Synthese 191 (7):1549-1566 (2014)

Authors
Harmen Ghijsen
Radboud University Nijmegen
Abstract
Phenomenalist dogmatist experientialism (PDE) holds the following thesis: if $S$ has a perceptual experience that $p$ , then $S$ has immediate prima facie evidential justification for the belief that $p$ in virtue of the experience’s phenomenology. The benefits of PDE are that it (a) provides an undemanding view of perceptual justification that allows most of our ordinary perceptual beliefs to be justified, and (b) accommodates two important internalist intuitions, viz. the New Evil Demon Intuition and the Blindsight Intuition. However, in the face of a specific version of the Sellarsian dilemma, PDE is ad hoc. PDE needs to explain what is so distinct about perceptual experience that enables it to fulfill its evidential role without being itself in need of justification. I argue that neither an experience’s presentational phenomenology, nor its phenomenal forcefulness can be used to answer this question, and that prospects look dim for any other phenomenalist account. The subjective distinctness of perceptual experience might instead just stem from a higher-order belief that the experience is a perceptual one, but this will only serve to strengthen the case for externalism: externalism is better suited to provide an account of how we attain justified higher-order beliefs and can use this account to accommodate the Blindsight Intuition.
Keywords Perceptual justification  Dogmatism  Experientialism  Externalism  Perception  Imagination
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-013-0348-3
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Harvard University Press.
Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism.Michael Huemer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.
What's Wrong with Moore's Argument?James Pryor - 2004 - Philosophical Issues 14 (1):349–378.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Value of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):503-520.
The Real Epistemic Problem of Cognitive Penetration.Harmen Ghijsen - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1457-1475.

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