Ratio 32 (2):104-113 (2019)

How should we understand the epistemic role of perception? According to epistemological disjunctivism (ED), a subject’s perceptual knowledge that p is to be explained in terms of the subject believing that p for a factive and reflectively accessible reason. I argue that ED raises far-reaching questions for rationality and deliberation; I illustrate those questions by setting up a puzzle about belief-suspension, and I argue that ED does not have the resources to make sense of the rationality of belief-suspension in cases in which suspending is clearly rational. The conclusion that I draw from the puzzle is mainly negative: the epistemic contribution of perception cannot be explained in terms of a warrant-conferring relation between perception and belief. However, toward the end, I sketch a positive picture of the epistemic role of perception in terms of a direct explanatory relation between perception and knowledge.
Keywords reasons  belief‐suspension  deliberation  epistemological disjunctivism  perceptual recognition
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/rati.12227
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,586
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
Mind and World.Huw Price & John McDowell - 1994 - Philosophical Books 38 (3):169-181.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Contemporary Theories of Knowledge.Hilary Kornblith - 1988 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 49 (1):167-171.
Thought.Gilbert Harman & Laurence BonJour - 1975 - Philosophical Review 84 (2):256.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Neither/Nor.Clayton Littlejohn - 2019 - In Casey Doyle, Joe Milburn & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), New Issues in Epistemological Disjunctivism. Routledge.
Reasons Have No Weight.Dalia Drai - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):60-76.
Deliberation and Acting for Reasons.N. Arpaly & T. Schroeder - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (2):209-239.
Are Perceptual Reasons the Objects of Perception?J. J. Cunningham - 2018 - In Johan Gersel, Rasmus Thybo Jensen, Morten S. Thaning & Søren Overgaard (eds.), In the Light of Experience: New Essays on Perception and Reasons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pritchard’s Reasons.Clayton Littlejohn - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Research 41:201-219.
Disjunctivism.Berit Brogaard - 2010 - Oxford Annotated Bibliographies Online.
How Reasons Are Sensitive to Available Evidence.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018 - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 90-114.
How Action Governs Intention.Nishi Shah - 2008 - Philosophers' Imprint 8:1-19.
Unconscious Perception and Perceptual Knowledge.Paweł J. Zięba - 2017 - In Christoph Limbeck-Lilienau & Friedrich Stadler (eds.), The Philosophy of Perception and Observation. Contributions of the 40th International Wittgenstein Symposium August 6-12, 2017 Kirchberg am Wechsel. Kirchberg am Wechsel: Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. pp. 301-303.
Direct Moral Grounding and the Legal Model of Moral Normativity.Benjamin Sachs - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):703-716.
Epistemological Disjunctivism and the Random Demon Hypothesis.Thomas Lockhart - 2018 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 8 (1):1-30.


Added to PP index

Total views
72 ( #131,949 of 2,348,743 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #45,672 of 2,348,743 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes