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Epistemology

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  1. added 2014-09-30
    Howard Sankey (forthcoming). Scepticism, Relativism and a Naturalistic Particularism. Social Epistemology.
    This paper presents a particularist and naturalist response to epistemic relativism. The response is based on an analysis of the source of epistemic relativism, according to which epistemic relativism is closely related to Pyrrhonian scepticism. The paper starts with a characterization of epistemic relativism. Such relativism is explicitly distinguished from epistemological contextualism. Next he paper presents an argument for epistemic relativism that is based on the Pyrrhonian problem of the criterion. It then considers a response to the problem of the (...)
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  2. added 2014-09-29
    Alison Bailey, The Unlevel Knowing Field: An Engagement with Kristie Dotson's Third-Order Epistemic Oppression. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, No. 10.
    My engagement with Dotson’s essay begins with an overview of first- and second-order epistemic exclusions. I develop the concept of an "unlevel knowing field." I use examples from the epistemic injustice literature, and some of my own, to highlight the important distinction she makes between reducible and irreducible forms of epistemic oppression. Next, I turn my attention to her account of third-order epistemic exclusions. I offer a brief explanation of why her sketch of at this level makes an important contribution (...)
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  3. added 2014-09-28
    Elijah Chudnoff (forthcoming). Moral Perception: High-Level Perception or Low-Level Intuition? In Thiemo Breyer & Christopher Gutland (eds.), Phenomenology of Thinking.
    Here are four examples of “seeing.” You see that something green is wriggling. You see that an iguana is in distress. You see that someone is wrongfully harming an iguana. You see that torturing animals is wrong. The first is an example of low-level perception. You visually represent color and motion. The second is an example of high-level perception. You visually represent kind properties and mental properties. The third is an example of moral perception. You have an impression of moral (...)
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  4. added 2014-09-26
    Martin Smith (forthcoming). Evidential Incomparability and the Principle of Indifference. Erkenntnis:1-12.
    The Principle of Indifference (POI) was once regarded as a linchpin of probabilistic reasoning, but has now fallen into disrepute as a result of the so-called problem of multiple of partitions. In ‘Evidential symmetry and mushy credence’ Roger White suggests that we have been too quick to jettison this principle and argues that the problem of multiple partitions rests on a mistake. In this paper I will criticise White’s attempt to revive POI. In so doing, I will argue that what (...)
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  5. added 2014-09-26
    Nicholas Tebben & John Waterman (forthcoming). Epistemic Free Riders and Reasons to Trust Testimony. Social Epistemology:1-10.
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  6. added 2014-09-26
    Paul Faulkner (2014). The Moral Obligations of Trust. :1-14.
    The moral obligations of trust. . ???aop.label???. doi: 10.1080/13869795.2014.942228.
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  7. added 2014-09-25
    Spencer Phillips Hey (forthcoming). Robust and Discordant Evidence: Methodological Lessons From Clinical Research. Philosophy of Science 2014.
    The concordance of results that are “robust” across multiple scientific modalities is widely considered to play a critical role in the epistemology of science. But what should we make of those cases where such multi-modal evidence is discordant? Stegenga (2012) has recently argued that robustness is “worse than useless” in these cases, and suggests that “different kinds of evidence cannot be combined in a coherent way.” In this essay, I respond to this critique and illustrate the critical methodological role that (...)
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  8. added 2014-09-23
    Gregory Wheeler (2014). Defeat Reconsidered and Repaired. The Reasoner 8 (2):15-15.
  9. added 2014-09-21
    Moti Mizrahi (forthcoming). Phenomenal Conservatism and Self-Defeat Arguments: A Reply to Huemer. Logos and Episteme.
    In this paper, I respond to Michael Huemer’s reply to my objection against Phenomenal Conservatism (PC). I have argued that Huemer’s Self-defeat Argument for PC does not favor PC over competing theories of basic propositional justification, since analogous self-defeat arguments can be constructed for competing theories. Huemer responds that such analogous self-defeat arguments are unsound. In this paper, I argue that Huemer’s reply does not save his Self-defeat Argument for PC from my original objection.
