Many philosophers believe that the traditional problem of our knowledge of the external world was dissolved by Wittgestein and others. They argue that it was not really a problem - just a linguistic `confusion' that did not actually require a solution. Bruce Aune argues that they are wrong. He casts doubt on the generally accepted reasons for putting the problem aside and proposes an entirely new approach. By considering the history of the problem from Descartes to Kant, Aune shows that (...) analogous arguments create difficulties for the contemporary philosophical consensus. He makes it clear that the problem remains acute, particualarly for our understanding of scientific evidence. The solution he proposes draws upon contemporary philosophy of science and probability theory. (shrink)
This volume collects four published articles by the late Tamara Horowitz and two unpublished papers on decision theory: "Making Rational Decisions When Preferences Cycle" and the monograph-length "The Backtracking Fallacy." An introduction is provided by editor Joseph Camp. Horowitz preferred to recognize the diversity of rationality, both practical and theoretical rationality. She resisted the temptation to accept simple theories of rationality that are quick to characterize ordinary reasoning as fallacious. This broadly humanist approach to philosophy is exemplified by the articles (...) in this collection. As just one example, in "The Backtracking Fallacy," she argues that there are policies for decision-making a person may adopt if the person prefers to do so, but need not adopt. A person who employs such a policy no longer can regard standard expected utility theory as exceptionless, thereby sacrificing theoretical simplicity. But it is a mistake, Horowitz argues, to preserve theoretical simplicity by falsifying the decision making methods real people really use. (shrink)
The organization, processing and representation of knowledge becomes increasingly important in all scientific and business contexts. This book focuses on qualitative methods for knowledge organization and their contributions to knowledge-based issues of marketing management research. Besides theoretical discussions of different approaches to and definitions of knowledge, as well as methods for knowledge organization, several case studies in the field of marketing management are presented. Questions of research design, adequate choice of methodologies and practical relevance of the results are addressed.
Can we know anything for certain? There are those who think we can (traditionally labeled the "dogmatists") and those who think we cannot (traditionally labeled the "skeptics"). The theory of knowledge, or epistemology, is the great debate between the two. This book is an introductory and historically-based survey of the debate. It sides for the most part with the skeptics. It also develops out of skepticism a third view, fallibilism or critical rationalism, which incorporates an uncompromising realism about perception, science, (...) and the nature of truth. (shrink)
If there is such a thing as reason, it has to be universal - it must work the same way for everyone. Reason must reflect objective principles whose validity is independent of our point of view. To reason is to think systematically in ways that anyone looking on ought to be able to recognize as correct. But this generality of reason is what relativists and subjectivists deny in ever-increasing numbers. And such subjectivism is not just an inconsequential intellectual flourish or (...) badge of theoretical chic. It is exploited to deflect argument and to belittle the pretensions of the arguments of others. The continuing spread of this relativistic way of thinking threatens to make public discourse increasingly difficult and to exacerbate the deep divisions of our society. -/- In The Last Word, Thomas Nagel, one of the most influential philosophers writing in English, presents a sustained defence of reason against the attacks of subjectivism, delivering systematic rebuttals of relativistic claims with respect to language, logic, science, and ethics. His work sets a new standard in the debate on this crucially important question and should generate intense interest both within and outside the philosophical community. (shrink)
This book develops an explanation for the roles of observation and theory in scientific endeavor that occupies the middle ground between empiricism and rationalism, and captures the strengths of both approaches. Brown argues that philosophical theories have the same epistemological status as scientific theories and constructs an epistemological theory that provides an account of the role that theory and instruments play in scientific observation. His theory of perception yields a new analysis of objectivity that combines the traditional view of observation (...) as the foundation of scientific objectivity with the contemporary recognition that observation is theory-dependent. (shrink)
"Reclaiming Truth "will be welcomed by readers concerned with the uses and abuses of theory at a time when such questions are in urgent need of sustained and serious debate. "These are brilliant and stimulating essays.
