Against the very idea of a perceptual belief

Grace Helton, Bence Nanay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The aim of this paper is to argue that there is no unproblematic way of delineating perceptual beliefs from non-perceptual beliefs. The concept of perceptual belief is one of the central concepts not only of philosophy of perception but also of epistemology in a broad foundationalist tradition. Philosophers of perception talk about perceptual belief as the interface between perception and cognition and foundationalist epistemologists understand perceptual justification as a relation between perceptual states and perceptual beliefs. I consider three ways of cashing out the difference between perceptual and non-perceptual beliefs (semantic, justificatory, and etiological) and argue that none of them works. Finally, I explore the possibility of understanding perceptual justification without relying on the concept of perceptual beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-105
Number of pages13
JournalAnalytic Philosophy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


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