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  10. added 2014-09-20
    Lisa Warenski (2014). When Is True Belief Knowledge? By Richard Foley. [REVIEW] Mind:doi: 10.1093/mind/fzu/03.
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  11. added 2014-09-20
    Moritz Cordes & Friedrich Reinmuth, Ein Redehandlungskalkül: Folgern in einer Sprache. XXII. Deutscher Kongress für Philosophie.
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  12. added 2014-09-20
    Moritz Cordes, Jens Glatzer, Friedrich Reinmuth & Geo Siegwart (2010). Deduktive Begründung. Zu einem Explikationsvorschlag von Reinhard Kleinknecht. Conceptus. Zeitschrift Fur Philosophie Salzburg 39 (95):31-60.
    In his paper "Deduktive Begründung und deduktive Ableitung" Reinhard Kleinknecht offers an explication of the concepts of deduetive reason and deductive argument respectively. To this end, he provides seven conditions that he sees as individually necessary and jointly sufficient for being a deductive reason. We argue that some of his conditions are far too restrictive and that his concept of deductive argument is therefore to narrow to capture the usual practice of deductively establishing propositions as true. We also show that (...)
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  13. added 2014-09-18
    Friedrich Reinmuth (2014). Logische Rekonstruktion. Ein hermeneutischer Traktat. Dissertation, University of Greifswald
    The thesis aims at a methodological reflection of logical reconstruction and tries to develop this method in detail, especially with regard to the reconstruction of natural language arguments. First, the groundwork for the thesis is laid by presenting and, where necessary, adapting its foundations with regard to the philosophy of language and the theory of argument. Subsequently, logical reconstruction, especially the logical reconstruction of arguments, is presented as a hermeneutic method and as a tool for the application of (formal) logic (...)
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  14. added 2014-09-17
    Weng Hong Tang (forthcoming). Reliability Theories of Justified Credence. Mind.
    Reliabilists hold that a belief is doxastically justified if and only if it is caused by a reliable process. But since such a process is one that tends to produce a high ratio of true to false beliefs, reliabilism is on the face of it applicable to binary beliefs, but not to degrees of confidence or credences. For while (binary) beliefs admit of truth or falsity, the same cannot be said of credences in general. A natural question now arises: can (...)
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  15. added 2014-09-16
    Marcello Di Bello (forthcoming). Epistemic Closure, Assumptions and Topics of Inquiry. Synthese:1-26.
    According to the principle of epistemic closure, knowledge is closed under known implication. The principle is intuitive but it is problematic in some cases. Suppose you know you have hands and you know that ‘I have hands’ implies ‘I am not a brain-in-a-vat’. Does it follow that you know you are not a brain-in-a-vat? It seems not; it should not be so easy to refute skepticism. In this and similar cases, we are confronted with a puzzle: epistemic closure is an (...)
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  16. added 2014-09-15
    Gunnar Björnsson (forthcoming). Disagreement, Correctness, and the Evidence for Metaethical Absolutism. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Oxford.
    Metaethical absolutism is the view that moral concepts have non-relative satisfaction conditions that are constant across judges and their particular beliefs, attitudes, and cultural embedding. If it is correct, there is an important sense in which parties of moral disputes are concerned to get the same things right, such that their disputes can be settled by the facts. If it is not correct, as various forms of relativism and non-cognitivism imply, such coordination of concerns will be limited. The most influential (...)
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  17. added 2014-09-12
    James Andow (forthcoming). A Semantic Solution to the Problem with Aesthetic Testimony. Acta Analytica:1-8.
    There is something peculiar about aesthetic testimony. It seems more difficult to gain knowledge of aesthetic properties based solely upon aesthetic testimony than it is in the case of other types of property. In this paper, I argue that we can provide an adequate explanation at the level of the semantics of aesthetic language, without defending any substantive thesis in epistemology or about aesthetic value/judgement. If aesthetic predicates are given a non-invariantist semantics, we can explain the supposed peculiar difficulty with (...)
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  18. added 2014-09-12
    Stephen Wright (2014). Sincerity and Transmission. Ratio 27 (3).
