Is Seeing Believing?

Abstract
One of the traditional problems of philosophy is the nature of the connection between perceptual experience and empirical knowledge. That there is an intimate connection between the two is rarely doubted. Three case studies of visual deficits due to brain damage are used to motivate the claim that perceptual experience is neither necessary nor sufficient for perceptual knowledge. Acceptance of this claim leaves a mystery as to the epistemic role, if any, of perceptual experience. It is argued that one function of perceptual experience is to provide information about the sources of beliefs, both as to which perceptual modality and within a given modality. This information is useful in assessing the reliability of perceptual beliefs.
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