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Stewart Cohen (2002). Basic Knowledge and the Problem of Easy Knowledge.

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  1.  11
    Fallible Reasons on Behalf of Fallibilism.David Alexander - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    In this paper I introduce a problem regarding whether there are good reasons to accept fallibilism about justified belief. According to this species of fallibilism, one can be justified in believing a proposition on the basis of reasons that do not justify certainty. Call such reasons “fallible reasons.” The problem is this: can one justifiably believe fallibilism on the basis of fallible reasons? To do so would seem to beg the question. If you are undecided as to whether you should (...)
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  2.  2
    Why Reid Was No Dogmatist.Mark Boespflug - forthcoming - Synthese:1-15.
    According to dogmatism, a perceptual experience with p as its content is always a source of justification for the belief that p. Thomas Reid has been an extant source of inspiration for this view. I argue, however, that, though there is a superficial consonance between Reid’s position and that of the dogmatists, their views are, more fundamentally, at variance with one another. While dogmatists take their position to express a necessary epistemic truth, discernible a priori, Reid holds that if something (...)
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  3.  21
    Knowledge, Belief, and Egocentric Bias.Paul Dimmock - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    Changes in conversationally salient error possibilities, and/or changes in stakes, appear to generate shifts in our judgments regarding the correct application of ‘know’. One prominent response to these shifts is to argue that they arise due to shifts in belief and do not pose a problem for traditional semantic or metaphysical accounts of knowledge. Such doxastic proposals face familiar difficulties with cases where knowledge is ascribed to subjects in different practical or conversational situations from the speaker. Jennifer Nagel has recently (...)
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  4.  17
    Method Coherence and Epistemic Circularity.Will Fleisher - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-26.
    Reliabilism is an intuitive and attractive view about epistemic justification. However, it has many well-known problems. I offer a novel condition on reliabilist theories of justification. This method coherence condition requires that a method be appropriately tested by appeal to a subject’s other belief-forming methods. Adding this condition to reliabilism provides a solution to epistemic circularity worries, including the bootstrapping problem.
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  5. Knowability Relative to Information.Peter Hawke & Franz Berto - forthcoming - Mind.
    We present a formal semantics for epistemic logic, capturing the notion of knowability relative to information (KRI). Like Dretske, we move from the platitude that what an agent can know depends on her (empirical) information. We treat operators of the form K_AB (‘B is knowable on the basis of information A’) as variably strict quantifiers over worlds with a topic- or aboutness- preservation constraint. Variable strictness models the non-monotonicity of knowledge acquisition while allowing knowledge to be intrinsically stable. Aboutness-preservation models (...)
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  6.  11
    Evidentially Embedded Epistemic Entitlement.David Henderson & Terence Horgan - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    Some hold that beliefs arising out of certain sources such as perceptual experience enjoy a kind of entitlement—as one is entitled to believe what is thereby presented as true, at least unless further evidence undermines that entitlement. This is commonly understood to require that default epistemic entitlement is a non-evidential kind of epistemic warrant. Our project here is to challenge this common, non-evidential, conception of epistemic entitlement. We will argue that although there are indeed basic beliefs with default entitlement status, (...)
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  7.  23
    What is Deep Disagreement?Chris Ranalli - forthcoming - Topoi:1-16.
    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 (...)
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  8. The Evil Demon Inside.Nicholas Silins - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper examines how new evil demon problems could arise for our access to the internal world of our own minds. I start by arguing that the internalist/externalist debate in epistemology has been widely misconstrued---we need to reconfigure the debate in order to see how it can arise about our access to the internal world. I then argue for the coherence of scenarios of radical deception about our own minds, and I use them to defend a properly formulated internalist view (...)
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  9.  16
    Against the Perceptual Model of Utterance Comprehension.Brendan Balcerak Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):387-405.
    What accounts for the capacity of ordinary speakers to comprehend utterances of their language? The phenomenology of hearing speech in one’s own language makes it tempting to many epistemologists to look to perception for an answer to this question. That is, just as a visual experience as of a red square is often taken to give the perceiver immediate justification for believing that there is a red square in front of her, perhaps an auditory experience as of the speaker asserting (...)
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  10.  35
    Must Good Reasoning Satisfy Cumulative Transitivity?Shyam Nair - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1):123-146.
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  11.  21
    A New Understanding of the First-Person and Third-Person Perspectives.Alla Choifer - 2018 - Philosophical Papers 47 (3):333-371.
