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Summary

The literature on perceptual knowledge—or, more broadly, the epistemology of perception—addresses a wide array of issues that often overlap.  Among the most prominent questions in the literature are the following: How should we account for perceptual knowledge and related notions such as perceptual evidence, justification, rationality, and entitlement?  Is any perceptual knowledge/justification immediate, or is all perceptual knowledge/justification mediated by other knowledge/justification?  Must perceptual experiences be understood as having conceptual content—or as having representational content at all—to justify perceptual beliefs?  How should the metaphysics of perception inform the epistemology of perception (or vice versa)?  How can we address skeptical threats to the status of our perceptual beliefs?  Do we have the same evidence for our perceptual beliefs in good and bad cases of perceptual experience?  More broadly, what is the relationship between the epistemic standing of our perceptual beliefs in good and bad cases?

Key works

Some central works about the nature of perceptual knowledge are Dretske(1969, 2000), Goldman (1976), McDowell (1994), Williamson (2000), Johnston (2006), and Sosa (2007).  Some central works about the nature of perceptual justification, entitlement and rationality are Pryor (2000), Huemer (2001), Burge (2003) and Wright (2004).  Important discussions of the relationship between perceptual content and the epistemology of perception include Sellars (1956), Martin (1993), Brewer (1999), Heck (2000), and Silins (2011).  Important discussions of the relationship between the metaphysics and epistemology of perception include Fumerton (1985), Martin (2006), McDowell (2008), and Sosa (2011).  Pryor (2000), Huemer (2001), and Wright (2002) rank among the most important recent discussions of perception and skepticism.  Pritchard (2012) and Schellenberg (2013) have developed accounts of the relationship between the epistemology of the good and the bad cases.

Introductions

Opie and O’Brien (2004), BonJour (2007), and Siegel and Silins (2015) provide overviews of the literature on the epistemology of perception. 

