Acquaintance and the Formation of Negative Phenomenal Belief
This paper argues that Gertler’s (2012) account of acquaintance is inadequate because it cannot perform the explanatory role that it’s supposed to perform. My argument builds from two central claims. First, I argue that our judgments about phenomenal absences have the special features that acquaintance is supposed to explain. Second, I argue that Gertler’s take on acquaintance does not allow us to be acquainted with phenomenal absences. This suggests a general methodological lesson: when developing an account of the epistemology of acquaintance, we should make sure that we are capturing all of the relevant sorts of cases.