© 2016

The Puzzle of Perceptual Justification

Conscious experience, Higher-order Beliefs, and Reliable Processes


Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 377)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Harmen Ghijsen
    Pages 15-32
  3. Harmen Ghijsen
    Pages 33-66
  4. Harmen Ghijsen
    Pages 93-123
  5. Harmen Ghijsen
    Pages 125-159
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 161-165

About this book


This book provides an accessible and up-to-date discussion of contemporary theories of perceptual justification that each highlight different factors related to perception, i.e., conscious experience, higher-order beliefs, and reliable processes. The book’s discussion starts from the viewpoint that perception is not only one of our fundamental sources of knowledge and justification, but also plays this role for many less sophisticated animals. It proposes a scientifically informed reliabilist theory which can accommodate this fact without denying that some of our epistemic abilities as human perceivers are special. This allows it to combine many of our intuitions about the importance of conscious experience and higher-order belief with the controversial thesis that perceptual justification is fundamentally non-evidential in character.


Clairvoyance Challenge Dogmatism Epistemological Disjunctivism Evidential vs. Non-Evidential Justification Evidentialism Experientialism Higher-order Defeat Perceptual Justification Perceptual Seemings Reliabilism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Logic and Analytic PhiloInstitute of Philosophy, KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

About the authors

Harmen Ghijsen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Philosophy at KU Leuven and a member of the Leuven Epistemology Group. His area of research is located at the intersection of philosophy of mind and epistemology and focuses on integrating epistemological theories with our actual cognitive architecture. He has published numerous articles related to this research, with perceptual justification as one of his favorite topics.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Puzzle of Perceptual Justification
  • Book Subtitle Conscious experience, Higher-order Beliefs, and Reliable Processes
  • Authors Harmen Ghijsen
  • Series Title Synthese Library
  • Series Abbreviated Title Synthese Library
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-30498-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-80826-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-30500-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 165
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Epistemology
    Philosophy of Mind
    Philosophy of Science
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