Episteme 13 (1):133-149 (2016)

Authors
Bram Vaassen
University of Cologne
Abstract
In recent epistemology many philosophers have adhered to a moderate foundationalism according to which some beliefs do not depend on other beliefs for their justification. Reliance on such ‘basic beliefs’ pervades both internalist and externalist theories of justification. In this article I argue that the phenomenon of perceptual learning – the fact that certain ‘expert’ observers are able to form more justified basic beliefs than novice observers – constitutes a challenge for moderate foundationalists. In order to accommodate perceptual learning cases, the moderate foundationalist will have to characterize the ‘expertise’ of the expert observer in such a way that it cannot be had by novice observers and that it bestows justification on expert basic beliefs independently of any other justification had by the expert. I will argue that the accounts of expert basic beliefs currently present in the literature fail to meet this challenge, as they either result in a too liberal ascription of justification or fail to draw a clear distinction between expert basic beliefs and other spontaneously formed beliefs. Nevertheless, some guidelines for a future solution will be provided.
Keywords Foundationalism  Epistemology  Perception  Epistemology of Perception
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DOI 10.1017/epi.2015.58
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References found in this work BETA

The Contents of Visual Experience.Susannah Siegel - 2010 - Oxford University Press USA.
The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
Brainstorms.Daniel Dennett - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (2):326-327.

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Citations of this work BETA

Knowing What Things Look Like.Matthew McGrath - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (1):1-41.
Perceptual Learning.Connolly Kevin - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1:1-35.

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