Skepticism, Misc

Edited by Everett Fulmer (Loyola University, New Orleans)
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  1. Theoretical and Practical Reason: A Critical Rationalist View.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    If the task of theoretical reason is to discover truth, or reasons for belief, then theoretical reason is impossible. Attempts to circumvent that by appeal to probabilities are self-defeating. If the task of practical reason is to discover what we ought to do or what actions are desirable or valuable, then practical reason is impossible. Appeals to the subjective ought or to subjective probabilities are self-defeating. Adapting Karl Popper, I argue that the task of theoretical reason is to obtain theories (...)
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  2. Any Dispute May Be Resolved By Argument But Rational People May Disagree About Anything.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    Two common claims in philosophy are that deep disagreements cannot, in principle, be resolved by argument and that normal disagreements will be resolved by argument. In each claim it is assumed that the parties to the disagreement are rational. I argue that both claims are false. The first fails to take account of refutations. The second fails to recognise the role of conjectures in the dynamics of the growth of knowledge. There is no disagreement such that it is impossible for (...)
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  3. Are There Any Good Reasons?Danny Frederick - manuscript
    David Miller argues that there are no good reasons, either sufficient or insufficient. I show that most of his arguments are invalid or unsound. Several of his arguments depend upon the false claim that every deductively valid argument is circular. I accept one of Miller's arguments for the conclusion that there are no good reasons which are less-than-sufficient. I accept one of his arguments to the conclusion that there are no probative sufficient reasons. But I explain how there are epistemic (...)
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  4. God and Reality.Arman Hovhannisyan - manuscript
    Metaphysics has done everything to involve God in the world of being. However, in case of considering Reality as being and nothingness, naturally, the metaphysical approach toward the idea of God is losing its grounds. If Reality is being and nothingness, so the idea of God, too, should concern nothingness as well as being.
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  5. Non-Being and Nothingness.Arman Hovhannisyan - manuscript
    There is a common belief that non-being and nothingness are identical, a widespread, even general delusion the wrongness of which I will try to demonstrate in this work. And which I consider even more important, that is to define nothingness for further determination of “its” place and role in the reality and especially in human life.
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  6. Types of Boltzmann Brains.Alexey Turchin & Roman Yampolskiy - manuscript
    Abstract. Boltzmann brains (BBs) are minds which randomly appear as a result of thermodynamic or quantum fluctuations. In this article, the question of if we are BBs, and the observational consequences if so, is explored. To address this problem, a typology of BBs is created, and the evidence is compared with the Simulation Argument. Based on this comparison, we conclude that while the existence of a “normal” BB is either unlikely or irrelevant, BBs with some ordering may have observable consequences. (...)
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  7. Reply to Barry Stroud.Quassim Cassam - manuscript
    (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, forthcoming).
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  8. Rediscovering Scepticism.Alan Bailey - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 8.
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  9. Scepticism: The Current Debate.Douglas Odegard - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 8.
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  10. Radical educational cynicism and radical educational skepticism.Nicholas C. Burbules - forthcoming - Philosophy of Education.
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  11. Review of Peter Baumann, Epistemic Contextualism. [REVIEW]Roger Clarke - forthcoming - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism:1-6.
  12. Know Your Way Out of St. Petersburg: An Exploration of "Knowledge-First" Decision Theory.Frank Hong - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    This paper explores the consequences of applying two natural ideas from epistemology to decision theory: (1) that knowledge should guide our actions, and (2) that we know a lot of non-trivial things. In particular, we explore the consequences of these ideas as they are applied to standard decision theoretic puzzles such as the St. Petersburg Paradox. In doing so, we develop a “knowledge-first” decision theory and we will see how it can help us avoid fanaticism with regard to the St. (...)
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  13. Dialogues of Maximus and Themistius. [REVIEW]John Christian Laursen - forthcoming - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism.
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  14. Reasoning One's Way out of Skepticism.Susanna Rinard - forthcoming - In Brill Studies in Skepticism.
    Many have thought that it is impossible to rationally persuade an external world skeptic that we have knowledge of the external world. This paper aims to show how this could be done. I argue, while appealing only to premises that a skeptic could accept, that it is not rational to believe external world skepticism, because doing so commits one to more extreme forms of skepticism in a way that is self-undermining. In particular, the external world skeptic is ultimately committed to (...)
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  15. Knowledge without “Experience”.Michael Williams - forthcoming - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism:1-24.