Extensively classroom-tested, Critical Thinking: An Introduction to Analytical Reading and Reasoning provides a non-technical vocabulary and analytic apparatus that guide students in identifying and articulating the central patterns found in reasoning and in expository writing more generally. Understanding these patterns of reasoning helps students to better analyze, evaluate, and construct arguments and to more easily comprehend the full range of everyday arguments found in ordinary journalism. Critical Thinking distinguishes itself from other texts in the field by emphasizing analytical reading as (...) an essential skill. It also provides detailed coverage of argument analysis, diagnostic arguments, diagnostic patterns, and fallacies. Opening with two chapters on analytical reading that help students recognize what makes reasoning explicitly different from other expository activities, the text then presents an interrogative model of argument to guide them in the analysis and evaluation of reasoning. This model allows a detailed articulation of "inference to the best explanation" and gives students a view of the pervasiveness of this form of reasoning. The author demonstrates how many common argument types--from correlations to sampling--can be analyzed using this articulated form. He then extends the model to deal with several predictive and normative arguments and to display the value of the fallacy vocabulary. Designed for introductory courses in critical thinking, critical reasoning, informal logic, and inductive reasoning, Critical Thinking features hundreds of exercises throughout and includes worked-out solutions and additional exercises (without solutions) at the end of each chapter. An Instructor's Manual, including solutions to the text's unanswered exercises and featuring other pedagogical aids, is available. (shrink)
Practical conflicts pervade human life. Agents have many different desires, goals, and commitments, all of which can come into conflict with each other. How can practical reasoning help to resolve these practical conflicts? In this collection of new essays a distinguished roster of philosophers analyze the diverse forms of practical conflict. Their aim is to establish an understanding of the sources of these conflicts, to investigate the challenge they pose to an adequate conception of practical reasoning, and to assess the (...) degree to which that challenge can be met. These essays will serve as a major resource for students of philosophy but will also interest students and professionals in related fields of the social sciences such as psychology, political science, sociology and economics. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Preface; Part I. Epistemic Normativity: 1. Knowledge as success from ability; 2. Against deontology; 3. Against internalism; 4. Against evidentialism; Part II. Problems for Everyone: 5. The nature of knowledge; 6. The value of knowledge; 7. Knowledge and context; 8. The Pyrrhonian problematic; Part III. Problems for Reliabilism: 9. The problem of strange and fleeting processes; 10. The problem of defeating evidence; 11. The problem of easy knowledge; Bibliography; Index.
This book is not aimed at exhuming Kant, but resurrecting him. It is inspired by the Critique of Pure Reason , yet is not about it: perhaps over-ambitiously, it tries to delineate not Kant's metaphysics of experience but the truth of the matter. The author shows rather than says where he agrees and disagrees with the first Critique , in so far as he understood that profound but obscure, over-systematic yet carelessly written, inspiring and infuriating, magnificent but flawed masterpiece. The (...) book attempts a highly systematic presentation, in which the very form of the work reflects the content of the arguments. Kant is often derided for the extent to which he allows his penchant for architectonic structure to distort his insights, but it is argued that he had the right instinct in assuming that there must be some systematic way in which the necessary conditions for experience fit together. The contemporary trend in analytical philosophy seems to be towards ever more specialized, jargon-infested work, and there is a need to draw things together into a wider view that can be more generally appreciated. (shrink)
In his book Frederic Schick develops his challenge to standard decision theory. He argues that talk of the beliefs and desires of an agent is not sufficient to explain choices. To account for a given choice we need to take into consideration how the agent understands the problem, how he sees in a selective way the options open to him. The author applies his new logic to a host of common human predicaments. Why do people in choice experiments act so (...) often against expectations? Why do people cooperate in situations where textbook logic predicts that they won't? What exactly is weakness of will? What are people reporting when they say their lives have no meaning for them? This book questions the foundations of technical and philosophical decision theory and will appeal to all those who work in that field, be they philosophers, economists or psychologists. (shrink)
This book argues for the need to put into practice a profound and comprehensive intellectual revolution, affecting to a greater or lesser extent all branches of scientific and technological research, scholarship and education. This intellectual revolution differs, however, from the now familiar kind of scientific revolution described by Kuhn. It does not primarily involve a radical change in what we take to be knowledge about some aspect of the world, a change of paradigm. Rather it involves a radical change in (...) the fundamental, overall intellectual aims and methods of inquiry. At present inquiry is devoted to the enhancement of knowledge. This needs to be transformed into a kind of rational inquiry having as its basic aim to enhance personal and social wisdom. This new kind of inquiry gives intellectual priority to the personal and social problems we encounter in our lives as we strive to realize what is desirable and of value – problems of knowledge and technology being intellectually subordinate and secondary. For this new kind of inquiry, it is what we do and what we are that ultimately matters: our knowledge is but an aspect of our life and being. (shrink)
What does it mean to know something - scientifically, anthropologically, socially? What is the relationship between different forms of knowledge and ways of knowing? How is knowledge mobilised in society and to what ends? Drawing on ethnographic examples from across the world, and from the virtual and global "places" created by new information technologies, Anthropology and Science presents examples of living and dynamic epistemologies and practices, and of how scientific ways of knowing operate in the world. Authors address the nature (...) of both scientific and experiential knowledge, and look at competing and alternative ideas about what it means to be human. The essays analyze the politics and ethics of positioning "science", "culture" or "society" as authoritative. They explore how certain modes of knowing are made authoritative and command allegiance (or not), and look at scientific and other rationalities - whether these challenge or are compatible with science. (shrink)
Carl G. Hempel exerted greater influence upon philosophers of science than any other figure during the 20th century. In this far-reaching collection, distinguished philosophers contribute valuable studies that illuminate and clarify the central problems to which Hempel was devoted. The essays enhance our understanding of the development of logical empiricism as the major intellectual influence for scientifically-oriented philosophers and philosophically-minded scientists of the 20th century.
