Bootstrapping, evidentialist internalism, and rule circularity Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-7 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9876-9 Authors Anthony Brueckner, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Kelly Becker has argued that in an externalist anti-luck epistemology, we must hold that knowledge requires the satisfaction of both a modalized tracking condition and a process reliability condition. We raise various problems for the examples that are supposed to establish this claim.
In previous work we have defended the deprivation account of death’s badness against worries stemming from the Lucretian point that prenatal and posthumous nonexistence are deprivations of the same sort. In a recent article in this journal, Fred Feldman has offered an insightful critique of our Parfitian strategy for defending the deprivation account of death’s badness. Here we adjust, clarify, and defend our strategy for reply to Lucretian worries on behalf of the deprivation account.
In “Perceptual Entitlement, Reliabilism, and Scepticism,“ Frank Barel explores some important and under-discussed questions regarding the relation between Tyler Burge's views on perceptual entitlement, on the one hand, and the problem of skepticism, on the other. In this note, I would like to comment on a couple of aspects of Barel's article. First, I have my own take, different from Barel's, on the question of whether we can sketch an a priori anti-skeptical argument proceeding from perceptual anti-individualism. Second, I discuss (...) the question whether Barel's “Rationalistic“ anti-skeptical argument is successful. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; 1. Brains in a vat Anthony Brueckner; 2. Scepticism, objectivity, and brains in vats Gary Ebbs; 3. Ebbs on scepticism, objectivity, and brains in vats Anthony Brueckner; 4. The dialectical context of Putnam's argument that we are not brains in vats Gary Ebbs; 5. Trying to get outside your own skin Anthony Brueckner; 6. Can we take our words at face value? Gary Ebbs; 7. Is scepticism about self-knowledge incoherent? Anthony Brueckner; 8. Is scepticism about (...) self-knowledge coherent? Gary Ebbs; 9. The coherence of scepticism about self-knowledge Anthony Brueckner; 10. Why scepticism about self-knowledge is self-undermining Gary Ebbs; 11. Scepticism about self-knowledge redux Anthony Brueckner; 12. Self-knowledge in doubt Gary Ebbs; 13. Looking back Anthony Brueckner; Bibliography; Index. (shrink)
This article is a response to an important objection that Sherrilyn Roush has made to the standard closure-based argument for skepticism, an argument that has been studied over the past couple of decades. If Roush's objection is on the mark, then this would be a quite significant finding. We argue that her objection fails.
This paper is a critique of John Gibbons's main example against internalism about justification in 'Access Externalism'. I argue that the underdescription of the example defeats its force against internalism.
I reply to Martijn Blaauw's recent article about subject sensitive invariantism, in which he argues that SSI, unlike its contextualist and contrastivist competitors, cannot give a proper account of memorial knowledge. I argue that these theories are on a par when it comes to such an account.
This paper considers the question whether a psychological approach to personal identity can be formulated within an endurantist, as opposed to four-dimensionalist, framework. Trenton Merricks has argued that this cannot be done. I argue to the contrary: a perfectly coherent endurantist version of the psychological approach can indeed be formulated.
This paper concerns various competing views on the nature of perceptual justification. Various thought experiments that motivate various views are discussed. Once reliabilism is rejected and some form of internalism is instead embraced, the following issue arises: must an internalist nevertheless require that perceptual justification involve the possession of evidence for the reliability of our perceptual processes? Matthias Steup answers in the affirmative, espousing what he calls internalist reliabilism. Some problems are raised for this form of internalism.
In a recent article in Theoria , Hamid Vahid offered an explanation of the phenomenon of Moore-paradoxicality which employed Davidson's Principle of Charity regarding radical interpretation. I argue here that Vahid's explanation fails.
There is an apparent problem stemming from the factivity of knowledge that seems to afflict both contextualism and subject-sensitive invariantism (SSI). In this article, we will first explain how the problem arises for each theory, and then we will propose a uniform resolution.
