The article suggests a reading of the term ‘epistemic account of truth’ which runs contrary to a widespread consensus with regard to what epistemic accounts are meant to provide, namely a definition of truth in epistemic terms. Section 1. introduces a variety of possible epistemic accounts that differ with regard to the strength of the epistemic constraints they impose on truth. Section 2. introduces the paradox of knowability and presents a slightly reconstructed version of a related argument brought forward by (...) Wolfgang Künne. I accept the paradox and Künnes argument as sound objections to all the different epistemic accounts which are committed to one of the various constraints on truth introduced in section 1. Section 3. offers a modified epistemic constraint which, or so I argue, is immune to the paradox of knowability and plausible on independent grounds. (shrink)
Peter van Inwagen and Colin McGinn hold that there are strong arguments for strict incompatibilism, i.e. for the claim that the free will thesis (F) is inconsistent not just with determinism but with the negation of determinism as well. Interestingly, both authors deny that these arguments are apt to justify the claim that (F) is false. I argue that van Inwagen and McGinn are right in taking the fact that epistemic commitment to (F) is deeply rooted in common sense to (...) cast doubt on arguments to the conclusion that (F) is false. However, instead of declaring free will to be a mystery (van Inwagen) or claiming that the problem of free will amounts to a problem whose correct solution is cognitively closed to human intellect (McGinn), I propose to simply view the problem of free will as a hard problem – its hardness being due to the fact that it involves a large variety of concepts whose correct explication is philosophically moot. (shrink)
In recent years the term ‘recognition’ has been used in ever more variegated theoretical contexts. This article contributes to the discussion of how the concept(s) expressed by this term in different debates should be explicated and understood. For the most part it takes the concept itself as its topic rather than making theoretical use of it. Drawing on important work by Ikäheimo and Laitinen and taking Honneth’s tripartite distinction of recognition into love, respect, and esteem as a starting point it (...) introduces the conceptual distinction between recognitive attitudes, recognitive relations, and recognitive acts, discusses Brandom’s attempt at explaining self-consciousness in terms of reflexive recognition mediated by intersubjective recognitive relations and suggests some critical points on how Butler puts the concept of recognition to work in her conception of ethics. (shrink)
This paper examines two contemporary answers to the question of whether moral values and norms are apt for rational criticism and justification: Richard Rorty’s radically contextualist approach—which is centered around the notion of contingency and is characterized by a dismissal of all claims to philosophical justification—and Karl-Otto Apel’s transcendental-pragmatic version of discourse ethics—which encompasses highly ambitious claims to justification and universal validity. Contrasting the key theses of Rorty’s contextualism with those of Apel’s universalist discourse ethics and reconstructing their respective conceptions (...) of moral progress we argue that neither Rorty’s nor Apel’s position is convincing. (shrink)
The following two theses constitute the theoretical core of all epistemic conceptions of truth: (1) The concept of truth can be explicated in epistemic terms (e.g. in terms of justified assertability under ideal epistemic conditions, ideal coherence, ideal consensus etc.). (2) The assumption that there could be truths which cannot, in principle, be known to be true is false or even absurd. The book scrutinizes theses (1) and (2). It contains discussions of the truth-theoretical approaches of Peirce, Putnam, Dummett, C. (...) Wright, Apel, Habermas and others, offers an account of the speech act of assertion, a critique of deflationism about truth, an analysis of the concept of fallibility and a discussion of Fitch's paradox of knowability. Im Zentrum epistemischer Wahrheitskonzeptionen stehen die folgenden beiden Thesen: (1) Der Wahrheitsbegriff kann durch epistemische Konzepte idealer Begründbarkeit, Behauptbarkeit, Kohärenz oder Konsensfähigkeit expliziert werden. (2) Die Annahme, es könnte wahre Aussagen geben, die prinzipiell nicht als wahr erkennbar oder doch begründbar sind, ist falsch oder sogar sinnlos. "Wahrheit, Begründbarkeit und Fallibilität" unterzieht diese Thesen einer kritischen Prüfung. Neben der Diskussion wahrheitstheoretischer Ansätze von Peirce, Putnam, Wright, Apel und anderen enthält dieses Buch eine Bestimmung der normativen Relevanz des Wahrheitsbegriffs für Behauptungshandlungen, eine Kritik des Deflationismus, eine Analyse des Konzepts der Fallibilität sowie eine Diskussion des Paradox of Knowability. (shrink)
This paper explores the question of how the epistemological thesis of fallibilism should best be formulated. Sections 1 to 3 critically discuss some influential formulations of fallibilism. In section 4 I suggest a formulation of fallibilism in terms of the unavailability of epistemically truth-guaranteeing justification. In section 5 I discuss the claim that unrestricted fallibilism engenders paradox and argue that this claim is unwarranted.