Paul Moser's book defends what has been an unfashionable view in recent epistemology: the foundationalist account of knowledge and justification. Since the time of Plato philosophers have wondered what exactly knowledge is. This book develops a new account of perceptual knowledge which specifies the exact sense in which knowledge has foundations. The author argues that experiential foundations are indeed essential to perceptual knowledge, and he explains what knowledge requires beyond justified true beliefs. In challenging prominent sceptical claims that we (...) have no justified beliefs about the external world, the book outlines a theory of rational belief. (shrink)
If God exists, where can we find adequate evidence for God's existence? In this book, Paul Moser offers a new perspective on the evidence for God that centers on a morally robust version of theism that is cognitively resilient. The resulting evidence for God is not speculative, abstract, or casual. Rather, it is morally and existentially challenging to humans, as they themselves responsively and willingly become evidence of God's reality in receiving and reflecting God's moral character for others. (...) class='Hi'>Moser calls this 'personifying evidence of God,' because it requires the evidence to be personified in an intentional agent - such as a human - and thereby to be inherent evidence of an intentional agent. Contrasting this approach with skepticism, scientific naturalism, fideism, and natural theology, Moser also grapples with the potential problems of divine hiddenness, religious diversity, and vast evil. (shrink)
Are all moral truths relative or do certain moral truths hold for all cultures and people? In Moral Relativism: A Reader, this and related questions are addressed by twenty-one contemporary moral philosophers and thinkers. This engaging and nontechnical anthology, the only up-to-date collection devoted solely to the topic of moral relativism, is accessible to a wide range of readers including undergraduate students from various disciplines. The selections are organized under six main topics: (1) General Issues; (2) Relativism and Moral Diversity; (...) (3) On the Coherence of Moral Relativism; (4) Defense and Criticism; (5) Relativism, Realism, and Rationality; and (6) Case Study on Relativism. Contributors include Ruth Benedict, Richard Brandt, Thomas L. Carson, Philippa Foot, Gordon Graham, Gilbert Harman, Loretta M. Kopelman, David Lyons, J. L. Mackie, Michele Moody-Adams, Paul K. Moser, Thomas Nagel, Martha Nussbaum, Karl Popper, Betsy Postow, James Rachels, W. D. Ross, T. M. Scanlon, William Graham Sumner, and Carl Wellman. The volume concludes with a case study on female circumcision/genital mutilation that vividly brings into focus the practical aspects and implications of moral relativism. An ideal primary text for courses in moral relativism, Moral Relativism: A Reader can also be used as a supplementary text for introductory courses in ethics and for courses in various disciplines--anthropology, sociology, theology, political science, and cultural studies--that discuss relativism. The volume's pedagogical and research value is enhanced by a topical bibliography on moral relativism and a substantial general introduction that includes explanatory summaries of the twenty selections. (shrink)
We shall formulate an analysis of the ordinary notion of intentional action that clarifies a commonsense distinction between intentional and nonintentional action. Our analysis will build on some typically neglected considerations about relations between lucky action and intentional action. It will highlight the often- overlooked role of evidential considerations in intentional action, thus identifying the key role of certain epistemological considerations in action theory. We shall also explain why some vagueness is indispensable in a characterization of intentional action as ordinarily (...) understood. (shrink)
Three questions motivate this book's account of evidence for the existence of God. First, if God's existence is hidden, why suppose He exists at all? Second, if God exists, why is He hidden, particularly if God seeks to communicate with people? Third, what are the implications of divine hiddenness for philosophy, theology, and religion's supposed knowledge of God? This book answers these questions on the basis of a new account of evidence and knowledge of divine reality that challenges skepticism about (...) God's existence. The central thesis is that we should expect evidence of divine reality to be purposively available to humans, that is, available only in a manner suitable to divine purposes in self-revelation. This lesson generates a seismic shift in our understanding of evidence and knowledge of divine reality. The result is a needed reorienting of religious epistemology to accommodate the character and purposes of an authoritative, perfectly loving God. (shrink)
