Phenomenal conservatism and the problem of reflective awareness

American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (3):267-280 (2018)

Authors
Luca Moretti
University of Aberdeen
Abstract
This paper criticizes phenomenal conservatism––the influential view according to which a subject S’s seeming that P provides S with defeasible justification for believing P. I argue that phenomenal conservatism, if true at all, has a significant limitation: seeming-based justification is elusive because S can easily lose it by just reflecting on her seemings and speculating about their causes––I call this the problem of reflective awareness. Because of this limitation, phenomenal conservatism doesn’t have all the epistemic merits attributed to it by its advocates. If true, phenomenal conservatism would constitute a unified theory of epistemic justification capable of giving everyday epistemic practices a rationale, but it wouldn’t afford us the means of an effective response to the sceptic. Furthermore, phenomenal conservatism couldn’t form the general basis for foundationalism.
Keywords Phenomenal conservatism  seemings  non-inferential justification  appearances  dogmatism  Michael Huemer  James Pryor  scepticism  foundationalism
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References found in this work BETA

Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Warrant for Nothing (and Foundations for Free)?Crispin Wright - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):167–212.
Reflective Knowledge.Ernest Sosa - 2019 - In Cherie Braden, Rodrigo Borges & Branden Fitelson (eds.), Themes From Klein. Springer Verlag.
Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique.Thomas Kelly - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.

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Citations of this work BETA

Inferential Seemings and the Problem of Reflective Awareness.Luca Moretti - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):253-271.

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