Instead, it is a theory of what one should do, and assesses decisions based on probabilities and utilities. ... Adopting the plan of applying modern decision theory to one's choices might have lower expected utility than using other ...
Alan Millar's paper (2011) involves two parts, which I address in order, first taking up the issues concerning the goal of inquiry, and then the issues surrounding the appeal to reflective knowledge. I argue that the upshot of the considerations Millar raises count in favour of a more important role in value-driven epistemology for the notion of understanding and for the notion of epistemic justification, rather than for the notions of knowledge and reflective knowledge.
Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion is an annual volume offering a regular snapshot of state-of-the-art work in this longstanding area of philosophy that has seen an explosive growth of interest over the past half century. Under the guidance of a distinguished editorial board, it publishes exemplary papers in any area of philosophy of religion.
Ernest Sosa's latest epistemology remains a version of virtue epistemology, and I argue here that it faces two central problems, pressing a point I have made elsewhere, that virtue epistemology does not present a complete answer to the problem of the value of knowledge. I will press this point regarding the nature of knowledge through variations on two standard Gettier examples here. The first is the Fake Barn case and the second is the Tom Grabit case. I will argue that (...) Sosa's latest virtue epistemology fails to handle either case acceptably, and that as a result, cannot explain the value that knowledge has over that of the sum of any of its proper subparts. La última epistemología de Ernest Sosa continúa siendo una versión de epistemología de las virtudes, y siguiendo con una idea que ya planteé en otra parte, aquí argumento que afronta dos problemas centrales: que la epistemología de las virtudes no presenta una respuesta completa al problema del valor del conocimiento. Insistiré en esta idea sobre la naturaleza del conocimiento mediante variaciones de dos ejemplos estándares tipo Gettier. El primero es el caso del granero falso y el segundo es el caso de Tom Grabit. Argumentaré que la última epistemología de las virtudes de Sosa no maneja ninguno de estos casos de forma aceptable, y en consecuencia no puede explicar el valor que tiene el conocimiento por encima del de la suma de cualesquiera de sus propias partes. (shrink)
The paradox of ’Buridan’s ass’ involves an animal facing two equally adequate and attractive alternatives, such as would happen were a hungry ass to confront two bales of hay that are equal in all respects relevant to the ass’s hunger. Of course, the ass will eat from one rather than the other, because the alternative is to starve. But why does this eating happen? What reason is operative, and what explanation can be given as to why the ass eats from, (...) say, the left bale rather than the right bale? Why doesn’t the ass remain caught between the options, forever indecisive and starving to death? Religious pluralists face a similar dilemma, a dilemma that I will argue is more difficult to address than the paradox just described. (shrink)
Contextualists claim two important virtues for their view. First, contextualism is a non-skeptical epistemology, given the plausible idea that not all contexts invoke the high standards for knowledge needed to generate the skeptical conclusion that we know little or nothing. Second, contextualism is able to preserve closure concerning knowledge – the idea that knowledge is extendable on the basis of competent deduction from known premises. As long as one keeps the context fixed, it is plausible to think that some closure (...) principle can be articulated that will survive scrutiny. Opponents of contextualism often try to gain an advantage over it by claiming that their view mimics these virtues of contextualism as well as having other virtues. A recent example of the same is termed ‘contrastivism," as presented by Jonathan Schaffer. I will argue that the representation made is chimerical, that in fact contrastivism has no hope of mirroring these twin virtues of contextualism. (shrink)
There is a great divide between two approaches to epistemology over the past thirty to forty years. Some label the divide that between internalists and externalists, and that characterization may be accurate on some account of the distinction. I will pursue the divide from a different direction, in part because the literature on the distinction between internalism and externalism has become a mess, and I don’t want to clean up the mess here.
Nozick’s contribution to the epistemology of the last half of the twentieth century includes addressing the question of whether knowledge is closed under known implication. I argue that the question of closure provides a serious obstacle to Nozickian approaches to epistemology.
Epistemology has for a long time focused on the concept of knowledge and tried to answer questions such as whether knowledge is possible and how much of it there is. Missing from this inquiry, however, is a discussion on the value of knowledge. In The Pursuit of Knowledge and the Value of Understanding Jonathan Kvanvig argues that epistemology properly conceived cannot ignore the question of the value of knowledge. He also questions one of the most fundamental assumptions in epistemology, namely (...) that knowledge is always more valuable than the value of its subparts. Taking Platos' Meno as a starting point of his discussion, Kvanvig tackles the different arguments about the value of knowledge and comes to the conclusion that knowledge is less valuable than generally assumed. Clearly written and well argued, the book will appeal to students and professionals in epistemology. (shrink)