In the first chapter of his Knowledge and Lotteries, John Hawthorne argues that thinkers do not ordinarily know lottery propositions. His arguments depend on claims about the intimate connections between knowledge and assertion, epistemic possibility, practical reasoning, and theoretical reasoning. In this paper, we cast doubt on the proposed connections. We also put forward an alternative picture of belief and reasoning. In particular, we argue that assertion is governed by a Gricean constraint that makes no reference to knowledge, and that (...) practical reasoning has more to do with rational degrees of belief than with states of knowledge. (shrink)
This volume presents a selection of essays by the leading philosopher Christopher S. Hill. Together, they address central philosophical issues related to four key concerns: the nature of truth; the relation between experiences and brain states; the relation between experiences and representational states; and problems concerning knowledge.
In this critical notice of Kment's _Modality and Explanatory Reasoning_, we focus on Kment’s arguments for impossible worlds and on a key part of his discussion of the interactions between modality and explanation – the analogy that he draws between scientific and metaphysical explanation.
I defend the deflationary theory of truth and reference I have proposed from the objections raised in Vann McGee’s “Thought, Thoughts, and Deflationism,” trying where possible to use arguments that other deflationists might find useful.
Visual experience is shaped by a number of factors that are independent of the external objects that we perceive—factors like lighting, angle of view, and the sensitivities of photoreceptors in the retina. This paper seeks to catalog, analyze, and explain the fluctuations in visual phenomenology that are due to such factors.
My goal is to formulate a theory of introspection that can be integrated with a strongly reductionist account of sensations that I have defended elsewhere. In pursuit of this goal, I offer a skeletal explanation of the metaphysical nature of introspection and I attempt to resolve several of the main questions about the epistemological status of introspective beliefs.
Précis of Consciousness Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9813-3 Authors Christopher S. Hill, Department of Philosophy, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Reply to Alex Byrne and Fred Dretske Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9814-2 Authors Christopher S. Hill, Department of Philosophy, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
I will be concerned in these pages with the views that Gilbert Harman puts forward in his immensely stimulating paper Self-Reflexive Thoughts.<sup>1</sup> Harman maintains that self referential thoughts are possible, and also that they are useful. I applaud both of these claims. An example of a self referential thought is the thought that every thought, including this present one, has a logical structure. I feel sure that this thought exists, for I have entertained it on a number of occasions. Moreover, (...) I feel that it is extremely useful. Without deploying it, how could we tell the whole truth about the nature of thoughts? (shrink)
Thinking about Consciousness is a wonderfully clear and vigorous commen- tary on the nature of consciousness and its relationship to brain processes. It advances the contemporary discussion of a number of important issues, but it also introduces several quite valuable ideas that are independent of the con- temporary literature. Papineau has performed an important service by writing it.
This paper has three main concerns. First, it proposes a deflationary theory of the concept of truth, arguing thatthe concept can be explicitly defined in terms of substitutionalquantification. Second, it attempts to describe and explainthe intuitions that have traditionally been thought tofavor correspondence theories of truth over deflationarytheories. And third, it argues that these intuitions areultimately compatible with deflationism, maintaining,among other things, that the relation of semantic correspondence can itself be characterized in terms ofsubstitutional quantification.
Thought and World has three main concerns.1 First, it presents and defends a deflationary theory of propositional truth—that is, a deflationary theory of the concept of truth that figures in claims like the proposition that snow is white is true. I have long admired the deflationary theory of truth that Paul Horwich developed in the eighties, but I have also had substantial misgivings about that theory.2 In writing TW I was concerned to formulate an alternative view that enjoys the virtues (...) of Horwich’s theory while lacking its defects. Second, the book presents deflationary accounts of our relational semantic con- cepts—for example, the concept of reference that figures in the proposition the concept of the Evening Star refers to the planet Venus, and the concept of expression that figures in the proposition the concept of a triangle expresses the property triangularity. Third, the book provides an account of our correspondence intuitions. As we all recognize, commonsense semantics includes a concept of semantic correspondence: we are all prepared to say, for example, that the proposition that snow is white corresponds semantically to the state of affairs snow’s being white, and that the proposition that the uni- verse is expanding corresponds semantically to a state of affairs that actually obtains. I wanted to explain the relationship between this concept and the concept of propositional truth, to identify the factors that make the concept useful, and, most importantly, to show that it is possible to extend deflation- ism so as to provide an analysis of the concept. (The concept of correspon- dence stands for a relation between propositions and states of affairs. What I maintain in the book is that this relation can be characterized in deflationary terms. I do not maintain that it is possible to give a deflationary account of.. (shrink)
In order to defend her claim that the concept object is biologically determined, Carey must answer Quine's gavagai argument, which purports to show that mastery of any concept with determinate reference presupposes a substantial repertoire of logical concepts. I maintain that the gavagai argument withstands the experimental data that Carey provides, but that it yields to an a priori argument.