Research Group
in Analytic Philosophy

The Structure of Phenomenal Justification

    Uriah Kriegel

Date: 13 January 2021

Time: 15:00

Place: Online

Abstract

Call the following *phenomenal dogmatism*, or PD for short:

 

(PD) For some experience E and belief B, (i) E provides immediate prima facie epistemic justification for B and (ii) E does so in virtue of (some of) E’s phenomenal properties.

 

Something like PD is defended by James Pryor, Michael Huemer, and following them many others. But PD is also the target of various objections. Some come from Bayesian probability theory, some from the psychology of cognitive penetration, some from broadly Sellarsian reflections on what it takes to justify, and some from other sources. Here I want to consider an objection that may be put as follows: What is so special about *perceptual phenomenology* that only it can immediately justify beliefs, while other kinds of phenomenology – including quite similar ones – remain ‘epistemically inert’? This objection has been ai red a number of times in the recent literature. The reason I want to consider this objection in particular is not that I think it is specially formidable, but because of    where the response to the objection will lead us: a deeper understanding of the general phenomenon of phenomenal justification – the very idea of justification in virtue of phenomenology.