In this important new book Nagel, one of the most distinguished philosophers writing in English today, presents a sustained defence of reason against the attacks of subjectivism. He offers systematic rebuttals of relativistic claims with respect to language, logic, science, and ethics.
Skepticism gives a pessimistic reply to questions on whether we really know the things we think we know, and whether our beliefs are reasonable. The theoretical and practical difficulties presented by the skeptical challenge--in that the skeptical life cannot be lived, and the doctrine seems self-defeating--are in fact superficial, according to Ruth Weintraub. Her study looks at several famous skeptical arguments of Descartes, Hume, and the ancient Greek skeptic, Sextus Empiricus. She argues that by drawing on philosophy, rather than science, (...) the skeptical challenge can be answered. (shrink)
Charting the development of the British tradition of naturalism from the 17th to the 19th century, this book provides fascinating insight into a wide range of thinkers, both Catholic and Protestant, who explored the themes of proof, practice, and the role of common sense. Reappraising what these thinkers can teach us about the relations between belief, action, and skepticism, Ferreira contributes to the philosophical study of naturalist replies to skepticism, as well as to a deeper appreciation of this particular segment (...) of British intellectual history. (shrink)
Eleven pairs of newly commissioned essays face off on opposite sides of fundamental problems in current theories of knowledge. Brings together fresh debates on eleven of the most controversial issues in epistemology. Questions addressed include: Is knowledge contextual? Can skepticism be refuted? Can beliefs be justified through coherence alone? Is justified belief responsible belief? Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, and paves the way for further discussion. Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in contemporary epistemology, (...) whilst also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers. (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)
Feminist critiques of the social sciences are based on the assumption that because the social sciences were developed for the most part by white, middle-class, Western men, the perspectives of women were ignored. This book offers an approach for integrating gender-related content into the social work curriculum. The distinguished contributors discuss the shortcoming of dominant knowledge, address the pressing need for a gender-integrated curriculum, consider the pedagogies consistent with the implementation of an integrate curriculum, address specific areas in social work (...) education, assessing content, and assumptions, and discuss strategic issues for the implementation of curricular knowledge. (shrink)
This collection of John Mackie's papers on topics in epistemology, some of which have not previously been published, deal with such issues as: incorrigible empirical statements; rationalism and empiricism; the philosophy of John Anderson; self-refutation; Plato's theory of idea; ideological explanation; problems of intentionality; Popper's third world;; mind, brain, and causation; Newcomb's Paradox and the direction of causation; induction; causation in concept, knowledge, and reality; absolutism; Locke and representative perception; and anti-realisms.
This book examines the philosophical tradition surrounding the question of reality and relativism, the belief that reality somehow depends on what we think. Robert Kirk outlines the myths and theories about reality and explores them in a thorough, concise and highly informative discussion of science, subjectivity, objectivity, truth and meaning. While analyzing some of the most important contemporary philosophers including Wittgenstein and Rorty, Kirk highlights the main areas of concern in contemporary analytic philosophy.
'Necessary knowledge' tackles one of the big questions - what knowledge do we possess at birth, and what do we learn along the way? It neither sides with those who believe in 'blank slate' theories, nor with those who believe all learning is innate. Instead, it proposes an original new solution to this enduring puzzle.
The problem of knowledge.--The acquisition of knowledge.--The assimilation of knowledge.--The deployment of knowledge.--Knowing, doing and being.--Absent objects.--The mind-body problem.--The knowledge of the known.--The subjectivity of a realist.--Activity as a source of knowledge.--On beliefs and believing.--Adaptive responses and the ecosystem.--The reality game.
A theory of understanding -- Truth's role in understanding -- Critique of justificationist and evidential accounts -- Do pragmatist views avoid this critique? -- A realistic account -- How evidence and truth are related -- Three grades of involvement of truth in theories of understanding -- Anchoring -- Next steps -- Reference and reasons -- The main thesis and its location -- Exposition and four argument-types -- Significance and consequences of the main thesis -- The first person as a case (...) study -- Fully self-conscious thought -- Immunity to error through misidentification relative to the first person -- Can a use of the first-person concept fail to refer? -- Some conceptual roles are distinctive but not fundamental -- Implicit conceptions -- Implicit conceptions : motivation and examples -- Deflationary readings rejected -- The phenomenon of new principles -- Explanation by implicit conceptions -- Rationalist aspects -- Consequences : rationality, justification, understanding -- Transitional -- Applications to mental concepts -- Conceiving of conscious states -- Understanding and identity in other cases -- Constraints on legitimate explanations in terms of identity -- Why is the subjective case different? -- Attractions of the interlocking account -- Tacit knowledge, and externalism about the internal -- Is this the myth of the given? -- Knowledge of others' conscious states -- Communicability : between Frege and Wittgenstein -- Conclusions and significance -- 'Another I' : representing perception and action -- The core rule -- Modal status and its significance -- Comparisons -- The possession-condition and some empirical phenomena -- The model generalized -- Wider issues -- Mental action -- The distinctive features of action-awareness -- The nature and range of mental actions -- The principal hypothesis and its grounds -- The principal hypothesis : distinctions and consequences -- How do we know about our own mental actions? -- Concepts of mental actions and their epistemological significance -- Is this account open to the same objections as perceptual models of introspection? -- Characterizing and unifying schizophrenic experience -- The first person in the self-ascription of action -- Rational agency and action-awareness -- Representing thoughts -- The puzzle -- A proposal -- How the solution treats the constraints that generate the puzzle -- Relation to single-level treatments -- An application : reconciling externalism with distinctive self-knowledge. (shrink)
