Perception And Default Warranted Perceptual Belief

October 24, 2014 - October 25, 2014
Institute of Philosophy, University of Zürich



Tyler Burge
University of California, Los Angeles

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Master Class

Perception And Default Warranted Perceptual Belief

Tyler Burge (UC Los Angeles)


The first part will discuss the nature of perception and perceptual
representational content. It will begin with a broad introduction to
anti-individualism-the view that the natures of most psychological
states, including perceptual states, constitutively depend on relations
between the individual in those states and aspects of the physical
environment. Then we will discuss broad constitutive aspects of
perception, and provide an overview of how perceptual systems work,
according to advanced, mainstream work in perceptual psychology.
Finally, we will survey the range of perceptual systems, emphasizing the
relative primitiveness of some animals with perception. Comparisons will
be drawn to even more primitive forms of action in the animal kingdom.
Ways in which norms for accuracy and efficiency apply to primitive
perception and primitive action will be discussed.

The second part of the seminar will center on the specific norm for
perceptual belief, prima facie warrant-often termed (I think
unnaturally) 'prima facie justification'. In the first session of this
second part, we will begin with a brief introduction to a modest
foundationalist view, according to which perceptual beliefs are prima
facie default warranted. This introduction will be pointed toward a
discussion of relations between ordinary perceptual belief and
scepticism, with emphasis on Moore's anti-sceptical argument. In the
second session, we will discuss in more detail the nature of prima facie
default warrant (entitlement)-contrasting externalist (loosely,
reliabilist) conceptions with internalist conceptions. We will also
attend to relations between externalism about warrant and
anti-individualism about the nature of psychological states. The third
session will focus on two arguments that have been aimed at showing that
there is something wrong with the idea of prima facie default warrant.
Both arguments fail. The failure of the first will point up the
importance of grounding the epistemology of empirical belief in
perceptual psychology.

Organised by the Institute of Philosophy
Doctoral Program: "Philosophy: Language, Mind and Practice"

Date: 24th - 25th October 2014

Venue: Philosophisches Seminar, Zürichbergstrasse 43, 8044 Zürich
Room: ZUP-U-8

Please contact for further information and registration:
Stefan Riegelnik, [email protected]

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