    Genia Schönbaumsfeld argues that Cartesian skepticism is an illusion induced by the “Cartesian Picture” of perceptual knowledge, in which knowledge of the “external world” depends on an inference from how things subjectively seem to one to how they actually are. To show its incoherence, she draws on the work of John McDowell, which she sees as elaborating a central theme from Wittgenstein’s On Certainty. I argue that Cartesian skepticism is not an illusion, as Schönbaumsfeld understands ‘illusion’, and that McDowell’s account (...)
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  16. Veridicalism and Scepticism.Yuval Avnur - 2024 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (2):393-407.
    According to veridicalism, your beliefs about the existence of ordinary objects are typically true, and can constitute knowledge, even if you are in some global sceptical scenario. Even if you are a victim of Descartes’ demon, you can still know that there are tables, for example. Accordingly, even if you don’t know whether you are in some such scenario, you still know that there are tables. This refutes the standard sceptical argument. But does it solve the sceptical problem posed by (...)
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  17. Deceptive worlds, skepticism, and axiarchism.John Pittard - 2024 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 67 (6):1367-1402.
    Axiarchism holds that fundamental concrete reality is necessarily ordered toward goodness. I argue that it is not fully rational to reject axiarchism while also rejecting radical skepticism. A key premise in the argument is that among conceivable worlds that contain one’s internal duplicate, ‘epistemically inhospitable’ worlds (i.e. worlds where all or most of one’s internal duplicates are radically deceived) are predominant. This predominance of inhospitable worlds provides a prima facie reason for thinking that the actual world is probably inhospitable. To (...)
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  18. Hinge commitments as arational beliefs.Aliosha Barranco Lopez - 2023 - Synthese 201 (3):109 (2023).
    Hinge epistemology is a family of views that offers a novel approach to avoiding skeptical conclusions about the possibility of a posteriori justification of our empirical beliefs. They claim that at the basis of our empirical beliefs lie certain commitments whose rational status is not determined by our evidence. These are called hinge commitments. Prominent hinge epistemologists have claimed that hinge commitments are either rational or arational but yet not beliefs. I argue that such views are subject to decisive objections. (...)
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  19. Evil is still evidence: comment on Almeida.Robert Bass - 2023 - Religious Studies 1.
    Michael Almeida has recently tried to show that if S5 correctly represents metaphysical necessity, there can be no non-trivial evidence for or against the existence of the traditional God. Evidence would thus be irrelevant to the reasonability of traditional theistic belief. Almeida's argument has implications beyond its announced target: it amounts to a new argument for sweeping scepticism. Almeida's argument for the irrelevance of evidence to the existence of God would apply to any state of affairs that entails some metaphysical (...)
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  20. On Living the Testimonial Sceptic’s Life: Can Testimonial Scepticism Be Dismissed?Arnon Keren - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (1):333-354.
    Within the contemporary epistemology of testimony, it is widely assumed that testimonial scepticism can be dismissed without engaging with possible reasons or arguments supporting the view. This assumption of dismissibility both underlies the debate between reductionist and non-reductionist views of testimony and is responsible for the neglect of testimonial scepticism within contemporary epistemology. This paper argues that even given liberal assumptions about what may constitute valid grounds for the dismissal of a sceptical view, the assumption that testimonial scepticism is dismissible (...)
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  21. Knowledge from Non-Knowledge in Wittgenstein's On Certainty: A Dialogue.Michael Veber - 2023 - In Rodrigo Borges & Ian Schnee (eds.), Illuminating Errors: New Essays on Knowledge from Non-Knowledge. New York, NY: Routledge.
    Remarks in Wittgenstein’s On Certainty present a view according to which all knowledge rests on commitments to things we do not know. In his usual manner, Wittgenstein does not present a clearly defined set of premises designed to support this view. Instead, the reasons emerge along with the view through a series of often cryptic remarks. But this does not prevent us from critically assessing the position (or positions) one finds in the work. This paper attempts to do that in (...)
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  22. What philosophical disagreement and philosophical skepticism hinge on.Annalisa Coliva & Louis Doulas - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-14.
    Philosophers disagree. A lot. Pervasive disagreement is part of the territory; consensus is hard to find. Some think this should lead us to embrace philosophical skepticism: skepticism about the extent to which we can know, or justifiably believe, the philosophical views we defend and advance. Most philosophers in the literature fall into one camp or the other: philosophical skepticism or philosophical anti-skepticism. Drawing on the insights of hinge epistemology, this paper proposes another way forward, an intermediate position that appeals both (...)
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  23. Closure and the Lottery.Simon Dierig - 2022 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 99 (3):405-419.
