Logic, Epistemology and Metaphysics Seminar

Logic, Epistemology and Metaphysics Seminar
12 February 2019, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Speaker: Thomas Raleigh (United Arab Emirates University)

Title: A vote of no-confidence in Perceptual Confidences


What is the relation between our perceptual experiences and our credences? Jeffrey (1968) famously suggested that this is a merely psychological question, so that normative issues about rationality only arise after an experience has had its impact on our doxastic states. But it can seem extremely plausible that that there is such a rational relation – our experiences can provide (at least some measure of) justification or rationalization for some credences rather than others. But then the question arises: in virtue of what does an experience rationalize one specific degree of belief rather than another? What must perceptual experience be like in order to play this role?

One recent answer to this question is the idea that there are perceptual confidences (see e.g. Morrison 2016, 2017; Munton 2016; Moss 2018) – perceptual experiences not only have a content, they also intrinsically assign degrees of confidence to their content, just like degrees of belief. The motivation for this idea is (i) partly phenomenological and (ii) partly epistemological. (i) It is claimed that perceptual confidences provide the best explanation for certain phenomenal features of experiences. (ii) It is claimed that perceptual confidences are the best explanation for how perceptual experiences can directly justify having some specific credence in a proposition. In this talk we explore some consequences of the idea and outline a number of challenges for the view, concerning both (i) its phenomenological adequacy and (ii) its claim to explain the epistemic/rational role of experience.

The Centre for Logic and Language hosts a regular seminar series - the Logic, Epistemology and Metaphysics Forum (LEM). The forum generally meets fortnightly in term time.


Institute of Philsophy
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