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Summary There seems to be at least some philosophical knowledge. For example, most philosophers, having read Gettier, take themselves to know that justified true belief is not sufficient for knowledge. But how is philosophical knowledge possible? What are its features? Is philosophy (ever? always?) a priori? Are there grounds for skepticism about philosophy? What is the role of intuitions in philosophy?
Key works DePaul & Ramsey 1998 contains many essays probing and challenging the sources of philosophical knowledge; Booth & Rowbottom 2014 is a more contemporary treatment of the same issues. Weinberg et al 2001 give an influential empirical challenge to the use of intuitions in the normative realms of philosophy. Williamson 2007 defends an approach to philosophy that does not depend on intuitions in an evidential role.
Introductions The literature on metaphilosophy typically occurs at a relatively advanced level; unlike many other philosophical subdisciplines, the study of philosophy requires significant antecedent familiarity with much of philosophy, so it is not particularly well-suited to introductory treatments. However, Rosenberg 1984 is one influential introductory text.
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  1. A. Nfuropsythologital Approath (1997). The Nature of Intuition O. In R. Davis-Floyd & P. Sven Arvidson (eds.), Intuition: The Inside Story. Routledge. 19.
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  2. Gary Atkinson (1990). A Defense of Intuitions. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 64:107-117.
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  3. Anthony Alan Bryson, The View From the Armchair: A Defense of Traditional Philosophy.
    Traditional philosophy has been under attack from several quarters in recent years. The traditional philosopher views philosophy as an armchair discipline relying, for the most part, on reason and reflection. Some philosophers doubt the legitimacy of this type of inquiry. Their arguments usually occur along two dimensions. Some argue that the primary data source for the armchair philosopher--intuition--does not provide evidence for philosophical theories. Others argue that conceptual analysis, which is the preferred method of inquiry for armchair philosophers, can't yield (...)
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  4. Daniel Cohnitz & Jussi Haukioja (forthcoming). Intuitions in Philosophical Semantics. Erkenntnis:1-25.
    We argue that the term “intuition”, as it is used in metaphilosophy, is ambiguous between at least four different senses. In philosophy of language, the relevant “intuitions” are either the outputs of our competence to interpret and produce linguistic expressions, or the speakers’ or hearers’ own reports of these outputs. The semantic facts that philosophers of language are interested in are determined by the outputs of our competence. Hence, philosophers of language should be interested in investigating these, and they do (...)
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  5. Peter Kung (2012). Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):806-809.
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  6. Nenad Miscevic, Intuitions: A Naturalistic Approach.
    Part one: physical thought-experiments 1) Introduction: some famous examples 2) Problems 3) Process: reasoning in mental models 4) Virtues explained Part two: spatial imagination and the seeing of possibilities 5) Two stages of geometrical thought-experiments 6) The neuro-epistemology of imagination 7) From possibility to necessity 8) Objections and hurdles..
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  7. Nenad Miščević (2013). An Uncomfortable Armchair. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 13 (1):5-28.
    The paper addresses Williamson’s original and challenging proposal for understanding of thought experiments . First, it puts it on the map of positions, describing it as “ordinarism”, the view that sees thinker’s reaction to the thought-experimental question as nothing extraordinary, let alone mysterious. Then, it passes to Williamson’s proposal to use counterfactuals in order to understand TEs, agrees with the main idea, but proposes a more structured view of capacities or “competences” active in the understanding and answering. Intuitions are important, (...)
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  8. Nadia Moro (2014). Das Helldunkel einheimischer Begriffe: Der wissenschaftliche Ort der Pädagogik in Herbarts System der Philosophie. In R. Coriand & A. Schotte (eds.), Herbartstudien, Bd. 5: "Einheimische Begriffe" und Disziplinentwicklung. Garamond. 173–186.
