Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):569-589 (2018)
AbstractPerceptual experiences justify beliefs. A perceptual experience of a dog justifies the belief that there is a dog present. But there is much evidence that perceptual states can occur without being conscious, as in experiments involving masked priming. Do unconscious perceptual states provide justification as well? The answer depends on one’s theory of justification. While most varieties of externalism seem compatible with unconscious perceptual justification, several theories have recently afforded to consciousness a special role in perceptual justification. We argue that such views face a dilemma: either consciousness should be understood in functionalist terms, in which case our best current theories of consciousness do not seem to imbue consciousness with any special epistemic features, or it should not, in which case it is mysterious why only conscious states are justificatory. We conclude that unconscious perceptual justification is quite plausible.
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Citations of this work
Unconscious perception and central coordinating agency.Joshua Shepherd & Myrto Mylopoulos - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):3869-3893.
Perceptual consciousness plays no epistemic role.Jacob Berger - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):7-23.
Perceptual justification in the Bayesian brain: a foundherentist account.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11397-11421.
Against the very idea of a perceptual belief.Grace Helton & Bence Nanay - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
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