In this book, the author is attempting to make sense, as a philosopher, of the ideas of rationality put forward by economists, sociologists, and political theorists. The book intervenes in intense current debates within and among several disciplines. Its concern is with the true nature of social actors and the proper character of social science. Its arguments are the more challenging for being presented in simple, incisive, and lucid prose.
Conventional wisdom and commonsense morality tend to take the integrity of persons for granted. But for people in systematically unjust societies, self-respect and human dignity may prove to be impossible dreams.Susan Babbitt explores the implications of this insight, arguing that in the face of systemic injustice, individual and social rationality may require the transformation rather than the realization of deep-seated aims, interests, and values. In particular, under such conditions, she argues, the cultivation and ongoing exercise of moral imagination is necessary (...) to discover and defend a more humane social vision. Impossible Dreams is one of those rare books that fruitfully combines discourses that were previously largely separate: feminist and antiracist political theory, analytic ethics and philosophy of mind, and a wide range of non-philosophical literature on the lives of oppressed peoples around the world. It is both an object lesson in reaching across academic barriers and a demonstration of how the best of feminist philosophy can be in conversation with the best of “mainstream” philosophy—as well as affect the lives of real people. (shrink)
Oxford Studies in Epistemology is a biennial publicaton which offers a regular snapshot of state-of-the-art work in this important field. Under the guidance of a distinguished editorial board composed of leading philosophers in North America, Europe and Australasia, it will publish exemplary papers in epistemology, broadly construed. Topics within its purview include: *traditional epistemological questions concerning the nature of belief, justification, and knowledge, the status of scepticism, the nature of the a priori, etc; *new developments in epistemology, including movements such (...) as naturalized epistemology, feminist epistemology, social epistemology, and virtue epistemology, and approaches such as contextualism; *foundational questions in decision-theory; *confirmation theory and other branches of philosophy of science that bear on traditional issues in epistemology; *topics in the philosophy of perception relevant to epistemology; *topics in cognitive science, computer science, developmental, cognitive, and social psychology that bear directly on traditional epistemological questions; and *work that examines connections between epistemology and other branches of philosophy, including work on testimony and the ethics of belief. Anyone wanting to understand the latest developments at the leading edge of the discipline can start here. (shrink)
Recent work in artificial intelligence has increasingly turned to argumentation as a rich, interdisciplinary area of research that can provide new methods related to evidence and reasoning in the area of law. Douglas Walton provides an introduction to basic concepts, tools and methods in argumentation theory and artificial intelligence as applied to the analysis and evaluation of witness testimony. He shows how witness testimony is by its nature inherently fallible and sometimes subject to disastrous failures. At the same time such (...) testimony can provide evidence that is not only necessary but inherently reasonable for logically guiding legal experts to accept or reject a claim. Walton shows how to overcome the traditional disdain for witness testimony as a type of evidence shown by logical positivists, and the views of trial sceptics who doubt that trial rules deal with witness testimony in a way that yields a rational decision-making process. (shrink)
Offering an innovative approach to critical thinking, Good Reasoning Matters! identifies the essential structure of good arguments in a variety of contexts and also provides guidelines to help students construct their own effective arguments. In addition to examining the most common features of faulty reasoning--slanting, bias, propaganda, vagueness, ambiguity, and a common failure to consider opposing points of view--the book introduces a variety of argument schemes and rhetorical techniques. This edition adds material on visual arguments and more exercises.
