Looking out the window, I see that it's raining outside. Do I know that it’s raining outside? According to proponents of the Entailment Thesis, I do. If I see that p, I know that p. In general, the Entailment Thesis is the thesis that if S perceives that p, S knows that p. But recently, some philosophers (McDowell 2002, Turri 2010, Pritchard 2011, 2012) have argued that the Entailment Thesis is false. On their view, we can see p and not (...) know that p. In this paper, I argue that their arguments are unsuccessful. (shrink)
What is the nature of deep disagreement? In this paper, I consider two similar albeit seemingly rival answers to this question: the Wittgensteinian theory, according to which deep disagreements are disagreements over hinge propositions, and the fundamental epistemic principle theory, according to which deep disagreements are disagreements over fundamental epistemic principles. I assess these theories against a set of desiderata for a satisfactory theory of deep disagreement, and argue that while the fundamental epistemic principle theory does better than the Wittgensteinian (...) theory on this score, the fundamental epistemic principle theory nevertheless struggles to explain the variety of deep disagreement. (shrink)
This paper explores the application of hinge epistemology to deep disagreement. Hinge epistemology holds that there is a class of commitments—hinge commitments—which play a fundamental role in the structure of belief and rational evaluation: they are the most basic general ‘presuppositions’ of our world views which make it possible for us to evaluate certain beliefs or doubts as rational. Deep disagreements seem to crucially involve disagreements over such fundamental commitments. In this paper, I consider pessimism about deep disagreement, the thesis (...) that such disagreements are rationally irresolvable, and ask whether the Wittgensteinian account of deep disagreement—according to which such disagreements are disagreements over hinge commitments—provides adequate support for pessimism. I argue that the answer to this question depends on what hinge commitments are and what our epistemic relation to them is supposed to be. I argue for two core claims. First, that non-epistemic theories of hinge commitments provide adequate support for pessimism. Nevertheless, such theories have highly implausible consequences in the context of deep disagreement. Secondly, at least one epistemic theory of hinge commitments, the entitlement theory, permits optimism about such disagreements. As such, while hinge epistemology is mainly pessimistic about deep disagreement, it doesn’t have to be. (shrink)
We revisit an important exchange on the problem of radical skepticism between Richard Rorty and Michael Williams. In his contribution to this exchange, Rorty defended the kind of transcendental approach to radical skepticism that is offered by Donald Davidson, in contrast to Williams’s Wittgenstein-inspired view. It is argued that the key to evaluating this debate is to understand the particular conception of the radical skeptical problem that is offered in influential work by Barry Stroud, a conception of the skeptical problem (...) which generates metaepistemological ramifications for anti-skeptical theories. In particular, we argue that, contra Williams, Rorty’s view that Davidson was offering a theoretical diagnosis of radical skepticism can be consistently maintained with his transcendental approach. (shrink)
According to Duncan Pritchard’s version of epistemological disjunctivism, in paradigm cases of perceptual knowledge, one’s knowledge that p is grounded in one’s seeing that p, and one can, by reflection alone, come to know that they see that p. In this paper, I argue that the epistemic conception of introspective indiscriminability is incompatible with epistemological disjunctivism, so understood. This has the consequence that theories of the nature of sensory experience which accept the epistemic conception of introspective indiscriminability—such as phenomenal character (...) disjunctivism and certain forms of naïve realism—are inconsistent with epistemological disjunctivism, so understood. I then argue that proponents of epistemological disjunctivism face a formidable challenge explaining in what sense, if any, one can have purely reflective knowledge of their factive rational support. (shrink)
How should we understand the relationship between the contents of our color, causal, modal, and evaluative beliefs, on the one hand, and color, causal, modal, and evaluative properties, on the other? According to Barry Stroud (2011), because of the nature of the contents of those types of beliefs, we should also think that what he calls a “negative metaphysical verdict” on the latter is not one that we could consistently maintain. The metaphysical project aims to arrive at an improved conception (...) of ourselves and our relation the world, no matter if that conception is positive or negative. But if Stroud is right that we cannot consistently arrive at the view that all of our causal, modal, and evaluative beliefs are systematically false, we will see that we cannot consistently reach the negative verdict. But failure to reach the negative verdict doesn’t mean that we have reached the positive verdict. Stroud calls this philosophical failure “metaphysical dissatisfaction”. In this paper, I argue that we can appropriate a metaepistemological response to the problem of the external world which shares its core features with Stroud’s (2000, 2011) arguments, but which nevertheless leaves us with a distinctive kind of epistemological dissatisfaction. (shrink)
