Crispin Wright argues that John McDowell’s use of disjunctivism to respond to the sceptic misses the point of the sceptic’s argument, for disjunctivism is a thesis about the differing metaphysical natures of veridical and nonveridical experiences, whereas the sceptic’s point is that our beliefs are unjustified because veridical and nonveridical experiences can be phenomenally indistinguishable. In this paper, I argue that McDowell is responsive to the sceptic’s focus on phenomenology, for the point of McDowell’s response is that it is the (...) phenomenal character of experience that makes the belief in disjunctivism rational, and thereby also makes rational the anti-sceptical belief that, other things being equal, the world is the way it appears. (shrink)
In this paper, I criticize Michael Huemer's phenomenal conservatism, the theory of justification according to which 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. Specifically, I argue that beliefs and hunches provide counterexamples to phenomenal conservatism. I then defend a version of restricted phenomenal conservatism, the view that some but not all appearances confer prima facie justification on their propositional contents. Specifically, I (...) defend the view that S has defeasible justification for believing that p if and only if it seems to S that p and it seems to S that she is acquainted with the fact that makes p true. Finally, I criticize Huemer's self-defeat argument for phenomenal conservatism. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that what underlies internalism about justification is a rationalist conception of justification, not a deontological conception of justification, and I argue for the plausibility of this rationalist conception of justification. The rationalist conception of justification is the view that a justified belief is a belief that is held in a rational way; since we exercise our rationality through conscious deliberation, the rationalist conception holds that a belief is justified iff a relevant possible instance of conscious (...) deliberation would endorse the belief. The importance of conscious deliberation stems from its role in guiding us in acquiring true beliefs: whereas the externalist holds that if we wish to acquire true beliefs, we have to begin by assuming that some of our usual methods of belief formation generally provide us with true beliefs, the internalist holds that if we form beliefs by conscious deliberation, we can be conscious of reasons for thinking that our beliefs are true. Conscious deliberation can make us conscious of reasons because it proceeds via rational intuitions. I argue that despite the fallibility of rational intuition, rational intuitions do enable us to become conscious of reasons for belief. (shrink)
There is a continuing debate as to whether externalism about mental content is compatible with certain commonly accepted views about the nature of self-knowledge. Both sides to this debate seem to agree that externalism is _not compatible with the traditional view that self-knowledge is acquired by means of observation. In this paper, I argue that externalism is compatible with this traditional view of self-knowledge, and that, in fact, we have good reason to believe that the self-knowledge at issue is acquired (...) by means of observation. (shrink)
In this paper, I explain how Kant's views can be reconciled, and I argue that the relevance of transcendental idealism here is that it shows that determinism is known to be true, not in accordance with the familiar correspondence notion of truth, but only in accordance with a weaker notion of truth, Kant's _empirical notion of truth, which is a kind of coherence notion of truth. (edited).