About this topic
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 (1992), 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. Seeing and Acquiring Beliefs.Malcolm Acock & Howard Jackson - 1979 - Mind 88 (351):370-383.
  2. Perceptual Knowledge.William Alston - 1999 - In John Greco & Ernest Sosa (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to Epistemology. Blackwell. pp. 223--42.
  3. Chisholm on the Epistemology of Perception.William P. Alston - 1997 - In The Philosophy of Roderick M. Chisholm. Chicago: Open Court.
  4. The Philosophy of Roderick M. Chisholm.William P. Alston - 1997 - Chicago: Open Court.
  5. Religious Diversity and Perceptual Knowledge of God.William P. Alston - 1988 - Faith and Philosophy 5 (4):433-448.
  6. Epistemic Entitlement.Jon Altschul - 2011 - 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, (...)
  7. Vahid, Burge, and Perceptual Entitlement.Jon Altschul, Anthony Brueckner & Christopher Buford - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (3):325-330.
    Hamid Vahid criticizes Tyler Burge's account of perceptual entitlement. Vahid argues that Burge's account fails to satisfy a criterion of adequacy that any correct account of perceptual warrant must satisfy. According to Vahid, a correct account of perceptual warrant must allow for perceptual beliefs which are produced by a properly functioning perceptual system yet which lack warrant. The present article argues that Vahid's critique of Burge fails. It presents numerous examples of such beliefs that are consistent with Burge's account of (...)
  8. Sense Experience, Concepts and Content, Objections to Davidson and McDowell.Michael Ayers - 2004 - In Ralph Schumacher (ed.), Perception and Reality - From Descartes to the Present. mentis.
    Philosophers debate whether all, some or none of the represcntational content of our sensory experience is conccptual, but the technical term "concept" has different uses. It is commonly linked more or less closely with the notions of judgdment and reasoning, but that leaves open the possibility that these terms share a systematic ambiguity or indeterminacy. Donald Davidson, however, holds an unequivocal and consistent, if paradoxical view that there are strictly speaking no psychological states with representational or intentional content except the (...)
  9. Some Suggestions Towards the Construction of a Theory of Sense-Perception.Nikunja Vihari Banerjee - 1930 - Philosophical Review 39 (6):587-596.
  10. The Simplicity Intuition and Its Hidden Influence on Philosophy of Mind.David Barnett - 2008 - Noûs 42 (2):308 - 335.
    Huxley’s Explanatory Gap: There can be no explanation of how states of consciousness arise from interaction among a collection of physical things.
  11. Molyneux's Questions.Peter Baumann - 2004 - In Ralph Schumacher (ed.), Perception and Reality. mentis. pp. 168-187.
    More than 300 years ago, William Molyneux raised an important and puzzling question which still creates a lot of controversy. What is known as “Molyneux’s question“ was made famous by John Locke’s quote of Molyneux in the second edition of the Essay Concerning Human Understanding: “Suppose a Man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a Cube, and a Sphere of the same metal, and nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell, when (...)
  12. We Are at Something of a Loss to Explain Our Observations and Wonder Whether Any Reader Can Enlighten Us. Alan Beaton, Paul Norman, Guy Richardson.Alan Beaton - 1996 - In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Perception. Ridgeview. pp. 25--373.
  13. Disjunctivism and Perceptual Knowledge in Merleau-Ponty and McDowell.J. C. Berendzen - 2013 - Res Philosophica 91 (3):1-26.
    On the face of it, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s views bear a strong resemblance to contemporary disjunctivist theories of perception, especially John McDowell’s epistemological disjunctivism. Like McDowell , Merleau-Ponty seems to be a direct realist about perception and holds that veridical and illusory perceptions are distinct. This paper furthers this comparison. Furthermore, it is argued that elements of Merleau-Ponty’s thought provide a stronger case for McDowell’s kind of epistemological view than McDowell himself provides. Merleau-Ponty’s early thought can be used to develop a (...)
  14. Wider den Empirismus bezüglich Farbbegriffen.Sven Bernecker - 2007 - In Jakob Steinbrenner & Stefan Glasauer (eds.), Farben: Betrachtungen aus Philosophie und Naturwissenschaften. Suhrkamp. pp. 248-273.
