Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge
Goldman (Alvin)
Source: Journal of Philosophy 73.20, Nov. 1976, pp. 771-791
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    This paper proposes an analysis of noninferential perceptual knowledge. The analysis rests on the idea that knowledge arises from the exercise of reliable causal mechanisms, by which the knower discriminates the actual state of affairs from relevant alternatives. Following a discussion of 'relevant' alternatives and skepticism, I argue that true belief is disqualified from being knowledge when the same belief would be falsely held in certain relevant counterfactual situations. The class of situations is carefully delimited: the situations must be 'perceptual equivalents' of the actual state of affairs that is perceptually responsible for the belief.

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