    Johann Friedrich Herbart bringt ein wissenschaftliches Verständnis von Philosophie auf, das sich prägend auf den Aufbau seines Systems sowie auf die Begründung von Psychologie, Ästhetik, Pädagogik und deren gegenseitige Beziehungen auswirkt. Ausgehend von neuen funktionalistischen Interpretationen seiner Philosophie wird gezeigt, wie durch eine relationale Methodologie eine pluralistische Wissenschaftsauffassung ermöglicht wird, welche einerseits die selbständige Entwicklung einzelner Disziplinen rechtfertigt, andererseits deren formalen Zusammenhang nachweist. Der systematische Bezug der Pädagogik wird aus Sicht der Philosophie festgelegt. Hinsichtlich ihrer Möglichkeit, Begründung und wissenschaftlichen Verortung (...)
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  9. Robert B. Pippin (2006). Philosophy is its Own Time Comprehended in Thought. Topoi 25 (1-2):85-90.
    So much philosophy is so unavoidably guided by intuitions, and such intuitions are so formed by examples, and such examples must of necessity present so cropped and abstract a picture of an instance or event or decision, that, left to its traditional methods, philosophy might be ill-equipped on its own to answer a question about the true content of an historical ideal like ``autonomy'', or authenticity or ``leading a free life''. One needs to bring so many factors into play at (...)
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  10. John Safranek (2012). Braude, Hillel. Intuition in Medicine: A Philosophical Defense of Clinical Reasoning. Review of Metaphysics 66 (2):358-360.
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  11. Brian Talbot (2014). Why so Negative? Evidence Aggregation and Armchair Philosophy. Synthese 191 (16):3865-3896.
    This paper aims to clarify a debate on philosophical method, and to give a probabilistic argument vindicating armchair philosophy under a wide range of plausible assumptions. The use of intuitions by so-called armchair philosophers has been criticized on empirical grounds. The debate between armchair philosophers and their empirical critics would benefit from greater clarity and precision in our understanding of what it takes for intuition-based approaches to philosophy to make sense. This paper discusses a set of rigorous, probability-based tools for (...)
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  12. Anand Vaidya (2012). Intuition and Inquiry. Essays in Philosophy 13 (1):16.
    Recent work in philosophical methodology by experimental philosophers has brought to light a certain kind of skepticism about the role of intuitions in a priori philosophical inquiry. In this paper I turn attention away from a priori philosophical inquiry and on to the role of intuition in experimental design. I argue that even if we have reason to be skeptical about the role of intuition in a priori philosophical inquiry, we cannot remove intuition from inquiry altogether, because appeals to intuition (...)
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  13. David Weissman (1987). Intuition and Ideality. State University of New York Press.
    This book shows how idealism is a consequence of the intuitionist method.
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  14. Nicholas White (1985). Invited Papers: The Role of Intuition in Plato's Epistemology. Noûs 19 (1):76.
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Epistemology of Philosophy, Misc
  1. James Andow (forthcoming). Expecting Moral Philosophers to Be Reliable. Dialectica.
    Are philosophers’ intuitions more reliable than philosophical novices’? Are we entitled to assume the superiority of philosophers’ intuitions just as we assume that experts in other domains have more reliable intuitions than novices? Ryberg raises some doubts and his arguments promise to undermine the expertise defence of intuition-use in philosophy once and for all. In this paper, I raise a number of objections to these arguments. I argue that philosophers receive sufficient feedback about the quality of their intuitions and that (...)
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  2. Nathan Ballantyne (2014). Counterfactual Philosophers. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):368-387.
    I argue that reflection on philosophers who could have been working among us but aren’t can lead us to give up our philosophical beliefs.
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  3. Alessandro Bertinetto (2007). Die transzendentale Argumentation in der Transzendentalen Logik Fichtes. Fichte-Studien 31:255-265.
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  4. Jason Brennan (2010). Scepticism About Philosophy. Ratio 23 (1):1-16.
    Suppose a person who is agnostic about most philosophical issues wishes to have true philosophical beliefs but equally wishes to avoid false philosophical beliefs. I argue that this truth-seeking, error-avoiding agnostic would not have good grounds for pursuing philosophy. Widespread disagreement shows that pursuing philosophy is not a reliable method of discovering true answers to philosophical questions. More likely than not, pursuing philosophy leads to false belief. Many attempts to rebut this sceptical argument fail.
