I argue for the view that there are important similarities between knowledge and acting for a normative reason. I interpret acting for a normative reason in terms of Sosa’s notion of an apt performance. Actions that are done for a normative reason are normatively apt actions. They are in accordance with a normative reason because of a competence to act in accordance with normative reasons. I argue that, if Sosa’s account of knowledge as apt belief is correct, this means that (...) acting for a normative reason is in many respects similar to knowledge. In order to strengthen Sosa’s account of knowledge, I propose to supplement it with an appeal to sub-competences. This clarifies how this account can deal with certain Gettier cases, and it helps to understand how exactly acting for a normative reason is similar to apt belief. (shrink)
A review of Ernest Sosa’s book Apt Belief and Reflective Knowledge. While I think Sosa is quite right that knowledge lies on a spectrum, and that its higher but not its lower reaches require of knowers, when challenged, a strong degree of explanatory coherence (ability to understand and discursively defend the basis of their beliefs), I also point out problems with certain aspects of his account.
The theory of knowledge has two sides - epistemology and a bridge to join them: that a belief is justified if and only if obtained by appropriate use of an adequate organon - a principle of theoretical epistemology requiring an organon or manual of practical methodology. Such organon justification is internalist. (How could one ever miss one's source for it?) But it leads briskly to skepticism on pain of regress or circularity - or so it is argued in section 1. (...) In section 2 we consider the epistemology embodied in the Socratic elenchus, which provides a new angle on how methodology relates to epistemology and to science and metaphysics. Thus are we made to face once again the organon account of justification: our internalist bridge principle. That account proves in section 3 to be a special case ,of a more general argumentative account of justification, which in turn agrees with intuitions so powerful as to be enshrined already in our dictionaries. Good rhetoric suggests therefore that 'justification' and its cognates be yielded to the argumentative account; in which case justification must likely fall from its status as principal concept of epistemology. Justification is hence unlikely to be all that is required in general for knowledge, nor is it likely to be what is always required in any premises of use to justify anything. That way, apparently, lies regress or circularity. Better to demote justification to the status of one way for a belief to be appropriate or apt for knowledge, while allowing other ways not dependent on already attained justification: perception, perhaps, or introspection, or memory. (shrink)
We reproduce here forty previously unpublished letters sent by Jan Patočka to the Polish philosopher Krzysztof Michalski between 1973 and 1976. The letters to Michalski reveal his key role in motivating Patočka to formulate his ideas concerning the philosophy of history and present them first in a series of underground lectures in Prague and finally on paper in his last samizdat book, the Heretical Essays on the Philosophy of History.
According to virtue epistemology, knowledge involves cognitive success that is due to cognitive competence. This paper explores the prospects of a virtue theory of knowledge that, so far, has no takers in the literature. It combines features from a couple of different virtue theories: like Pritchard's [forthcoming; et al. 2010] view, it qualifies as what I call an ?impure? version of virtue epistemology, according to which the competence condition is supplemented by an additional (safety) condition; like Sosa's 2007, 2010 view, (...) it construes the ?because? relation at issue in the competence condition in terms of competence manifestation. I argue that this virtue epistemology can steer clear of a number of old and new problems that arise for its rivals on both sides. (shrink)
Do the sexual inclinations of parents influence those of their children? Of 77 adult children of homosexual parents who volunteered for three different investigations, at least 23 (30%) were currently homosexual: twelve (55%) of 22 daughters and three (21%) of fourteen sons of lesbians; five (29%) of seventeen daughters and three (17%) of eighteen sons of gays; none of six sons with both a gay and a lesbian parent. At least 25 (32%) were currently heterosexual. Of the ten with transsexual (...) parents, one of nine daughters was currently lesbian, one was currently heterosexual, and one was transsexual. The son's sexual preference was not reported. These findings suggest that parents' sexual inclinations influence their children's. (shrink)