Varieties of failure (of warrant transmission: what else?!)

Synthese 189 (2):235-254 (2012)
In the contemporary expanding literature on transmission failure and its connections with issues such as the Closure principle, the nature of perceptual warrant, Moore’s proof of an external world and the effectiveness of Humean scepticism, it has often been assumed that there is just one kind of it: the one made familiar by the writings of Crispin Wright and Martin Davies. Although it might be thought that one kind of failure is more than enough, Davies has recently challenged this view: apparently, there are more ways in heaven and earth that warrant can fail to transmit across valid inference from one (set of) belief(s) to another, than have been dreamt of in philosophy so far. More specifically, Davies thinks that a second kind of transmission failure has to be countenanced. He connects each kind of failure of transmission of warrant with two different kinds of epistemic project, respectively, and with the exploration of whether the current dispute between conservatives such as Wright, and liberals such as Jim Pryor, on the nature of perceptual warrant, would have a bearing on them. I point out why Davies’s second kind of transmission failure is indeed no such thing. I then move on to canvass another kind of transmission failure, different from the one studied by both Wright and Davies, and dependent on an alternative conception of the structure of empirical warrants, which I dub “moderatism”. I then consider how this alternative notion of transmission failure fares with respect to Moore’s proof, its relationship with Wright’s kind of transmission failure and with the Closure principle. In closing, I defend it from criticisms that can be elicited from Pryor’s recent work.
Keywords Moderatism  Transmission failures  Closure principle  Crispin Wright  Jim Pryor
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-011-0006-6
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,433
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Crispin Wright (2004). Warrant for Nothing (and Foundations for Free)? Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):167–212.
James Pryor (2004). What's Wrong with Moore's Argument? Philosophical Issues 14 (1):349–378.
Fred I. Dretske (1970). Epistemic Operators. Journal of Philosophy 67 (24):1007-1023.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Annalisa Coliva (2013). Replies. Philosophia 41 (1):81-96.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

113 ( #40,011 of 1,925,039 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

33 ( #12,050 of 1,925,039 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.