mean by that). The other is a full-faced stare at the limitations of rational psychology: much of the (...)
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  50. Benj Hellie (2011). There It Is. Philosophical Issues 21 (1):110-164.
    A direct realist theory of perceptual justification. I take a ground-up approach, beginning with a theory of subjective rationality understood in terms of first-person rational explicability of the stream of consciousness. I mathematize this picture via a Tractarian spin on a semantical framework developed by Rayo. Perceptual states justify by being 'receptive': rationally inexplicable intentional states encoded in sentences that are analytic. Direct realists working within this framework should say that when one is taken in by hallucination one's overall picture (...)
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