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From Isolation to Skepticism

Erkenntnis 81 (3):649-668 (2016)

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  1. Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics.John P. Burgess - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (1):79.
    Mathematics tells us there exist infinitely many prime numbers. Nominalist philosophy, introduced by Goodman and Quine, tells us there exist no numbers at all, and so no prime numbers. Nominalists are aware that the assertion of the existence of prime numbers is warranted by the standards of mathematical science; they simply reject scientific standards of warrant.
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  • Evolutionary Debunking, Moral Realism and Moral Knowledge.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 7 (1):1-38.
    This paper reconstructs what I take to be the central evolutionary debunking argument that underlies recent critiques of moral realism. The argument claims that given the extent of evolutionary influence on our moral faculties, and assuming the truth of moral realism, it would be a massive coincidence were our moral faculties reliable ones. Given this coincidence, any presumptive warrant enjoyed by our moral beliefs is defeated. So if moral realism is true, then we can have no warranted moral beliefs, and (...)
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This book is a defense of modal realism; the thesis that our world is but one of a plurality of worlds, and that the individuals that inhabit our world are only a few out of all the inhabitants of all the worlds. Lewis argues that the philosophical utility of modal realism is a good reason for believing that it is true.
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  • Cosmic Coincidence and Intuitive Non-Naturalism.Nathan Hanna - 2010 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 4 (2):1-5.
    I defend Intuitive Non-Naturalism in ethics from an objection by Matt Bedke.
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  • The Metaphysics Within Physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    A modest proposal concerning laws, counterfactuals, and explanations - - Why be Humean? -- Suggestions from physics for deep metaphysics -- On the passing of time -- Causation, counterfactuals, and the third factor -- The whole ball of wax -- Epilogue : a remark on the method of metaphysics.
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  • Taking Morality Seriously: A Defense of Robust Realism.David Enoch - 2011 - Oxford University Press UK.
    David Enoch develops, argues for, and defends a strongly realist and objectivist view of ethics and normativity more broadly. This view--according to which there are perfectly objective, universal, moral and other normative truths that are not in any way reducible to other, natural truths--is familiar, but this book is the first in-detail development of the positive motivations for the view into reasonably precise arguments. And when the book turns to defend Robust Realism against traditional objections, it mobilizes the original positive (...)
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  • Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics.Mark Balaguer - 1998 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 8 (4):516-518.
     
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  • Ethical Intuitionism.Michael Huemer - 2005 - Palgrave Macmillan.
    This book defends a form of ethical intuitionism, according to which (i) there are objective moral truths; (ii) we know some of these truths through a kind of immediate, intellectual awareness, or "intuition"; and (iii) our knowledge of moral truths gives us reasons for action independent of our desires. The author rebuts all the major objections to this theory and shows that the alternative theories about the nature of ethics all face grave difficulties.
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  • Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1974 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 36 (3):602-605.
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  • On the Evolutionary Debunking of Morality.Erik J. Wielenberg - 2010 - Ethics 120 (3):441-464.
    Evolutionary debunkers of morality hold this thesis: If S’s moral belief that P can be given an evolutionary explanation, then S’s moral belief that P is not knowledge. In this paper, I debunk a variety of arguments for this thesis. I first sketch a possible evolutionary explanation for some human moral beliefs. Next, I explain how, given a reliabilist approach to warrant, my account implies that humans possess moral knowledge. Finally, I examine the debunking arguments of Michael Ruse, Sharon Street, (...)
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  • Realism, Mathematics & Modality.Hartry Field - 1989 - Blackwell.
  • Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    Knowledge and its Limits presents a systematic new conception of knowledge as a kind of mental stage sensitive to the knower's environment. It makes a major contribution to the debate between externalist and internalist philosophies of mind, and breaks radically with the epistemological tradition of analyzing knowledge in terms of true belief. The theory casts new light on such philosophical problems as scepticism, evidence, probability and assertion, realism and anti-realism, and the limits of what can be known. The arguments are (...)