This paper deals with an approach to the integration of science (with technology and economics), ethics (with religion and mysticism), the arts (aesthetics) and Nature, in order to establish a world-view based on holistic, evolutionary ethics that could help with problem solving. The author suggests that this integration is possible with the aid of “Nature’s wisdom” which is mirrored in the macroscopic pattern of the ecosphere. The corresponding eco-principles represent the basis for unifying soft and hard sciences resulting in “deep (...) sciences”. Deduction and induction will remain the methodology for deep sciences and will include conventional experiments and aesthetic and sentient experiences. Perception becomes the decisive factor with the senses as operators for the building of consciousness through the subconscious. In this paper, an attempt at integrating the concepts of the “true”, the “right” and the “beautiful” with the aid of Nature’s wisdom is explained in more detail along with consequences. (shrink)
For many people the existence of God is by no means a sufficiently clear feature of reality. This problem, the fact of divine hiddenness, has been a source of existential concern and has sometimes been taken as a rationale for support of atheism or agnosticism. In this new collection of essays, a distinguished group of philosophers of religion explore the question of divine hiddenness in considerable detail. The issue is approached from several perspectives including Jewish, Christian, atheist and agnostic. There (...) is coverage of the historical treatment of divine hiddenness as found in the work of Maimonides, St. John of the Cross, Jonathan Edwards, Kierkegaard, and various Biblical writers. A substantial introduction clarifies the main problems of and leading solutions to divine hiddenness. Primarily directed at philosophers of religion, theologians, and scholars of religious studies, this collection could also serve as a textbook for upper-level courses in philosophy of religion. (shrink)
The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology contains 19 previously unpublished chapters by today's leading figures in the field. These chapters function not only as a survey of key areas, but as original scholarship on a range of vital topics. Written accessibly for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and professional philosophers, the Handbook explains the main ideas and problems of contemporary epistemology while avoiding overly technical detail.
Contemporary Materialism presents an important collection of recent work on materialism in connection with metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and theories of value. This anthology charts the contemporary problems, positions and themes on the topic of materialism. It illuminates materialism's complex intersection with related subjects such as cognition and psychology. By gathering a wide-range of philosophical interventions around the subject of materialism, this anthology provides a valuable discussion of how materialism can effectively serve the purposes of philosophical assessment. (...) To further assist the reader, it also contains an extensive bibliography on contemporary materialism. (shrink)
Philosophers have often misunderstood Kierkegaard's views on the nature and purposes of God due to a fascination with his earlier, pseudonymous works. We examine many of Kierkegaard's later works with the aim of setting forth an accurate view on this matter. The portrait of God that emerges is a personal and fiercely loving God with whom humans can and should enter into relationship. Far from advocating a fideistic faith or a cognitively unrestrained leap in the dark, we argue that Kierkegaard (...) connects this God-relationship to (a particular kind of) evidence and even knowledge. However, such evidence and knowledge – and hence God himself – may remain hidden from many individuals due to misconceptions of God and misuses of the human will. (shrink)
It became obvious in classroom case discussions in a required MBA course, Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics, that subjective opinion often prohibited complete and thorough case analyses. Over a two-year period an attempt was made to identify the parameters of situations involving corporate social responsibility in order to develop a methodology which would facilitate classroom learning. The model described in the following manuscript is the result of these efforts.
