Michael Bergmann claims that all versions of epistemic internalism face an irresolvable dilemma. We show that there are many plausible versions of internalism that falsify this claim. First, we demonstrate that there are versions of ‘‘weak awareness internalism’’ that, contra Bergmann, do not succumb to the ‘‘Subject’s Perspective Objection’’ horn of the dilemma. Second, we show that there are versions of ‘‘strong awareness internalism’’ that do not fall prey to the dilemma’s ‘‘vicious regress’’ horn. We note along the (...) way that these versions of internalism do not, in avoiding one horn of the dilemma, succumb to the dilemma’s other horn. The upshot is that internalists have many available strategies for avoiding dilemmatic defeat. (shrink)
Virtually all philosophers agree that for a belief to be epistemically justified, it must satisfy certain conditions. Perhaps it must be supported by evidence. Or perhaps it must be reliably formed. Or perhaps there are some other "good-making" features it must have. But does a belief's justification also require some sort of awareness of its good-making features? The answer to this question has been hotly contested in contemporary epistemology, creating a deep divide among its practitioners. Internalists, who tend to focus (...) on scientific or theoretical beliefs as the ideal, insist that such awareness is required for justification. Externalists, who think children's ordinary beliefs in obvious facts are paradigm cases of justified belief, say it isn't required. Michael Bergmann's book offers a decisive refutation of internalism and a sustained defense of externalism. (shrink)
This unique collection brings together internationally recognized scholars of film, philosophy, and the philosophy of perception and aesthetics, as well as many established philosophers working on the Film as Philosophy problem. It also includes several young scholars working currently in the philosophy and film genre. It is especially poised to be used in university undergraduate and graduate courses, but appeals to the larger, more general audience as well as to those working in these particular areas of specialization. Philosophy in motion...
In this paper, I present and explore some ideas about how factive emotional states and factive perceptual states each relate to knowledge and reasons. This discussion will shed light on the so-called ‘perceptual model’ of the emotions.
In recent years, most political theorists have agreed that shame shouldn't play any role in democratic politics because it threatens the mutual respect necessary for participation and deliberation. But Christina Tarnopolsky argues that not every kind of shame hurts democracy. In fact, she makes a powerful case that there is a form of shame essential to any critical, moderate, and self-reflexive democratic practice. Through a careful study of Plato's Gorgias, Tarnopolsky shows that contemporary conceptions of shame are far too (...) narrow. For Plato, three kinds of shame and shaming practices were possible in democracies, and only one of these is similar to the form condemned by contemporary thinkers. Following Plato, Tarnopolsky develops an account of a different kind of shame, which she calls "respectful shame." This practice involves the painful but beneficial shaming of one's fellow citizens as part of the ongoing process of collective deliberation. And, as Tarnopolsky argues, this type of shame is just as important to contemporary democracy as it was to its ancient form. Tarnopolsky also challenges the view that the Gorgias inaugurates the problematic oppositions between emotion and reason, and rhetoric and philosophy. Instead, she shows that, for Plato, rationality and emotion belong together, and she argues that political science and democratic theory are impoverished when they relegate the study of emotions such as shame to other disciplines. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that Michael Huemer’s phenomenal conservatism—the internalist view according to which our beliefs are prima facie justified if based on how things seems or appears to us to be—doesn’t fall afoul of Michael Bergmann’s dilemma for epistemological internalism. We start by showing that the thought experiment that Bergmann adduces to conclude that is vulnerable to his dilemma misses its target. After that, we distinguish between two ways in which a mental state can contribute to (...) the justification of a belief: the direct way and the indirect way. We identify a straightforward reason for claiming that the justification contributed indirectly is subject to Bergmann’s dilemma. Then we show that the same reason doesn’t extend to the claim that the justification contributed directly is subject to Bergmann’s dilemma. As is the view that seemings or appearances contribute justification directly, we infer that Bergmann’s contention that his dilemma applies to is unmotivated. In the final part, we suggest that our line of response to Bergmann can be used to shield other types of internalist justification from Bergmann’s objection. We also propose that seeming-grounded justification can be combined with justification of one of these types to form the basis of a promising version of internalist foundationalism. (shrink)