We consider one of Eric Olson's chief arguments for animalism about personal identity: the view that we are each identical to a human animal. The argument was originally given in Olson's book The Human Animal . Olson's argument presupposes an epistemological premise which we examine in detail. We argue that the premise is implausible and that Olson's defense of animalism is therefore in trouble.
The McKinsey Problem concerns a puzzling implication of the doctrines of Content Externalism and Privileged Access. I provide a categorization of possible solutions to the problem. Then I discuss Crispin Wright’s work on the problem. I argue that Wright has misconceived the status of his own proferred solution to the problem.
ABSTRACT: We begin by discussing some logical constraints on the psychological approach to personal identity. We consider a problem for the psychological approach that arises in fission cases. The problem engenders the need for a non-branching clause in a psychological account of the co-personality relation. We look at some difficulties in formulating such a clause. We end by rejecting a recently proposed formulation of non-branching. Our criticism of the formulation raises some interesting questions about the individuation of person stages.RÉSUMÉ: Ce (...) travail traite d'abord de certaines contraintes logiques concernant l'usage de l'approche psychologique pour définir l'identité personnelle. Nous y examinons un problème touchant l'approche psychologique dans les cas de fission. Ce problème exige l'intervention d'une clause qui nie tout recours au branchement dans l'examen de la relation de co-personnalité. Nous avons rencontré certaines difficultés dans la formulation d'une teile clause. Pour conclure, nous rejetons uneformulation récente du non-branchement. Notre objection à cette formulation soulève quelques questions intéressantes concernant l'individuation de stades temporels personnels. (shrink)
Michael Williams and Crispin Wright have claimed that we are epistemically justified in believing hinge propositions, such as there is an external world. In a recent paper Allan Hazlett puts forward an argument that purports to elucidate the source of such justification. This paper reconstructs Hazlett's argument and offers a criticism of it.
Há um argumento cético clássico derivado das Meditações sobre a filosofia primeira. Este artigo oferece uma formulação contemporânea padrão do argumento, pretendendo mostrar que ninguém sabe qualquer coisa sobre o mundo extramental. A obra de Hilary Putnam na filosofia da linguagem e da mente parece fornecer uma resposta a uma versão atualizada do argumento cético cartesiano. Em sua maior parte, este artigo é dedicado a uma análise e crítica das meditações anti-céticas de Putnam. PALAVRAS-CHAVE – Descartes. Putnam. Ceticismo. Cérebros em (...) cubas. Externalismo de conteúdo. ABSTRACT There is a classical skeptical argument that derives from Descartes’s Meditations on first Philosophy. This paper offers a standard contemporary formulation of the argument, which purports to show that no one knows anything about the world that exists outside our minds. The work of Hilary Putnam in the philosophy of language and mind seems to afford an answer to an updated version of the Cartesian skeptical argument. The bulk of this paper is devoted to an analysis and critique of Putnam’s anti-skeptical meditations. KEY WORDS – Descartes, Putnam, Skepticism, Brains in vats, Content externalism. (shrink)
Keith DeRose discusses 'third-person cases', which appear to raise problems for John Hawthorne's invariantist approach to knowledge-attributions. I argue that there is a prima facie problem for invariantism stemming from third-person cases that is even worse than DeRose's. Then I show that in the end, contrary to appearances, third-person cases do not threaten invariantism.
Fallibilism about knowledge and justification is a widely held view in epistemology. In this paper, I will try to arrive at a proper formulation of fallibilism. Fallibilists often hold that Cartesian skepticism is a view that deserves to be taken seriously and dealt with somehow. I argue that it turns out that a canonical form of skeptical argument depends upon the denial of fallibilism. I conclude by considering a response on behalf of the skeptic.
Harold Langsam has recently presented a novel observational account of self-knowledge. I critically discuss this account and argue that it fails to provide a uniform understanding of how we are able to know the contents of our own thoughts.
