Philosophical Topics

Volume 44, Issue 2, Fall 2016

New Directions in the Philosophy of Perception

Jessie Munton
Pages 301-326

Visual Confidences and Direct Perceptual Justification

What kind of content must visual states have if they are to offer direct (noninferential) justification for our external world beliefs? How must they present that content if the degree of justification they provide is to reflect the nuance of our changing visual experiences? This paper offers an argument for the view that visual states comprise not only a content, but a confidence relation to that content. This confidence relation lets us explain how visual states can offer noninferential perceptual justification of differing degrees for external world beliefs. These confidence relations let visual states justify beliefs in a way that is sensitive to subtle differences in the character of our visual experiences, while still allowing that visual states give us direct access to the external world in virtue of their content.