Philosophia 42 (2):413-432 (2014)

Can we show that our senses are reliable sources of information about the world? To show this, we need to establish that most of our perceptual judgments have been true. But we cannot determine these inductive instances without relying upon sense perception. Thus, it seems, we cannot establish the reliability of sense perception by means of an argument without falling into epistemic circularity. In this paper, I argue that this consequence is not an epistemological disaster. For this purpose, I defend a normative claim that it is reasonable to accept the general reliability of our perceptual judgments, instead of a factual claim that our perceptual judgments are generally reliable. More specifically, I offer a normative practical argument which explains why it is reasonable to accept the general reliability of our perceptual judgments, even though we cannot establish the general reliability of our perceptual judgments by means of theoretical reasoning
Keywords Epistemic circularity  Epistemic first principle  Instrumental reasoning  Epistemic presumption  Wilfrid Sellars  Crispin Wright
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-013-9495-5
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References found in this work BETA

Theory of Knowledge.Roderick Milton Chisholm - 1966 - Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA: Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.
Warrant for Nothing (and Foundations for Free)?Crispin Wright - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):167–212.
Philosophical Writings of Peirce.Charles S. Peirce - 1940 - New York: Dover Publications.

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