Perception and Reason

Paperback | March 1, 2002

byBill Brewer

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Bill Brewer sets out an original view of the role of conscious experience in the acquisition of empirical knowledge. Most epistemology of perception takes a person's possession of beliefs about the mind-independent world for granted and goes on to ask what further conditions these beliefs mustmeet if they are to be cases of knowledge. Brewer argues that this approach is completely mistaken. Perceptual experiences must provide reasons for empirical beliefs if there are to be any determinate beliefs at all about particular objects in the world. The crucial epistemological role ofexperience lies in its essential contribution to the subject's understanding of certain perceptual demonstrative contents, simply grasping which provides him with a reason to endorse them in belief. Brewer explains in detail how this is so, defends his position against a wide range of objections,and compares and contrasts it with a number of influential alternative views in the area. He brings out its connection with Russell's Principle of Acquaintance, and examines its conseqences for the compatibility of content externalism with an adequate account of self-knowledge. Perception and Reasonoffers a fresh approach to epistemology, turning away from the search for necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge and working instead from a theory of understanding in a particular area.

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Bill Brewer sets out an original view of the role of conscious experience in the acquisition of empirical knowledge. Most epistemology of perception takes a person's possession of beliefs about the mind-independent world for granted and goes on to ask what further conditions these beliefs mustmeet if they are to be cases of knowledge. ...

Bill Brewer is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Oxford, and Tutorial Fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford. He has held visiting positions at Brown University and at the University of California, Berkeley, and a three-year research fellowship at King's College, Cambridge. He is the co-editor of Spatial Representation (19...

other books by Bill Brewer

Perception and its Objects
Perception and its Objects

Hardcover|Apr 25 2011

$78.95

Format:PaperbackDimensions:300 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.67 inPublished:March 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199250456

ISBN - 13:9780199250455

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPerceptual Experiences Provide Reasons1. Historical-Epistemological Context2. Belief and Experience3. Experience and Reason4. Epistemological Consequences and CriticismsThe Rational Role of Perceptual Experiences5. Reasons Require Conceptual Contents6. The Rational Role of Perceptual Experiences7. The Epistemological Outlook8. Developments and ConsequencesBibliography, Index

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition A review of this length cannot do Brewer's argument justice, and can only barely indicate the richness of his discussion. (I highly recommend chapter fice, in which he puts a vigorous case against the widespread idea of nonconceptual content.) Whether or not oneis persuaded of his main contentins, it is impossible to work through the book without at least defining and sharpening one's own views.'William G. Lycan, Mind