    According to some theories of testimonial knowledge, testimony can allow you, as a knowing speaker, to transmit your knowledge to me. A question in the epistemology of testimony concerns whether or not the acquisition of testimonial knowledge depends on the speaker's testimony being sincere. In this paper, I outline two notions of sincerity and argue that, construed in a certain way, transmission theorists should endorse the claim that the acquisition of testimonial knowledge requires sincerity.
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  19. added 2014-09-10
    Annabelle Lever (forthcoming). Democracy and Folk Eistemology: A Reply to Talisse. Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy.
    According to Robert Talisse, ‘we have sufficient epistemological reasons to be democrats’ and these reasons support democracy even when we are tempted to doubt the legitimacy of democratic government. As epistemic agents, we care about the truth of our beliefs, and have reasons to want to live in an environment conducive to forming and acting on true, rather than false, beliefs. Democracy, Talisse argues, is the best means to provide such an environment. Hence, he concludes that epistemic agency, correctly understood, (...)
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  20. added 2014-09-10
    Timothy Lane & Owen Flanagan (forthcoming). Neuroexistentialism, Eudaimonics, and Positive Illusions. In Byron Kaldis (ed.), Mind and Society: Cognitive Science Meets the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. SYNTHESE Philosophy Library Studies in Epistemology, Logic, Methodology, & Philosophy of Science. Springer Science+Business.
    There is a distinctive form of existential anxiety, neuroexistential anxiety, which derives from the way in which contemporary neuroscience provides copious amounts of evidence to underscore the Darwinian message—we are animals, nothing more. One response to this 21st century existentialism is to promote Eudaimonics, a version of ethical naturalism that is committed to promoting fruitful interaction between ethical inquiry and science, most notably psychology and neuroscience. We argue that philosophical reflection on human nature and social life reveals that while working (...)
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  21. added 2014-09-09
    Selim Berker, Coherentism Via Graphs.
    Once upon a time, coherentism was the dominant response to the regress problem in epistemology, but in recent decades the view has fallen into disrepute: now almost everyone is a foundationalist (with a few infinitists sprinkled here and there). In this paper, I sketch a new way of thinking about coherentism, and show how it avoids many of the problems often thought fatal for the view, including the isolation objection, worries over circularity, and concerns that the concept of coherence is (...)
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  22. added 2014-09-07
    Peter Blouw, Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri, Gettier Cases: A Taxonomy.
    The term “Gettier Case” is a technical term frequently applied to a wide array of thought experiments in contemporary epistemology. What do these cases have in common? It is said that they all involve a justified true belief which, intuitively, is not knowledge, due to a form of luck called “Gettiering.” While this very broad characterization suffices for some purposes, it masks radical diversity. We argue that the extent of this diversity merits abandoning the notion of a “Gettier case” in (...)
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  23. added 2014-09-06
    Clayton Littlejohn, Stop Making Sense? A Puzzle About Epistemic Rationality.
    In this paper, I discuss a puzzle about epistemic rationality. It seems plausible that it's rational to believe a proposition if you have sufficient evidential support for it. It seems plausible that our first-order and higher-order attitudes ought to match. It seems rather unfortunate that these two claims are in tension with one another. I'll look at three ways of trying to resolve this tension and argue that the best way to do this is to accept the controversial fixed-point thesis (...)
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  24. added 2014-09-06
    Brian Kim (forthcoming). The Locality and Globality of Instrumental Rationality: The Normative Significance of Preference Reversals. Synthese.
    When we ask a decision maker to express her preferences, it is typically assumed that we are eliciting a pre-existing set of preferences. However, empirical research has suggested that our preferences are often constructed on the fly for the decision problem at hand. This paper explores the ramifications of this empirical research for our understanding of instrumental rationality. First, I argue that these results pose serious challenges for the traditional decision-theoretic view of instrumental rationality, which demands global coherence amongst all (...)
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  25. added 2014-09-06
    Michael Baurmann (2014). Meinungsdynamiken in fundamentalistischen Gruppen: Erklärungshypothesen auf der Basis von Simulationsmodellen. Analyse Und Kritik 36:61-102.