    Characterizing the first- and third-person perspectives is essential to the study of consciousness, yet we lack a rigorous definition of or criteria for these two perspectives. Our intuitive understanding of how personal pronouns help to specify the perspectives gives rise to mutually exclusive notions of the first-person perspective. This contradiction thwarts our progress in studying consciousness. We can resolve the current ambiguity of the first-person perspective by introducing a new distinction between the first-person and third-person perspectives, based on two modes (...)
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  12.  33
    Can Probability Theory Explain Why Closure is Both Intuitive and Prone to Counterexamples?Marcello Di Bello - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2145-2168.
    Epistemic closure under known implication is the principle that knowledge of \ and knowledge of \, together, imply knowledge of \. This principle is intuitive, yet several putative counterexamples have been formulated against it. This paper addresses the question, why is epistemic closure both intuitive and prone to counterexamples? In particular, the paper examines whether probability theory can offer an answer to this question based on four strategies. The first probability-based strategy rests on the accumulation of risks. The problem with (...)
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  13.  55
    Strange-but-True: A New Argument for Contextualism About ‘Know’.Paul Dimmock - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (8):2005-2015.
    A powerful objection to subject-sensitive invariantism concerns various ‘strange-but-true’ conditionals. One popular response to this objection is to argue that strange-but-true conditionals pose a problem for non-sceptical epistemological theories in general. In the present paper, it is argued that strange-but-true conditionals are not a problem for contextualism about ‘know’. This observation undercuts the proposed defence of SSI, and supplies a surprising new argument for contextualism.
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  14.  2
    Problems From Reid, By James Van Cleve Oxford University Press, 2016.Christopher S. Hill - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (4):515-526.
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  15.  61
    Varieties of Inference?Anna‐Sara Malmgren - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):221-254.
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  16. Skepticism and Epistemic Closure: Two Bayesian Accounts.Luca Moretti & Tomoji Shogenji - 2017 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (1):1-25.
    This paper considers two novel Bayesian responses to a well-known skeptical paradox. The paradox consists of three intuitions: first, given appropriate sense experience, we have justification for accepting the relevant proposition about the external world; second, we have justification for expanding the body of accepted propositions through known entailment; third, we do not have justification for accepting that we are not disembodied souls in an immaterial world deceived by an evil demon. The first response we consider rejects the third intuition (...)
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  17. The Composite Nature of Epistemic Justification.Paul Silva Jr - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1).
    According to many, to have epistemic justification to believe P is just for it to be epistemically permissible to believe P. Others think it is for believing P to be epistemically good. Yet others think it has to do with being epistemically blameless in believing P. All such views of justification encounter problems. Here, a new view of justification is proposed according to which justification is a kind of composite normative status. The result is a view of justification that offers (...)
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  18.  52
    Scepticism and Perceptual Justification.Matthias Steup - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):211-224.
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  19.  95
    Epistemic Perceptualism and Neo-Sentimentalist Objections.Robert Cowan - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):59-81.
    Epistemic Perceptualists claim that emotions are sources of immediate defeasible justification for evaluative propositions that can sometimes ground undefeated immediately justified evaluative beliefs. For example, fear can constitute the justificatory ground for a belief that some object or event is dangerous. Despite its attractiveness, the view is apparently vulnerable to several objections. In this paper, I provide a limited defence of Epistemic Perceptualism by responding to a family of objections which all take as a premise a popular and attractive view (...)
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  20.  78
    Perceptual Fundamentalism and a Priori Bootstrapping.Magdalena Balcerak Jackson - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2087-2103.
    According to Perceptual Fundamentalism we can have justified perceptual beliefs solely in virtue of having perceptual experiences with corresponding contents. Recently, it has been argued that Perceptual Fundamentalism entails that it is possible to gain an a priori justified belief that perception is reliable by engaging in a suppositional reasoning process of a priori bootstrapping. But I will show that Perceptual Fundamentalists are not committed to a priori bootstrapping being a rational reasoning process. On the most plausible versions of Perceptual (...)
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  21.  71
    Scepticism and Reliable Belief, Written by José L. Zalabardo. [REVIEW]Jack C. Lyons - 2016 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 6 (4):412-417.
  22.  67
    Hill on Epistemology.Matthew McGrath - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (3):841-849.
  23.  90
    Knowledge-to-Fact Arguments (Bootstrapping, Closure, Paradox and KK).Murali Ramachandran - 2016 - Analysis 76 (2):142-149.
