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Abstract: I argue that one reason for being a disjunctivist advanced by McDowell (having to do with the indefeasibility of perceptual knowledge) fails because it ignores the distinction between justification and warrant.
Abstract: 1. Introduction When it comes to perception, representationalism is all the rage. Representationalism is a claim about the phenomenal character of perceptual experiences: According to representationalism, phenomenal character is fully determined by the representational content of perceptual experiences (cf. Tye 2002, 45). In other words, phenomenal character, what it is like, for instance, to have an experience as of something red, is either supervenient upon or identical with that experience
Abstract: Can anything other than a belief confer epistemic justification on a belief? In particular, can nondoxastic experiential states do so? According to the standard taxonomy, _doxasticism _is the view that only beliefs can justify beliefs; _nondoxasticism _is simply the denial of this. The distinction between doxastic and nondoxastic theories is central to epistemology, but much of the debate surrounding it has been marred by an unnoticed ambiguity concerning the key concept of justification. Sorting out the ambiguity reveals an important division between externalist and internalist varieties of nondoxasticism and points the way toward a new argument for nondoxasticism of the externalist sort
Abstract: The Sellarsian dilemma is a famous argument that attempts to show that nondoxastic experiential states cannot confer justification on basic beliefs. The usual conclusion of the Sellarsian dilemma is a coherentist epistemology, and the usual response to the dilemma is to find it quite unconvincing. By distinguishing between two importantly different justification relations (evidential and nonevidential), I hope to show that the Sellarsian dilemma, or something like it, does offer a powerful argument against standard nondoxastic foundationalist theories. But this reconceived version of the argument does not support coherentism. Instead, I use it to argue for a strongly externalist epistemology
Abstract: Inspired by the writings of J. M. Hinton (1967a, 1967b, 1973), but ushered into the mainstream by Paul Snowdon (1980–1, 1990–1), John McDowell (1982, 1986), and M. G. F. Martin (2002, 2004, 2006), disjunctivism is currently discussed, advocated, and opposed in the philosophy of perception, the theory of knowledge, the theory of practical reason, and the philosophy of action. But what is disjunctivism?
Abstract: What is the epistemological value of perceptual experience? In his recently influential paper, “The Skeptic and the Dogmatist”1, James Pryor develops a seemingly plausible answer to this question. Pryor’s answer comprises the following three theses: (F) “Our perceptual justification for beliefs about our surroundings is always defeasible – there are always possible improvements in our epistemic state which would no longer support those beliefs.” (517) (PK) “This justification that you get merely by having an experience as of p can sometimes suffice to give you knowledge that p is the case.” (520) (D) “When it perceptually seems to you as if p is the case, you have a kind of justification for believing p that does not presuppose or rest on your justification for anything else, which could be cited in argument (even an ampliative argument) for p. To have this justification for believing p, you need only have an experience that represents p as being the case. No further awareness or reflection or background beliefs are required.” (519) Let’s use the phrase “fallibilist dogmatism” to refer to the conjunction of (F), (PK), and (D).2 Pryor does not argue for either (F) or (PK) in his paper; he simply shares the widespread and plausible assumption that (F) and (PK) are both true. But the conjunction of (F) and (PK) implies that we can have knowledge on the basis of defeasible justification. And this view leads to paradox. Consider the following individually plausible but jointly incompatible statements
Abstract: Anil Gupta's Empiricism and Experience is a stylish and stimulating contribution to our subject. My expectation is that those who disagree with some of its central theses will, like me, learn greatly from thinking through where and why they part company with Gupta's lucidly presented position. For the purposes of a Symposium, I select three points of disagreement. Each point in one way or another concerns the epistemic role of the content of experience
Abstract: It is sometimes said that in depression, everything looks grey. If this is true, then mood can influence the character of perceptual experience: depending only on whether a viewer is depressed or not, how a scene looks to that viewer can differ even if all other conditions stay the same. This would be an example of cognitive penetrability of visual experience by other mental states. Here the influential cognitive state is a mood. Other putative examples of cognitive penetrability involve beliefs: to the reader of Russian, the sheet of Cyrillic script looks different than it looked to her before she could read it. When you know that bananas are yellow, this knowledge affects what color you see bananas to be (an achromatic banana will  appear yellowish). To the vain performer, the faces in the audience range in their expression from neutral to pleased, but remarkably no one ever looks disapproving. To the underconfident performer, the faces in the audience range in their expression from neutral to displeased, but remarkably no one ever looks approving. And in cases of suggestibility, the mere salience of a hypothesis seems to have an effect on how a given stimulus is experienced. Potential cognitive penetrators thus include moods, beliefs, hypotheses, knowledge, desires, and traits. In some cases, cognitively penetration can be epistemically beneficial. If an x ray looks different to a radiologist from the way it looks to someone lacking radiological expertise, then the radiologist gets more information about the world from her experience (such as whether there’s a tumor) than the non expert does from looking at the same x ray. If Iris Murdoch and John McDowell are right that having the right sort of character lets you see more moral facts than someone lacking that character sees when faced with the same situation, then there too your perceptual experience becomes epistemically better thanks to its being penetrated by your  character. In other cases, however, cognitive penetration seems to make experience epistemically worse..
Abstract: As I use the term, ‘entitlement’ is any warrant one has by default—i.e. without acquiring it. Some philosophers not only affirm the existence of entitlement, but also give it a crucial role in the justification of our perceptual beliefs. These philosophers affirm the Entitlement Thesis: An essential part of what makes our perceptual beliefs justified is our entitlement to the proposition that I am not a brain-in-a-vat. Crispin Wright, Stewart Cohen, and Roger White are among those who endorse this controversial claim. In this paper, I argue that the Entitlement Thesis is false.
Abstract: This paper clarifies and evaluates a premise of William Alston’s argument in Perceiving God. The premise in question: if it is practically rational to engage in a doxastic practice, then it is epistemically rational to suppose that said practice is reliable. I first provide the background needed to understand how this premise fits into Alston’s main argument. I then present Alston’s main argument, and proceed to clarify, criticize, modify, and ultimately reject Alston’s argument for the premise in question. Without this premise, Alston’s main argument fails.
Abstract: Intuitively, it seems that some belief-forming practices have the following three properties:
1. They are rational practices, and the beliefs that we form by means of these practices are themselves rational or justified beliefs.
2. Even if in most cases these practices reliably lead to correct beliefs (i.e., beliefs in true propositions), they are not infallible: it is possible for beliefs that are formed by means of these practices to be incorrect (i.e., to be beliefs in false propositions).
3. The rationality of these practices is basic or primitive. That is, the rationality of these practices is not due simply to the availability, by means of some process of reasoning that relies purely on other practices, of a rational or justified belief in the reliability of these practices.
How can there be such practices? This paper offers an answer to that question.