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  26. added 2014-09-06
    Gregor Betz, Michael Baurmann & Rainer Cramm (2013). Is Epistemic Trust of Veritistic Value? Ethics and Politics 15:25-41.
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  27. added 2014-09-04
    Laureano Luna (forthcoming). Minds Vs. Machines. On Saka's Basic Blindspot Theorem. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence.
    Under the name of ‘Basic Blindspot Theorem’, Paul Saka has proposed in the special issue on mind and paradox of this journal a Gödelian argument to the effect that no cognitive system can be complete and correct. We show that while the argument is successful as regards mechanical and formal systems, it may fail with respect to minds, so contributing to draw a boundary between the former and the latter. The existence of such a boundary may lend support to Saka’s (...)
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  28. added 2014-09-03
    Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). Pritchard's Reasons. Journal of Philosophical Research.
    My contribution to the author meets critics discussion of Pritchard's _Epistemological Disjunctivism_. In this paper, I examine some of the possible motivations for epistemological disjunctivism and look at some of the costs associated with the view. While Pritchard's view seems to be that our visual beliefs constitute knowledge because they're based on reasons, I argue that the claim that visual beliefs are based on reasons or evidence hasn't been sufficiently motivated. In the end I suggest that we'll get all the (...)
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  29. added 2014-09-03
    Thomas Mulligan (forthcoming). Disagreement, Peerhood, and Three Paradoxes of Conciliationism. Synthese:1-12.
    Conciliatory theories of disagreement require that one lower one’s confidence in a belief in the face of disagreement from an epistemic peer. One question about which people might disagree is who should qualify as an epistemic peer and who should not. But when putative epistemic peers disagree about epistemic peerhood itself, then Conciliationism makes contradictory demands and paradoxes arise.
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  30. added 2014-09-02
    T. Parent, Neo-Sellarsian Metaphilosophy.
    Science often conflicts with our everyday experience. For instance, we typically assume the existence of agency, norms, etc.—yet such things are absent from scientific theory. For Sellars, philosophy’s aim is to resolve these discrepancies between the “manifest” and “scientific” images. However, some might protest that philosophers should not “negotiate” ontology with science—the scientific image should instead claim hegemony. I defend the Sellarsian by arguing that we are simply unable to jettison central parts of the “manifest image.” That is so, even (...)
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  31. added 2014-09-02
    T. Parent, The Empirical Case Against Infallibilism.
    Philosophers and psychologists generally hold that, in light of the empirical data, a subject lacks infallible access to her own mental states. However, while subjects certainly are fallible in some ways, I show that the data fails to discredit that a subject has infallible access to her own occurrent thoughts and judgments. This is argued, first, by revisiting the empirical studies, and carefully scrutinizing what is shown exactly. Second, I argue that if the data were interpreted to rule out all (...)
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  32. added 2014-09-02
    Kenneth Boyd (forthcoming). Assertion, Practical Reasoning, and Epistemic Separabilism. Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    I argue here for a view I call epistemic separabilism (ES), which states that there are two different ways we can be evaluated epistemically when we assert a proposition or treat a proposition as a reason for acting: one in terms of whether we have adhered to or violated the relevant epistemic norm, and another in terms of how epistemically well-positioned we are towards the fact that we have either adhered to or violated said norm. ES has been appealed to (...)
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  33. added 2014-09-02
    Aidan McGlynn (2014). On Epistemic Alchemy. In Dylan Dodd Elia Zardini (ed.), Scepticism and Perceptual Justification. Oxford University Press. 173-189.
    Crispin Wright has proposed that one has entitlements to accept certain propositions that play a foundational role within one’s body of belief. Such an entitlement is a kind of warrant that does not require the possessor to have acquired evidence speaking in favor of the proposition in question. The proposal allows Wright to concede much of the force of the most powerful arguments for scepticism, while avoiding the truly sceptical conclusion that one lacks warrant for most of one’s beliefs. Here (...)
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  34. added 2014-09-02
    Aidan McGlynn (2014). Knowledge FIrst? Palgrave Macmillian.
