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Reasons and Experience

Alan Millar

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198242703
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680540 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242703.001.0001
Reasons and Experience

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There is a tendency in current philosophical thought to treat sensory experiences as a peculiar species of propositional attitude. This book argues against this view. While allowing that experiences may in some sense bear propositional content, it presents a view of sensory experiences as a species of psychological state. The book applies the resulting analytical framework to a discussion of justified belief, dealing, firstly, with how beliefs may derive justification from other beliefs, and secondly, with how current sensory experiences may contribute to the justification of a person's beliefs. A key theme in the book's general approach is that justified belief results from the competent exercise of conceptual capacities, some of which involve an ability to respond appropriately to current experience. In working out this approach the book develops a view of concepts and their mastery; explores the role of groundless beliefs drawing on suggestions of Wittgenstein; illuminates aspects of the thought of Locke, Hume, Quine, and Goldman; and finally offers a response to a sophisticated variety of scepticism.

Keywords: sensory experience; propositional attitude; Wittgenstein; Locke; Hume; Quine; Goldman; scepticism

Book.  238 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Reasons and Experience

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Sensory Experience in Reasons and Experience

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Experience and Justification in Reasons and Experience

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Groundless Beliefs in Reasons and Experience

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Scepticism in Reasons and Experience

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