An overview of the import of disjunctivism to the problem of radical scepticism is offered. In particular, the disjunctivist account of perceptual experience is set out, along with the manner in which it intersects with related positions such as naïve realism and intentionalism, and it is shown how this account can be used to a motivate an anti-sceptical proposal. In addition, a variety of disjunctivism known as epistemological disjunctivism is described, and it is explained how this proposal offers a further (...) way of responding to radical scepticism. (shrink)
Fumerton’s distinctive brand of metaepistemological scepticism is compared and contrasted with the related position outlined by Stroud. It is argued that there are at least three interesting points of contact between Fumerton and Stroud’s metaepistemology. The first point of contact is that both Fumerton and Stroud think that (1) externalist theories of justification permit a kind of non-inferential, perceptual justification for our beliefs about non-psychological reality, but it’s not sufficient for philosophical assurance. However, Fumerton claims, while Stroud denies, that (2) (...) direct acquaintance with facts is sufficient for philosophical assurance. And this is important because Stroud thinks that (3) we have direct perceptual access or acquaintance with facts about the external world, while Fumerton denies this. (shrink)
In his recent work, Duncan Pritchard defends a novel Wittgensteinian response to the problem of radical scepticism. The response makes essential use of a form of non-epistemicism about the nature of hinge commitments. According to non-epistemicism, hinge commitments cannot be known or grounded in rational considerations, such as reasons and evidence. On Pritchard’s version of non-epistemicism, hinge commitments express propositions but cannot be believed. This is the non-belief theory of hinge commitments. One of the main reasons in favour of NBT (...) over rival anti-sceptical Wittgensteinian views is that it has less theoretical costs and revisionary consequences than its rivals. In this paper, I argue that NBT fares at least as bad as its rivals in terms of its theoretical costs and revisionism. In particular, I argue that NBT is inconsistent with certain cases of philosophical disagreement; that it faces worries with mental-state scepticism; and that it faces difficulties in explaining how we can represent ourselves as committed to hinge commitments. (shrink)
_ Source: _Page Count 35 In his recent work, Duncan Pritchard defends a novel Wittgensteinian response to the problem of radical scepticism. The response makes essential use of a form of non-epistemicism about the nature of hinge commitments. According to non-epistemicism, hinge commitments cannot be known or grounded in rational considerations, such as reasons and evidence. On Pritchard’s version of non-epistemicism, hinge commitments express propositions but cannot be believed. This is the non-belief theory of hinge commitments. One of the main (...) reasons in favour of NBT over rival anti-sceptical Wittgensteinian views is that it has less theoretical costs and revisionary consequences than its rivals. In this paper, I argue that NBT fares at least as bad as its rivals in terms of its theoretical costs and revisionism. In particular, I argue that NBT is inconsistent with certain cases of philosophical disagreement; that it faces worries with mental-state scepticism; and that it faces difficulties in explaining how we can represent ourselves as committed to hinge commitments. (shrink)
The epistemological problem of the external world asks: (1) “How is knowledge of the world possible given certain obstacles which make it look impossible?” This is a “how-possible?” question: it asks how something is possible given certain obstacles which make it look impossible (cf. Cassam 2007; Nozick 1981; Stroud 1984). Now consider the following question, which asks: (2) “How is a philosophically satisfying answer to (1) possible?” Scepticism is the thesis that knowledge of the world is impossible. It therefore represents (...) a negative answer to the first question. Meta-epistemological scepticism is the thesis that a satisfying philosophical explanation of how our knowledge of the world is possible is itself not possible. It therefore represents a negative answer to the second question. In this thesis, I explore the prospects of meta-epistemological scepticism. In particular, I structure the thesis around two master arguments from Stroud (1984, 2000, 2004, and 2009) for meta-epistemological scepticism. The first argument is what I call “Stroud’s puzzle”, and the second argument is “Stroud’s dilemma” (cf. Cassam 2009). I argue that Stroud’s puzzle fails to provide adequate support for meta-epistemological scepticism. However, I also argue that Stroud’s dilemma withstands serious objections (e.g., from Sosa 1994, Williams 1996, and Cassam 2009). In short, while Stroud’s puzzle fails to provide adequate support for meta-epistemological scepticism, Stroud’s dilemma does seem to provide adequate support for meta-epistemological scepticism. This thesis therefore represents a partial defence of meta-epistemological scepticism. Meta-epistemological scepticism is therefore a live option in epistemology. (shrink)
La Jetée is a Chris Marker movie composed by still images, photographs, with the exception of a very short sequence. The paper aims to account for the experience of temporality induced by photography, framing the structural analysis of the movie in a phenomenological horizon, in particular with regard to the Husserlian’s notion of “Living Present”.
