Seeing Through the 'Veil of Perception'

Mind 120 (478):329-367 (2011)
Suppose our visual experiences immediately justify some of our beliefs about the external world — that is, justify them in a way that does not rely on our having independent reason to hold any background belief. A key question now arises: Which of our beliefs about the external world can be immediately justified by experiences? I address this question in epistemology by doing some philosophy of mind. In particular, I evaluate the following proposal: if your experience e immediately justifies you in believing that p , then (i) e has the content that p , and (ii) e ’s having the content that p is fixed by what it is like to have e . I start by clarifying this proposal and surveying the case in its favour. I then argue against the proposal and develop an alternative. The discussion shows what role visual consciousness plays and does not play in the justification of perceptual beliefs.
Keywords epistemology of perception  content of perception
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzr030
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References found in this work BETA
Alex Byrne (2001). Intentionalism Defended. Philosophical Review 110 (2):199-240.

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Citations of this work BETA
Declan Smithies (2016). Perception and the External World. Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1119-1145.

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