    Ever since Fred Dretske (1970) questioned closure, a denial of this principle has been among the standard options for a resolution of epistemological paradoxes such as the skeptical paradox (Cohen 1988) and the lottery paradox (Harman 1973). In this article, the author shall argue that all possible solutions of the latter paradox can only be defended if Multi-Premise Closure is rejected. These possible solutions are contextualism and both simple and sensitive moderate invariantism. It will be shown that skepticism and the (...)
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  24. Fact-constructivism and the Science Wars: Is the Pre-existence of the World a Valid Objection against Idealism?Hector Ferreiro - 2022 - In Jesper Lundsfryd Rasmussen & Christoph Asmuth (eds.), Philosophisches Anfangen. Reflexionen des Anfangs als Charakteristikum des neuzeitlichen und modernen Denkens Kultur. Königshausen & Neumann. pp. 319–339.
    Metaphysics relies on the presupposition of the non-being of the world: since the world has once not existed it is necessary to postulate a cause for its existence, i.e. an extrinsic principle to explain the absolute beginning of the causal series of all things that constitute the world. After the critique of theologizing metaphysics by authors like Kant, Hegel and Nietzsche, the notion of an absolute beginning still persists though in a field in which it often goes as such unnoticed, (...)
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  25. New Perspectives on Epistemic Closure.Duncan Pritchard & Matthew Jope (eds.) - 2022 - London: Routledge.
    This volume features new perspectives on the topic of epistemic closure. It connects epistemic closure principles to related themes in epistemology such as scepticism, dogmatism, evidentialism, epistemic logic, and modal epistemology.
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  26. XII—Deferring to Doubt.Miriam Schoenfield - 2022 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 122 (3):269-290.
    In this paper I’ll suggest that a certain challenge facing defeatist views about higher-order evidence cannot be met, namely, motivating principles that recommend abandoning belief in cases of higher order defeat, but do not recommend global scepticism. I’ll propose that, ultimately, the question of whether to abandon belief in response to the realization that our belief can’t be recovered from what I’ll call ‘a perspective of doubt’ can’t be answered through rational deliberation aimed at truth or accuracy.
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  27. Skepticism, Fallibilism, and Rational Evaluation.Michael Hannon - 2021 - In Christos Kyriacou & Kevin Wallbridge (eds.), Skeptical Invariantism Reconsidered. New York, NY: Routledge.
    This paper outlines a new type of skepticism that is both compatible with fallibilism and supported by work in psychology. In particular, I will argue that we often cannot properly trust our ability to rationally evaluate reasons, arguments, and evidence (a fundamental knowledge-seeking faculty). We humans are just too cognitively impaired to achieve even fallible knowledge, at least for many beliefs.
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  28. False Intellectual Humility.Allan Hazlett - 2021 - In Mark Alfano, Michael Patrick Lynch & Alessandra Tanesini (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Humility. New York, NY: Routledge.
    This chapter explores a species of false modesty, false intellectual humility, which is defined as affected or pretended intellectual humility concealing intellectual arrogance. False intellectual humility is situated in a virtue epistemological framework, where it is contrasted with intellectual humility, understood as excellence in self-attribution of intellectual weakness. False intellectual humility characteristically takes the form of insincere expressions of ignorance or uncertainty – as when dogmatically committed conspiracy theorists insist that they just want to know what’s going on – and, (...)
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  29. Is Pyrrhonian Suspension Incompatible with Doubt?Diego E. Machuca - 2021 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 45:27-55.
    The Pyrrhonian skeptic’s stance, as described by Sextus Empiricus, is in good part defined by his suspending judgment or belief about all the matters he has so far investigated. Most interpreters of Pyrrhonism maintain that it is a mistake to understand this form of skepticism in terms of doubt because suspension as conceived of by the Pyrrhonist is markedly different from the state of doubt. In this article, I expound the reasons that have been offered in support of that prevailing (...)
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  30. On The Hypothetical Given.Adam Marushak - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):497-514.
    My aim in this paper is to assess the viability of a perceptual epistemology based on what Anil Gupta calls the “hypothetical given”. On this account, experience alone yields no unconditional entitlement to perceptual beliefs. Experience functions instead to establish relations of rational support between what Gupta calls “views” and perceptual beliefs. I argue that the hypothetical given is a genuine alternative to the prevailing theories of perceptual justification but that the account faces a dilemma: on a natural assumption about (...)
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  31. Dipendenza e indipendenza ontologica: il punto di vista del neoscetticismo.Lisa Paravan - 2021 - Esercizi Filosofici 16 (1):71-90.