    Der in der zeitgenössischen Philosophie vorherrschende Empirismus hinsichtlich des Erwerbs von Farbbegriffen besagt: S erwirbt den Farbbegriff F nur dann, wenn S phänomenale Erlebnisse gemacht hat, die von einem Gegenstand, der die durch den Farbbegriff F bezeichnete Farbe aufweist, auf geeignete Weise kausal verursacht sind. Der Empirismus hinsichtlich des Erwerbs von Farbbegriffen geht Hand in Hand mit dem Empirismus hinsichtlich der Speicherung von Farbbegriffen: S hat zum Zeitpunkt t2 den zum Zeitpunkt t1 erworbenen Farbbegriff F nur dann gespeichert, wenn S (...)
  15. John McDowell, Mind and World.Monika Betzler - 1998 - Erkenntnis 48 (1):117-122.
  16. Aristotle on Illusory Perception: Phantasia Without Phantasmata.Noell Birondo - 2001 - Ancient Philosophy 21 (1):57-71.
    In De Anima III.3 Aristotle presents his official discussion of phantasia (“imagination” in most translations). At the very outset of the discussion Aristotle offers as an endoxon that “phantasia is that in virtue of which we say that a phantasma occurs to us” (428a1-2). Now a natural reading of this claim, taken up by many commentators, can pose a problem for Aristotle’s overall account of perception. Here I argue that, although it would be silly to deny that Aristotle considers phantasia (...)
  17. Review of John McDowell, Perception as a Capacity for Knowledge. [REVIEW]Tim Black - 2011 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  18. The Relativity of Perceptual Knowledge.William S. Boardman - 1993 - Synthese 94 (2):145-169.
    Since the most promising path to a solution to the problem of skepticism regarding perceptual knowledge seems to rest on a sharp distinction between perceiving and inferring, I begin by clarifying and defending that distinction. Next, I discuss the chief obstacle to success by this path, the difficulty in making the required distinction between merely logical possibilities that one is mistaken and the real (Austin) or relevant (Dretske) possibilities which would exclude knowledge. I argue that this distinction cannot be drawn (...)
  19. An Explanatory Challenge for Epistemological Disjunctivism.Cameron Boult - forthcoming - Episteme.
    Epistemological Disjunctivism is a view about paradigm cases of perceptual knowledge. Duncan Pritchard claims that it is particularly well suited to accounting for internalist and externalist intuitions. A number of authors have disputed this claim, arguing that there are problems for Pritchard’s way with internalist intuitions. I share the worry. However, I don’t think it has been expressed as effectively as it can be. My aim in this paper is to present a new way of formulating the worry, in terms (...)
  20. Symposium: Does Our Knowledge or Perception of the Ego Admit of Being Analysed?A. Boutwood, H. W. Blunt & G. F. Stout - 1890 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 1 (4):28 - 39.
  21. Dissolving an Epistemological Puzzle of Time Perception.Adam J. Bowen - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3797-3817.
    Robin Le Poidevin (2007) claims that we do form perceptual beliefs regarding order and duration based on our perception of events, but neither order nor duration are by themselves objects of perception. Temporal properties are discernible only when one first perceives their bearers, and temporal relations are discernible only when one first perceives their relata. The epistemic issue remains as to whether or not our perceptual beliefs about order and duration are formed on the causal basis of an event’s objective (...)
  22. Replies.Bill Brewer - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):449-464.
  23. Precis of Perception and Reason[REVIEW]Bill Brewer - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):405-416.
  24. Foundations of Perceptual Knowledge.Bill Brewer - 1997 - American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (1):41-55.
  25. Internalism and Perceptual Knowledge.Bill Brewer - 1996 - European Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):259-275.
  26. Gestalt Experiments and Inductive Observations: Konrad Lorenz's Early Epistemological Writings and the Methods of Classical Ethology.Ingo Brigandt - 2003 - Evolution and Cognition 9:157–170.
    Ethology brought some crucial insights and perspectives to the study of behavior, in particular the idea that behavior can be studied within a comparative-evolutionary framework by means of homologizing components of behavioral patterns and by causal analysis of behavior components and their integration. Early ethology is well-known for its extensive use of qualitative observations of animals under their natural conditions. These observations are combined with experiments that try to analyze behavioral patterns and establish specific claims about animal behavior. Nowadays, there (...)