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  1. Steven E. Boër (1974). Cornman on Designation Rules. Philosophical Studies 26 (3-4):271 - 278.
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  2. Jack C. Carloye (1977). Cornman's Definition of Observation Terms. Philosophical Studies 32 (3):283 - 292.
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  3. Victoria Choy (1982). The Philosophy of James W. Cornman. Philosophical Studies 41 (1):7 - 29.
  4. Zoltan Domotor & Michael Friedman (1982). Cornman and Philosophy of Science. Philosophical Studies 41 (1):115 - 127.
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  5. Maduabuchi Durtos (2000). Perception, Intuition and Knowledge of Ti-Ie External World: Scienticizing African Philosophy. Indian Philosophical Quarterly 27 (4).
  6. William Fish & Cynthia Macdonald (2011). McDowell's Alternative Conceptions of the World. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (1):87-94.
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  7. Richard Foley (2012). Chapter 22. Perceptual Knowledge. In When is True Belief Knowledge? Princeton University Press 106-109.
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  8. Jonardon Ganeri (2007). Review of Epistemology of Perception: Gaṅgeśa's Tattvacintāmaṇi, Jewel of Reflection on the Truth (About Epistemology): The Perception Chapter (Pratyakṣa-Khaṇḍa) Transliterated Text, Translation, and Philosophical Commentary. [REVIEW] Journal of the American Oriental Society 127 (3):349-354.
    The article reviews the book "Epistemology of Perception: Gaṅgeśa's Tattvacintāmaṇi, Jewel of Reflection on the Truth (About Epistemology): The Perception Chapter (Pratyakṣa-khaṇḍa) Transliterated Text, Translation, and Philosophical Commentary," by Stephen H. Phillips and N. S. Ramanuja Tatacharya.
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  9. R. Gaskin (2008). Review: Anil Gupta: Empiricism and Experience. [REVIEW] Mind 117 (465):187-191.
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  10. Quentin Gibson (1966). Is There a Problem About Appearances? Philosophical Quarterly 16 (October):319-328.
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  11. Ravi Gomatam, Physics and Commonsense.
    Broadly stated, naïve realism is the attitude that the form of our outer experiences directly and literally correspond to the structure of the real world underlying these experiences. Naïve realism permeates our everyday thinking about, and ordinary language description of, the macroscopic world. It has undeniable pragmatic justification. However, as Descartes recognized centuries ago, philosophically speaking, naïve realism requires a justification. Physicists, nevertheless, simply assume naïve realism in interpreting the laboratory observations realistically. Thus, physicists do not find the philosophical issues (...)
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  12. D. W. Hamlyn (1984). Perceptual Knowledge. International Studies in Philosophy 16 (1):83-84.
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  13. W. D. Hart (1989). For Anil Gupta. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 90:161 - 165.
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  14. Robert J. Henle (1983). Perceptual Knowledge: An Analytical and Historical Study. By Georges Dicker. Modern Schoolman 60 (2):126-127.
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  15. M. Whitcomb Hess (1947). Language and Sense Perception. The Thomist 10:56.
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  16. R. J. Hirst (1967). Perception and Our Knowledge of the External World. Philosophical Books 8 (3):14-16.
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  17. Hirst, Rodney Julian & [From Old Catalog] (1965). Perception and the External World. New York, Macmillan.
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  18. Alan Hobbs (1975). New Phenomenalism as an Account of Perceptual Knowledge. Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 9:109-121.
    To be an Empiricist with respect to knowledge of the natural world, is to insist that all knowledge of that world is rooted in perceptual experience. All claims which go beyond the deliverances of the senses must, in the end, be justified by, and understood in terms of, relations holding between those claims and sensory data. Crucial to the Empiricist case, therefore, is an account of how perception can be a source of knowledge. How can sensory experiences provide, for the (...)
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  19. Emmett Lou Holman (1973). The Epistemic Status of Sense Perception. Dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park
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  20. A. H. Johnson (1973). Experiential Realism. New York,Humanities Press.
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  21. L. K. (1978). James W. Cornman. Philosophical Studies 34 (4):333-334.
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  22. R. M. K. (1973). Perception, Reason, and Knowledge. Review of Metaphysics 27 (2):371-371.
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  23. David Kelley (1982). Perceptual Knowledge. International Philosophical Quarterly 22 (1):97-98.
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  24. John B. Kent (1931). Dr. Hasan's Direct Realism. The Monist 41 (1):140-153.
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  25. Daniel Z. Korman (2014). Debunking Perceptual Beliefs About Ordinary Objects. Philosophers' Imprint 14 (13).
    Debunking arguments are arguments that aim to undermine some range of beliefs by showing that those beliefs are not appropriately connected to their subject matter. Arguments of this sort rear their heads in a wide variety of domains, threatening beliefs about morality, mathematics, logic, color, and the existence of God. Perceptual beliefs about ordinary objects, however, are widely thought to be invulnerable to such arguments. I will show that this is a mistake. I articulate a debunking argument that purports to (...)
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  26. K. L. (1978). In Memoriam: James W. Cornman. Philosophical Studies 34 (4):333 - 334.
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  27. J. Largeault (1989). Dancy . . - Perceptual knowledge. [REVIEW] Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 179:647.
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  28. Keith Lehrer (1982). In Memoriam: James W. Cornman. Philosophical Studies 41 (1):3 - 4.
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  29. Keith Lehrer (1982). James W. Cornman. Philosophical Studies 41 (1):3-4.
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  30. N. O. Lossky (1957). Conditions of the Direct Perception of the External World. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 38 (1):37.
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  31. William G. Lycan (2013). Phenomenal Conservatism and the Principle of Credulity. In Chris Tucker (ed.), Seemings and Justification: New Essays on Dogmatism and Phenomenal Conservatism. Oxford University Press 293-305.
    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, (...)
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  32. D. Maclachlan (1990). Jonathan Dancy, Ed., Perceptual Knowledge. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 10:101-104.
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  33. D. L. C. MacLachlan (1990). Jonathan Dancy, Ed., Perceptual Knowledge Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 10 (3):101-104.
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  34. Carolyn Hope Magid (1974). Experience and the Foundations of Knowledge. Dissertation, Princeton University
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  35. John McDowell (2002). Knowledge and the Internal Revisited. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):97-105.
    In “Knowledge and the Social Articulation of the Space of Reasons,” Robert Brandom reads my “Knowledge and the Internal” as sketching a position that, when properly elaborated, opens into his own social-perspectival conception of knowledge . But this depends on taking me to hold that there cannot be justification for a belief sufficient to exclude the possibility that the belief is false. And that is exactly what I argued against in “Knowledge and the Internal.” Seeing that P constitutes falsehood-excluding justification (...)
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  36. Donald Mcqueen (1983). Perceptual Knowledge. Philosophical Books 24 (1):58-60.
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  37. Alan Millar (2009). What is It That Cognitive Abilities Are Abilities to Do? Acta Analytica 24 (4):223-236.
    This article outlines a conception of perceptual-recognitional abilities. These include abilities to recognize certain things from their appearance to some sensory modality, as being of some kind, or as possessing some property. An assumption of the article is that these abilities are crucial for an adequate understanding of perceptual knowledge. The specific aim here is to contrast those abilities with abilities or competences as conceived in the virtue-theoretic literature, with particular reference to views of Ernest Sosa and John Greco. In (...)
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  38. Alan Millar (2007). Review of Anil Gupta, Empiricism and Experience. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (2).
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  39. P. Murphy (2007). Richard Fumerton, Epistemology. Philosophy in Review 27 (2):113.
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  40. David Mitsuo Nixon (2004). Perceptual Knowledge: Explorations and Extensions of the Sellarsian Framework. Dissertation, University of Washington
    The aim of my thesis is to outline a theory of epistemic justification for beliefs formed by sense perception. The project takes as its starting point the philosophical framework of Wilfrid Sellars. I begin with a discussion of the notion of the epistemological given that is appealed to in a wide variety of philosophical theories, and especially in theories of perceptual knowledge. Sellars famously claimed that "the given is a myth." However, there does not seem to always be common understanding (...)
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  41. Stephen J. Noren (1975). Cornman on the Colour of Micro-Entities. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 53 (1):65-67.
  42. Robert Aaron Oakes (1966). Presentationalism Versus Representationalism: A Critical Examination of the Historical Dispute Concerning the Immediacy of Perceptual Knowledge. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
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  43. John Alan Lindsay Oastler (1969). The Problem of the Certainty of Perceptual Knowledge Claims. Dissertation, New York University
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  44. John L. Oastler (1969). The Problem of the Certainty of Perceptual Knowledge Claims.
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  45. Matthew Parrott (forthcoming). The Look of Another Mind. Mind.
    According to the perceptual model, our knowledge of others' minds is a form of perceptual knowledge. We know, for example, that Jones is angry because we can literally see that he is. In this essay, I argue that mental states do not have the kind of distinctive looks that could sufficiently justify perceptual knowledge of others’ mentality. I present a puzzle that can arise with respect to mental states that I claim does not arise for non-mental properties like being an (...)
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  46. M. Patricia (1938). Problem: The Validity of Sense Perception. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 14:121.
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  47. Leslie A. Paul (1961). Persons And Perception. Faber & Faber.
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  48. Paul Pojman (1994). Are Beliefs and Experiences Candidates for Elimination? Dialogue 37 (1):11-14.
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  49. Anthony M. Quinton (1955). The Problem of Perception. Mind 64 (January):28-51.
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  50. Lowrence J. Rosan (1952). The External World and the Self. Review of Metaphysics 6:539.
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