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Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism

Oxford [Eng.]: Oxford University Press (1975)

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  1. One Kind of Asking.Dennis Whitcomb - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266).
    This paper extends several themes from recent work on norms of assertion. It does as much by applying those themes to the speech act of asking. In particular, it argues for the view that there is a species of asking which is governed by a certain norm, a norm to the effect that one should ask a question only if one doesn’t know its answer.
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  • Lucky Ignorance, Modality and Lack of Knowledge.Oscar A. Piedrahita - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (3).
    I argue against the Standard View of ignorance, according to which ignorance is defined as equivalent to lack of knowledge, that cases of environmental epistemic luck, though entailing lack of knowledge, do not necessarily entail ignorance. In support of my argument, I contend that in cases of environmental luck an agent retains what I call epistemic access to the relevant fact by successfully exercising her epistemic agency and that ignorance and non-ignorance, contrary to what the Standard View predicts, are not (...)
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  • Believing Things Unknown.Aidan McGlynn - 2011 - Noûs 47 (2):385-407.
  • A Practical Explication of the Knowledge Rule of Informative Speech Acts.Christoph Kelp - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (3):367-383.
    This paper defends the knowledge rule of informative speech acts. It is argued that Edward Craig's insightful practical explication of the concept of knowledge can be extended to motivate the knowledge rule. A number of problem cases for the knowledge rule are addressed and accommodated.
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  • Never say never.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - Topoi 13 (2):135-145.
    I. An argument is presented for the conclusion that the hypothesis that no one will ever decide a given proposition is intuitionistically inconsistent. II. A distinction between sentences and statements blocks a similar argument for the stronger conclusion that the hypothesis that I have not yet decided a given proposition is intuitionistically inconsistent, but does not block the original argument. III. A distinction between empirical and mathematical negation might block the original argument, and empirical negation might be modelled on Nelson''s (...)
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  • Skepticism and Contextualism.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2016 - In Diego Machuca & Baron Reed (eds.), Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 620-633.
  • Attitudes, Conditional and General.Daniel Drucker - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy.
    I consider difficult data involving the interaction of attitudes and conditionals, specifically non-doxastic attitude expressions like 'regret'. I first show that felicitous attitude conditionals in "ignorance contexts", where the relevant person doesn't know the antecedent is true, give rise to a number of difficult problems given widely held assumptions in semantics. I then argue that, even so, we should expect these conditionals to be true and reasonable to utter in ignorance contexts, given certain other kinds of attitude construction that tend (...)
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  • Knowledge and Action: What Depends on What?Itamar Weinshtock Saadon - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Epistemology.
    Some philosophers think that knowledge or justification is both necessary and sufficient for rational action: they endorse knowledge-action or justification-action biconditionals. This paper offers a novel, metaphysical challenge to these biconditionals, which proceeds with a familiar question: What depends on what? If you know that p iff it is rational for you to act on p, do you know that p partly because it is rational for you to act on p, or is it rational for you to act on (...)
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  • Externalism Explained.Clayton Littlejohn - 2023 - In Luis R. G. Oliveira (ed.), Externalism about Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This is a defence of externalism about knowledge and also about justification. In this paper, I argue that an important virtue of externalism about these notions is that externalism about justification helps to explain the value of (i.e., importance of) knowledge. I also develop and expand upon some of my earlier arguments for externalism that drew upon what's now known as 'morally loaded cases'. The virtue of externalism is that it's the only view that can both allow for certain kinds (...)
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  • Imagining as a Guide to Possibility.Peter Kung - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):620-663.
    I lay out the framework for my theory of sensory imagination in “Imagining as a guide to possibility.” Sensory imagining involves mental imagery , and crucially, in describing the content of imagining, I distinguish between qualitative content and assigned content. Qualitative content derives from the mental image itself; for visual imaginings, it is what is “pictured.” For example, visually imagine the Philadelphia Eagles defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers to win their first Super Bowl. You picture the greenness of the field and (...)
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  • Why Philosophy Can Overturn Common Sense.Susanna Rinard - 2013 - In Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology: Volume 4. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK. pp. 185.
    In part one I present a positive argument for the claim that philosophical argument can rationally overturn common sense. It is widely agreed that science can overturn common sense. But every scientific argument, I argue, relies on philosophical assumptions. If the scientific argument succeeds, then its philosophical assumptions must be more worthy of belief than the common sense proposition under attack. But this means there could be a philosophical argument against common sense, each of whose premises is just as worthy (...)