    According to a tradition reaching back to Plato, questions about the nature of knowledge are to be answered by offering an analysis in terms of truth, belief, justification, and other factors presumed to be in some sense more basic than knowledge itself. In light of the apparent failure of this approach, knowledge first philosophy instead takes knowledge as the starting point in epistemology and related areas of the philosophies of language and mind. Knowledge cannot be analyzed in the traditional sense, (...)
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  35. added 2014-09-02
    Moti Mizrahi (2014). Are Seemings Trustworthy? A Reply to Piazza. The Reasoner 8 (9):100-101.
    I reply to Piazza's objection to my reductio against phenomenal conservatism.
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  36. added 2014-09-02
    Timothy Williamson (2013). Knowledge First. In Matthias Steup John Turri (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell. 1-10.
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  37. added 2014-08-31
    Dietrich Franz & Christian List, From Degrees of Belief to Beliefs: Lessons From Judgment-Aggregation Theory.
    What is the relationship between degrees of belief and (all-or-nothing) beliefs? Can the latter be expressed as a function of the former, without running into paradoxes? We reassess this “belief-binarization” problem from the perspective of judgment-aggregation theory. Although some similarities between belief binarization and judgment aggregation have been noted before, the literature contains no general study of the implications of aggregation-theoretic impossibility and possibility results for belief binarization. We seek to fill this gap. At the centre of this paper is (...)
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  38. added 2014-08-31
    Diego E. Machuca (2014). Review of David Coady, What to Believe Now: Applying Epistemology to Contemporary Issues. Philosophy in Review 34 (3-4):139-141.
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  39. added 2014-08-28
    Gabriel Gottlieb (forthcoming). “Know-How, Procedural Knowledge, and Choking Under Pressure”. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-18.
    I examine two explanatory models of choking: the representationalist model and the anti-representationalist model. The representationalist model is based largely on Anderson's ACT model of procedural knowledge and is developed by Masters, Beilock and Carr. The antirepresentationalist model is based on dynamical models of cognition and embodied action and is developed by Dreyfus who employs an antirepresentational view of know-how. I identify the models' similarities and differences. I then suggest that Dreyfus is wrong to believe representational activity requires reflection and (...)
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  40. added 2014-08-28
    Ian Proops (forthcoming). Russellian Acquaintance Revisited. Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    In Bertrand Russell’s writings during the first two decades of the Twentieth Century there occur two rather different distinctions that involve his much-discussed, technical notion of acquaintance. The first is the distinction between knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description; the second, the distinction between knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge of truths. This article examines the nature and philosophical purpose of these two distinctions, while also tracing the evolution of Russell’s notion of acquaintance. It argues that, when he first expressly (...)
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  41. added 2014-08-28
    Neil Van Leeuwen (forthcoming). Religious Credence is Not Factual Belief. Cognition.
    I argue that psychology and epistemology should posit distinct cognitive attitudes of religious credence and factual belief, which have different etiologies and different cognitive and behavioral effects. I support this claim by presenting a range of empirical evidence that religious cognitive attitudes tend to lack properties characteristic of factual belief, just as attitudes like hypothesis, fictional imagining, and assumption for the sake of argument generally lack such properties. Furthermore, religious credences have distinctive properties of their own. To summarize: factual beliefs (...)
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  42. added 2014-08-28
    Emanuele Ratti (2014). Levels of Abstraction, Emergentism and Artificial Life. Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence:1-12.
    I diagnose the current debate between epistemological and ontological emergentism as a Kantian antinomy, which has reasonable but irreconcilable thesis and antithesis. Kantian antinomies have recently returned to contemporary philosophy in part through the work of Luciano Floridi, and the method of levels of abstraction. I use a thought experiment concerning a computer simulation to show how to resolve the epistemological/ontological antinomy about emergence. I also use emergentism and simulations in artificial life to illuminate both levels of abstraction and theoretical (...)
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  43. added 2014-08-26
    Adam Morton (2014). Lockhart's Problem. The Philosophers' Magazine 25 (30).
