Recently Trent Dougherty has claimed that there is a tension between skeptical theism and common sense epistemology—that the more plausible one of these views is, the less plausible the other is. In this paper I explain Dougherty’s argument and develop an account of defeaters which removes the alleged tension between skeptical theism and common sense epistemology.
Conciliatory views of disagreement maintain that discovering a particular type of disagreement requires that one make doxastic conciliation. In this paper I give a more formal characterization of such a view. After explaining and motivating this view as the correct view regarding the epistemic significance of disagreement, I proceed to defend it from several objections concerning higher-order evidence (evidence about the character of one's evidence) made by Thomas Kelly (2005).
Michael Bergmann claims that all versions of epistemic internalism face an irresolvable dilemma. We show that there are many plausible versions of internalism that falsify this claim. First, we demonstrate that there are versions of "weak awareness internalism" that, contra Bergmann, do not succumb to the "Subject's Perspective Objection" horn of the dilemma. Second, we show that there are versions of "strong awareness internalism" that do not fall prey to the dilemma's "vicious regress" horn. We note along the way that (...) these versions of internalism do not, in avoiding one horn of the dilemma, succumb to the dilemma's other horn. The upshot is that internalists have many available strategies for avoiding dilemmatic defeat. (shrink)
The Uniqueness Thesis, or rational uniqueness, claims that a body of evidence severely constrains one’s doxastic options. In particular, it claims that for any body of evidence E and proposition P, E justifies at most one doxastic attitude toward P. In this paper I defend this formulation of the uniqueness thesis and examine the case for its truth. I begin by clarifying my formulation of the Uniqueness Thesis and examining its close relationship to evidentialism. I proceed to give some motivation (...) for this strong epistemic claim and to defend it from several recent objections in the literature. In particular I look at objections to the Uniqueness Thesis coming from considerations of rational disagreement (can’t reasonable people disagree?), the breadth of doxastic attitudes(can’t what is justified by the evidence encompass more than one doxastic attitude?), borderline cases and caution (can’t it be rational to be cautious and suspend judgment even when the evidence slightly supports belief?), vagueness (doesn’t the vagueness of justification spell trouble for the Uniqueness Thesis?), and degrees of belief (doesn’t a finegrained doxastic picture present additional problems for the Uniqueness Thesis?). (shrink)
We commend Byrne & Russon for their effort to expand and clarify the concept of imitation by addressing the various levels of behavior organization at which it could occur. We are concerned, however, first about the ambiguity with which these levels are defined and second about whether there is any particular need for comparative cognition to keep focusing on imitation as an important intellectual faculty. We recommend stricter definitions of hierarchical behavioral levels that will lend themselves to operational definitions and (...) continued study of how animal subjects organize their goal-directed behavior as opposed to whether it is or is not imitation. (shrink)
We propose a naturalistic version of the “guesser–knower” paradigm in which the experimental subject has an opportunity to choose which individual to follow to a hidden food source. This design allows nonhumans to display the attribution of knowledge to another conspecific, rather than a human, in a naturalistic context (finding food), and it is readily adapted to different species.