This article considers a selection of Chris Marker's films in the context of noted differences between Emmanuel Levinas's and Jacques Derrida's positions on the animal as Other, the potential for the animal face. Derrida (2008) himself argues that Levinas ‘did not make the animal anything like a focus of interrogation within his work’ (p. 105). Statements such as this about Levinas's ethics seem to make his position clear. In contrast, Derrida's thinking on the matter of the animal, and in (...) particular human responsibility for them as Other, stands as a thorough and influential body of ethical thought, probing the limited and limiting boundary between human and animal. His autobiographical texts, according to Lynn Turner (2015, p. 135), welcome animal others. Marker's images, I will argue, address an equity between species through what he refers to as the égalité du regard, an equality in the gaze (of the camera). These images speak to a space beyond themselves and it is within this territory, I will argue, that the animal does have a face, that can occur via that of the human. (shrink)
In 'Literature Suspends Death: Sacrifice and Storytelling in Kierkegaard, Kafka and Blanchot' Chris Danta takes Genesis 22 as the starting point for an investigation of the role of literary imagination. His aim is to read the Genesis story from a literary-theoretical perspective in order to show how it can 'illuminate the secular situation of the literary writer.' To do this, Danta stages a fruitful confrontation between Søren Kierkegaard as defender of religion and inwardness and Franz Kafka and Maurice Blanchot (...) as defenders of literature. In this review, three important points in this confrontation are highlighted. 1. The problem of identification. 2. The moment of substitution. 3. The spectrality of the writer. (shrink)
The Philosopher Queen: Feminist Essays on War, Love, and Knowledge. By Chris Cuomo. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003. The Philosopher Queen is a powerful illustration of what Cherríe Moraga calls a "theory in the flesh." That is, theorizing from a place where "physical realities of our lives—our skin color, the land or concrete we grow up on, our sexual longings—all fuse to create a politic [and, I would add, an ethics, spirituality, and epistemology] born out of (...) necessity" (Moraga 21). Cuomo's theory in the flesh combines standard philosophical essays with personal narratives and invites us to do philosophy from this joyful and witty place. Readers are invited to reframe and reexamine war, science, gender, sexuality, race, ecology, knowledge, and politics in a voice that is fearless, funny, faithful, and feminist—one that disrupts common understandings of how philosophy ought to be done. Instead philosophy should help us to "negotiate a wild, wicked world, and to provide some understanding of being and existence. The best philosophy aims to promote good and to produce knowledge, and therefore enable flourishing" (xi). Accepted philosophical approaches alone are inadequate. Life's challenges resist formulaic solutions. Knowledge is not always produced through neat deductions: truths are partial, power divides, stomachs growl, hearts are broken, and emotions influence... (shrink)
Chris Dragos has recently presented two objections to criticisms I've published against Peter van Inwagen's No-Minimum argument. He also suggests that the best way to criticize the No-Minimum argument is via the concept of divine satisficing. In this article I argue that both of Dragos's objections fail, and I question whether satisficing is relevant to the viability of the No-Minimum argument.
Why would anyone want there to be natural foundations for the social sciences? In a provocative essay exploring precisely that question, historian Chris Renwick uses an interwar debate featuring William Beveridge, Lancelot Hogben, and Friedrich Hayek to begin to imagine what might have been had such a program calling for biological knowledge to form the natural bases of the social sciences been realized at the London School of Economics. Yet perhaps Renwick grants too much attention to differences and “what-ifs” (...) and not enough to the historical question of “what happened” afterward. “Chickens and Eggs” offers an alternative view of this rather vexed question—one grounded in what happened, which suggests that Renwick’s concerns may be somewhat misplaced. (shrink)
Kant and Education brings together sixteen essays by an international group of scholars. The range of topics covered in the anthology is impressive. Kant's contribution to contemporary theories of education is central, as well as Kant's intellectual debt to Rousseau, the role of education in Kant's normative theories, and the impact of Kant's ideas on subsequent generations. Add to this the relative shortness of each essay (ten to fifteen pages), and one is left with an accessible introduction to a fascinating, (...) but often neglected, topic of Kant's ethical theory. The editors, Klas Roth and Chris W. Surprenant, have done an admirable job. (shrink)
I thought the paper by Kai-yee Wong and Chris Fraser was fascinating and insightful. Two things I especially appreciated are the clarity with which they summarize my views. I think they are quite fair and accurate. Second, I appreciate their suggestion that the way to deal with the practical problem of weakness of will has much to do with the role of the Background in shaping our actions. I think they are especially on the right track when they say (...) that the improvement of Background skills may actually narrow the range of real options for action, (p. 21) nonetheless, they do not decrease freedom. As they say, “It is a process of strengthening the self, and the agent is likely to experience the concomitant restriction of ‘live’ options not as a limitation but as strength of character.” (p. 21). That seems to me very much on the right track. What they are suggesting, and it is a powerful addition to my own writings, is that we should not just think of the Background as facilitating languages, games and social practices generally, but for morality as well (p. 23). (shrink)
This is my response to the papers by Chris Pincock, Lisa Warenski and Jonathan Weinberg, which were presented at the Book Symposium on my Essays on A Priori Knowledge and Justification, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meetings, March 16–19, 2014.