  27. E = K and Perceptual Knowledge.Tony Brueckner - 2009 - In Patrick Greenough & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Williamson on Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
  28. Review of Geaney's On the Epistemology of the Senses in Early Chinese Thought. [REVIEW]Brian Bruya - 2003 - China Review International 10 (1):157-164.
    This is a full length review in which I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Jane Geaney's On the Epistemology of the Senses in Early Chinese Thought. Geaney's strengths lie in her refusal to import Western epistemological presuppositions into depictions of Early Chinese philosophy, her meticulous canvassing of key Warring States texts, and her insightful reconstruction of Early Chinese epistemology as based on perception rather than abstract concepts. Her weaknesses are the limited range of her representative texts and her occasional (...)
  29. Interlocution, Perception, and Memory.Tyler Burge - 1997 - Philosophical Studies 86 (1):21-47.
  30. Knowledge and Perception.Wendell T. Bush - 1909 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 6 (15):393-398.
  31. Skepticism About the External World.Panayot K. Butchvarov - 1998 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    One of the most important and perennially debated philosophical questions is whether we can have knowledge of the external world. Butchvarov here considers whether and how skepticism with regard to such knowledge can be refuted or at least answered. He argues that only a direct realist view of perception has any hope of providing a compelling response to the skeptic and introduces the radical innovation that the direct object of perceptual, and even dreaming and hallucinatory, experience is always a material (...)
  32. Perceptual Saliences.Clotilde Calabi - 2005 - In David Woodruff Smith & Amie L. Thomasson (eds.), Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 253.
  33. Epistemic Error and Experiential Evidence.Melinda Campbell - 2012 - In Glimpse: Publication of the Society of Phenomenology and Media.
    In response to recent debates in color ontology, I present an account of color that resolves the issue in a new way by conceiving of colors as properties of appearances. Appearances are both objective and subjective: they are real-world events reducible to psychophysical interactions involving environmental stimuli and experiential states. The case is made for accepting experience as an actual component of colors themselves as well as being the fundamental epistemic evidence for their instantiation.
  34. Perceptual Knowledge and Relevant Alternatives.Carter J. Adam & Pritchard Duncan - unknown
    A very natural view about perceptual knowledge is articulated, one on which perceptual knowledge is closely related to perceptual discrimination, and which fits well with a relevant alternatives account of knowledge. It is shown that this kind of proposal faces a problem, and various options for resolving this difficulty are explored. In light of this discussion, a two-tiered relevant alternatives account of perceptual knowledge is offered which avoids the closure problem. It is further shown how this proposal can: accommodate our (...)
  35. Perceptual Knowledge and Relevant Alternatives.J. Adam Carter & Duncan Pritchard - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):969-990.
    A very natural view about perceptual knowledge is articulated, one on which perceptual knowledge is closely related to perceptual discrimination, and which fits well with a relevant alternatives account of knowledge. It is shown that this kind of proposal faces a problem, and various options for resolving this difficulty are explored. In light of this discussion, a two-tiered relevant alternatives account of perceptual knowledge is offered which avoids the closure problem. It is further shown how this proposal can: accommodate our (...)
  36. Internalism and Perceptual Knowledge, Bill Brewer.Quassim Cassam - 1996 - European Journal of Philosophy 4 (3).
  37. Intuitive Knowledge.Elijah Chudnoff - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):359-378.
    In this paper I assume that we have some intuitive knowledge—i.e. beliefs that amount to knowledge because they are based on intuitions. The question I take up is this: given that some intuition makes a belief based on it amount to knowledge, in virtue of what does it do so? We can ask a similar question about perception. That is: given that some perception makes a belief based on it amount to knowledge, in virtue of what does it do so? (...)
  38. What Should a Theory of Knowledge Do?Elijah Chudnoff - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (4):561-579.
    The Gettier Problem is the problem of revising the view that knowledge is justified true belief in a way that is immune to Gettier counter-examples. The “Gettier Problem problem”, according to Lycan, is the problem of saying what is misguided about trying to solve the Gettier Problem. In this paper I take up the Gettier Problem problem. I distinguish giving conditions that are necessary and sufficient for knowledge from giving conditions that explain why one knows when one does know. I (...)
  39. Chess, Imagination, and Perceptual Understanding.Paul Coates - 2013 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 73:211-242.