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  5. Nick Byrd (2014). Intuition and Reflection In Philosophy. Dissertation, University of Colorado
    Cognitive scientists have revealed systematic errors in human reasoning. There is disagreement about what these errors indicate about human rationality, but one upshot seems clear: human reasoning does not seem to fit traditional views of human rationality. This concern about rationality has made its way through various fields and has recently caught the attention of philosophers. The concern is that if philosophers are prone to systematic errors in reasoning, then the integrity of philosophy would be threatened. In this paper, I (...)
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  6. Yuri Cath (forthcoming). Knowing How and 'Knowing How'. In Christopher Daly (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods. Palgrave Macmillan.
    What is the relationship between the linguistic properties of knowledge-how ascriptions and the nature of knowledge-how itself? In this chapter I address this question by examining the linguistic methodology of Stanley and Williamson (2011) and Stanley (2011a, 2011b) who defend the intellectualist view that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. My evaluation of this methodology is mixed. On the one hand, I defend Stanley and Williamson (2011) against critics who argue that the linguistic premises they appeal to—about the syntax and (...)
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  7. Yuri Cath (2012). Evidence and Intuition. Episteme 9 (4):311-328.
    Many philosophers accept a view according to which intuitions are crucial evidence in philosophy. Recently, Williamson has argued that such views are best abandoned because they lead to a psychologistic conception of philosophical evidence that encourages scepticism about the armchair judgements relied upon in philosophy. In this paper I respond to this criticism by showing how the intuition picture can be formulated in such a way that: it is consistent with a wide range of views about not only philosophical evidence (...)
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  8. David Colaco, Wesley Buckwalter, Stephen Stich & Edouard Machery (2014). Epistemic Intuitions in Fake-Barn Thought Experiments. Episteme 11 (2):199-212.
    In epistemology, fake-barn thought experiments are often taken to be intuitively clear cases in which a justified true belief does not qualify as knowledge. We report a study designed to determine whether non-philosophers share this intuition. The data suggest that while participants are less inclined to attribute knowledge in fake-barn cases than in unproblematic cases of knowledge, they nonetheless do attribute knowledge to protagonists in fake-barn cases. Moreover, the intuition that fake-barn cases do count as knowledge is negatively correlated with (...)
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  9. Simon Cullen (2010). Survey-Driven Romanticism. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):275-296.
    Despite well-established results in survey methodology, many experimental philosophers have not asked whether and in what way conclusions about folk intuitions follow from people’s responses to their surveys. Rather, they appear to have proceeded on the assumption that intuitions can be simply read off from survey responses. Survey research, however, is fraught with difficulties. I review some of the relevant literature—particularly focusing on the conversational pragmatic aspects of survey research—and consider its application to common experimental philosophy surveys. I argue for (...)
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  10. Chris Daly & David Liggins (2014). In Defence of Existence Questions. Monist 97 (7):460–478.
    Do numbers exist? Do properties? Do possible worlds? Do fictional characters? Many metaphysicians spend time and effort trying to answer these and other questions about the existence of various entities. These inquiries have recently encountered opposition: a group of philosophers, drawing inspiration from Aristotle, have argued that many or all of the existence questions debated by metaphysicians can be answered trivially, and so are not worth debating. Our task is to defend existence questions from the neo-Aristotelians' attacks.
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  11. Terence Rajivan Edward (2014). Deferentialism and the Territory of Philosophy. Ethos 7 (1):56-62.
    David Liggins and Chris Daly have argued against a recent trend in which some philosophical debate or other is said to be settled by claims from a discipline other than philosophy, because claims from that discipline entail a position on the debate and any claims from that discipline have greater authority than any philosophical claims when the aim is to extend our knowledge. They label this trend deferentialism. This paper presents a dilemma for their argument.
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  12. Robert M. Ellis (2012). Middle Way Philosophy 1: The Path of Objectivity. Lulu.