Since the beginning of philosophy, philosophers have sought objective knowledge: knowledge of things whose existence does not depend on one's conceiving of them. This book uses lessons from debates over objective knowledge to characterize the kinds of reasons pertinent to philosophical and other theoretical views. It argues that we cannot meet skeptics' typical demands for nonquestion-begging support for claims to objective truth, and that therefore we should not regard our supporting reasons as resistant to skeptical challenges. One key lesson is (...) that a constructive, explanatory approach to philosophy must change the subject from skeptic-resistant reasons to perspectival reasons arising from variable semantic commitments and instrumental, purpose-relative considerations. The book lays foundations for such a reorientation of philosophy, treating fundamental methodological issues in ontology, epistemology, the theory of meaning, the philosophy of mind, and the theory of practical rationality. It explains how certain perennial debates in philosophy rest not on genuine disagreement, but on conceptual diversity: talk about different matters. The book shows how acknowledgment of conceptual diversity can resolve a range of traditional disputes in philosophy. It also explains why philosophers need not anchor their discipline in the physicalism of the natural sciences. (shrink)
Epistemological probability is the kind of probability relative to a body of evidence. Many philosophers, including Henry Kyburg and Roderick Chisholm, hold that all epistemological probabilities reflect a relation between an evidential body of propositions and other propositions. But this article argues that some epistemological probabilities for empirical propositions must be relative to non-propositional evidence, specifically the contents of non-propositional perceptual states. In doing so, the article distinguishes between internalism and externalism regarding epistemological probability, and argues for a version of (...) awareness internalism. The article draws three main concluding lessons. First, epistemological probability is not to be identified with the sort of objective, experience-independent probability that is familiar from statistical and propensity interpretations of probability. Second, it is doubtful that epistemological probability is measurable, in any useful way, by real numbers, even if it admits of comparative assessments. Third, contrary to the familiar claim of C. I. Lewis, epistemological probability should not be viewed as requiring a basis of certainty. (shrink)
This article explores the possibility of naturalized theory of action. It distinguishes ontological naturalism from conceptual naturalism, and asks whether a defensible theory of action can be either ontologically or conceptually naturalistic. The distinction between conditions for an ontology and conditions for a concept receives support from Donald Davidson's identification of two modes of explanation for action: rational and physical causal explanation. Davidson's action theory provides a naturalized ontology for action theory, but not a naturalized concept of intentional action. This (...) article raises doubts about Davidson's basis for such one-sided naturalism. It examines some conditions for a mode of explanation, in order to clarify whether an intentional mode of explanation might have ontological significance and thus raise problems for ontological naturalism. The article argues for the central role of certain instrumental factors in explanatory strategies, whether naturalistic or intentional; and it casts doubt on Jaegwon Kim's recent argument that intentional psychology and neuroscience are mutually exclusive as explanatory strategies. A key lesson is that variable end-dependent reasons are our only wherewithal in the evaluation of explanatory strategies. In this sense, our explanatory strategies are ultimately instrumental and perspectival. The article draws out the implications of this lesson for naturalized action theory and for psychological explanation. It opposes any suggested monopoly on explanation from the physical sciences. (shrink)
Some philosophers, Such as n r hanson, Have suggested that one's perceiving an object entails one's having a particular perceptual belief, And not just some belief or other, About that object. This article constructs an argument showing that such a view generates an infinite regress of required perceptual beliefs.
The Rationality of Theism is a controversial collection of brand new papers by thirteen outstanding philosophers and scholars. Its aim is to offer comprehensive theistic replies to the traditional arguments against the existence of God, offering a positive case for theism as well as rebuttals of recent influential criticisms of theism.
Debates between realists and idealists have raged since the beginning of philosophy. Richard Rorty has recently claimed that his pragmatism enables philosophers to move beyond realism and idealism. This paper shows that Rorty's pragmatism fails to move us beyond debates involving realism and idealism. It also sketches a more promising strategy for handling the perennial dispute over realism and idealism.
Hilbert's ε-calculus is based on an extension of the language of predicate logic by a term-forming operator ex. Two fundamental results about the ε-calculus, the first and second epsilon theorem, play a rôle similar to that which the cut-elimination theorem plays in sequent calculus. In particular, Herbrand's Theorem is a consequence of the epsilon theorems. The paper investigates the epsilon theorems and the complexity of the elimination procedure underlying their proof, as well as the length of Herbrand disjunctions of existential (...) theorems obtained by this elimination procedure. (shrink)
This article contains criticisms of various interpretations of Mill's argument for Utilitarianism. An attempt is made to explain how Mill conceived the rationality of his proof, and how his justification of the Principle of Utility differs from a justification of fundamental moral principles on the basis of the logic of ethical discourse.
This paper examines a nonreductive supervenience relation central to a philosophically popular version of nonreductive physicalism inspired by Donald Davidson. The paper argues that this global supervenience relation faces a serious epistemological problem that blocks its being superior to weaker, less general supervenience relations.
This article provides a straightforward diagnosis and resolution of the lottery paradox and the epistemic version of the paradox of the preface. In doing so, The article takes some steps in relating the notion of probability to the notion of epistemic justification.