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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. 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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  2. 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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Epistemology of Philosophy, Misc
  1. Nathan Ballantyne (2013). 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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  2. Alessandro Bertinetto (2007). Die transzendentale Argumentation in der Transzendentalen Logik Fichtes. Fichte-Studien 31:255-265.
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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. Martin Lin (2013). Philosophy and Its History. In Stewart Duncan & Antonia LoLordo (eds.), Debates in Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings and Contemporary Responses. Routledge. 363.
  22. Anna-Sara Malmgren (2013). Review of "Philosophy Without Intuitions" by Herman Cappelen. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  23. M. G. F. Martin (2009). Reupholstering a Discipline: Comments on Williamson. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 145 (3):445 - 453.
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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. Joel Pust (2014). Critical Notice of Hilary Kornblith's On Reflection. Episteme 11:53-61.
    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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  29. 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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  30. Robert D. Rupert, Embodied Knowledge, Conceptual Change, and the A Priori; or, Justification, Revision, and the Ways Life Could Go.
  31. Joseph Shieber (2012). A Partial Defense of Intuition on Naturalist Grounds. Synthese 187 (2):321-341.
    The debate concerning the role of intuitions in philosophy has been characterized by a fundamental disagreement between two main camps. The first, the autonomists, hold that, due to the use in philosophical investigation of appeals to intuition, most of the central questions of philosophy can in principle be answered by philosophical investigation and argument without relying on the sciences. The second, the naturalists, deny the possibility of a priori knowledge and are skeptical of the role of intuition in providing evidence (...)
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  32. Justin Sytsma (2012). Experimental Philosophy and Philosophical Disputes. Essays in Philosophy (1):9.
    One view of philosophy that is sometimes expressed, especially by scientists, is that while philosophers are good at asking questions, they are poor at producing convincing answers. And the perceived divide between philosophical and scientific methods is often pointed to as the major culprit behind this lack of progress. Looking back at the history of philosophy, however, we find that this methodological divide is a relatively recent invention. Further, it is one that has been challenged over the past decade by (...)
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  33. Jessica M. Wilson (2013). Three Dogmas of Metaphysical Methodology. In Matthew Haug (ed.), Philosophical Methodology: The Armchair or the Laboratory? Routledge. 145-165.
    In what does philosophical progress consist? 'Vertical' progress corresponds to development within a specific paradigm/framework for theorizing (of the sort associated, revolutions aside, with science); 'horizontal' progress corresponds to the identification and cultivation of diverse paradigms (of the sort associated, conservativism aside, with art and pure mathematics). Philosophical progress seems to involve both horizontal and vertical dimensions, in a way that is somewhat puzzling: philosophers work in a number of competing frameworks (like artists or mathematicians), while typically maintaining that only (...)
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  34. Jennifer Wright (2010). On Intuitional Stability: The Clear, the Strong, and the Paradigmatic. Cognition 115 (3):491-503.
    Skepticism about the epistemic value of intuition in theoretical and philosophical inquiry has recently been bolstered by empirical research suggesting that people’s concrete-case intuitions are vulnerable to irrational biases (e.g., the order effect). What is more, skeptics argue that we have no way to ‘‘calibrate” our intuitions against these biases and no way of anticipating intuitional instability. This paper challenges the skeptical position, introducing data from two studies that suggest not only that people’s concrete-case intuitions are often stable, but also (...)
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  35. Juhani Yli-Vakkuri (2013). Modal Skepticism and Counterfactual Knowledge. Philosophical Studies 162 (3):605-623.
    Abstract Timothy Williamson has recently proposed to undermine modal skepticism by appealing to the reducibility of modal to counterfactual logic ( Reducibility ). Central to Williamson’s strategy is the claim that use of the same non-deductive mode of inference ( counterfactual development , or CD ) whereby we typically arrive at knowledge of counterfactuals suffices for arriving at knowledge of metaphysical necessity via Reducibility. Granting Reducibility, I ask whether the use of CD plays any essential role in a Reducibility-based reply (...)