    The first of a planned series of 5 volumes on Middle Way Philosophy. Middle Way Philosophy was originally inspired by the Middle Way of the Buddha but is developed in an entirely Western context. It addresses the questions of objectivity, justification, facts and values, and the relationship of philosophy and psychology. It develops the concept of experiential adequacy to provide a non-metaphysical resolution of the dichotomy between absolutism and relativism in both facts and values.
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  13. Eugen Fischer (2014). Mind the Metaphor! A Systematic Fallacy in Analogical Reasoning. Analysis 75 (1):67-77.
    Conceptual metaphors facilitate both productive and pernicious analogical reasoning. This article addresses the question: When and why does the frequently helpful use of metaphor become pernicious? By applying the most influential theoretical framework from cognitive psychology in analysing the philosophically most prominent example of pernicious metaphorical reasoning , we identify a philosophically relevant but previously undescribed fallacy in analogical reasoning with metaphors. We then outline an explanation of why even competent thinkers commit this fallacy and obtain a psychologically informed ‘debunking’ (...)
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  14. Eugen Fischer (2014). Paradox-Psychologie: Kognitive Epistemologie und philosophische Problemaufloesung. In Thomas Grundmann, Joachim Horvath & Jens Kipper (eds.), Die Experimentelle Philosophie in der Diskussion. Suhrkamp. 322-349.
    Der Aufsatz stellt einen Strang der experimentellen Philosophie vor, der sich nicht mit empirischen Umfragen begnügt, sondern bemüht, psychologische Experimente und Erklärungen für die philosophische Arbeit nutzbar zu machen: Das prominent propagierte, aber bislang nur vereinzelt praktizierte Forschungsprogramm der kognitiven Epistemologie (alias ‚sources project‘) verwendet bereits vorliegende experimentelle und theoretische Ergebnisse der Kognitions- und Sozialpsychologie, um ihrerseits experimentell überprüfbare Erklärungen philosophisch relevanter Intuitionen zu entwickeln, die deren epistemologische Bewertung erlauben. Während die Diskussion in und um die experimentelle Philosophie sich bislang (...)
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  15. Eugen Fischer (2011). Philosophical Delusion and its Therapy: Outline of a Philosophical Revolution. Routledge.
    Philosophical Delusion and its Therapy provides new foundations and methods for the revolutionary project of philosophical therapy pioneered by Ludwig Wittgenstein. The book vindicates this currently much-discussed project by reconstructing the genesis of important philosophical problems: With the help of concepts adapted from cognitive linguistics and cognitive psychology, the book analyses how philosophical reflection is shaped by pictures and metaphors we are not aware of employing and are prone to misapply. Through innovative case-studies on the genesis of classical problems about (...)
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  16. Eugen Fischer (2009). Philosophical Pictures and Secondary Qualities. Synthese 171 (1):77 - 110.
    The paper presents a novel account of nature and genesis of some philosophical problems, which vindicates a new approach to an arguably central and extensive class of such problems: The paper develops the Wittgensteinian notion of ‘philosophical pictures’ with the help of some notions adapted from metaphor research in cognitive linguistics and from work on unintentional analogical reasoning in cognitive psychology. The paper shows that adherence to such pictures systematically leads to the formulation of unwarranted claims, ill-motivated problems, and pointless (...)
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  17. Eugen Fischer (2006). Philosophical Pictures. Synthese 148 (2):469 - 501.
    The paper develops a novel account of the nature and genesis of some philosophical problems, which motivates an unfamiliar form of philosophical criticism that was pioneered by the later Wittgenstein. To develop the account, the paper analyses two thematically linked sets of problems, namely problems about linguistic understanding: a set of problems Wittgenstein discusses in a core part of his Philosophical Investigations, and the ‘problem of linguistic creativity’ that is central to current philosophy of language. The paper argues that these (...)
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  18. Bryan Frances (2010). The Reflective Epistemic Renegade. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):419 - 463.
