Abstract for Siegel’s Talk

How is perception distinct from belief? It is often assumed that while beliefs redound on the rational standing of a subject, perceptions do not. An irrational belief detracts from the rationality of believer, according to this assumption, but perceptions cannot do the same. I argue that perceptual experiences can have a rational standing, and that their epistemic status can be modulated by other psychological states (such as fears, wishes, prior knowledge and belief) that help produce them. Drawing on a metaphor from electricity, I call the epistemic status that perceptual experiences¬†can have “epistemic charge”.