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Epistemology

Edited by Matthew McGrath (University of Missouri, Columbia)
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  1. 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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  2. added 2014-08-19
    Franz Dietrich, 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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  3. 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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  4. added 2014-08-19
    J. Adam Carter & S. Orestis Palermos (forthcoming). Active Externalism and Epistemic Internalism. Erkenntnis.
    Internalist approaches to epistemic justification are, though controversial, considered a live option in contemporary epistemology. Accordingly, if ‘active’ externalist approaches in the philosophy of mind—e.g. the extended cognition and extended mind theses—are in principle incompatible with internalist approaches to justification in epistemology, then this will be an epistemological strike against, at least the prima facie appeal of, active externalism. It is shown here however that, contrary to pretheoretical intuitions, neither the extended cognition nor the extended mind theses are in principle (...)
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  5. added 2014-08-19
    Paul Silva (forthcoming). Does Doxastic Justification Have A Basing Requirement? Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    The distinction between propositional and doxastic justification is the distinction between having justification to believe P (= propositional justification) versus having a justified belief in P (= doxastic justification). The focus of this paper is on doxastic justification and on what conditions are necessary for having it. In particular, I challenge the basing demand on doxastic justification, i.e., the idea that one can have a doxastically justified belief only if one's belief is based on an epistemically appropriate reason. This demand (...)
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  6. added 2014-08-18
    Peter Brössel (forthcoming). Keynes’s Coefficient of Dependence Revisited. Erkenntnis.
    Probabilistic dependence and independence are among the key concepts of Bayesian epistemology. This paper focuses on the study of one specific quantitative notion of probabilistic dependence. More specifically, section 1 introduces Keynes’s coefficient of dependence and shows how it is related to pivotal aspects of scientific reasoning such as confirmation, coherence, the explanatory and unificatory power of theories, and the diversity of evidence. The intimate connection between Keynes’s coefficient of dependence and scientific reasoning raises the question of how Keynes’s coefficient (...)
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  7. added 2014-08-18
    Michael Schippers (forthcoming). Probabilistic Measures of Coherence: From Adequacy Constraints Towards Pluralism. Synthese.
    The debate on probabilistic measures of coherence flourishes for about 15 years now. Initiated by papers that have been published around the turn of the millennium, many different proposals have since then been put forward. This contribution is partly devoted to a reassessment of extant coherence measures. Focusing on a small number of reasonable adequacy constraints I show that (i) there can be no coherence measure that satisfies all constraints, and that (ii) subsets of these adequacy constraints motivate two different (...)
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  8. added 2014-08-18
    Michaela Rehm (2012). Obligation in Rousseau: Making Natural Law History? Jahrbuch für Recht Und Ethik/Annual Review of Law and Ethics 20:139-154.
    Ist Rousseau ein Naturrechtsdenker oder nicht? In diesem Aufsatz soll eine positive Antwort auf diese kontrovers diskutierte Frage gegeben werden. Rousseau schreibt zum einen eine kritische Geschichte des traditionellen Naturrechts, das aus seiner Sicht auf falschen Prämissen beruht: nicht auf natürlichen, sondern auf erworbenen Fähigkeiten des Menschen, zu denen er auch Rationalität und Soziabilität zählt. Zum anderen stellt er die seiner Auffassung nach korrekte Version der Geschichte des Naturrechts vor, basierend auf der wahren menschlichen Natur. Der Aufsatz demonstriert, dass die (...)
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  9. added 2014-08-17
    Scott Stapleford (forthcoming). Why There May Be Epistemic Duties. Dialogue.
    Chase Wrenn argues that there are no epistemic duties. When it appears that we have an epistemic duty to believe, disbelieve or suspend judgement about some proposition P, we are really under a moral obligation to adopt the attitude towards P that our evidence favours. The argument appeals to theoretical parsimony: our conceptual scheme will be simpler without epistemic duties and we should therefore drop them. I argue that Wrenn’s strategy is flawed. There may well be things that we ought (...)
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  10. added 2014-08-15
    Jack C. Lyons (forthcoming). Experiential Evidence? Philosophical Studies.
    Much of the intuitive appeal of evidentialism results from running together two very difference conceptions of evidence. This is most clear in the case of perceptual justification, where experience is able to provide evidence in one sense of the term, though not in the sense that the evidentialist requires. I argue this, in part, by relying on a new and nonstandard reading of the Sellarsian dilemma.