Abstract In his book Metaphysics, Peter van Inwagen constructs a version of the Cosmological Argument which does not depend on the Principle of Sufficient Reason. He goes on to reject the argument. In this paper, I construct an alternative version of the Cosmological Argument that uses some of van Inwagen's insights and yet is immune to his criticisms. If we suppose that for each contingent truth, there is some at least partial explanation, then it follows that there is some necessary (...) truth that explains the conjunction of all the contingent truths. (shrink)
In The Conscious Mind, D. Chalmers appeals to his semantic framework in order to show that conceivability, as employed in his "zombie" argument for dualism, is sufficient for genuine possibility. I criticize this attempt.
Ted A. Warfield seeks to establish the compatibility in question by getting the incompatibilist to reject an unpersuasive argument from fatalism to the conclusion that a given action is not freely done. He maintains that such a rejection requires the the incompatibilist to hold that there is a possible world in which the fatalist’s premise is true and in which the conclusion is false (and so the given action is freely done). If a foreknowing God exists in that world, then (...) incompatibilism must be rejected. I criticize this reasoning on the ground that one can reject a bad argument from true premises without countenancing a possible world in which the premises are true and yet the conclusion false. (shrink)
Kantian transcendental arguments are aimed at uncovering the necessary conditions for the possibility of thought and experience. If such arguments are to have any force against Cartesian skepticism about knowledge of the external world, then it would seem that the conditions the transcendental argument uncovers must be non-psychological in nature, and their special status must be knowable a priori. In "Transcendental Arguments", Barry Stroud raised the question whether there are any such conditions., He answered that it was very doubtful that (...) one could argue deductively from the premise that there is thought and experience to the conclusion that certain conditions concerning non-psychological, external reality are satisfied. In the intervening 27 years, no one has decisively answered those doubts. No one has succeeded in constructing a convincing Kantian anti- skeptical transcendental argument of the desired kind. In a recent paper, however, Stroud has suggested that things might well be looking up a bit for the transcendental arguer. Stroud now holds that there is a modest variant of the ambitious Kantian anti-skeptical strategy that offers the promise of an answer of sorts to the skeptic that is free of various objectionable Kantian excesses. In this paper, I will describe the more modest sort of transcendental argument that Stroud finds promising, and I will then raise some doubts about the prospects of this modest approach. (shrink)
In "Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions," Keith DeRose defends a contextualist theory of knowledge.' He claims that his theory is superior to some earlier "relevant alternatives" theories in respect of its proper handling of issues concerning the meaning of knowledge attributions. I think that some of DeRose's key claims on this score are mistaken.
Much has been written about epistemological skepticism in the last ten or so years, but there remain some unanswered questions concerning the structure of what has become the canonical Cartesian skeptical argument. In this paper, I would like to take a closer look at this structure in order to determine just which epistemic principles are required by the argument.
In "Externalism, Self-Knowledge and Skepticism,"' Kevin Falvey and Joseph Owens argue that externalism with respect to mental content does not engender skepticism about knowledge of content. They go on to argue that even when externalism is freed from epistemological difficulties, the thesis cannot be used against Cartesian skepticism about knowledge of the external world. I would like to raise some questions about these claims.
In "The Self-Defeating Character of Skepticism," Douglas C. Long presents a transcendental argument against epistemological skepticism.' The argument has a distinctively Kantian flavor (though Long does not highlight this connection), in that it proceeds from the premise that I have self-knowledge and ends with the conclusion that I have perceptual knowledge of an objective, material subject of mental states. If the skeptic wishes to accept the transcendental argument's premise (as he seems to do), then he must reject his claim that (...) I lack knowledge of all propositions concerning my physical nature, history and environment. The falsity of this skeptical claim is a condition for the possibility of self-knowledge, according to Long's transcendental argument. In this paper, I would like to see whether the argument is really work-able. (shrink)
Parfit's most controversial claim about personal identity is that personal identity does not matter in the way we uncritically think it does) I would like to analyze Parfit's reasons for making this claim. These reasons are complex, and they stand in some tension with one another. I would like to examine them carefully and to try to arrive at the strongest case that can be made for Parfit's controversial claim about what matters.