    The leading idea of this article is that one cannot acquire knowledge of any non-epistemic fact by virtue of knowing that one that knows something. The lines of reasoning involved in the surprise exam paradox and in Williamson’s _reductio_ of the KK-principle, which demand that one can, are thereby undermined, and new type of counter-example to epistemic closure emerges.
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  24. Cognitive Penetration and the Epistemology of Perception.Nicholas Silins - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (1):24-42.
    If our experiences are cognitively penetrable, they can be influenced by our antecedent expectations, beliefs, or other cognitive states. Theorists such as Churchland, Fodor, Macpherson, and Siegel have debated whether and how our cognitive states might influence our perceptual experiences, as well as how any such influences might affect the ability of our experiences to justify our beliefs about the external world. This article surveys views about the nature of cognitive penetration, the epistemological consequences of denying cognitive penetration, and the (...)
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  25.  37
    One Dogma of Philosophy of Action.Matthew Smith - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2249-2266.
    An oft-rehearsed objection to the claim that an intention can give one reasons is that if an intention could give us reasons that would allow an agent to bootstrap herself into having a reason where she previously lacked one. Such bootstrapping is utterly implausible. So, intentions to φ cannot be reasons to φ. Call this the bootstrapping objection against intentions being reasons. This essay considers four separate interpretations of this argument and finds they all fail to establish that non-akratic, nonevil, (...)
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  26.  21
    The Aim of Justification and Epistemic Difference-Making Principles.Hamid Vahid - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (1):11-29.
    The idea that truth is the aim of justification is one that is often defended by theorists who uphold different views about the nature of epistemic justification. Despite its prevalence, however, it is not quite clear how one is to cash out the metaphor that justification aims at truth. Some theorists, for example, have objected that the thesis would leave no room for justified false beliefs and unjustified true beliefs. In this paper, I offer an account of what it is (...)
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  27. Solving the Moorean Puzzle.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):493-514.
    This article addresses and resolves an epistemological puzzle that has attracted much attention in the recent literature—namely, the puzzle arising from Moorean anti-sceptical reasoning and the phenomenon of transmission failure. The paper argues that an appealing account of Moorean reasoning can be given by distinguishing carefully between two subtly different ways of thinking about justification and evidence. Once the respective distinctions are in place we have a simple and straightforward way to model both the Wrightean position of transmission failure and (...)
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  28.  28
    Getting Off the Wheel.Patrick Bondy & Dustin Olson - 2015 - Metaphilosophy 46 (4-5):620-637.
    Roderick Chisholm argues that in giving an account of knowledge, we must either begin with an account of what knowledge is, and proceed on that basis to identify the particular things that we know, or else start with instances of knowledge, and proceed on that basis to formulate a definition of knowledge. Either approach begs the question against the other. This is the epistemic wheel. This article responds to Chisholm's challenge. It begins with cases of knowledge attribution and builds its (...)
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  29.  35
    What the Internalist Should Say to the Tortoise.Richard Fumerton - 2015 - Episteme 12 (2):209-217.
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  30. Epistemic Closure and Epistemic Logic I: Relevant Alternatives and Subjunctivism.Wesley H. Holliday - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (1):1-62.
    Epistemic closure has been a central issue in epistemology over the last forty years. According to versions of the relevant alternatives and subjunctivist theories of knowledge, epistemic closure can fail: an agent who knows some propositions can fail to know a logical consequence of those propositions, even if the agent explicitly believes the consequence (having “competently deduced” it from the known propositions). In this sense, the claim that epistemic closure can fail must be distinguished from the fact that agents do (...)
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  31.  70
    The Heterogeneity Problem for Sensitivity Accounts.Guido Melchior - 2015 - Episteme 12 (4):479-496.
    Offering a solution to the skeptical puzzle is a central aim of Nozick's sensitivity account of knowledge. It is well-known that this account faces serious problems. However, because of its simplicity and its explanatory power, the sensitivity principle has remained attractive and has been subject to numerous modifications, leading to a of sensitivity accounts. I will object to these accounts, arguing that sensitivity accounts of knowledge face two problems. First, they deliver a far too heterogeneous picture of higher-level beliefs about (...)
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  32.  54
    Gettier and the Method of Explication: A 60 Year Old Solution to a 50 Year Old Problem.Erik J. Olsson - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):57-72.
    I challenge a cornerstone of the Gettier debate: that a proposed analysis of the concept of knowledge is inadequate unless it entails that people don’t know in Gettier cases. I do so from the perspective of Carnap’s methodology of explication. It turns out that the Gettier problem per se is not a fatal problem for any account of knowledge, thus understood. It all depends on how the account fares regarding other putative counter examples and the further Carnapian desiderata of exactness, (...)
