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Epistemology After Sextus Empiricus$
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Katja Maria Vogt and Justin Vlasits

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190946302

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190946302.001.0001

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Bayesian Liberalism

Bayesian Liberalism

(p.75) 3 Bayesian Liberalism
Epistemology After Sextus Empiricus

Megan Feeney

Susanna Schellenberg

Oxford University Press

This article defends liberalism, that is, the view that perceivers are justified in their perceptual beliefs simply on grounds of the perceptions on which the beliefs are based. By critically discussing several conservativist objections, it shows that liberalism is compatible with standard Bayesianism. This argument calls into question an assumption in the conservatist objections, an assumption that can be traced back to Pyrrhonian skepticism, namely, that the acquisition of perceptual evidence is primarily a matter of forming introspective beliefs about seemings or appearances. By contrast, this essay argues that the formation of introspective beliefs is an extra step over and above the acquisition of perceptual evidence. Forming the relevant introspective beliefs requires the possession of seeming or appearance concepts. However, subjects can acquire perceptual evidence, on this view, even if they lack these concepts or are incapable of forming the relevant introspective beliefs. Thus, the essay defends Bayesian liberalism.

Keywords:   Bayesianism, liberalism, conservativism, skepticism, belief, perception, representational content, introspection, seemings

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