El presente artículo explora la presencia de un principio dialógico en la configuración de las subjetividades que interactúan en Level Five de Chris Marker con el objetivo de matizar la metáfora crítica que califica de forma consistente el cine del director francés como ejemplo del autorretrato. Mediante el concepto bajtiniano de “devenir ideológico”, el texto presta especial atención a la creciente importancia que juegan las tecnologías de la comunicación en los procesos de reacentuación discursiva que determinan en último término (...) la construcción de subjetividades. La noción de “imagen-red” busca poner de relieve las formas en las que la imagen digital ha propiciado el desarrollo de un nuevo pasaje de la imagen hacia un régimen representativo dominado por las ideas de intercambio autoinscripción cuyos ecos Level Five explora mediante el análisis de aspectos que van desde la dicotomía entre historia y memoria al papel de la imagen documental en la construcción de la realidad. This article analyzes the presence of a dialogic principle in the way subjectivities are constructed within Chris Marker’s Level Five, with a view to critically counteract the notion of Marker’s films as forms of the self-portrait. Through the Bakhtinian concept of “ideological becoming”, special attention is paid to the role played by new technologies of information and communication in the processes of re- accentuation which determine how subjectivities evolve in the context of the film. The concept of an “image-network” attempts to highlight the development of a new passage of the image towards a mode of representation dominated by a principle of exchange, whose importance is echoed in the film through the analysis of issues ranging from the dichotomy between memory and history to the relevance of documentary image for reality construction. (shrink)
The concept of archetypes has received a number of fundamentally different interpretations, and there are numerous additional philosophical concepts which can be characterized as modifications of those interpretations. Chris Nunn’s paper represents an approach to bringing a specific one among those concepts -- Richard Dawkins’ neo-Darwinistic conception of memes -- into contact with the notion of archetypes as it has been mainly popularized by Carl Gustav Jung. Nunn states rightly that Jung’s own understanding of and emphasis on archetypes changed (...) considerably during his lifetime. Therefore the difficulty is not only how to relate memes to archetypes, but also to distinguish that concept of archetypes to which memes relate from those to which they do not. (shrink)
Sciabarra replies to the seven respondents to his Fall 2002 essay on Rand, Rush, and progressive rock music. He defends the view that Rand's dialectical orientation underlies a fundamentally radical perspective. Rand shared with the counterculture—especially its libertarian progressive rock representatives—a repudiation of authoritarianism, while embracing the "unknown ideal" of capitalism. Her ability to trace the interrelationships among personal, cultural, and structural factors in social analysis and her repudiation of false alternatives is at the heart of that ideal vision, which (...) transcends left and right. (shrink)
Nurse Kaci Hickox is among the “Ebola Fighters” honored by Time magazine as its 2014 Person of the Year, having treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone while volunteering with Médecins Sans Frontieres. When she returned to the United States in October 2014, she was quarantined in New Jersey for three days before returning home to Maine under the terms of a negotiated release. A year later, in October 2015, Hickox filed suit in federal court against Governor Chris Christie and (...) New Jersey health officials, claiming that the quarantine violated her civil rights. Her complaint asserts that New Jersey officials lacked the authority to quarantine her because she did not pose a significant risk of transmission. The lawsuit raises important questions about disease-transmission risk, the inability of science to rule out certain theoretical risks, and the state's power to quarantine. It also demonstrates that population health depends on respecting individual liberty and using the best available epidemiological data to set public health policy. (shrink)
We review Potts' influential book on the semantics of conventional implicature , offering an explication of his technical apparatus and drawing out the proposal's implications, focusing on the class of CIs he calls supplements. While we applaud many facets of this work, we argue that careful considerations of the pragmatics of CIs will be required in order to yield an empirically and explanatorily adequate account.
Ethics in Early China: An Anthology is a major contribution to the philosophical study of early Chinese ethics and comparative ethics by a collection of some of the most distinguished scholars in these fields. This anthology honors Professor Chad Hansen's many and important contributions to the study of Chinese philosophy, but the work is not a festschrift per se. Instead of discussing the honoree's oeuvre in a collection of essays, these new, innovative, and outstanding writings engage, bear upon, develop, and (...) contend with important themes in Hansen's work, including, for example, Hansen's provocative interpretations of the meanings of dao 道 and de 德 in early Chinese sources, his analysis of the action-guiding .. (shrink)