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  33. Respecting All the Evidence.Paulina Sliwa & Sophie Horowitz - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2835-2858.
    Plausibly, you should believe what your total evidence supports. But cases of misleading higher-order evidence—evidence about what your evidence supports—present a challenge to this thought. In such cases, taking both first-order and higher-order evidence at face value leads to a seemingly irrational incoherence between one’s first-order and higher-order attitudes: you will believe P, but also believe that your evidence doesn’t support P. To avoid sanctioning tension between epistemic levels, some authors have abandoned the thought that both first-order and higher-order evidence (...)
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  34.  44
    Epistemological Disjunctivism and Easy Knowledge.Joshua Stuchlik - 2015 - Synthese 192 (8):2647-2665.
    Stewart Cohen argues that basic knowledge is problematic, as it implies that subjects can acquire knowledge or justified beliefs about certain matters in ways that are supposedly too easy. Cohen raises two versions of the problem of easy knowledge, one involving the principle of closure and the other track-record style bootstrapping reasoning. In this paper I confront the problem of easy knowledge from the perspective of epistemological disjunctivism about perception. I argue that disjunctivism can do a better job than dogmatism (...)
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  35.  84
    Is Justification Easy or Impossible? Getting Acquainted with a Middle Road.Samuel Taylor - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):2987-3009.
    Can a belief source confer justification when we lack antecedent justification for believing that it’s reliable? A negative answer quickly leads to skepticism. A positive answer, however, seems to commit one to allowing pernicious reasoning known as “epistemic bootstrapping.” Puzzles surrounding bootstrapping arise because we illicitly assume either that justification requires doxastic awareness of a source’s epistemic credentials or that there is no requirement that a subject be aware of these credentials. We can resolve the puzzle by splitting the horns (...)
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  36.  77
    Unreliable Knowledge.John Turri - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):529-545.
    There is a virtual consensus in contemporary epistemology that knowledge must be reliably produced. Everyone, it seems, is a reliabilist about knowledge in that sense. I present and defend two arguments that unreliable knowledge is possible. My first argument proceeds from an observation about the nature of achievements, namely, that achievements can proceed from unreliable abilities. My second argument proceeds from an observation about the epistemic efficacy of explanatory inference, namely, that inference to the best explanation seems to produce knowledge, (...)
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  37.  13
    On the Significance of Difference‐Making Principles.Hamid Vahid - 2015 - Metaphilosophy 46 (4-5):564-574.
    It has been claimed that difference-making plays important roles in both metaphysics and epistemology. The idea is that facts often make a difference to other facts. Thus, causes are said to make a difference to their effects, and the world is thought to make a difference to what is believed. One way to cash out this idea is in terms of the notion of counterfactual dependence between the facts in question. It has recently been objected by some philosophers, however, that (...)
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  38.  52
    Knowing What's Not Up the Road by Seeing What's Right in Front of You: Epistemological Disjunctivism's Fake Barn Problem.Michael Veber - 2015 - Episteme 12 (3):401-412.
    Epistemological Disjunctivism is the view that rational support for paradigm cases of perceptual knowledge that P comes from seeing that P – a state that is both factive and reflectively accessible. ED has the consequence that if I see that there is a barn before me, I can thereby be in a position to know that I am not in fake barn country. It is argued that this is a problem. The problem is distinct from familiar complaints about Neo-Mooreanism and (...)
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  39. Counter Closure and Knowledge Despite Falsehood.Brian Ball & Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (257):552-568.
    Certain puzzling cases have been discussed in the literature recently which appear to support the thought that knowledge can be obtained by way of deduction from a falsehood; moreover, these cases put pressure, prima facie, on the thesis of counter closure for knowledge. We argue that the cases do not involve knowledge from falsehood; despite appearances, the false beliefs in the cases in question are causally, and therefore epistemologically, incidental, and knowledge is achieved despite falsehood. We also show that the (...)
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  40. What's the Matter with Epistemic Circularity?David James Barnett - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):177-205.
    If the reliability of a source of testimony is open to question, it seems epistemically illegitimate to verify the source’s reliability by appealing to that source’s own testimony. Is this because it is illegitimate to trust a questionable source’s testimony on any matter whatsoever? Or is there a distinctive problem with appealing to the source’s testimony on the matter of that source’s own reliability? After distinguishing between two kinds of epistemically illegitimate circularity—bootstrapping and self-verification—I argue for a qualified version of (...)