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  11. added 2014-08-13
    Robert Lockie (forthcoming). The Epistemology of Neo-Gettier Epistemology. South African Journal of Philosophy.
    The paper begins by drawing a number of ‘levels’ distinctions in epistemology. It notes that a theory of knowledge must be an attempt to obtain knowledge (about knowledge). It is suggested that we can make sense of much of the work found in analytic theory of knowledge by seeing three (tacit) framework assumptions as underpinning this work. First, that to have philosophical knowledge of knowledge requires us to have an analysis. Second, that much of what we require from a theory (...)
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  12. added 2014-08-11
    Lubomira Radoilska (2014). Belief and Agency. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):377-380.
  13. added 2014-08-08
    Matthew A. Benton, John Hawthorne & Yoaav Isaacs (forthcoming). Evil and Evidence. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
    The problem of evil is the most prominent argument against the existence of God. Skeptical theists contend that it is not a good argument. Their reasons for this contention vary widely, involving such notions as CORNEA, epistemic appearances, 'gratuitous' evils, 'levering' evidence, and the representativeness of goods. We aim to clarify some confusions about these notions, and also to offer a few new responses to the problem of evil.
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  14. added 2014-08-08
    Kristie Dotson & Marita Gilbert (2014). Curious Disappearances: Affectability Imbalances and Process‐Based Invisibility. Hypatia 29 (3).
    In this paper, we analyze the recent public scandal involving Nafissatou Diallo and Dominique Strauss-Kahn to offer an account of the role affectability imbalances play in process-based invisibility. Process-based invisibilities, in this paper, refer to predictable narrative gaps within public narratives that can be aptly described as disappearances. We demonstrate that compromised, complex social identities, maladjusted webs of reciprocity, and a failure to fully appreciate basic affectability in large part cause affectability imbalances. Ultimately, we claim that affectability imbalances and the (...)
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  15. added 2014-08-08
    Leandra Bucher & Paul D. Thorn (2014). Minimality Criteria in Spatial Belief Revision. In Paul Bello, Marcello Guarini, Marjorie McShane & Brian Scassellati (eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society. 1952-8.
    Agents typically revise their beliefs when confronted with evidence that contradicts those beliefs, selecting from a number of possible revisions sufficient to reestablish consistency. In cases where an individual’s beliefs concern spatial relations, belief revision has been fruitfully treated as a decision about which features of an initially constructed spatial mental model to modify. A normative claim about belief revision maintains that agents should prefer minimal belief revisions. Yet recent studies have rebutted the preceding claim, where minimality is understood to (...)
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  16. added 2014-08-08
    Jelica Nejasmic, Leandra Bucher, Paul D. Thorn & Markus Knauff (2014). Construction and Revision of Spatial Mental Models Under High Task Demand. In Paul Bello, Marcello Guarini, Marjorie McShane & Brian Scassellati (eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society. 1066-72.
    Individuals often revise their beliefs when confronted with contradicting evidence. Belief revision in the spatial domain can be regarded as variation of initially constructed spatial mental models. Construction and revision usually follow distinct cognitive principles. The present study examines whether principles of revisions which follow constructions under high task demands differ from principles applied after less demanding constructions. We manipulated the task demands for model constructions by means of the continuity with which a spatial model was constructed. We administered tasks (...)
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  17. added 2014-08-07
    Jim Hopkins (forthcoming). The Significance of Consilience: Psychoanalysis, Attachment, Neuroscience, and Evolution. In L. Brakel & V. Talvete (eds.), Psychoanalysis and Philosophy of Mind:Unconscious mentality in the 21st century. Karnac.
    This paper applies Bayesian confirmation theory to psychoanalytic theory, observing that since the turn of the century psychoanalysis had gained support from developmental psychology (particularly attachment theory), neuroscience, and evolutionary thinking. -/- I argue that these converging sources of support indicate that the combination of relatively low predictive power and broad explanatory scope that characterise the theories of both Freud and Darwin suggest that Freud's theory, like Darwin's, may strike deeply into natural phenomena. The same argument, however, suggests that conclusive (...)
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  18. added 2014-08-06
    James Andow (forthcoming). How 'Intuition' Exploded. Metaphilosophy.