    This contribution aims to explore scepticism’s implications with respect to the notions of ontological dependence and independence, referring especially to Peter Unger’s New Scepticism. First, a reconstruction is offered of the fundamental theoretical perspective acting as the backdrop of Unger’s scepticism, in relation to his volume Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism (1975). Then, light will be shed on the implications that this perspective has on the ontological level, referring also to some of Unger’s sceptical and nihilistic philosophy’s subsequent developments. At (...)
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  32. Falsifiability and the Duhem Problem.Danny Frederick - 2020 - In Against the Philosophical Tide: Essays in Popperian Critical Rationalism. Yeovil, UK.: Critias Publishing. pp. 15-19.
    It is often claimed that the Duhem problem shows that the notion of falsifiability is inapplicable to scientific theories. I explain why the claim is false.
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  33. The Gospel of Climate Skepticism: Why Evangelical Christians Oppose Action on Climate Change. By Robin GlobusVeldman. Pp. xi, 316, Oakland, CA, University of California Press, 2019, $29.95/£25.00. [REVIEW]Patrick Madigan - 2020 - Heythrop Journal 61 (1):197-197.
  34. The Disappearance of Ignorance. [REVIEW]Robin McKenna - 2020 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (1):4-20.
    Keith DeRose’s new book The Appearance of Ignorance is a welcome companion volume to his 2009 book The Case for Contextualism. Where latter focused on contextualism as a view in the philosophy of language, the former focuses on how contextualism contributes to our understanding of some perennial epistemological problems, with the skeptical problem being the main focus of six of the seven chapters. DeRose’s view is that a solution to the skeptical problem must do two things. First, it must explain (...)
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  35. How Many Normative Notions of Rationality? A Critical Study of Wedgwood’s The Value of Rationality.Giacomo Melis - 2020 - Analysis 80 (1):174-185.
  36. Introduction.Luca Moretti - 2020 - In Seemings and Epistemic Justification: how appearances justify beliefs. Cham: Springer.
    In this introduction I present the topic of the investigation carried out in this book and the central theses defended in it. I also clarify some assumption of my research, specify the intended audience of this book and summarize its structure.
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  37. Ainda é preciso ser neopirrônico [It is still necessary to be neo-Pyrrhonian].Waldomiro J. Silva Filho - 2020 - Discurso 50 (2):78-96.
    This article deals with two questions: why would the way in which the neopyrronicle conducts his philosophical activity be more virtuous than his dogmatic, non-pyrrhic colleague does? And why would the result he achieves be more valuable? That said, my answer to the first question is that the way the neo-Pyrrhonian investigates is more virtuous because it seeks to deliberately avoid the vices of precipitation, arrogance and mental closure. Regarding the second question, I suggest that the outcome of the neopyronic (...)
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  38. Common Sense, Scepticism and Deep Epistemic Disagreements.Angélique A. Thébert - 2020 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (2):129-155.
    Considering the persisting disagreement between the common sense philosophers and the sceptics, it seems that they are faced with a deep epistemic disagreement. Taking stock from Wittgenstein’s On Certainty, one generally thinks that deep epistemic disagreements cannot be rationally resolved. Hinge epistemology, inherited from Wittgenstein, is also considered as an illuminating detour to understand common sense epistemology. But is there really a deep epistemic disagreement between the common sense philosophers and the sceptics? Could it not be considered that they share (...)
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  39. Brains in Vats? Don't Bother!Peter Baumann - 2019 - Episteme 16 (2):186-199.
    Contemporary discussions of epistemological skepticism - the view that we do not and cannot know anything about the world around us - focus very much on a certain kind of skeptical argument involving a skeptical scenario (a situation familiar from Descartes’ First Meditation). According to the argument, knowing some ordinary proposition about the world (one we usually take ourselves to know) requires knowing we are not in some such skeptical scenario SK; however, since we cannot know that we are not (...)
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  40. Descartes Foundationalism: An Answer to the Skeptics’ or A Way Out?Ncha Gabriel Bubu - 2019 - Social Sciences Studies Journal 5 (44):5232-5237.
    The phenomenon of knowledge is a fundamental issue in epistemology as a main branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge related problems. Over time, epistemologists attempted to give us or provide clues as to what reality actually is, that is the question of the certainty of knowledge has always been topical in any epistemic enterprise. The search for knowledge becomes more cumbersome when one considers the challenge of the skeptics and sophists about the ability of man knowing anything for certain. To (...)
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  41. Bredo Johnsen. Righting Epistemology: Hume’s Revolution. [REVIEW]Matt Carlson - 2019 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 7 (5):32-38.
