Phenomenal Conservatism

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Phenomenal conservatism is the view according to which, roughly, the way things seem or appear to be is a source of epistemic justification. According to phenomenal conservatism, for instance, one can have some justification for believing that the cat is on the mat simply because it seems visually to one that the cat is on the mat. The central intuition of the phenomenal conservative is that one should grant that things are the way they appear to be unless one has reasons for doubting it. Phenomenal conservatism is internalist in character at least because it takes the seeming-based justification of one’s beliefs to depend entirely on one’s mental states (cf. Huemer 2006, 2011, 2014). Phenomenal conservatism is customarily associated with Michael Huemer’s work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-309
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Early online date21 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


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