, Volume 153, Issue 3, pp 467-475,
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Date: 02 Sep 2010

Perceptual entitlement and basic beliefs

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1. In Perception and Basic Beliefs: Zombies, Modules, and the Problem of the External World (Oxford University Press, 2009), Jack Lyons provides a psychological criterion of basicality to defend a broadly reliabilist account of perceptual warrant, while simultaneously raising a host of difficulties for evidentialism. I will focus on and criticize his response to the clairvoyant powers case. I will then offer him another solution to the clairvoyant powers case, which applies equally well to the brain-in-a-vat. Two birds with one stone, you might say.

My use of ‘warrant’ broadly follows Burge’s (2003). Warrants are epistemic rights to believe. They are positive epistemic statuses—statuses understood in terms of promoting truth and avoiding error—that attach primarily to beliefs. Warrant does not entail truth; warranted false belief is possible. Warrant is not that property which converts true belief into knowledge. There is more than one kind of warrant, or more than one kind of contribut