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  • On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    This is a major work in moral philosophy, the long-awaited follow-up to Parfit's 1984 classic Reasons and Persons, a landmark of twentieth-century philosophy. Parfit now presents a powerful new treatment of reasons and a critical examination of the most prominent systematic moral theories, leading to his own ground-breaking conclusion.
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  • Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    Knowledge and Lotteries is organized around an epistemological puzzle: in many cases, we seem consistently inclined to deny that we know a certain class of propositions, while crediting ourselves with knowledge of propositions that imply them. In its starkest form, the puzzle is this: we do not think we know that a given lottery ticket will be a loser, yet we normally count ourselves as knowing all sorts of ordinary things that entail that its holder will not suddenly acquire a (...)
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  • Impossible Worlds: A Modest Approach.Daniel Nolan - 1997 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):535-572.
    Reasoning about situations we take to be impossible is useful for a variety of theoretical purposes. Furthermore, using a device of impossible worlds when reasoning about the impossible is useful in the same sorts of ways that the device of possible worlds is useful when reasoning about the possible. This paper discusses some of the uses of impossible worlds and argues that commitment to them can and should be had without great metaphysical or logical cost. The paper then provides an (...)
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
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  • Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):353-356.
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  • Evil for Freedom’s Sake.David K. Lewis - 1993 - Philosophical Papers 22 (3):149-172.
    Christianity teaches that whenever evil is done, God had ample warning. He could have prevented it, but He didn't. He could have stopped it midway, but He didn't. He could have rescued the victims of the evil, but - at least in many cases - He didn't. In short, God is an accessory before, during, and after the fact to countless evil deeds, great and small. An explanation is not far to seek. The obvious hypothesis is that the Christian God (...)
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  • Counterfactual Dependence and Time’s Arrow.David K. Lewis - 1979 - Noûs 13 (4):455-476.
  • The Evolution of Morality.Richard Joyce - 2005 - Bradford.
    Moral thinking pervades our practical lives, but where did this way of thinking come from, and what purpose does it serve? Is it to be explained by environmental pressures on our ancestors a million years ago, or is it a cultural invention of more recent origin? In The Evolution of Morality, Richard Joyce takes up these controversial questions, finding that the evidence supports an innate basis to human morality. As a moral philosopher, Joyce is interested in whether any implications follow (...)
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  • The Moral Fixed Points: New Directions for Moral Nonnaturalism.Terence Cuneo & Russ Shafer-Landau - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):399-443.
    Our project in this essay is to showcase nonnaturalistic moral realism’s resources for responding to metaphysical and epistemological objections by taking the view in some new directions. The central thesis we will argue for is that there is a battery of substantive moral propositions that are also nonnaturalistic conceptual truths. We call these propositions the moral fixed points. We will argue that they must find a place in any system of moral norms that applies to beings like us, in worlds (...)
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  • Statistical Evidence, Sensitivity, and the Legal Value of Knowledge.David Enoch, Levi Spectre & Talia Fisher - 2012 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 40 (3):197-224.
    The law views with suspicion statistical evidence, even evidence that is probabilistically on a par with direct, individual evidence that the law is in no way suspicious of. But it has proved remarkably hard to either justify this suspicion, or to debunk it. In this paper, we connect the discussion of statistical evidence to broader epistemological discussions of similar phenomena. We highlight Sensitivity – the requirement that a belief be counterfactually sensitive to the truth in a specific way – as (...)
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.William G. Lycan - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.
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  • Debunking Evolutionary Debunking.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:76-101.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments start with a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our evaluative beliefs, and conclude that we are not justified in those beliefs. The value realist holds that there are attitude-independent evaluative truths. But the debunker argues that we have no reason to think that the evolutionary forces that shaped human evaluative attitudes would track those truths. Worse yet, we seem to have a good reason to think that they wouldn’t: evolution selects for characteristics that increase (...)
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  • Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics.Matthew McGrath - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):239-242.
    Mark Balaguer has written a provocative and original book. The book is as ambitious as a work of philosophy of mathematics could be. It defends both of the dominant views concerning the ontology of mathematics, Platonism and Anti-Platonism, and then closes with an argument that there is no fact of the matter which is right.
