Alvin Plantinga

in Warrant and Proper Function

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780195078640
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199872213 | DOI:

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In this chapter, I point out a few salient features of my account of warrant as it applies to perception and perceptual warrant. On my account, a perceptual judgment of mine (or yours) constitutes knowledge if and only if (roughly speaking) that judgment is true, sufficiently strong, and produced by cognitive faculties that are successfully aimed at truth and functioning properly in an epistemic environment that is right for human perceptual powers. After a brief discussion of perceptual experience, I argue that ordinary perceptual beliefs are basic: they are not formed on the evidential basis of other beliefs I hold (e.g., beliefs about my experience). While perceptual judgments are not formed on the basis of beliefs about my experience, they are, nonetheless, formed on the basis of experience, and so I take a quick look at that claim. In the final section of the chapter, I briefly take up questions about learning to perceive, and entertain the position that many perceptual judgments are only partially basic: not formed solely on the evidential basis of other beliefs, but formed partly on the basis of present perception and partly on the basis of beliefs about what things (say, trees, or automobiles, or whatever it is that one is perceiving) look like.

Keywords: knowledge; perception; perceptual experience; perceptual judgment; warrant

Chapter.  7287 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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