Faculty of Social Sciences

Errol Lord: "Enriched Content, the Limits of Foundationalism, and the Epistemic Powers of Perception"

  • Date: 21 May, 11:15–13:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng2-1024
  • Organiser: Department of Philosophy
  • Contact person: Matti Eklund
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Theoretical Philosophy

(NB, day, time, and venue)

Errol Lord, University of Pennsylvania: "Enriched Content, the Limits of Foundationalism, and the Epistemic Powers of Perception"


Abstract
Foundationalists hold that at least some justified beliefs have their justificatory status independently of the justificatory status of any other beliefs. This paper is about which beliefs can be foundationally justified. A natural view to hold is that all justified perceptual beliefs are foundationally justified--call this liberal foundationalism. In this paper I argue that liberal foundationalism is false given a plausible account of what we can perceive. According to this account, the contents of our perceptions can be enriched with features that go beyond color, shape, and spatial properties. I argue that the perceptual justification we get for enriched content is not foundational justification. Once we reject liberal foundationalism, however, it becomes less clear what is epistemically special about perception. In the last part of the paper I sketch a view about why perception is special even if it doesn't always provide foundational justification.