A Defense of the Given

Overview

What is the connection between experience and knowledge? Evan Fales defends the contested idea that sense experience can be used to justify basic beliefs. He explores what it is for a belief to be self-evident and examines implications for his argument of Gestalt psychology and visual phenomena and illusions. Fales diverges from classical foundationalism, however, arguing that basic beliefs are often only probable, rather than infallible. A Defense of the Given is an important work not only for epistemologists ...

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Overview

What is the connection between experience and knowledge? Evan Fales defends the contested idea that sense experience can be used to justify basic beliefs. He explores what it is for a belief to be self-evident and examines implications for his argument of Gestalt psychology and visual phenomena and illusions. Fales diverges from classical foundationalism, however, arguing that basic beliefs are often only probable, rather than infallible. A Defense of the Given is an important work not only for epistemologists but for all philosophers interested in how we can justify our beliefs.

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Editorial Reviews

David Armstrong
Evan Fales deserves our gratitude for his carefully argued and moderate attempt to show that a theory of what is 'given' to observation can be constructed.
William P. Alston
Fales carries out a vigorous defense of a sophisticated and powerful doctrine of the given. The book deserves careful consideration by all those concerned with perception and epistemology.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Evan M. Fales is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Iowa, the author of Causation and Universals, and the co-editor of Genes and Human Self-Knowledge.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
Preface
1 The Doctrine of the Given 1
2 Varieties, Modes, and Degrees of Givenness 29
3 The Challenge of Gestalt Psychology 41
4 The Conceptual Content of the Given 89
5 Perceptual Belief 115
6 The Given and Knowledge 137
7 Concluding Unmetaphysical Postscript 191
Bibliography 215
Index 221
About the Author 227
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