Philosophical Studies 173 (4):991-1006 (2016)

Authors
Juan Comesaña
University of Arizona
Matthew McGrath
Washington University in St. Louis
Abstract
The two main theories of perceptual reasons in contemporary epistemology can be called Phenomenalism and Factualism. According to Phenomenalism, perceptual reasons are facts about experiences conceived of as phenomenal states, i.e., states individuated by phenomenal character, by what it’s like to be in them. According to Factualism, perceptual reasons are instead facts about the external objects perceived. The main problem with Factualism is that it struggles with bad cases: cases where perceived objects are not what they appear or where there is no perceived object at all. The main problem with Phenomenalism is that it struggles with good cases: cases where everything is perfectly normal and the external object is correctly perceived, so that one’s perceptual beliefs are knowledge. In this paper we show that there is a theory of perceptual reasons that avoids the problems for Factualism and Phenomenalism. We call this view Propositionalism. We use ‘proposition’ broadly to mean the entities that are contents of beliefs and other doxastic attitudes. The key to finding a middle ground between Phenomenalism and Factualism, we claim, is to allow our reasons to be false in bad cases. Despite being false, they are about the external world, not our phenomenal states
Keywords Perceptual reasons  Phenomenalism  Factualism  Propositionalism
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-015-0542-x
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
The Contents of Visual Experience.Susanna Siegel - 2010 - Oxford University Press USA.

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Citations of this work BETA

Epistemology.Matthias Steup - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Acting and Believing Under the Guise of Normative Reasons.Keshav Singh - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (2):409-430.
III—Normative Facts and Reasons.Fabienne Peter - 2019 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 119 (1):53-75.
Rationality and Truth.Stewart Cohen & Juan Comesaña - forthcoming - In Julien Dutant & Fabian Dorsch (eds.), The New Evil Demon. Oxford University Press.

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