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Metaphilosophical Skepticism
  1. David J. Alexander (2013). The Problem of Respecting Higher-Order Doubt. Philosophers' Imprint 13 (18).
    This paper argues that higher-order doubt generates an epistemic dilemma. One has a higher-order doubt with regards to P insofar as one justifiably withholds belief as to what attitude towards P is justified. That is, one justifiably withholds belief as to whether one is justified in believing, disbelieving, or withholding belief in P. Using the resources provided by Richard Feldman’s recent discussion of how to respect one’s evidence, I argue that if one has a higher-order doubt with regards to P, (...)
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  2. Robert P. Amico (2000). Scepticism and the Foundation of Epistemology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (3):711-714.
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  3. Antanas Andrijauskas (2009). Reflections on Metaphilosophy and the Underlying Causes of Methodological Transformations in Modern Comparative Philosophy. In M. T. Stepani͡ant͡s (ed.), Knowledge and Belief in the Dialogue of Cultures. Council for Research in Values and Philosophy.
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  4. Robert Audi (2008). Skepticism About A Priori Justification: Self-Evidence, Defeasibility, and Cogito Propositions. In John Greco (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. Oxford University Press.
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  5. James Beebe (2011). A Priori Skepticism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):583 - 602.
    In this article I investigate a neglected form of radical skepticism that questions whether any of our logical, mathematical and other seemingly self-evident beliefs count as knowledge. ‘A priori skepticism,’ as I will call it, challenges our ability to know any of the following sorts of propositions: (1.1) The sum of two and three is five. (1.2) Whatever is square is rectangular. (1.3) Whatever is red is colored. (1.4) No surface can be uniformly red and uniformly blue at the same (...)
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  6. James Beebe (2008). Bonjour's Arguments Against Skepticism About the A Priori. Philosophical Studies 137 (2):243 - 267.
    I reconstruct and critique two arguments Laurence BonJour has recently offered against skepticism about the a priori. While the arguments may provide anti-skeptical, internalist foundationalists with reason to accept the a priori, I show that neither argument provides sufficient reason for believing the more general conclusion that there is no rational alternative to accepting the a priori.
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  7. Michael Bergmann (2008). Skeptical Theism and the Problem of Evil. In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press. 374--99.
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  8. Michael Bergmann (2001). Skeptical Theism and Rowe's New Evidential Argument From Evil. Noûs 35 (2):278–296.
    Skeptical theists endorse the skeptical thesis (which is consistent with the rejection of theism) that we have no good reason for thinking the possible goods we know of are representative of the possible goods there are. In his newest formulation of the evidential arguments from evil, William Rowe tries to avoid assuming the falsity of this skeptical thesis, presumably because it seems so plausible. I argue that his new argument fails to avoid doing this. Then I defend that skeptical thesis (...)
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  9. Michael Bergmann & Michael Rea (2005). In Defence of Sceptical Theism: A Reply to Almeida and Oppy. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):241 – 251.
    Some evidential arguments from evil rely on an inference of the following sort: 'If, after thinking hard, we can't think of any God-justifying reason for permitting some horrific evil then it is likely that there is no such reason'. Sceptical theists, us included, say that this inference is not a good one and that evidential arguments from evil that depend on it are, as a result, unsound. Michael Almeida and Graham Oppy have argued (in a previous issue of this journal) (...)
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  10. Núria Sara Miras Boronat, Die Welt Als Grund: Wittgenstein, Gadamer Und James. Akten des XXII. Deutscher Kongress für Philosophie.
  11. 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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  12. Michael Briand (1995). Postmodernism and Politics: Skepticism or Pragmatism? Journal of Speculative Philosophy 9 (2):111 - 124.
    We can identify two broad categories of post-modernist political views: a "weak" view and a "strong" view. The latter cannot support a practice of democratic politics. In contrast, the "weak" view is compatible with a conception of democratic politics that is pluralistic, liberal, and pragmatic. The central issue over which the two views part ways is whether human beings have enough in common to permit mutual comprehension. The strong view implies that they do not, and for this reason must be (...)
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  13. J. Bridges, N. Kolodny & W. Wong (eds.) (forthcoming). The Possibility of Philosophical Understanding: Essays for Barry Stroud. Oxford University Press.
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