, Volume 126, Issue 3, pp 347-373

The Mystery of Direct Perceptual Justification

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Abstract

In at least some cases of justified perceptual belief, our perceptual experience itself, as opposed to beliefs about it, evidences and thereby justifies our belief. While the phenomenon is common, it is also mysterious. There are good reasons to think that perceptions cannot justify beliefs directly, and there is a significant challenge in explaining how they do. After explaining just how direct perceptual justification is mysterious, I considerMichael Huemer’s (Skepticism and the Veil of Perception, 2001) and Bill Brewer’s (Perception and Reason, 1999) recent, but radically different, attempts to eliminate it. I argue that both are unsuccessful, though a consideration of their mistakes deepens our appreciation of the mystery.