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  41. Epistemic Circularity, Reliabilism, and Transmission Failure.Patrick Bondy - 2014 - Episteme 11 (3):335-348.
    Epistemically circular arguments have been receiving quite a bit of attention in the literature for the past decade or so. Often the goal is to determine whether reliabilists (or other foundationalists) are committed to the legitimacy of epistemically circular arguments. It is often assumed that epistemic circularity is objectionable, though sometimes reliabilists accept that their position entails the legitimacy of some epistemically circular arguments, and then go on to affirm that such arguments really are good ones. My goal in this (...)
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  42.  75
    Difference‐Making in Epistemology.Juan Comesaña & Carolina Sartorio - 2014 - Noûs 48 (2):368-387.
  43. A Problem for Rationalist Responses to Skepticism.Sinan Dogramaci - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):355-369.
    Rationalism, my target, says that in order to have perceptual knowledge, such as that your hand is making a fist, you must “antecedently” (or “independently”) know that skeptical scenarios don’t obtain, such as the skeptical scenario that you are in the Matrix. I motivate the specific form of Rationalism shared by, among others, White (Philos Stud 131:525–557, 2006) and Wright (Proc Aristot Soc Suppl Vol 78:167–212, 2004), which credits us with warrant to believe (or “accept”, in Wright’s terms) that our (...)
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  44.  38
    Van Inwagen on Introspected Freedom.Jean-Baptiste Guillon - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (3):645-663.
    Any philosopher who defends Free Will should have an answer to the epistemological question: “how do we know that we have such a capacity?” A traditional answer to this question is that we have some form of introspective access to our own Free Will. In recent times though, many philosophers have considered any such introspectionist theory as so obviously wrong that it hardly needs discussion, especially when Free Will is understood in libertarian terms. One of the rare objections to appear (...)
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  45. Epistemic Akrasia.Sophie Horowitz - 2014 - Noûs 48 (4):718-744.
    Many views rely on the idea that it can never be rational to have high confidence in something like, “P, but my evidence doesn’t support P.” Call this idea the “Non-Akrasia Constraint”. Just as an akratic agent acts in a way she believes she ought not act, an epistemically akratic agent believes something that she believes is unsupported by her evidence. The Non-Akrasia Constraint says that ideally rational agents will never be epistemically akratic. In a number of recent papers, the (...)
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  46.  61
    Closure Provides No Relief From the Problem of Easy Knowledge.Matthew Lockard - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (2):461-469.
    Closure principles loom large in recent internalist critiques of epistemic externalism. Cohen (Philos Phenomenol Res 65:309–329, 2002, Philos Phenomenol Res 70:417–430, 2005), Vogel (J Philos 97:602–623, 2000), and Fumerton (Meta-Epistemology and skepticism. Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, 1995) argue that, given closure, epistemic externalism is committed to the possibility of implausibly easy knowledge. By contrast, Zalabardo (Philos Rev 114:33–61, 2005) proposes that epistemic closure actually precludes the possibility of easy knowledge, and appeals to closure principles to solve the problem of easy (...)
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  47.  38
    Davies on Easy Knowledge.Mark McBride - 2014 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 4 (1):1-20.
    Stewart Cohen considers a case where his son wants a red table for his room. Cohen and his son go to the furniture store. Cohen’s son is concerned that the table his father is considering purchasing, which appears red, may in fact be white with red lights shining on it. Cohen responds with the following reasoning: The table looks red. The table is red. If the table is red, then it is not white with red lights shining on it. The (...)
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  48.  99
    On the Truth-Conduciveness of Coherence.William Roche - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):647-665.
    I argue that coherence is truth-conducive in that coherence implies an increase in the probability of truth. Central to my argument is a certain principle for transitivity in probabilistic support. I then address a question concerning the truth-conduciveness of coherence as it relates to (something else I argue for) the truth-conduciveness of consistency, and consider how the truth-conduciveness of coherence bears on coherentist theories of justification.
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  49.  92
    The Agony of Defeat?Nicholas Silins - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3):505-532.
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  50. Does Doxastic Justification Have a Basing Requirement?Paul Silva Jr - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (2):1-17.
    The distinction between propositional and doxastic justification is the distinction between having justification to believe P (= propositional justification) versus having a justified belief in P (= doxastic justification). The focus of this paper is on doxastic justification and on what conditions are necessary for having it. In particular, I challenge the basing demand on doxastic justification, i.e., the idea that one can have a doxastically justified belief only if one’s belief is based on an epistemically appropriate reason. This demand (...)
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