    Philosophers often find themselves in disagreement with contemporary philosophers they know full well to be their epistemic superiors on the topics relevant to the disagreement. This looks epistemically irresponsible. I offer a detailed investigation of this problem of the reflective epistemic renegade. I argue that although in some cases the renegade is not epistemically blameworthy, and the renegade situation is significantly less common than most would think, in a troublesome number of cases in which the situation arises the renegade is (...)
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  19. Danko Georgiev (2013). Quantum No-Go Theorems and Consciousness. Axiomathes 23 (4):683-695.
    Our conscious minds exist in the Universe, therefore they should be identified with physical states that are subject to physical laws. In classical theories of mind, the mental states are identified with brain states that satisfy the deterministic laws of classical mechanics. This approach, however, leads to insurmountable paradoxes such as epiphenomenal minds and illusionary free will. Alternatively, one may identify mental states with quantum states realized within the brain and try to resolve the above paradoxes using the standard Hilbert (...)
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  20. Patrick Grüneberg (2011). Apperzeption und idealrealistische Begründung. In Elena Ficara (ed.), Die Begründung der Philosophie im Deutschen Idealismus. Königshausen & Neumann. 221--230.
    Das Projekt einer Begründung der Philosophie, insbesondere der Metaphysik als Wissenschaft, verbindet sich programmatisch mit dem kritischen Werk Kants und dort mit dem Konzept der transzendentalen Apperzeption. Dieser „höchste Punkt“ bildete seinerseits auch einen der zentralen Anknüpfungspunkte nachfolgender idealistischer Entwürfe und sich daraus entwickelnder Systeme. Die nachkantische Entwicklung wird dabei häufig mit dem Rubrum einer spekulativen Überhöhung des transzendentalen Kritizismus Kants belegt. Dabei ging es Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer – um nur die prominenten Vertreter zu nennen – in erster Linie (...)
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  21. Alexander S. Harper (2012). An Oblique Epistemic Defence of Conceptual Analysis. Metaphilosophy 43 (3):235-256.
    This article argues, against contemporary experimentalist criticism, that conceptual analysis has epistemic value, with a structure that encourages the development of interesting hypotheses which are of the right form to be valuable in diverse areas of philosophy. The article shows, by analysis of the Gettier programme, that conceptual analysis shares the proofs and refutations form Lakatos identified in mathematics. Upon discovery of a counterexample, this structure aids the search for a replacement hypothesis. The search is guided by heuristics. The heuristics (...)
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  22. Jonathan Ichikawa, Sosa on Virtues, Perception, and Intuition.
    I critically evaluate Ernest Sosa's (2007) contrast between intuitive justification and perceptual justification. I defend a competence-based approach to intuitive justification that is continuous with epistemic justification generally.
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  23. Jonathan Ichikawa (2009). Knowing the Intuition and Knowing the Counterfactual. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 145 (3):435 - 443.
    I criticize Timothy Williamson's characterization of thought experiments on which the central judgments are judgments of contingent counterfactuals. The fragility of these counterfactuals makes them too easily false, and too difficult to know.
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  24. Joseph Kaipayil (1995). The Epistemology of Comparative Philosophy: A Critique with Reference to P.T. Raju's Views. Rome: Centre for Indian and Inter-Religious Studies.
    Even as dismissive of pursuing Comparative Philosophy for achieving East-West synthesis in philosophy, the author maintains the need for “open philosophizing.” “Open philosophizing” is one characterized by dialogical openness to culturally diverse philosophical traditions and thought-patterns.
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  25. Uriah Kriegel (2013). The Epistemological Challenge of Revisionary Metaphysics. Philosophers' Imprint 13 (12).
    This paper presents a systematic challenge to the viability of revisionary metaphysics. The challenge is to provide epistemic grounds on which one might justifiably believe that a revisionary-metaphysical theory in some area is more likely to be true than its competitors. I argue that upon close examination, the main candidates for providing such grounds — empirical evidence, intuition, and the theoretical virtues — all turn out to be unsatisfactory.