Bergmann’s rule and Allen’s rule played important roles in mid-twentieth century discussions of adaptation, variation, and geographical distribution. Although inherited from the nineteenth-century natural history tradition these rules gained significance during the consolidation of the modern synthesis as evolutionary theorists focused attention on populations as units of evolution. For systematists, the rules provided a compelling rationale for identifying geographical races or subspecies, a function that was also picked up by some physical anthropologists. More generally, the rules provided strong evidence (...) for adaptation by natural selection. Supporters of the rules tacitly, or often explicitly, assumed that the clines described by the rules reflected adaptations for thermoregulation. This assumption was challenged by the physiologists Laurence Irving and Per Scholander based on their arctic research conducted after World War II. Their critique spurred a controversy played out in a series of articles in Evolution, in Ernst Mayr’s Animal Species and Evolution, and in the writings of other prominent evolutionary biologists and physical anthropologists. Considering this episode highlights the complexity and ambiguity of important biological concepts such as adaptation, homeostasis, and self-regulation. It also demonstrates how different disciplinary orientations and styles of scientific research influenced evolutionary explanations, and the consequent difficulties of constructing a truly synthetic evolutionary biology in the decades immediately following World War II. (shrink)
How do people decide which claims should be considered mere beliefs and which count as knowledge? Although little is known about how people attribute knowledge to others, philosophical debate about the nature of knowledge may provide a starting point. Traditionally, a belief that is both true and justiﬁed was thought to constitute knowledge. However, philosophers now agree that this account is inadequate, due largely to a class of counterexamples (termed ‘‘Gettier cases’’) in which a person’s justiﬁed belief is true, but (...) only due to luck. We report four experiments examining the effect of truth, justiﬁcation, and ‘‘Gettiering’’ on people’s knowledge attributions. These experiments show that: (1) people attribute knowledge to others only when their beliefs are both true and justiﬁed; (2) in contrast to contemporary philosophers, people also attribute knowledge to others in Gettier situations; and (3) knowledge is not attributed in one class of Gettier cases, but only because the agent’s belief is based on ‘‘apparent’’ evidence. These ﬁndings suggest that the lay concept of knowledge is roughly consistent with the traditional account of knowledge as justiﬁed true belief, and also point to a major difference between the epistemic intuitions of laypeople and those of philosophers. (shrink)
One thing all forms of foundationalism have in common is that they hold that a belief can be justified noninferentially--i.e., that its justification need not depend on its being inferred from some other justified (or unjustified) belief. In some recent publications, Peter Klein argues that in virtue of having this feature, all forms of foundationalism are infected with an unacceptable arbitrariness that makes it irrational to be a practicing foundationalist. In this paper, I will explain why his objections to foundationalism (...) fail. (shrink)
In Justification without Awareness (2006), Michael Bergmann presents a dilemma for internalism from which he claims there is “no escape”: The awareness allegedly required for justification is either strong awareness, which involves conceiving of some justification-contributor as relevant to the truth of a belief, or weak awareness, which does not. Bergmann argues that the former leads to an infinite regress of justifiers, while the latter conflicts with the “clearest and most compelling” motivation for endorsing internalism, namely, that for (...) a belief to be justified its truth must not be an accident from the subject’s perspective. Bergmann’s dilemma might initially seem to have the force of a knock-down argument against the classical foundationalist accounts he considers, if not against all forms of internalism. I argue, however, that the weak-awareness horn of Bergmann’s dilemma is unsuccessful. Classical foundationalists can hold on to the main motivation for internalism and avoid a vicious regress of justifiers. (shrink)
The philosophical work of Jean-Luc Marion has opened new ways of speaking about religious convictions and experiences. In this exploration of Marion’s philosophy and theology, Christina M. Gschwandtner presents a comprehensive and critical analysis of the ideas of saturated phenomena and the phenomenology of givenness. She claims that these phenomena do not always appear in the excessive mode that Marion describes and suggests instead that we consider degrees of saturation. Gschwandtner covers major themes in Marion’s work—the historical event, art, (...) nature, love, gift and sacrifice, prayer, and the Eucharist. She works within the phenomenology of givenness, but suggests that Marion himself has not considered important aspects of his philosophy. (shrink)
