On Williamson’s Armchair Philosophical Knowledge

Sophia 61 (4):737-756 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Williamson ( 2007 ) argues that philosophers acquire no philosophical knowledge at all by semantic understanding alone. He further argues that the most important method used for achieving philosophical knowledge is through the ‘imaginative simulation’ process some of whose products are neither a priori nor a posteriori but ‘armchair’ knowledge. We argue in this paper that the way Williamson argues against the claim that semantic understanding alone is enough to achieve philosophical knowledge can be paralleled by an exactly similar argument against his view that imaginative simulation alone is enough to achieve philosophical knowledge. Because of the parallel argument, we conclude that Williamson’s argument against semantic understanding shows at most that it is fallible, if used alone, as a method for achieving philosophical knowledge. We also point out a blind spot in Williamson’s argument for his epistemology of modality: a reliable method for achieving knowledge about subjunctive conditionals is not necessarily a reliable method for achieving knowledge about modal statements even if every modal statement is logically equivalent to some subjunctive conditional. Finally, we argue that, with a suitable understanding of ‘understanding the meaning,’ Williamson’s armchair knowledge is nothing but the a priori knowledge of those good-old-days philosophy.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,227

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Why Williamson should be a sceptic.Dylan Dodd - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):635–649.
Williamson on inexact knowledge.Anna Mahtani - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (2):171 - 180.
Williamson on the Evidence for Skepticism.John M. DePoe - 2008 - Southwest Philosophical Studies 30:23-32.
Williamson on Scepticism and Rationality.David Owens - 2004 - Philosophical Books 45 (4):306-312.
Is knowledge the most general factive stative attitude?Cesare Cozzo - 2011 - In Carlo Cellucci, Emiliano Ippoliti & Emily Grosholz (eds.), Logic and Knowledge. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 84-88.
Williamson on Knowledge.Duncan Pritchard & Patrick Greenough (eds.) - 2009 - Oxford, GB: Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Armchair Science and Armchair Philosophy.Anton V. Kuznetsov - 2019 - Epistemology and Philosophy of Science 56 (2):43-45.
Knowledge of Metaphysical Necessity. A Remark on Williamson.Alfredo Tomasetta - 2012 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):95-100.
Evidence= Knowledge: Williamson's Solution to Skepticism?Stephen Schiffer - 2009 - In Patrick Greenough, Duncan Pritchard & Timothy Williamson (eds.), Williamson on Knowledge. Oxford University Press. pp. 183--202.

Analytics

Added to PP
2022-03-11

Downloads
24 (#660,486)

6 months
8 (#370,225)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Wang Cong
Henan Normal University (Alumnus)

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1973 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.

View all 31 references / Add more references