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  26. Rodrigo Laera (ed.) (2011). Los desvíos de la razón: el lugar de la facticidad en la cadena de justificaciones. Miño y Dávila.
    Moviéndose con libertad entre distintas tradiciones filosóficas, ajeno a cualquier división escolar del pensamiento, el autor describe las formas que toma el simulacro en un recorrido de gran alcance, que abarca desde teoría de la referencia hasta la ontología existencial. "`Todo lo que es profundo ama la máscara´, escribió Nietzsche. En efecto, ¿qué es nuestra existencia, sino una inmensa mascarada? Vivimos como si entendiéramos lo que sucede a nuestro alrededor. Nos comportamos como si pudiéramos prever las consecuencias de nuestros actos. (...)
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  27. Martin Lin (2013). Philosophy and Its History. In Stewart Duncan & Antonia LoLordo (eds.), Debates in Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings and Contemporary Responses. Routledge. 363.
  28. Anna-Sara Malmgren (2013). Review of "Philosophy Without Intuitions" by Herman Cappelen. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  29. M. G. F. Martin (2009). Reupholstering a Discipline: Comments on Williamson. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 145 (3):445 - 453.
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  30. James McBain (1999). The Role of Theory Contamination in Intuitions. Southwest Philosophy Review 15 (1):197-204.
    It is all too common in philosophy to claim that a particular philosophical theory is mistaken because it fails to coincide with most philosophers' or normal inquirers' intuitions as represented in a particular case or counterexample. This suggests, as Alvin Goldman and Joel Pust point out, that our intuitions provide a sort of evidential basis for particular theories. Yet, the question remains as to whether this assessment is correct, and, if it is, whose intuitions (either those trained within the area (...)
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  31. Andrew Melnyk (2010). What Do Philosophers Know? [REVIEW] Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):297-307.
    This is a critical notice of Timothy Williamson's, The Philosophy of Philosophy (Blackwell, 2007). It focuses on criticizing the book's two main positive proposals: that we should “replace true belief by knowledge in a principle of charity constitutive of content”, and that “the epistemology of metaphysically modal thinking is tantamount to a special case of the epistemology of counterfactual thinking”.
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  32. Joseph D. Osel (forthcoming). Philosophy as Symptom & Disavowal. Social Science Research Network__Res Publica (2011).
  33. David Perez-Chico (2010). Filosofía sin lágrimas. Breve repaso a la filosofía de Stanley Cavell. In Antonio Lastra (ed.), Stanley Cavell. Mundos vistos y ciudades de palabras. Plaza & Valdés.
    El presente trabajo nació como una reflexión posterior a la traducción del libro de Stanley Cavell Contesting Tears: The Hollywood Melodrama of the Unknown Woman. La reflexión era necesaria habida cuenta de las dudas suscitadas por la traducción del título del libro. Para ser más exacto, la reflexión giraba en torno a las lágrimas que forman parte de la primera parte del título, las lágrimas vertidas por las mujeres desconocidas que protagonizan los melodramas analizados en el libro. En mi opinión, (...)
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  34. Duncan Pritchard (2008). Review of Christian Beyer, and Alex Burri (Eds.), Philosophical Knowledge: Its Possibility and Scope. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (6).
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  35. Joel Pust (2014). Critical Notice of Hilary Kornblith's On Reflection. Episteme 11 (1):53-61.
    Hilary Kornblith's On Reflection is a sustained and detailed criticism of philosophical appeals to reflection. Kornblith argues, on both conceptual and empirical grounds, that a large number of appeals to reflective belief and desire in philosophical theorizing about knowledge and justification, reasoning, free will and normativity are deeply flawed. In this paper, I discuss Kornblith's arguments, finding some quite compelling and some wanting. Moreover, I argue that an important ambiguity about the nature of reflection renders the book less clear than (...)
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  36. Athanassios Raftopoulos (2009). Cognition and Perception: How Do Psychology and Neural Science Inform Philosophy? Mit Press.
    An argument that there are perceptual mechanisms that retrieve information in cognitively and conceptually unmediated ways and that this sheds light on various ...
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