    Recent decades have seen a surge in interest in metaphilosophy. In particular there has been an interest in philosophical methodology. Various questions have been asked about philosophical methods. Are our methods any good? Can we improve upon them? However, prior to such evaluative and ameliorative concerns, is the matter of what methods philosophers actually use. Worryingly, our understanding of philosophical methodology is impoverished in various respects. I consider one particular respect in which we seem to be missing an important part (...)
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  19. added 2014-08-06
    George Couvalis (2011). A Modern Malignant Demon? Hume's Scepticism with Regard to Reason (Partly) Vindicated. In Craig Taylor Stephen Buckle (ed.), Hume and the Enlightenment. Chatto and Pickering. 105-115.
  20. added 2014-08-05
    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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  21. added 2014-08-05
    Kevin McCain & Brad Weslake (2013). Evolutionary Theory and the Epistemology of Science. In Kostas Kampourakis (ed.), The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Springer. 101-119.
    Evolutionary theory is a paradigmatic example of a well-supported scientific theory. In this chapter we consider a number of objections to evolutionary theory, and show how responding to these objections reveals aspects of the way in which scientific theories are supported by evidence. Teaching these objections can therefore serve two pedagogical aims: students can learn the right way to respond to some popular arguments against evolutionary theory, and they can learn some basic features of the structure of scientific theories and (...)
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  22. added 2014-08-04
    Conor McHugh & Daniel Whiting (forthcoming). Recent Work on the Normativity of Belief. Analysis.
    This is a survey of recent debates concerning the normativity of belief. We explain what the thesis that belief is normative involves, consider arguments for and against that thesis, and explore its bearing on debates in metaethics.
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  23. added 2014-08-04
    J. Adam Carter, Benjamin Jarvis & Katherine Rubin (forthcoming). Varieties of Cognitive Achievement. Philosophical Studies.
    According to robust virtue epistemology (RVE), knowledge is type-identical with a particular species of cognitive achievement. The identification itself is subject to some criticism on the (alleged) grounds that it fails to account for the anti-luck features of knowledge. Although critics have largely focused on environmental luck, the fundamental philosophical problem facing RVE is that it is not clear why it should be a distinctive feature of cognitive abilities that they ordinarily produce beliefs in a way that is safe. We (...)
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  24. added 2014-08-04
    Paul Silva (forthcoming). On Doxastic Justification and Properly Basing One's Beliefs. Erkenntnis.
    According to the orthodox account of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification, basing one's belief in P on one's source of propositional justification to believe P suffices for having a doxastically justified belief. But in an increasingly recognized work, John Turri (2010) argues that the orthodox view fails and proposes a new view according to which having propositional justification depends on having the ability to acquire doxastic justification. Turri's novel position has surprisingly far-reaching epistemological consequences, ruling out some common (...)
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  25. added 2014-08-04
    Diego E. Machuca (2014). Review of K. Setiya, Knowing Right From Wrong. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 34 (1-2):78-80.
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  26. added 2014-08-04
    Laura Frances Callahan & Timothy O'Connor (eds.) (2014). Religious Faith and Intellectual Virtue. Oxford University Press.
    Is religious faith consistent with being an intellectually virtuous thinker? In seeking to answer this question, one quickly finds others, each of which has been the focus of recent renewed attention by epistemologists: What is it to be an intellectually virtuous thinker? Must all reasonable belief be grounded in public evidence? Under what circumstances is a person rationally justified in believing something on trust, on the testimony of another, or because of the conclusions drawn by an intellectual authority? Can it (...)
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  27. added 2014-08-01
    J. Adam Carter (forthcoming). Group Peer Disagreement. Ratio.
    A popular view in mainstream social epistemology maintains that, in the face of a revealed peer disagreement over p, neither party should remain just as confident vis-a-vis p as she initially was. This ‘conciliatory’ insight has been defended with regard to individual epistemic peers. However, to the extent that (non-summativist) groups are candidates for group knowledge and beliefs, we should expect groups (no less than individuals) to be in the market for disagreements. The aim here will be to carve out (...)
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  28. added 2014-07-31
    Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). Reasons and Theoretical Rationality. In Oxford Handbook of X and Y.
    A discussion of epistemic reasons and theoretical rationality.
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  29. added 2014-07-31
    B. J. C. Madison (2014). Review of Mikkel Gerken's Epistemic Reasoning and the Mental. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:xx-yy.
  30. added 2014-07-28
    Guido Melchior (2014). A Generality Problem for Bootstrapping and Sensitivity. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 14 (40):31-47.