This groundbreaking book is about Karl Popper's early writings before he began his career as a philosopher. The purpose of the book is to demonstrate that Popper's philosophy of science, with its emphasis on the method of trial and error, is largely based on the psychology of Otto Selz, whose theory of problem solving and scientific discovery laid the foundation for much of contemporary cognitive psychology. By arguing that Popper's famous defense of the method of falsification as well as his (...) elaboration of an evolutionary theory of knowledge are equally indebted to German psychology, Michel ter Hark challenges the received view of the development of Popper's philosophy. He concludes the book with a reinterpretation of Popper's theory of the mind-body problem, emphasizing its contemporary relevance. (shrink)
David Hume's Treatise on Human Nature and Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding are amongst the most widely-studies texts on philosophy. Hume's Epistemology and Metaphysics: An Introduction presents in a clear, concise and accessible manner the key themes of these texts. Georges Dicker clarifies Hume's views on meaning, knowledge, causality, and sense perception step by step and provides us with a sharp picture of how philosophical thinking has been influenced by Hume. Accessible to anyone coming to Hume for the first time, Hume's (...) Epistemology and Metaphysics is an indispensible guide to Hume's philosophical thinking. (shrink)
In this new book, Foley defends an epistemology that takes seriously the perspectives of individual thinkers. He argues that having rational opinions is a matter of meeting our own internal standards rather than standards that are somehow imposed upon us from the outside. It is a matter of making ourselves invulnerable to intellectual self-criticism. Foley also shows how the theory of rational belief is part of a general theory of rationality. He thus avoids treating the rationality of belief as a (...) fundamentally different kind of phenomenon from the rationality of decision or action. His approach generates promising suggestions about a wide range of issues--e.g., the distinction between epistemic and non-epistemic reasons for belief; the question of what aspects of the Cartesian project are still worth doing; the significance of simplicity and other theoretical virtues; the relevance of skeptical hypotheses; the difference between a theory of rational belief and a theory of knowledge; the difference between a theory of rational belief and a theory of rational degrees of belief; and the limits of idealization in epistemology. (shrink)
For over twenty years Nancy Hartsock has been a powerful voice in the effort to forge a feminism sophisticated and strong enough to make a difference in the real world of powerful political and economic forces. This volume collects her most important writings, offering her current thinking about this period in the development of feminist political economy and presenting an important new paper, “The Feminist Standpoint Revisited.”Central themes recur throughout the volume: in particular, the relationships between theory and activism, between (...) feminism and Marxism, and between postmodernism and politics. Readers will appreciate Hartsock’s account of how so much of her theoretical work grew directly out of the demands of the activist life. The Feminist Standpoint Revisited is an important record and a timely reevaluation of the development of feminist thought, as well as a contribution to current work. It will be a valuable resource for feminist theorists in a wide variety of disciplines. (shrink)
This second edition of Women, Knowledge and Reality continues to exhibit the ways in which feminist philosophers enrich and challenge philosophy. Essays by twenty-five feminist philosophers, seventeen of them new to the second edition, address fundamental issues in philosophical and feminist methods, metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophies of science, language, religion and mind/body. This second edition expands the perspectives of women of color, of postmodernism and French feminism, and focuses on the most recent controversies in feminist theory and philosophy. The (...) chapters are organized by traditional fields of philosophy, and include introductions which contrast the ideas of feminist thinkers with traditional philosophers. The collected essays illustrate both the depth and breadth of feminist critiques and the range of contemporary feminist theoretical perspectives. (shrink)
Ever since Plato, philosophers have faced one central question: what is the scope and nature of human knowledge? In this volume the distinguished philosopher Ernest Sosa collects essays on this subject written over a period of twenty-five years. All the major topics of contemporary epistemology are covered: the nature of propositional knowledge; externalism versus internalism; foundationalism versus coherentism; and the problem of the criterion.
Introduction: Scandals of Knowledge -- Pre-Post-Modern Relativism -- Netting Truth: Ludwik Fleck's Constructivist Genealogy -- Cutting-Edge Equivocation: Conceptual Moves and Rhetorical Strategies in Contemporary Anti-Epistemology -- Disciplinary Cultures and Tribal Warfare: The Sciences and the Humanities Today -- Super Natural Science: The Claims of Evolutionary Psychology -- Animal Relatives, Difficult Relations.
The Skeptic’s Oakeshott poses the thesis that Michael Oakeshott’s political philosophy is best understood from the vantage point of his skepticism and his intellectual affinity to Hobbes. Margaret Thatcher based much of her political philosophy on Oakeshott’s theories, but Gerencser shows how she widely misinterpreted his work. He argues persuasively against those who understand Oakeshott in terms of the influence of British idealism. Instead, Gerencser argues that Oakeshott adopts and softens Hobbes' idea of consent as the basis of political authority. (...) By insisting that political authority has its source in acknowledgement and recognition, Oakeshott’s philosophy opens the doors to democratic politics. The book ends with persuasive criticisms of Oakeshott. (shrink)