Perception and Basic Beliefs: Zombies, Modules, and the Problem of the External World by Jack LyonsPerception and Basic Beliefs: Zombies, Modules, and the Problem of the External World by Jack Lyons

Perception and Basic Beliefs: Zombies, Modules, and the Problem of the External World

byJack Lyons

Paperback | June 20, 2011

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 223 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Perception is our main source of epistemic access to the outside world. Perception and Basic Beliefs addresses two central questions in epistemology: which beliefs are epistemologically basic (i.e., noninferentially justified) and where does perception end and inferential cognition begin. Jack Lyons offers a highly externalist theory, arguing that what makes a belief a basic belief or a perceptual belief is determined by the nature of the cognitive system, or module, that produced the beliefs. On this view, the sensory experiences that typically accompany perceptual beliefs play noindispensable role in the justification of these beliefs, and one can have perceptual beliefs - justified perceptual beliefs - even in the absence of any sensory experiences whatsoever. Lyons develops a general theory of basic beliefs and argues that perceptual beliefs are a species of basic beliefs. This results from the fact that perceptual modules are a special type of basic belief-producing modules. Importantly, some beliefs are not the outputs of this class of cognitivemodule; these beliefs are therefore non-basic, thus requiring inferential support from other beliefs for their justification. This last point is used to defend a reliabilist epistemology against an important class of traditional objections (where the agent uses a reliable process that she doesn'tknow to be reliable).Perception and Basic Beliefs brings together an important treatment of these major epistemological topics and provides a positive solution to the traditional problem of the external world.
Jack Lyons is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arkansas.
Title:Perception and Basic Beliefs: Zombies, Modules, and the Problem of the External WorldFormat:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.59 inPublished:June 20, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199812071

ISBN - 13:9780199812073

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Abbreviations1. External Object Foundationalism1.1 The Problem of the External World1.2 Metaphysical and Epistemological Direct Realisms1.3 Basic Beliefs2. Doxastic and Nondoxastic Theories2.1 Evidential and Nonevidential Justifiers2.2 The Supervenience Argument2.3 Doxasticism and Nondoxasticism2.4 Doxastic Theories3. Experientialist Theories3.1 Sensation and Perception3.2 Sensations as Grounds3.2.1 Sensationless Perception3.2.2 The Sensation/perception Gap and Collateral Information3.2.3 Problems Concerning Basing3.2.4 SE and the Content of Sensations3.3 Percepts as Grounds3.3.1 In Search of the Percept3.3.2 Percepts and Beliefs3.3.3 The Zombies Return3.4 The Belief Principle3.5 Experiential States as Nonevidential Justifiers3.6 Intuitive Resistance3.7 Recapitulation4. Perceptual Systems and Perceptual Beliefs4.1 Perceptual Systems4.1.1 Cognitive Systems/Modules4.1.2 Perceptual Modules4.2 The Plausibility of the Perceptual System Theory4.2.1 The "Grain Size" of Perceptual Beliefs4.2.2 Perception and Ungrounded Justified Belief4.2.3 Perceptual Learning and Nonexperiential 'Looks'4.2.4 Percept Experientialism Revisited4.3 Perceptual Beliefs and Basic Beliefs5. Perception, Clairvoyance, and Reliability5.1 Simple Reliabilism and the Norman/Truetemp Objections5.2 Clairvoyance and Basicality5.2.1 Underspecification and the "Clairvoyance Challenge"5.2.2 Perception and Other Cognitive Abilities5.2.3 "Meta-Incoherence"5.3 Reliability and Basicality5.3.1 Clairvoyance and Defeat5.3.2 Experientialist Reliabilism5.3.3 Early Reliabilism5.3.4 Teleological Reliabilism6. Basic Beliefs6.1 The Delineation Problem6.1.1 The Desiderata6.1.2 A Systems Theory of Basicality6.1.3 Counterexamples and Replies6.2 Intuitions and Beyond6.2.1 Descriptive and Normative Epistemology6.2.2 Cognitive Science and Basicality6.2.3 Illustration: Why My Philosophy is More God-Friendly than Plantinga's6.2.4 Reflective Equilibrium and Etiological Constraints7. Basic and Nonbasic Beliefs in a Reliabilist Epistemology7.1 Toward a Theory of Justification7.1.1 Evidential Justification7.1.2 Defeat7.1.3 Outline of a Theory7.2 Internalism and Externalism7.3 The Problem(s) of the External WorldReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This is a bold and original book. The book is intrepid, striking, and forceful. It contains a great deal of very fine work. It is powerfully conceived, well crafted, and engagingly written. It is obviously the product of many years of careful reflection devoted to these topics, and thequality of argument is very high. In every way the book fits the gold standard of quality set by Oxford University Press." --Frederick Schmitt, Professor of Philosophy, Indiana University