Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 10, 1984

John O. Nelson
Pages 117-137

How and Why Seeing is Not Believing

In this paper I attempt to show, first, that doxastic theories of seeing must be rejected on at least two counts: paradoxically, they commit us on the one hand to pyrrhonic skepticism and on the other they fail to account for cases of defeasibility that a theory of perceiving ought to account for. So much for the “why”. As for the “how” I attempt to show that a non-doxastic conception of seeing can be formulated, with the aid of theoretic interpretations of the perceiving of brute animals, which succeeds in overcoming the above two failings of doxastic theories.