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  • Rationalism and the strong programme of the sociology of knowleke: Reconciliation without tears.Joseph Wayne Smith - 1983 - Philosophical Papers 12 (1):1-31.
    (1983). RATIONALISM AND THE STRONG PROGRAMME OF THE SOCIOLOGY OF KNOWLEKE: RECONCILIATION WITHOUT TEARS. Philosophical Papers: Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 1-31.
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  • The value of epistemology: A defense.James E. Taylor - 1999 - Philosophical Papers 28 (3):169-185.
  • What we can say about what we can do: A defense of the conditional analysis of 'can'.Jan Thomas - 1995 - Philosophical Papers 24 (3):167-182.
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  • Standing in a Garden of Forking Paths.Clayton Littlejohn - 2018 - In McCain Kevin (ed.), Believing in Accordance with the Evidence: New Essays on Evidentialism. Cham: Springer Verlag.
    According to the Path Principle, it is permissible to expand your set of beliefs iff (and because) the evidence you possess provides adequate support for such beliefs. If there is no path from here to there, you cannot add a belief to your belief set. If some thinker with the same type of evidential support has a path that they can take, so do you. The paths exist because of the evidence you possess and the support it provides. Evidential support (...)
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  • Moore's Paradox and Assertion.Clayton Littlejohn - 2020 - In Goldberg Sanford (ed.), Oxford Handbook on Assertion. Oxford University Press.
    If I were to say, “Agnes does not know that it is raining, but it is,” this seems like a perfectly coherent way of describing Agnes’s epistemic position. If I were to add, “And I don’t know if it is, either,” this seems quite strange. In this chapter, we shall look at some statements that seem, in some sense, contradictory, even though it seems that these statements can express propositions that are contingently true or false. Moore thought it was paradoxical (...)
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  • Assessment Sensitivity: Relative Truth and its Applications.John MacFarlane - 2014 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    John MacFarlane explores how we might make sense of the idea that truth is relative. He provides new, satisfying accounts of parts of our thought and talk that have resisted traditional methods of analysis, including what we mean when we talk about what is tasty, what we know, what will happen, what might be the case, and what we ought to do.
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  • To lie or to mislead?Felix Https://Orcidorg Timmermann & Emanuel Https://Orcidorg Viebahn - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1481-1501.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that lying differs from mere misleading in a way that can be morally relevant: liars commit themselves to something they believe to be false, while misleaders avoid such commitment, and this difference can make a moral difference. Even holding all else fixed, a lie can therefore be morally worse than a corresponding misleading utterance. But, we argue, there are also cases in which the difference in commitment makes lying morally better than misleading, (...)
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  • Is an Increase in Probability Always an Increase in Evidential Support?Artūrs Https://Orcidorg Logins - 2020 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1231-1255.
    Peter Achinstein has argued at length and on many occasions that the view according to which evidential support is defined in terms of probability-raising faces serious counterexamples and, hence, should be abandoned. Proponents of the positive probabilistic relevance view have remained unconvinced. The debate seems to be in a deadlock. This paper is an attempt to move the debate forward and revisit some of the central claims within this debate. My conclusion here will be that while Achinstein may be right (...)
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  • The Problem of Massive Deception for Justification Norms of Action.Arturs Logins - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (4):457-468.
    In this paper, I argue against recent versions of justification norms of action and practical deliberation . I demonstrate that these norms yield unacceptable results in deception cases. However, a further modification of justification norms in the light of these results appears to be ad hoc. Hence, I claim, we should reject justification norms of action and practical deliberation.
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  • Two-state solution to the lottery paradox.Arturs Logins - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3465-3492.
    This paper elaborates a new solution to the lottery paradox, according to which the paradox arises only when we lump together two distinct states of being confident that p under one general label of ‘belief that p’. The two-state conjecture is defended on the basis of some recent work on gradable adjectives. The conjecture is supported by independent considerations from the impossibility of constructing the lottery paradox both for risk-tolerating states such as being afraid, hoping or hypothesizing, and for risk-averse, (...)
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  • Contrastive knowledge.Jonathan Schaffer - 2005 - In Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 235.
    Does G. E. Moore know that he has hands? Yes, says the dogmatist: Moore’s hands are right before his eyes. No, says the skeptic: for all Moore knows he could be a brain-in-a-vat. Yes and no, says the contrastivist: yes, Moore knows that he has hands rather than stumps; but no, Moore does not know that he has hands rather than vat-images of hands. The dogmatist and the skeptic suppose that knowledge is a binary, categorical relation: s knows that p. (...)
