Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Vol. 67, No. 3, November 2003

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Vol. 67, No. 3, November 2003

Article excerpt

Perceptual Entitlement, TYLER BURGE

This paper develops a conception of epistemic warrant as applied to perceptual belief, called "entitlement," that does not require the warranted individual to be capable of understanding the warrant. The conception is situated within an account of animal perception and unsophisticated perceptual belief. It characterizes entitlement as fulfillment of an epistemic norm that is a priori associated with a certain representational function that can be known a priori to be a function of perception. The paper connects antiindividualism, a thesis about the nature of mental states, and perceptual entitlement. It presents an argument that explains the objectivity and validity of perceptual entitlement partly in terms of the nature of perceptual states--hence the nature of perceptual beliefs, which are constitutively associated with perceptual states. The paper discusses ways that an individual can be entitled to perceptual belief through its connection to perception, and ways that entitlement to perceptual belief can be undermined.

Descartes on the Cognitive Structure of Sensory Experience, ALISON SIMMONS

Descartes is often thought to bifurcate sensory experience into two distinct cognitive components: the sensing of secondary qualities and the more or less intellectual perceiving of primary qualities. A closer examination of his analysis of sensory perception in the Sixth Replies and his treatment of sensory processing in the Dioptrics and Treatise on Man tells a different story. The author argues that Descartes offers a unified cognitive account of sensory experience according to which the senses and intellect operate together to produce a fundamentally imagistic representation of the world in both its primary and secondary quality aspects. At stake here is not only our understanding of the cognitive structure of sensory experience but the relation of sense and intellect more generally in the Cartesian mind. The deep bifurcation in the Cartesian mind is not between the sensory perception of primary and secondary qualities but between sensory perception and purely intellectual perception. …

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