International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (2):201 – 215 (2008)
What is the relation between our beliefs, or thoughts in general, and the perceptual experience of the world that gives rise to those beliefs? Donald Davidson is usually taken to have a well-known answer to this question that runs as follows: while our beliefs are, at least in part, caused by our experience, such experience does not thereby count as providing a rational ground for those beliefs; our beliefs are thus evidentially grounded in other beliefs, but not in the experience that gives rise to them. John McDowell, among others, has challenged this Davidsonian picture on the grounds that it actually severs the connection between beliefs and their proper evidential grounds. Against such a view, this paper argues the Davidsonian position grounds belief in the specificity of our own locatedness in the world, and in the more general and prior embeddedness of belief in the world that is a part of the very concept of belief.
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