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Synthese

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Visual and bodily sensational perception: an epistemic asymmetry

  • Daniel MunroEmail author
Article

Abstract

This paper argues that, assuming some widely held views about how vision justifies beliefs, there is an important epistemic asymmetry between visual perception and the perception of bodily sensations. This asymmetry arises when we consider the epistemic significance of the distinction between low-level and high-level properties in perceptual experience. I argue that a distinction exists between low-level and high-level properties of bodily sensations which parallels that distinction in the objects of visual experience. I then survey evidence revealing systematic unreliability in an important dimension of our perception of low-level bodily sensational properties. I argue that this unreliability results in an epistemic asymmetry with vision. I conclude by sketching some implications of this asymmetry for developing a general, unified theory of perceptual justification.

Keywords

Epistemology Perception Bodily sensations Vision 

Notes

Acknowledgements

For feedback on previous versions of this paper, thank you to Kathrin Glüer-Pagin, Lana Kuhle, Jennifer Nagel, Gerardo Viera, and audiences at Stockholm University, the Canadian Philosophical Association, and the American Philosophical Association. Thank you also to two anonymous reviewers for Synthese. This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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