  42. Radical Scepticism and the Epistemology of Confusion.J. Adam Carter - 2019 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism (3):1-15.
    The lack of knowledge—as Timothy Williamson (2000) famously maintains—is ignorance. Radical sceptical arguments, at least in the tradition of Descartes, threaten universal ignorance. They do so by attempting to establish that we lack any knowledge, even if we can retain other kinds of epistemic standings, like epistemically justified belief. If understanding is a species of knowledge, then radical sceptical arguments threaten to rob us categorically of knowledge and understanding in one fell swoop by implying universal ignorance. If, however, understanding is (...)
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  43. On the Nature of Hinge Commitments.Eros Carvalho - 2019 - Sképsis 10 (19):55-66.
    This is a critical commentary on Pritchard's book Epistemic Angst. In Section 2, I present the closure-based radical skeptical paradox. Then in Section 3, I sketch Pritchard’s undercutting response to this paradox. Finally, in Section 4, I put forward two concerns about Pritchard’s response and I also propose a reading of hinge commitments, the ability reading, that might put some pressure on Pritchard’s own reading of these commitments.
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  44. Philosophical Assumptions and Philosophies of Sciences: (Meta-Philosophy).Ulrich de Balbian - 2019 - Oxford: Academic Publishers.
    Explorations of different philosophies of science, their (metaphysical, epistemological, ontological and other assumptions).These are the institutionalized empiricist approaches and the post-cognitive ones, but still anthropo-centered and (inter) subject-oriented ones. Their pre-suppositions are identified and alternatives are suggested.
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  45. Identity Politics, Irrationalism, and Totalitarianism: Karl Popper and the Contemporary Malaise.Danny Frederick - 2019 - Cosmos + Taxis 6 (6-7):31-32.
    Introduction to my three essays on the relevance of Karl Popper to contemporary social, political and philosophical problems.
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  46. What's the Point of Knowledge? A Function-First Epistemology.Michael Hannon - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    This book is about the nature and value of knowledge. At its core is a simple idea: we can answer many interesting and difficult philosophical questions by reflecting on the role (purpose, function) of epistemic evaluation in human life. I call this approach ‘function-first epistemology’. I use this method to illuminate the nature and value of knowledge, the foundations of epistemic normativity, the epistemology of testimony, and skepticism.
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  47. How to Solve the Puzzle of Peer Disagreement.Michele Palmira - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (1):83-96.
    While it seems hard to deny the epistemic significance of a disagreement with our acknowledged epistemic peers, there are certain disagreements, such as philosophical disagreements, which appear to be permissibly sustainable. These two claims, each independently plausible, are jointly puzzling. This paper argues for a solution to this puzzle. The main tenets of the solution are two. First, the peers ought to engage in a deliberative activity of discovering more about their epistemic position vis-à-vis the issue at stake. Secondly, the (...)
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  48. Skepticism and Evolution.N. Ángel Pinillos - 2019 - In Brian Kim & Matthew McGrath (eds.), Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology. New York: Routledge.
    I develop a cognitive account of how humans make skeptical judgments (of the form “X does not know p”). In my view, these judgments are produced by a special purpose metacognitive "skeptical" mechanism which monitors our reasoning for hasty or overly risky assumptions. I argue that this mechanism is modular and shaped by natural selection. The explanation for why the mechanism is adaptive essentially relies on an internalized principle connecting knowledge and action, a principle central to pragmatic encroachment theories. I (...)
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  49. Epistemologia Analítica, Vol .1: debates contemporâneos.Tiegue Vieira Rodrigues (ed.) - 2019 - Editora Fi.
    O presente volume se trata de uma coletânea de artigos que reúne alguns dos trabalhos propostos para o evento “III International Colloquium of Analytic Epistemology and VII Conference of Social Epistemology”, realizado entre os dias 27 e 30 de Novembro de 2018, na Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. O “III International Colloquium of Analytic Epistemology and VII Conference of Social Epistemology” é um dos principais eventos de Epistemologia analítica da América Latina e reúne especialistas do Brasil e do exterior para (...)
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  50. The basing relation and the impossibility of the debasing demon.Patrick Bondy & J. Adam Carter - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (3):203.
    Descartes’ demon is a deceiver: the demon makes things appear to you other than as they really are. However, as Descartes famously pointed out in the Second Meditation, not all knowledge is imperilled by this kind of deception. You still know you are a thinking thing. Perhaps, though, there is a more virulent demon in epistemic hell, one from which none of our knowledge is safe. Jonathan Schaffer thinks so. The “Debasing Demon” he imagines threatens knowledge not via the truth (...)
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