Appearance and Explanation: Phenomenal Explanationism in Epistemology

Oxford: Oxford University Press (2021)
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Abstract

Phenomenal Conservatism (the view that an appearance that p gives one prima facie justification for believing that p) is a promising, and popular, internalist theory of epistemic justification. Despite its popularity, it faces numerous objections and challenges. For instance, epistemologists have argued that Phenomenal Conservatism is incompatible with Bayesianism, is afflicted by bootstrapping and cognitive penetration problems, does not guarantee that epistemic justification is a stable property, does not provide an account of defeat, and is not a complete theory of epistemic justification. This book shows that Phenomenal Conservatism is actually immune to some of these problems, though not all of them. Accordingly, it explores the prospects of integrating Phenomenal Conservatism with Explanationism (the view that epistemic justification is a matter of explanatory relations between one’s evidence and propositions supported by that evidence). The resulting theory, Phenomenal Explanationism, has advantages over Phenomenal Conservatism and Explanationism taken on their own. Phenomenal Explanationism is a highly unified, comprehensive internalist theory of epistemic justification that delivers on the promises of Phenomenal Conservatism while avoiding its pitfalls.

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Author Profiles

Luca Moretti
University of Aberdeen
Kevin McCain
University of Alabama, Birmingham

Citations of this work

Veridical Perceptual Seemings.Elijah Chudnoff - forthcoming - In Kevin McCain & Scott Stapleford (eds.), Seemings: New Arguments, New Angles. Routledge.
Against the Phenomenal View of Evidence: Disagreement and Shared Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - In Kevin McCain, Scott Stapleford & Matthias Steup (eds.), Seemings: New Arguments, New Angles. New York: Routledge.
Phenomenal Explanationism and the Look of Things.Kevin McCain & Luca Moretti - forthcoming - In McCain Kevin, Stapleford Scott & Steup Matthias (eds.), Seemings: New Angles, New Arguments. New York: Routledge.
Refuting two dilemmas for infallibilism.Giada Fratantonio & Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (8):2643-2654.

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