    Chess is sometimes referred to as a ‘mind-sport’. Yet, in obvious ways, chess is very unlike physical sports such as tennis and soccer; it doesn't require the levels of fitness and athleticism necessary for such sports. Nor does it involve the sensory-governed, skilled behaviour required in activities such as juggling or snooker. Nevertheless, I suggest, chess is closer than it may at first seem to some of these sporting activities. In particular, there are interesting connections between the way that we (...)
  40. Reason and Experience in Locke's Epistemology.Elliot D. Cohen - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 45 (1):71-85.
  41. Report on the Network for Sensory Research/University of York Perceptual Learning Workshop.Kevin Connolly, Dylan Bianchi, Craig French, Lana Kuhle & Andy MacGregor - manuscript
    This report highlights and explores five questions that arose from the Network for Sensory Research workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of York on March 19th and 20th, 2012: 1. What is perceptual learning? 2. Can perceptual experience be modified by reason? 3. How does perceptual learning alter perceptual phenomenology? 4. How does perceptual learning alter the contents of perception? 5. How is perceptual learning coordinated with action?
  42. CHAPTER 2. Plato on Sense-Perception and Knowledge.John M. Cooper - 2009 - In Knowledge, Nature, and the Good: Essays on Ancient Philosophy. Princeton University Press. pp. 43-64.
  43. The Kinds of Perception and Knowledge.Daniel Cory - 1935 - Journal of Philosophy 32 (12):309-322.
  44. Metaphysical and Epistemological Problems of Perception.J. W. Roxbee Cox - 1986 - Philosophical Books 27 (3):166-167.
  45. Sensory Experience and the Foundations of Knowledge.Edward Craig - 1976 - Synthese 33 (June):1-24.
  46. Realismus a jazyk: Recept podle Sellarse.Stefanie Dach - 2014 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 21 (Suppl. 1):05-19.
    Wilfrid Sellars’ philosophical system joins issues that have often been regarded as incompatible or at least in mutual tension. Two of these are his holistic approach to language and knowledge on the one hand and his realism on the other hand. In my paper I first outline this tension and then present a number of steps, including the rejection of semantic relations, picturing and the defense of realism, which can help us to accommodate it. I highlight the payoff of these (...)
  47. Realismus a jazyk: Recept podle Sellarse.Stefanie Dach - 2014 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 20 (Suppl.):05-19.
    Wilfrid Sellars’ philosophical system joins issues that have often been regarded as incompatible or at least in mutual tension. Two of these are his holistic approach to language and knowledge on the one hand and his realism on the other hand. In my paper I first outline this tension and then present a number of steps, including the rejection of semantic relations, picturing and the defense of realism, which can help us to accommodate it. I highlight the payoff of these (...)
  48. Perceptual Knowledge.Jonathan Dancy (ed.) - 1988 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume presents articles on epistemology and the theory of perception and introduces readers to the various problems that face a successful theory of perceptual knowledge. The contributors include Robert Nozick, Alvin Goldman, H.P. Grice, David Lewis, P.F. Strawson, Frank Jackson, David Armstrong, Fred Dretske, Roderick Firth, Wilfred Sellars, Paul Snowdon, and John McDowell.
  49. Quine. Naturalized Epistemology, Perceptual Knowledge and Ontology.Lieven Decock & Leon Horsten (eds.) - 2000 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, Rodopi.
    Contents: Introduction. NATURALIZED EPISTEMOLOGY. Ton DERKSEN: Naturalistic Epistemology, Murder and Suicide? But what about the Promises! Christopher HOOKWAY: Naturalism and Rationality. Mia GOSSELIN: Quine's Hypothetical Theory of Language Learning. A Comparison of Different Conceptual Schemes of Their Logic. THE NATURE OF PERCEPTUAL KNOWLEDGE. Jaap van BRAKEL: Quine and Innate Similarity Spaces. Dirk KOPPELBERG: Quine and Davidson on the Structure of Empirical Knowledge. Eva PICARDI: Empathy and Charity. ONTOLOGY. Sandra LAUGIER: Quine: Indeterminacy, ‘Robust Realism', and Truth. Roger VERGAUWEN: Quine and Putnam (...)
  50. Empiricism, Perceptual Knowledge, Normativity, and Realism: Essays on Wilfrid Sellars.Willem A. DeVries (ed.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    The ten essays in this collection were written to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lectures which became Wilfrid Sellars's Empiricism and the Philosophy of ...
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