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
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-011-0006-6
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References found in this work BETA
The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
Warrant for Nothing (and Foundations for Free)?Crispin Wright - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):167–212.
What's Wrong with Moore's Argument?James Pryor - 2004 - Philosophical Issues 14 (1):349–378.
The Realm of Reason.Christopher Peacocke - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Epistemic Operators.Fred I. Dretske - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (24):1007-1023.

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Citations of this work BETA
On the Truth-Conduciveness of Coherence.William Roche - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):647-665.
Extended Rationality: Some Queries About Warrant, Epistemic Closure, Truth and Scepticism.Giorgio Volpe - 2017 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (4):258-271.

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