    Vogel argues that sensitivity accounts of knowledge are implausible because they entail that we cannot have any higher-level knowledge that our beliefs are true, not false. Becker and Salerno object that Vogel is mistaken because he does not formalize higher-level beliefs adequately. They claim that if formalized correctly, higher-level beliefs are sensitive, and can therefore constitute knowledge. However, these accounts do not consider the belief-forming method as sensitivity accounts require. If we take bootstrapping as the belief-forming method, as the discussed (...)
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  31. added 2014-07-25
    Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). Skeptical Thoughts Concerning Explanationism and Skepticism. Symposion.
    According to the explanationist, we can rely on inference to best explanation to justifiably believe familiar skeptical hypotheses are false. On this view, commonsense beliefs about the existence and character of familiar, medium-sized dry goods provides the best explanation of our evidence and so justifies our belief that we're not brains-in-vats. This explanationist approach seems prima facie plausible until we press the explanationist to tell us what the data is that we're trying to explain by appeal to our beliefs about (...)
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  32. added 2014-07-24
    Uriah Kriegel (forthcoming). L'empirisme introspectif: un coup d’œil sous le voile des phénomènes. Philosophie 2015.
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  33. added 2014-07-24
    Wesley Buckwalter (forthcoming). Intuition Fail: Philosophical Activity and the Limits of Expertise. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Experimental philosophers have empirically challenged the connection between intuition and philosophical expertise. This paper reviews these challenges alongside other research findings in cognitive science on expert performance and argues for three claims. First, evidence taken to challenge philosophical expertise may also be explained by the well-researched failures and limitations of genuine expertise. Second, studying the failures and limitations of experts across many fields provides a promising research program upon which to base a new model of philosophical expertise. Third, a model (...)
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  34. added 2014-07-23
    Susann Wagenknecht (2014). Collaboration in Scientific Practice—-A Social Epistemology of Research Groups. Dissertation, Aarhus University
    This monograph investigates the collaborative creation of scientific knowledge in research groups. To do so, I combine philosophical analysis with a first-hand comparative case study of two research groups in experimental science. Qualitative data are gained through observation and interviews, and I combine empirical insights with existing approaches to knowledge creation in philosophy of science and social epistemology. -/- On the basis of my empirically-grounded analysis I make several conceptual contributions. I study scientific collaboration as the interaction of scientists within (...)
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  35. added 2014-07-21
    Jennifer Lackey (2014). Assertion and Expertise. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1).
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  36. added 2014-07-20
    Jonny Anomaly (forthcoming). Race, Genes, and the Ethics of Belief: A Review of Nicholas Wade, A Troublesome Inheritance. [REVIEW] Hastings Center Report.
  37. added 2014-07-19
    Janice Dowell, J. L. (forthcoming). The Metaethical Insignificance of Moral Twin Earth. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Oxford.
  38. added 2014-07-17
    Brian Epstein (2010). The Diviner and the Scientist: Revisiting the Question of Alternative Standards of Rationality. Journal of the American Academy of Religion 78 (4):1048-1086.
    Are the standards of reasoning and rationality in divination, religious practice, and textual exegesis different from those in the sciences? Can there be different standards of reasoning and rationality at all? The intense “rationality debate” of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s focused on these questions and the related problems of relativism across cultures and systems of practice. Although philosophers were at the center of these debates at the time, they may appear to have abandoned the question in recent years. On (...)
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  39. added 2014-07-16
    K. Brad Wray (2013). Social Epistemology. In Stathis Psillos & Martin Curd (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge.
  40. added 2014-07-15
    K. Brad Wray (forthcoming). COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH, DELIBERATION, AND INNOVATION. Episteme.
    I evaluate the extent to which we could learn something about how we should be conducting collaborative research in science from the research on groupthink. I argue that Solomon has set us in the wrong direction, failing to recognize that the consensus in scientific specialties is not the result of deliberation. But the attention to the structure of problem-solving that has emerged in the groupthink research conducted by psychologists can help us see when deliberation could lead to problems for a (...)
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  41. added 2014-07-14
    Duncan MacIntosh (1986). Commentary: Rationalizing Naturalism; On Hilary Kornblith's "Naturalizing Rationality&Quot;. In Newton Garver & Peter H. Hare (eds.), Naturalism and Rationality. Prometheus Books. 135-139.