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  • What's the Point of Understanding?Michael Hannon - 2019 - In What's the Point of Knowledge? A Function-First Epistemology. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    What is human understanding and why should we care about it? I propose a method of philosophical investigation called ‘function-first epistemology’ and use this method to investigate the nature and value of understanding-why. I argue that the concept of understanding-why serves the practical function of identifying good explainers, which is an important role in the general economy of our concepts. This hypothesis sheds light on a variety of issues in the epistemology of understanding including the role of explanation, the relationship (...)
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  • Assertion and Modality.Fabrizio Cariani - 2018 - In Sanford C. Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford University Press. pp. 505-528.
    This essay is an opinionated exploration of the constraints that modal discourse imposes on the theory of assertion. Primary focus is on the question whether modal discourse challenges the traditional view that all assertions have propositional content. This question is tackled largely with reference to discourse involving epistemic modals, although connections with other flavors of modality are noted along the way.
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  • 'Explicating ways of consensus-making: Distinguishing the academic, the interface and the meta-consensus.Laszlo Kosolosky & Jeroen Van Bouwel - 2014 - In Martini Carlo (ed.), Experts and Consensus in Social Science. Springer. pp. 71-92.
  • Intuitive Evidence and Experimental Philosophy.Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa - 2016 - In Jennifer Nado (ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy & Philosophical Methodology. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 155–73.
    In recent years, some defenders of traditional philosophical methodology have argued that certain critiques of armchair methods are mistaken in assuming that intuitions play central evidential roles in traditional philosophical methods. According to this kind of response, experimental philosophers attack a straw man; it doesn’t matter whether intuitions are reliable, because philosophers don’t use intuitions in the way assumed. Deutsch (2010), Williamson (2007), and Cappelen (2012) all defend traditional methods in something like this way. I also endorsed something like this (...)
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  • Castles Built on Clouds: Vague Identity and Vague Objects.Benjamin L. Curtis & Harold W. Noonan - 2014 - In Ken Akiba & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.), Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness. Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer. pp. 305-326.
    Can identity itself be vague? Can there be vague objects? Does a positive answer to either question entail a positive answer to the other? In this paper we answer these questions as follows: No, No, and Yes. First, we discuss Evans’s famous 1978 argument and argue that the main lesson that it imparts is that identity itself cannot be vague. We defend the argument from objections and endorse this conclusion. We acknowledge, however, that the argument does not by itself establish (...)
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  • Knowledge-First Evidentialism about Rationality.Julien Dutant - forthcoming - In Julien Dutant Fabian Dorsch (ed.), The New Evil Demon Problem. Oxford University Press.
    Knowledge-first evidentialism combines the view that it is rational to believe what is supported by one's evidence with the view that one's evidence is what one knows. While there is much to be said for the view, it is widely perceived to fail in the face of cases of reasonable error—particularly extreme ones like new Evil Demon scenarios (Wedgwood, 2002). One reply has been to say that even in such cases what one knows supports the target rational belief (Lord, 201x, (...)
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  • A Plea for Epistemic Excuses.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Julien Dutant Fabian Dorsch (ed.), The New Evil Demon Problem. Oxford University Press.
    The typical epistemology course begins with a discussion of the distinction between justification and knowledge and ends without any discussion of the distinction between justification and excuse. This is unfortunate. If we had a better understanding of the justification-excuse distinction, we would have a better understanding of the intuitions that shape the internalism-externalism debate. My aims in this paper are these. First, I will explain how the kinds of excuses that should interest epistemologists exculpate. Second, I will explain why the (...)
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  • On the Possibility of Skeptical Scenarios.Peter Kung - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (3):387-407.
    : It is generally accepted that skeptical scenarios must be possible to raise legitimate skeptical doubt. I argue that if the possibility in question is supposed to be genuine metaphysical possibility, the skeptic's reasoning does not straightforwardly succeed. I first motivate the metaphysical possibility requirement on skeptical scenarios : it's a plausible position that several authors accept and that a family of prominent views—sensitivity, safety, relevant alternatives—are committed to. I argue that plausible constraints in modal epistemology show that justification for (...)
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  • Epistemic authority, testimony and the transmission of knowledge†.Arnon Keren - 2007 - Episteme 4 (3):368-381.