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  • Anti-Luck Epistemologies and Necessary Truths.Jeffrey Roland & Jon Cogburn - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (3):547-561.
    That believing truly as a matter of luck does not generally constitute knowing has become epistemic commonplace. Accounts of knowledge incorporating this anti-luck idea frequently rely on one or another of a safety or sensitivity condition. Sensitivity-based accounts of knowledge have a well-known problem with necessary truths, to wit, that any believed necessary truth trivially counts as knowledge on such accounts. In this paper, we argue that safety-based accounts similarly trivialize knowledge of necessary truths and that two ways of responding (...)
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  • Why Counterpossibles Are Non-Trivial.Berit Brogaard & Joe Salerno - forthcoming - In Vincent Hendricks (ed.), Synthese volume.
    I. Non-Trivial Counterpossibles On Lewis’ account, a subjunctive of the form ‘if it were the case that p, it would be the case that q’ (represented as ‘p → q’) is to be given the following rough meta-linguistic truth-conditions1.
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  • A Theory of the a Priori.George Bealer - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13:29-55.
    The topic of a priori knowledge is approached through the theory of evidence. A shortcoming in traditional formulations of moderate rationalism and moderate empiricism is that they fail to explain why rational intuition and phenomenal experience count as basic sources of evidence. This explanatory gap is filled by modal reliabilism -- the theory that there is a qualified modal tie between basic sources of evidence and the truth. This tie to the truth is then explained by the theory of concept (...)
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  • Darwin and Moral Realism: Survival of the Iffiest.Knut Olav Skarsaune - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):229-243.
    This paper defends moral realism against Sharon Street’s “Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value” (this journal, 2006). I argue by separation of cases: From the assumption that a certain normative claim is true, I argue that the first horn of the dilemma is tenable for realists. Then, from the assumption that the same normative claim is false, I argue that the second horn is tenable. Either way, then, the Darwinian dilemma does not add anything to realists’ epistemic worries.
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  • Moral Epistemology: The Mathematics Analogy.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2014 - Noûs 48 (2):238-255.
    There is a long tradition comparing moral knowledge to mathematical knowledge. In this paper, I discuss apparent similarities and differences between knowledge in the two areas, realistically conceived. I argue that many of these are only apparent, while others are less philosophically significant than might be thought. The picture that emerges is surprising. There are definitely differences between epistemological arguments in the two areas. However, these differences, if anything, increase the plausibility of moral realism as compared to mathematical realism. It (...)
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  • Giving Up Omnipotence.Scott Hill - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):97-117.
    For any essential property God has, there is an ability He does not have. He is unable to bring about any state of affairs in which He does not have that property. Such inabilities seem to preclude omnipotence. After making trouble for the standard responses to this problem, I offer my own solution: God is not omnipotent. This may seem like a significant loss for the theist. But I show that it is not. The theist may abandon the doctrine that (...)
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  • Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):105-116.
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  • Moral Explanations.Nicholas L. Sturgeon - 1985 - In James Rachels (ed.), Ethical Theory 1: The Question of Objectivity. Oxford University Press.
     
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  • Taking Darwin Seriously: A Naturalistic Approach to Philosophy.Michael Ruse - 1986 - Prometheus Books.
     
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  • How to Defeat Opposition to Moore.Ernest Sosa - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13:137-49.
    What modal relation must a fact bear to a belief in order for this belief to constitute knowledge of that fact? Externalists have proposed various answers, including some that combine externalism with contextualism. We shall find that various forms of externalism share a modal conception of “sensitivity” open to serious objections. Fortunately, the undeniable intuitive attractiveness of this conception can be explained through an easily confused but far preferable notion of “safety.” The denouement of our reflections, finally, will be to (...)
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  • The Myth of Morality.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2004 - Mind 113 (452):760-763.
  • Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics.Mark Balaguer - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    In this book, Balaguer demonstrates that there are no good arguments for or against mathematical platonism. He does this by establishing that both platonism and anti-platonism are defensible views. Introducing a form of platonism ("full-blooded platonism") that solves all problems traditionally associated with the view, he proceeds to defend anti-platonism (in particular, mathematical fictionalism) against various attacks, most notably the Quine-Putnam indispensability attack. He concludes by arguing that it is not simply that we do not currently have any good argument (...)
