Alexander S Harper University of Queensland
Contact
  • home page

Affiliations
  • Graduate student, University of Queensland

Areas of specialization

Areas of interest

blank
About me
My main research interests are epistemology and its history. I am especially interested in skepticism, contemporary and historical. My philosophical method is characterised by modesty, which influences my attitudes towards evidence, especially intuitions, and knowledge claims. I cannot understand how a faculty can contribute evidence of a proposition's truth when there is not even a plausible mechanism by which that faculty can access the truth. Historically, I am interested in Greek Skepticism, especially Sextus Empiricus, and am becoming more interested in classical Indian philosophy.
My works
3 items found.
Sort by:
  1. 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 (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  2. Alexander S. Harper, Philosophical Intuition and the Need for an Explanation.
    Traditionally, intuitions about cases have been taken as strong evidence for a philosophical position. I argue that intuitions about concept deployment have epistemic value while intuitions about matters of fact have none. I argue this by use of the explanationist criterion which contends that S is justified in believing only those propositions which are part of the best explanation of S’s making the judgements she makes. This criterion accords with scientific practice. Bealer suggests, as a defence of intuition, that naturalists (...)
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  3. Alexander S. Harper (2010). Fallibilism, Contextualism and Second-Order Skepticism. Philosophical Investigations 33 (4):339-359.
    Fallibilism is ubiquitous in contemporary epistemology. I argue that a paradox about knowledge, generated by considerations of truth, shows that fallibilism can only deliver knowledge in lucky circumstances. Specifically, since it is possible that we are brains-in-vats (BIVs), it is possible that all our beliefs are wrong. Thus, the fallibilist can know neither whether or not we have much knowledge about the world nor whether or not we know any specific proposition, and so the warrant of our knowledge-claims is much (...)
    Direct download (9 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
Is this list right?