    I present an account of what it is to trust a speaker, and argue that the account can explain the common intuitions which structure the debate about the transmission view of testimony. According to the suggested account, to trust a speaker is to grant her epistemic authority on the asserted proposition, and hence to see her opinion as issuing a second order, preemptive reason for believing the proposition. The account explains the intuitive appeal of the basic principle associated with the (...)
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  • The Modal Future: A Theory of Future-Directed Thought and Talk.Fabrizio Cariani - 2021 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    Provisional draft, pre-production copy of my book “The Modal Future” (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press).
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  • Contextualism, invariantism and semantic blindness.Martin Montminy - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):639-657.
    Epistemic contextualism, many critics argue, entails that ordinary speakers are blind to the fact that knowledge claims have context-sensitive truth conditions. This attribution of blindness, critics add, seriously undermines contextualism. I show that this criticism and, in general, discussions about the error theory entailed by contextualism, greatly underestimates the complexity and diversity of the data about ordinary speakers? inter-contextual judgments, as well as the range of explanatory moves that are open to both invariantists and contextualists concerning such judgments. Contextualism does (...)
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  • Ajdukiewicz on skepticism.Renata Ziemińska - 2016 - Studies in East European Thought 68 (1):51-62.
    Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz understands skepticism as the thesis that there is no criterion of truth and that the justification of any thesis is impossible. According to Ajdukiewicz, a typical skeptic confuses two levels of justification: the first order justification of a proposition s and the second order justification of the proposition that s is justified. However, the first-order justification is possible without second-order justification. This argument presented by Ajdukiewicz in 1923 heralded the epistemic externalism concerning justification developed by Alvin Goldman in (...)
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  • Virtues, social roles, and contextualism.Sarah Wright - 2010 - Metaphilosophy 41 (1-2):95-114.
    : Contextualism in epistemology has been proposed both as a way to avoid skepticism and as an explanation for the variability found in our use of "knows." When we turn to contextualism to perform these two functions, we should ensure that the version we endorse is well suited for these tasks. I compare two versions of epistemic contextualism: attributor contextualism and methodological contextualism. I argue that methodological contextualism is superior both in its response to skepticism and in its mechanism for (...)
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  • Internalism in the Epistemology of Testimony.Stephen Wright - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (1):69-86.
    This paper objects to internalist theories of justification from testimony on the grounds that they can’t accommodate intuitions about a pair of cases. The pair of cases involved is a testimonial version of the cases involved in the New Evil Demon Argument. The role of New Evil Demon cases in motivating contemporary internalist theories of knowledge and justification notwithstanding, it is argued here that testimonial cases make an intuitive case against internalist theories of justification from testimony.
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  • Four grades of ignorance-involvement and how they nourish the cognitive economy.John Woods - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3339-3368.
    In the human cognitive economy there are four grades of epistemic involvement. Knowledge partitions into distinct sorts, each in turn subject to gradations. This gives a fourwise partition on ignorance, which exhibits somewhat different coinstantiation possibilities. The elements of these partitions interact with one another in complex and sometimes cognitively fruitful ways. The first grade of knowledge I call “anselmian” to echo the famous declaration credo ut intelligam, that is, “I believe in order that I may come to know”. As (...)
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  • Cook Wilson on knowledge and forms of thinking.Simon Wimmer & Guy Longworth - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-22.
    John Cook Wilson is an important predecessor of contemporary knowledge first epistemologists: among other parallels, he claimed that knowledge is indefinable. We reconstruct four arguments for this claim discernible in his work, three of which find no clear analogues in contemporary discussions of knowledge first epistemology. We pay special attention to Cook Wilson’s view of the relation between knowledge and forms of thinking (like belief). Claims of Cook Wilson’s that support the indefinability of knowledge include: that knowledge, unlike belief, straddles (...)
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  • P, but you don’t know that P.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14667-14690.
    Unlike first-person Moorean sentences, it’s not always awkward to assert, “p, but you don’t know that p.” This can seem puzzling: after all, one can never get one’s audience to know the asserted content by speaking thus. Nevertheless, such assertions can be conversationally useful, for instance, by helping speaker and addressee agree on where to disagree. I will argue that such assertions also make trouble for the growing family of views about the norm of assertion that what licenses proper assertion (...)
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  • Truthfulness and relevance.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 2002 - Mind 111 (443):583-632.
    This paper questions the widespread view that verbal communication is governed by a maxim, norm or convention of truthfulness which applies at the level of what is literally meant, or what is said. Pragmatic frameworks based on this view must explain the frequent occurrence and acceptability of loose and figurative uses of language. We argue against existing explanations of these phenomena and provide an alternative account, based on the assumption that verbal communication is governed not by expectations of truthfulness but (...)