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  • Knowledge and Lotteries.David Jehle - 2004 - Studia Logica 84 (1):161-163.
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  • The Metaphysics within Physics.[author unknown] - 2007 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 69 (3):610-611.
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  • The Metaphysics Within Physics. [REVIEW]Tim Maudlin - 2009 - Analysis 69 (2):374-375.
    The basic idea of Maudlin's superb book is methodological: ‘metaphysics, insofar as it is concerned with the natural world, can do no better than to reflect on physics. Physical theories provide us with the best handle we have on what there is, and the philosopher's proper task is the interpretation and elucidation of those theories. In particular, when choosing the fundamental posits of one's ontology, one must look to scientific practice rather than to philosophical prejudice’.The apparently diverse topics covered by (...)
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  • What Are Impossible Worlds?Barak Krakauer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):989-1007.
    In this paper, I argue for a particular conception of impossible worlds. Possible worlds, as traditionally understood, can be used in the analysis of propositions, the content of belief, the truth of counterfactuals, and so on. Yet possible worlds are not capable of differentiating propositions that are necessarily equivalent, making sense of the beliefs of agents who are not ideally rational, or giving truth values to counterfactuals with necessarily false antecedents. The addition of impossible worlds addresses these issues. The kinds (...)
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  • The Myth of Morality.Richard Joyce - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    In The Myth of Morality, Richard Joyce argues that moral discourse is hopelessly flawed. At the heart of ordinary moral judgements is a notion of moral inescapability, or practical authority, which, upon investigation, cannot be reasonably defended. Joyce argues that natural selection is to blame, in that it has provided us with a tendency to invest the world with values that it does not contain, and demands that it does not make. Should we therefore do away with morality, as we (...)
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  • Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
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  • A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
    Contemporary realist theories of value claim to be compatible with natural science. In this paper, I call this claim into question by arguing that Darwinian considerations pose a dilemma for these theories. The main thrust of my argument is this. Evolutionary forces have played a tremendous role in shaping the content of human evaluative attitudes. The challenge for realist theories of value is to explain the relation between these evolutionary influences on our evaluative attitudes, on the one hand, and the (...)
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  • The Generality Problem for Reliabilism. E. Conee & R. Feldman - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 89 (1):1-29.
  • The Epistemological Challenge to Metanormative Realism: How Best to Understand It, and How to Cope with It.David Enoch - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (3):413-438.
    Metaethical—or, more generally, metanormative— realism faces a serious epistemological challenge. Realists owe us—very roughly speaking—an account of how it is that we can have epistemic access to the normative truths about which they are realists. This much is, it seems, uncontroversial among metaethicists, myself included. But this is as far as the agreement goes, for it is not clear—nor uncontroversial—how best to understand the challenge, what the best realist way of coping with it is, and how successful this attempt is. (...)
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  • Counterfactuals. [REVIEW]William Parry - 1973 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 44 (2):278-281.
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  • Anti-Luck Epistemology.Duncan Pritchard - 2007 - Synthese 158 (3):277-297.
    In this paper, I do three things. First, I offer an overview of an anti- luck epistemology, as set out in my book, Epistemic Luck. Second, I attempt to meet some of the main criticisms that one might level against the key theses that I propose in this work. And finally, third, I sketch some of the ways in which the strategy of anti- luck epistemology can be developed in new directions.
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  • A Priority and Externalism.John Hawthorne - 2007 - In Sanford C. Goldberg (ed.), Internalism and Externalism in Semantics and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 201--218.
     
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  • Meta‐Normative Realism, Evolution, and Our Reasons to Survive.Jeff Behrends - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):486-502.
    In this article, I articulate and respond to an epistemological challenge to meta-normative realism. The challenge has it that, if realism about the normative is correct, and if evolutionary forces have significantly influenced our normative judgments, then it would be a remarkable coincidence if the content of the normative facts and our normative judgments were aligned. I criticize David Enoch's recent attempt to meet this challenge, but provide an alternative response that is structurally similar. I argue that if realism is (...)
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