Phenomenal Dogmatism, Seeming Evidentialism and Inferential Justification

  • Berit BrogaardEmail author
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 398)


Let ‘strong normative evidentialism’ be the view that a belief is doxastically justified just when (i) the belief is (properly) based on evidence in the agent’s possession, and (ii) the evidence constitutes a good reason for the belief. Strong normative evidentialism faces two challenges. One is that of explaining which kinds of evidence can serve as a good reason for belief. The other is to explain how inferential justification is possible. If a belief p is based on a belief q that justifies p, then it would seem that the subject would need to be justified in believing that q makes p likely. The problem for the evidentialist is to explain what justifies this belief about likelihood. I will argue that the evidentialist can respond to both worries by construing basic evidence as seemings and then adopt a version of phenomenal dogmatism – the view that seemings can confer immediate and full justification upon belief – that takes seemings to be good reasons when they are evidence-insensitive in virtue of their phenomenology. This view meets the first challenge by explaining what kinds of evidence constitute a good reason. It meets the second challenge by taking beliefs that one phenomenon makes another phenomenon more likely to be immediately and fully justified by memory seemings.


Circularity problem Epistemic elitism Evidence insensitivity Evidentialism Inferential justification Phenomenal conservatism Phenomenal dogmatism Phenomenal seemings Presentational phenomenology Skeptical worry 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MiamiMiamiUSA

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