Taylor, R. A tribute.--Epistemology: Cornman, J. W. Chisholm on sensing and perceiving. Ross, J. F. Testimonial evidence. Lehrer, K. Reason and consistency. Keim, R. Epistemic values and epistemic viewpoints. Hanen, M. Confirmation, explanation, and acceptance. Canfield, J. V. "I know that I am in pain" is senseless. Steel, T. J. Knowledge and the self-presenting.--Metaphysics: Cartwright, R. Scattered objects. Duggan, T. J. Hume on causation. Arnaud, R. B. Brentanist relations. Johnson, M. L., Jr. Events as recurrables.--Ethics: Stevenson, J. T. On doxastic (...) responsibility. Feldman, F. World utilitarianism. Lamb, J. W. Some definitions for the theory of rules. Donnelly, J. Suicide: some epistemological considerations. (shrink)
This author explores the intersection between cognitive science, as exemplified by the computational model of mind, and epistemologyó specifically, epistemic justification theory. Her analysis leads to the conclusion that some very specific and somewhat technical issues in epistemic justification theory can be at least partially resolved, if not entirely cleared up, by the use of the computational model. The third and fourth chapters of this work are devoted directly to that effort. Chapter one examines in detail epistemology and cognitive sciences, (...) while chapters two and three offer a thorough introduction to standard epistemic justification theory. Finally, chapter five is a critique of the computational model. (shrink)
This collection is one of the first to offer feminist perspectives on epistemology from thinkers outside North America. It presents essays from an international group of contributors, including Rosi Braidotti, Gemma Corradi Fiumara, Anna Yeatman, Sabina Lovibond and Liz Stanley. Using approaches and methods from both analytic and continental philosophy, the contributors engage with questions of traditional epistemology and with issues raised by postmodernist critiques. The essays deal with the central question of difference: the difference which a feminist perspective yields (...) in relation to traditional knowledge and the effects on feminist perspectives of differences between women. This awareness of difference requires a re-evaluation of the idea of objectivity and the justification of knowledge claims in ways that focus attention on the subjects who constitute the knowledge producers. Knowing the Difference presents some of the most innovative thinking in feminist epistemology and sets the agenda for the next decade. (shrink)
First published in 1976, this is a comprehensive study of practical thinking. Professor Körner shows the complex relations which a person's practical attitudes bear to each other, and shows in particular how their moral or prudential character depends not only on their content and form but also on their place in the system constituted by them. There are detailed accounts of the concepts of morality, prudence, justice, welfare and legality, as well as the logical foundations, epistemology and metaphysics of practical (...) thinking. The book is intended for philosophers and for those political theorists and social scientists who are concerned with the philosophical presuppositions and implications of their enquiries. The book is deliberately organized so that those with less interest in the logical issues dealt with in Part I can proceed quickly and easily to the more substantive issues in Parts II and III. (shrink)
The basic understanding which underlies scientific evidence - ideas such as the structure of experiments, causality, repeatability, validity and reliability- is not straightforward. But these ideas are needed to judge evidence in school science, in physics or chemistry or biology or psychology, in undergraduate science, and in understanding everyday issues to do with science. It is essential to be able to be critical of scientific evidence. The authors clearly set out the principles of investigation so that the reader will be (...) confident in questioning the experts, making an informed choice or arriving at in informed opinion. The book is intended for a wide range of readers including those who want to: } collect their own evidence } be able to question and judge a wide range of science-based issues that we come across in the press or other media in everyday life } teach others how to understand evidence. This book has been developed from the authors' work with first year undergraduates in a combined science course and in primary teacher training for science specialists. It is suitable for students training as primary science specialists, and also for 'A' level and first-year undergraduates in science and science-related subjects. (shrink)
The authors contend that most contemporary logic textbooks fail the average student because they emphasize the evaluation of arguments over their clarification, assuming that the student already understands what motivations underlie logic.
What is the meaning of reason in our postmodern society today? Is reason a weapon of domination, or can it also serve as a means for emancipation? Is it possible for reason to understand its "other"--what it is not? Confronting such questions, Bounds of Reason is a compelling discussion of the limits and meaning of rationality as a tool for understanding the ideas of truth, justice and freedom. Emilia Steuerman explores the modernist and postmodernist controversy between Habermas and Lyotard to (...) highlight the problems encountered both by a defense of reason and by the lack of meaning that haunts a world without it. Using Kleinian theory to examine the debate as it is manifested in the main philosophical themes of this century, Steuerman argues that a rational and ethical theory of justice must take into account that which is not rational, symmetrical or transparent--namely a primitive world of love and hatred which colors and shapes our perceptions. (shrink)
Epistemetrics is not as yet a scholarly discipline. With regard to scientific information there is the discipline of scientometrics, represented by a journal of that very name. Science, however, does not have a monopoly on knowledge. It is one of our most important cognitive resources, it is not our only one. While scientometrics is a centerpiece of epistemetrics, it is not the whole of it. Nicholas Rescher's endeavor to quantify knowledge is not only of interest in itself, but is also (...) instructive in bringing into sharper relief the nature of and the explanatory rationale for the limits that unavoidably confront our efforts to advance the frontiers of knowledge. In particular, his book demonstrates the limitations of human knowledge and will be of great value to scholars working in this area. (shrink)
From the back cover: "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 has collected his 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. The resulting book is a valuable resource for scholars and can (...) serve as a textbook for graduate seminars in epistemology.". (shrink)