    If we had more powerful minds would we be puzzled by less - because we could make better theories - or by more - because we could ask more difficult questions? This paper focuses on clarifying the question, with an emphasis on comparisons between actual and possible species of thinker.
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  44. added 2014-08-26
    Travis Timmerman (2013). The Persistent Problem of the Lottery Paradox: And Its Unwelcome Consequences for Contextualism. Logos and Episteme (I):85-100.
    This paper attempts to show that contextualism cannot adequately handle all versions of ‘The Lottery Paradox.” Although the application of contextualist rules is meant to vindicate the intuitive distinction between cases of knowledge and non-knowledge, it fails to do so when applied to certain versions of “The Lottery Paradox.” In making my argument, I first briefly explain why this issue should be of central importance for contextualism. I then review Lewis’ contextualism before offering my argument that the lottery paradox persists (...)
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  45. added 2014-08-23
    J. Adam Carter & Jesper Kallestrup (forthcoming). Extended Cognition and Propositional Memory. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    The philosophical case for extended cognition is often made with reference to ‘extended-memory cases’ (e.g. Clark & Chalmers 1998); though, unfortunately, proponents of the hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC) as well as their adversaries have failed to appreciate the kinds of epistemological problems extended-memory cases pose for mainstream thinking in the epistemology of memory. It is time to give these problems a closer look. Our plan is as follows: in §1, we argue that an epistemological theory remains compatible with HEC (...)
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  46. added 2014-08-22
    Paul Silva Jr (forthcoming). The Composite Nature of Epistemic Justification. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    According to many, to have epistemic justification to believe P is just for it to be epistemically permissible to believe P. Others think it's for believing P to be epistemically good. Yet others think it has to do with being epistemically blameless in believing P. All such views of justification encounter problems for they fail to capture some intuitively compelling aspect of justification and other very plausible epistemic theses. After drawing attention to these problems a new view of justification is (...)
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  47. added 2014-08-21
    Martin Smith (forthcoming). Scepticism by a Thousand Cuts. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism.
    Global sceptical arguments seek to undermine vast swathes of our putative knowledge by deploying hypotheses that posit massive deception or error. Local sceptical arguments seek to undermine just a small region of putative knowledge, using hypotheses that posit deception or error of a more mundane kind. Those epistemologists who have devised anti-sceptical strategies have tended to have global sceptical arguments firmly in their sights. I argue here that local sceptical arguments, while less dramatic, ultimately pose just as serious a challenge (...)
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  48. added 2014-08-20
    Spyrion Orestis Palermos & Duncan Pritchard (2013). Extended Knowledge and Social Epistemology. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective (8):105-120.
    The place of social epistemology within contemporary philosophy, as well as its relation to other academic disciplines, is the topic of an ongoing debate. One camp within that debate holds that social epistemology should be pursued strictly from within the perspective of individualistic analytic epistemology. In contrast, a second camp holds that social epistemology is an interdisciplinary field that should be given priority over traditional analytic epistemology, with the specific aim of radically transforming the latter to fit the results and (...)
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  49. added 2014-08-19
    Franz Dietrich & Christian List, Probabilistic Opinion Pooling Generalized -- Part One: General Agendas.
    How can different individuals' probability assignments to some events be aggregated into a collective probability assignment? Classic results on this problem assume that the set of relevant events -- the agenda -- is a sigma-algebra and is thus closed under disjunction (union) and conjunction (intersection). We drop this demanding assumption and explore probabilistic opinion pooling on general agendas. One might be interested in the probability of rain and that of an interest-rate increase, but not in the probability of rain or (...)
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  50. added 2014-08-19
    Franz Dietrich & Christian List, Probabilistic Opinion Pooling Generalised -- Part Two: The Premise-Based Approach.
    How can different individuals' probability functions on a given sigma-algebra of events be aggregated into a collective probability function? Classic approaches to this problem often require 'event-wise independence': the collective probability for each event should depend only on the individuals' probabilities for that event. In practice, however, some events may be 'basic' and others 'derivative', so that it makes sense first to aggregate the probabilities for the former and then to let these constrain the probabilities for the latter. We formalize (...)
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