Phenomenal Conservatism and the Demand for Metajustification


  • Rogel Oliveira Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul


Phenomenal conservatism. Metajustification. Direct realism. Foundationalism. Epistemic circularity.


This paper is on the justification of (PC), the epistemic principle defended by M. Huemer in his Phenomenal Conservatism theory. Put in a straightforward way, we can (and should) ask: what reasons are there for thinking that (PC) is true, that is, for thinking that appearances justify beliefs? This question corresponds – to use L. BonJour’s vocabulary - to the demand for a “metajustification”. The pursuit of this metajustification can take different directions, depending on the general conception or nature of epistemic justification we are working with and on who is supposed to satisfy the demand. Unfortunately, all of these directions seem to lead (PC) to a dead end. In other words, the apparently fair and even essential demand for a metajustification of (PC) cannot be met by the theory, at least in a satisfactory way. If we are right about that, it will remain the difficult question whether Phenomenal Conservatism is the only one (or even the right one!) to be blamed for this failure. We will briefly talk about that in the conclusion.


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Biografia do Autor

Rogel Oliveira, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul

Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) School of Humanities Graduate Program in Philosophy Porto Alegre, RS.


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Como Citar

OLIVEIRA, R. Phenomenal Conservatism and the Demand for Metajustification. Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofia, Campinas, SP, v. 40, n. 4, p. 159–177, 2017. Disponível em: Acesso em: 5 dez. 2022.