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  • Moore's Paradox in Thought: A Critical Survey.John N. Williams - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):24-37.
    It is raining but you don’t believe that it is raining. Imagine silently accepting this claim. Then you believe both that it is raining and that you don’t believe that it is raining. This would be an ‘absurd’ thing to believe,yet what you believe might be true. Itmight be raining, while at the same time, you are completely ignorant of the state of the weather. But how can it be absurd of you to believe something about yourself that might be (...)
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  • Moore’s Paradox in Speech: A Critical Survey.John N. Williams - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):10-23.
    It is raining but you don’t believe that it is raining. Imagine accepting this claim. Then you are committed to saying ‘It is raining but I don’t believe that it is raining’. This would be an ‘absurd’ thing to claim or assert, yet what you say might be true. It might be raining, while at the same time, you are completely ignorant of the state of the weather. But how can it be absurd of you to assert something about yourself (...)
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  • Knowledge as evidence.Timothy Williamson - 1997 - Mind 106 (424):1-25.
    It is argued that a subject's evidence consists of all and only the propositions that the subject knows.
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  • True lies and Moorean redundancy.Alex Wiegmann & Emanuel Viebahn - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13053-13066.
    According to the subjective view of lying, speakers can lie by asserting a true proposition, as long as they believe this proposition to be false. This view contrasts with the objective view, according to which lying requires the actual falsity of the proposition asserted. The aim of this paper is to draw attention to pairs of assertions that differ only in intuitively redundant content and to show that such pairs of assertions are a reason to favour the subjective view of (...)
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  • Truth is (Still) the Norm for Assertion: A Reply to Littlejohn.Daniel Whiting - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (6):1245-1253.
    In a paper in this journal, I defend the view that truth is the fundamental norm for assertion and, in doing so, reject the view that knowledge is the fundamental norm for assertion. In a recent response, Littlejohn raises a number of objections against my arguments. In this reply, I argue that Littlejohn’s objections are unsuccessful.
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  • Stick to the Facts: On the Norms of Assertion.Daniel Whiting - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (4):847-867.
    The view that truth is the norm of assertion has fallen out of fashion. The recent trend has been to think that knowledge is the norm of assertion. Objections to the knowledge view proceed almost exclusively by appeal to alleged counterexamples. While it no doubt has a role to play, such a strategy relies on intuitions concerning hypothetical cases, intuitions which might not be shared and which might shift depending on how the relevant cases are fleshed out. In this paper, (...)
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  • One wage of unknowability.Dennis Whitcomb - 2013 - Synthese 190 (3):339-352.
    Suppose for reductio that I know a proposition of the form <p and I don’t know p>. Then by the factivity of knowledge and the distribution of knowledge over conjunction, I both know and do not know p ; which is impossible. Propositions of the form <p and I don’t know p> are therefore unknowable. Their particular kind of unknowability has been widely discussed and applied to such issues as the realism debate. It hasn’t been much applied to theories of (...)
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  • Factivity without safety.By Dennis Whitcomb - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):143–149.
    I summarize Timothy Williamson's theory of knowledge, construct some counterexamples to it, and try to diagnose the problem in virtue of which those counterexamples arise. Then I consider possible responses. It turns out that only one of those responses is tenable, and that that response renders Williamson's theory a continuous piece of, rather than a radical paradigmatic break from, recent mainstream work in the theory of knowledge.
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  • Factivity Without Safety.Dennis Whitcomb - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):143-149.
    I summarize Timothy Williamson's theory of knowledge, construct some counterexamples to it, and try to diagnose the problem in virtue of which those counterexamples arise. Then I consider possible responses. It turns out that only one of those responses is tenable, and that that response renders Williamson's theory a continuous piece of, rather than a radical paradigmatic break from, recent mainstream work in the theory of knowledge.
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  • Admiration, Appreciation, and Aesthetic Worth.Daniel Whiting - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (2):375-389.
    What is aesthetic appreciation? In this paper, I approach this question in an indirection fashion. First, I introduce the Kantian notion of moral worthy action and an influential analysis of it. Next, I generalise that analysis from the moral to the aesthetic domain, and from actions to affects. Aesthetic appreciation, I suggest, consists in an aesthetically worthy affective response. After unpacking the proposal, I show that it has non-trivial implications while cohering with a number of existing insights concerning the nature (...)
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