Priors and prejudices: Comments on Susanna Siegel’s The Rationality of Perception

Andrew Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Rationality of Perception (RP) depicts a kind of ‘double counting’ in which prior beliefs help to cause percepts that are then taken as evidence for those very beliefs. The correct response, RP argues, is to epistemically downgrade the percepts themselves, thus de-fanging their apparent role as rational support. I question RP’s depiction of double-counting on the grounds that it fails to distinguish between cases involving the rational and the irrational use of prior information, and may lead to a kind of runaway epistemic downgrading. More positively, I suggest that to decide whether we confront a rational or irrational use of prior information, it helps to extend the temporal window and to bring world-altering action into the equation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-750
JournalRes Philosophica
Volume95
Issue number4
Early online date8 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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