The A Priori, Universality, and Necessity 23 Axioms and Primitive Rules of Inference 26 General Doubts about Intuitive Knowledge 28 Logical Truths and Rules of Inference 32 Alleged Self-evident Factual Truths 36 Three Final Examples, Two Old and One New 40 An Indirect Argument for Rationalism 43..
This document provides a system of punctuation that is based on the syntax of English sentences. It accords with the practice of leading publishers, and it conforms to the recommendations of such publications as The New York Public Library Writer’s Guide to Style and Usage. Skillful writers often punctuate in ways that violate this system of punctuation, but they have earned the right to do so: they know what they are doing and why. If you master the system presented in (...) this document, you will not make errors of punctuation that teachers and editors will want to correct. You will also have the ability to justify your occasional departures from the rules: you will understand why your usage is preferable in the circumstances. (shrink)
Admirers of Plato are usually lovers of literary art, for Plato wrote dramatic dialogues rather than didactic volumes and did so with rare literary skill. You would expect such a philosopher to place a high value on literary art, but Plato actually attacked it, along with other forms of what he called mimêsis, and argued that most of it should be banned from the ideal society that he described in the Republic. What objections did Plato have with mimêsis? Do those (...) objections apply to the sort of art we value today? Are they well founded? These are the questions that I shall be discussing in my talk today. (shrink)
Chisholm holds that each person's empirical knowledge is a structure resting on a foundation of self-presenting propositions. He also holds that a person's knowledge of the past and the external world cannot be inferred from his self-presenting propositions by the rules of deduction and induction; special rules of evidence are needed. I argue that Chisholm has not made a compelling case for either view and that there is good reason to doubt that either view is correct.
This paper criticizes the epistemological doctrine of moderate rationalism that has been defended in recent years by such writers as Laurence BonJour, Alvin Plantinga, and George Bealer. It is argued that this new form of rationalism is really no better than the old one and that the key claim common to both---that intuition or rational insight provides a satisfactory basis for a priori knowledge---is untenable. Most of the criticism is directed specifically against Laurence BonJour’s recent “dialectical” defense of the doctrine. (...) Since BonJour’s defense is essentially an attempt to show how a priori knowledge is possible, an alternative, empiricist view of a priori knowledge is presented that eludes his objections and is supported by the criticism brought against moderate rationalism. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophy is marked by a setting aside or dissolution of the traditional problems of modern philosophy. Thus the problem of our knowledge of the external world is widely believed to have been disposed of or dissolved by Wittgenstein and others. In this book, Bruce Aune challenges this assumption. In the first half of Knowledge of the External World , Aune considers the history of the problem in the work of the great modern philosophers, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Kant, and Mill. (...) Then turning to current debates, he argues that the problem has re-emerged and that an entirely new approach is needed. By examining the attempted dissolutions, Aune shows that the fundamental problem remains as a serious intellectual issue: one concerning the nature of permissible experimental or `inductive' inference. To resolve this issue, he undertakes a revision of empiricist epistemology and the development of the required theory of inference. Knowledge of the External World is an excellent historical systematic analysis of a central problem of philosophy and a fine introduction to the theory of knowledge. It will be essential reading for students of epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy. (shrink)
In the past couple of decades several different accounts of the logic of practical reasoning have been proposed.1 The account I have recommended on a number of occasions is clearly the simplest, because it requires no special logical principles, holding that, in respect of deduction, practical reasoning is adequately understood as involving only standard assertoric principles. My account has recently encountered various objections, the most dismissive of which is that it is too simple to deal with complicated cases of practical (...) inference. I am not daunted by these objections. My aim here is to offer some observations that will make the merits of my account easier to appreciate. (shrink)