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  42. added 2014-07-12
    Michael Bergmann & Patrick Kain (2014). Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Overview and Future Directions. In Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution.
  43. added 2014-07-12
    Michael Bergmann & Patrick Kain (eds.) (2014). Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution. Oxford University Press.
    Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief contains fourteen original essays by philosophers, theologians, and social scientists on challenges to moral and religious belief from disagreement and evolution. Three main questions are addressed: Can one reasonably maintain one's moral and religious beliefs in the face of interpersonal disagreement with intellectual peers? Does disagreement about morality between a religious belief source, such as a sacred text, and a non-religious belief source, such as a society's moral intuitions, make it irrational to continue trusting (...)
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  44. added 2014-07-11
    Chris Tucker (forthcoming). Acquaintance and Fallible Non-Inferential Justification. In Michael Bergmann & Brett Coppenger (eds.), Traditional Epistemic Internalism. Oxford University Press.
    Classical acquaintance theory is any version of classical foundationalism that appeals to acquaintance in order to account for non-inferential justification. Such theories are well suited to account for a kind of infallible non-inferential justification. Why am I justified in believing that I’m in pain? An initially attractive (partial) answer is that I’m acquainted with my pain. But since I can’t be acquainted with what isn’t there, acquaintance with my pain guarantees that I’m in pain. What’s less clear is whether, given (...)
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  45. added 2014-07-11
    Gerhard Schurz & Paul D. Thorn (2014). TTB Vs. Franklin's Rule in Environments of Different Redundancy. Frontiers in Psychology.
    This is an appendix to the paper "Cognitive Success: Instrumental Justifications of Normative Systems of Reasoning".
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  46. added 2014-07-09
    Sylvia Wenmackers, Danny E. P. Vanpoucke & Igor Douven (2014). Rationality: A Social-Epistemology Perspective. Frontiers in Psychology 5 (581).
    Both in philosophy and in psychology, human rationality has traditionally been studied from an “individualistic” perspective. Recently, social epistemologists have drawn attention to the fact that epistemic interactions among agents also give rise to important questions concerning rationality. In previous work, we have used a formal model to assess the risk that a particular type of social-epistemic interactions lead agents with initially consistent belief states into inconsistent belief states. Here, we continue this work by investigating the dynamics to which these (...)
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  47. added 2014-07-08
    Tim Button (forthcoming). Brains in Vats and Model Theory. In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Brain in a Vat. Cambridge University Press.
    Hilary Putnam’s BIV argument first occurred to him when ‘thinking about a theorem in modern logic, the “Skolem–Löwenheim Theorem”’ (Putnam 1981: 7). One of my aims in this paper is to explore the connection between the argument and the Theorem. But I also want to draw some further connections. In particular, I think that Putnam’s BIV argument provides us with an impressively versatile template for dealing with sceptical challenges. Indeed, this template allows us to unify some of Putnam’s most enduring (...)
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  48. added 2014-07-06
    Endre Begby (forthcoming). Lexical Norms, Language Comprehension, and the Epistemology of Testimony. Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
    Most testimonial exchange occurs by way of linguistic communication. This suggests that the epistemology of language comprehension is importantly implicated in the epistemology of testimony. But how? This paper takes its departure from a recent argument developed by Sanford Goldberg. According to Goldberg, reflection on the connections between the epistemologies of language comprehension and testimony provides a novel argument for linguistic normativity: without positing public linguistic norms we would be at a loss to account for widely assumed epistemic entitlements to (...)
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  49. added 2014-07-03
    Karen Frost‐Arnold (2014). Imposters, Tricksters, and Trustworthiness as an Epistemic Virtue. Hypatia 29 (3).
    This paper argues that trustworthiness is an epistemic virtue that promotes objectivity. I show that untrustworthy imposture can be an arrogant act of privilege that silences marginalized voices. But, as epistemologists of ignorance have shown, sometimes trickery and the betrayal of epistemic norms are important resistance strategies. This raises the question: when is betrayal of trust epistemically virtuous? After establishing that trust is central to objectivity, I argue for the following answer: a betrayal is epistemically vicious when it strengthens or (...)
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  50. added 2014-07-02
    Luca Moretti (forthcoming). Phenomenal Conservatism. Analysis.
    I review recent work on Phenomenal Conservatism, the position introduced by Michael Huemer according to which if it seems that P to a subject S, in absence of defeaters S has thereby some degree of justification for believing P.
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