Microaggressions are a new moral category that refers to the subtle yet harmful forms of discriminatory behavior experienced by members of oppressed groups. Such behavior often results from implicit bias, leaving individual perpetrators unaware of the harm they have caused. Moreover, microaggressions are often dismissed on the grounds that they do not constitute a real or morally significant harm. My goal is therefore to explain why microaggressions are morally significant and argue that we are responsible for their harms. I offer (...) a conceptual framework for microaggressions, exploring the central mechanisms used for identification and the empirical research concerning their harm. The cumulative harm of microaggressions presents a unique case for understanding disaggregation models for contributed harms, blame allocation, and individual responsibility within structural oppression. Our standard moral model for addressing cumulative harm is to hold all individual contributors blameworthy for their particular contributions. However, if we aim to hold people responsible for their unconscious microaggressions and address cumulative harm holistically, this model is inadequate. Drawing on Iris Marion Young's social connection model, I argue that we, as individual perpetrators of microaggressions, have a responsibility to respond to the cumulative harm to which we have individually contributed. (shrink)
When one depends on a belief source in sustaining a belief that that very belief source is trustworthy, then that belief is an epistemically circular belief. A number of philosophers have objected to externalism in epistemology on the grounds that it commits one to thinking EC-beliefs can be justified, something they view as an unhappy consequence for externalism. In my 2004, I defend externalism against this sort of charge by explaining why this consequence needn’t be an unhappy one. In the (...) course of doing so, I appeal to what Thomas Reid calls ‘common sense’—a faculty or belief source by which we know noninferentially such things as that our faculties are trustworthy. In his 2006, Baron Reed raises what he takes to be serious objections to what I say about both epistemic circularity and common sense. In what follows, I’ll respond to his objections, explaining why I side with Reid against Reed. (shrink)
Positive emotions are highly valued and frequently sought. Beyond just being pleasant, however, positive emotions may also lead to long-term benefits in important domains, including work, physical health, and interpersonal relationships. Research thus far has focused on the broader functions of positive emotions. According to the broaden-and-build theory, positive emotions expand people’s thought–action repertoires and allow them to build psychological, intellectual, and social resources. New evidence suggests that positive emotions—particularly gratitude—may also play a role in motivating individuals to engage in (...) positive behaviors leading to self-improvement. We propose and offer supportive evidence that expressing gratitude leads people to muster effort to improve themselves via increases in connectedness, elevation, humility, and specific negative states including indebtedness. (shrink)
It is currently fashionable to hold that deontology induces internalism. That is, those who think that epistemic justification is essentially a matter of duty fulfillment are thought to have a good reason for accepting internalism in epistemology. I shall argue that no deontological conception of epistemic justification provides a good reason for endorsing internalism. My main contention is that a requirement having to do with epistemic defeat---a requirement that many externalists impose on knowledge---guarantees the only sorts of deontological justification that (...) have a chance at inducing internalism. Given this compatibility of externalism and deontology, we may safely conclude that deontology by itself doesn’t lend support to internalism. (shrink)
It is currently fashionable to hold that deontology induces internalism. That is, those who think that epistemic justification is essentially a matter of duty fulfillment are thought to have a good reason for accepting internalism in epistemology. I shall argue that no deontological conception of epistemic justification provides a good reason for endorsing internalism. My main contention is that a requirement having to do with epistemic defeat-a requirement that many externalists impose on knowledge-guarantees the only sorts of deontological justification that (...) have a chance at inducing internalism. Given this compatibility of externalism and deontology, we may safely conclude that deontology by itself doesn't lend support to internalism. (shrink)
Adherents of traditional western Theism have espoused CONJUNCTION: God is essentially perfectly good and God is thankworthy for the good acts he performs . But suppose that (i) God’s essential perfect goodness prevents his good acts from being free, and that (ii) God is not thankworthy for an act that wasn’t freely performed.
