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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 (forthcoming) provide overviews of the literature on the epistemology of perception. 

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  1. David M. Armstrong (1955). Illusions of Sense. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 33 (August):88-106.
  2. Nikunja Vihari Banerjee (1930). Some Suggestions Towards the Construction of a Theory of Sense-Perception. Philosophical Review 39 (6):587-596.
  3. Steven E. Boër (1974). Cornman on Designation Rules. Philosophical Studies 26 (3-4):271 - 278.
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  4. George Botterill (2008). Empiricism and Experience - by Anil Gupta. Philosophical Books 49 (2):165-166.
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  5. Panayot Butchvarov (1994). Direct Realism Without Materialism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19 (1):1-21.
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  6. Jack C. Carloye (1977). Cornman's Definition of Observation Terms. Philosophical Studies 32 (3):283 - 292.
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  7. Victoria Choy (1982). The Philosophy of James W. Cornman. Philosophical Studies 41 (1):7 - 29.
  8. P. Rowntree Clifford (1964). Direct, Referential Realism : A Comment. Dialogue 2 (04):452-453.
  9. J. W. Roxbee Cox (1986). Metaphysical and Epistemological Problems of Perception. Philosophical Books 27 (3):166-167.
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  10. John Dilworth (2006). Perception, Introspection, and Functional Consonance. Theoria 72 (4):299-318.
    What is the relation between a perceptual experience of an object X as being red, and one's belief, if any, as to the nature of that experience? A traditional Cartesian view would be that, if indeed object X does seem to be red to oneself, then one's resulting introspective belief about it could only be a _conforming _belief, i.e., a belief that X perceptually seems to be _red _to oneself--rather than, for instance, a belief that X perceptually seems to be (...)
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  11. Zoltan Domotor & Michael Friedman (1982). Cornman and Philosophy of Science. Philosophical Studies 41 (1):115 - 127.
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  12. Maduabuchi Durtos (2000). Perception, Intuition and Knowledge of Ti-Ie External World: Scienticizing African Philosophy. Indian Philosophical Quarterly 27 (4).
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  13. 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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  14. Robert J. Fogelin (1981). When I Look at a Tomato There is Much I Cannot See. The Monist 64 (January):109-123.
  15. 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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  16. R. Gaskin (2008). Review: Anil Gupta: Empiricism and Experience. [REVIEW] Mind 117 (465):187-191.
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  17. Quentin Gibson (1966). Is There a Problem About Appearances? Philosophical Quarterly 16 (October):319-328.
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  18. 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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  19. M. S. Gram (1972). Causation and Direct Realism. Philosophy of Science 39 (3):388-396.
  20. D. W. Hamlyn (1984). Perceptual Knowledge. International Studies in Philosophy 16 (1):83-84.
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  21. B. Harrison (1996). Robert B Brandom, Making It Explicit; John McDowell, Mind and World. Philosophical Investigations 19:345-352.
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  22. W. D. Hart (1989). For Anil Gupta. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 90:161 - 165.
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  23. R. J. Hirst (1967). Perception and Our Knowledge of the External World. Philosophical Books 8 (3):14-16.
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  24. Hirst, Rodney Julian & [From Old Catalog] (1965). Perception and the External World. New York, Macmillan.
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  25. 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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  26. A. H. Johnson (1973). Experiential Realism. New York,Humanities Press.
  27. L. K. (1978). James W. Cornman. Philosophical Studies 34 (4):333-334.
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  28. R. M. K. (1973). Perception, Reason, and Knowledge. Review of Metaphysics 27 (2):371-371.
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  29. David Kelley (1982). Perceptual Knowledge. International Philosophical Quarterly 22 (1):97-98.
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  30. John B. Kent (1931). Dr. Hasan's Direct Realism. The Monist 41 (1):140-153.
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  31. 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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  32. K. L. (1978). In Memoriam: James W. Cornman. Philosophical Studies 34 (4):333 - 334.
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  33. Keith Lehrer (1982). In Memoriam: James W. Cornman. Philosophical Studies 41 (1):3 - 4.
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  34. Keith Lehrer (1982). James W. Cornman. Philosophical Studies 41 (1):3-4.
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  35. 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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  36. Donald Mcqueen (1983). Perceptual Knowledge. Philosophical Books 24 (1):58-60.
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  37. Alan Millar (2007). Review of Anil Gupta, Empiricism and Experience. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (2).
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  38. P. Murphy (2007). Richard Fumerton, Epistemology. Philosophy in Review 27 (2):113.
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  39. Stephen J. Noren (1975). Cornman on the Colour of Micro-Entities. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 53 (1):65-67.
  40. Leslie A. Paul (1961). Persons And Perception. Faber & Faber.
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  41. Paul Pojman (1994). Are Beliefs and Experiences Candidates for Elimination? Dialogue 37 (1):11-14.
  42. Anthony M. Quinton (1955). The Problem of Perception. Mind 64 (January):28-51.
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  43. Gary S. Rosenkrantz (1984). Acquaintance. Philosophia 14 (August):1-24.
  44. Bede Rundle (1989). Richard A. Fumerton., Metaphysical and Epistemological Problems of Perception. International Studies in Philosophy 21 (1):82-83.
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  45. R. M. Sainsbury (1986). Russell on Acquaintance. Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 20:219-244.
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  46. Federico Sanguinetti (2012). Is Perception a Capacity for Knowledge? A Discussion on McDowell's Account of Perceptual Knowledge. Verifiche: Rivista Trimestrale di Scienze Umane 41 (1-3):247-267.
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  47. Richard H. Schlagel (1962). Language and Perception. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 23 (December):192-204.
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  48. New Directions In Semantics (1987). Anil Gupta. In Ernest Lepore (ed.), New Directions in Semantics. Academic Press. 453.
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  49. Marshall Swain (1982). Cornman's Theory of Justification. Philosophical Studies 41 (1):129 - 148.
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  50. William Taylor (1952). The Relationship Between Psychology and Science. London, Allen & Unwin.
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