Michael Bergmann has argued that internalist accounts of justification face an insoluble dilemma. This paper begins with an explanation of Bergmann’s dilemma. Next, I review some recent attempts to answer the dilemma, which I argue are insufficient to overcome it. The solution I propose presents an internalist account of justification through direct acquaintance. My thesis is that direct acquaintance can provide subjective epistemic assurance without falling prey to the quagmire of difficulties that Bergmann alleges all internalist accounts (...) of justification cannot surmount. (shrink)
One thing all forms of foundationalism have in common is that they hold that a belief can be justified noninferentially-i.e., that its justification need not depend on its being inferred from some other justified belief. In some recent publications, Peter Klein argues that in virtue of having this feature, all forms of foundationalism are infected with an unacceptable arbitrariness that makes it irrational to be a practicing foundationalist. In this paper, I will explain why his objections to foundationalism fail.
Internalists tend to impose on justification higher-level requirements, according to which a belief is justified only if the subject has a higher-level belief (i.e., a belief about the epistemic credentials of a belief). I offer an error theory that explains the appeal of this requirement: analytically, a belief is not justified if we have a defeater for it, but contingently, it is often the case that to avoid having defeaters, our beliefs must satisfy a higher-level requirement. I respond to the (...) objection that externalists who endorse this error theory will be forced to accept a radical form of scepticism. (shrink)
In certain contemporary theories of the politics of shame, shame is considered a pernicious emotion that we need to avoid in, or a salutary emotion that serves as an infallible guide to, democratic deliberation. The author argues that both positions arise out of an inadequate notion of the structure of shame and an oversimplistic opposition between shame and shamelessness. Plato's dialogue, the Gorgias, actually helps to address these problems because it supplies a deeper understanding of the place of shame in (...) democratic politics in ways that address our contemporary dilemmas. It does this first, by avoiding the simple opposition between shame and shamelessness and secondly, by articulating three different kinds of "politics of shame" that can characterize democratic deliberations. Finally, Plato's treatment of shame extends upon contemporary ethical and psychoanalytic notions of shame in ways that are directly relevant to the our contemporary political situation. (shrink)
In this paper, I revisit the Davidsonian thesis that all reasons are causes. Drawing on a better taxonomy of reasons than the one Davidson provides, I argue that this thesis is either indefensible or uninteresting.
Every day situations arising in health care contain ethical issues influencing care providers' conscience. How and to what extent conscience is influenced may differ according to how conscience is perceived. This study aimed to explore the relationship between perceptions of conscience and stress of conscience among care providers working in municipal housing for elderly people. A total of 166 care providers were approached, of which 146 (50 registered nurses and 96 nurses' aides/enrolled nurses) completed a questionnaire containing the Perceptions of (...) Conscience Questionnaire and the Stress of Conscience Questionnaire. A multivariate canonical correlation analysis was conducted. The first two functions emerging from the analysis themselves explained a noteworthy amount of the shared variance (25.6% and 17.8%). These two dimensions of the relationship were interpreted either as having to deaden one's conscience relating to external demands in order to be able to collaborate with coworkers, or as having to deaden one's conscience relating to internal demands in order to uphold one's identity as a `good' health care professional. (shrink)
This book is an unusually readable and lucid account of the development of Derrida's work, from his early writings on phenomenology and structuralism to his most recent interventions in debates on psychoanalysis, ethics and politics. Christina Howells gives a clear explanation of many of the key terms of deconstruction - including differance, trace, supplement and logocentrism - and shows how they function in Derrida's writing. She explores his critique of the notion of self-presence through his engagement with Husserl, and (...) his critique of humanist conceptions of the subject through an account of his ambivalent and evolving relationship to the philosophy of Sartre. The question of the relationship between philosophy and literature is examined through an analysis of the texts of the 1970s, and in particular Glas, where Derrida confronts Hegel's totalizing dialectics with the fragmentary and iconoclastic writings of Jean Genet. The author addresses directly the vexed questions of the extreme difficulty of Derrida's own writing and of the passionate hostility it arouses in philosophers as diverse as Searle and Habermas. She argues that deconstruction is a vital stimulus to vigilance in both the ethical and political spheres, contributing significantly to debate on issues such as democracy, the legacy of Marxism, responsibility, and the relationship between law and justice. Comprehensive, cogently argued and up to date, this book will be an invaluable text for students and scholars alike. (shrink)