In the case of an intellectually disabled patient, the attending physician was restricted from writing a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order. Although the rationale for this restriction was to protect the patient from an inappropriate quality of life judgment, it resulted in a worse death than the patient would have experienced had he not been disabled. Such restrictions that are intended to protect intellectually disabled patients may violate their right to equal treatment and to a dignified death.
It is argued that the arguments put forward by Bernard Williams and Thomas Nagel in their widely influential exchange on the problem of moral luck are marred by a failure to (i) present a coherent understanding of what is involved in the notion of luck, and (ii) adequately distinguish between the problem of moral luck and the analogue problem of epistemic luck, especially that version of the problem that is traditionally presented by the epistemological sceptic. It is further claimed that (...) once one offers a more developed notion of luck and disambiguates the problem of moral luck from the problem of epistemic luck (especially in its sceptical guise), neither of these papers is able to offer unambiguous grounds for thinking that there is a problem of moral luck. Indeed, it is shown that insofar as these papers succeed in making a prima facie case for the existence of epistemic luck, it is only the familiar sceptical variant of this problem that they identify. (shrink)
One of the key supposed 'platitudes' of contemporary epistemology is the claim that knowledge excludes luck. One can see the attraction of such a claim, in that knowledge is something that one can take credit for - it is an achievement of sorts - and yet luck undermines genuine achievement. The problem, however, is that luck seems to be an all-pervasive feature of our epistemic enterprises, which tempts us to think that either scepticism is true and that we don't know (...) very much, or else that luck is compatible with knowledge after all. In this book, Duncan Pritchard argues that we do not need to choose between these two austere alternatives, since a closer examination of what is involved in the notion of epistemic luck reveals varieties of luck that are compatible with knowledge possession and varieties that aren't. Moreover, Pritchard shows that a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between luck and knowledge can cast light on many of the most central topics in contemporary epistemology. These topics include: the externalism/internalism distinction; virtue epistemology; the problem of scepticism; metaepistemological scepticism; modal epistemology; and the problem of moral luck. All epistemologists will need to come to terms with Pritchard's original and incisive contribution. (shrink)
The value problem -- Unpacking the value problem -- The swamping problem -- fundamental and non-fundamental epistemic goods -- The relevance of epistemic value monism -- Responding to the swamping problem I : the practical response -- Responding to the swamping problem II : the monistic response -- Responding to the swamping problem III : the pluralist response -- Robust virtue epistemology -- Knowledge and achievement -- Interlude : is robust virtue epistemology a reductive theory of knowledge? -- Achievement without (...) achievement -- Back to the value problem -- Contra virtue epistemology -- Two master intuitions about knowledge -- Anti-luck virtue epistemology -- Interlude : is anti-luck virtue epistemology a reductive theory of knowledge? -- Diagnosing the structure of knowledge -- Back to the value problem -- The final value of achievements -- Understanding -- Understanding and epistemic luck -- Understanding and cognitive achievement -- Back to the value problem -- Two potential implications of the distinctive value of understanding thesis -- The traditional analytical project and the central tension -- Knowledge, evidence, and reasons -- Concepts versus phenomena -- The way ahead -- Perceptual-recognitional abilities -- Broad and narrow competence -- Avoiding reduction -- Perpetual-recognitional abilities -- Broad and narrow competence -- Avoiding reduction -- Perceptual knowledge and justified belief -- Closure and doxastic responsibility -- Knowledge from indicators -- Recognitional abilities again -- Detached standing knowledge -- Back to knowledge from indicators -- Taking stock -- Why knowledge matters -- Approaching the epistemology of testimony -- Telling and informing -- Acquiring true beliefs and acquiring knowledge through being told -- Access to facts about knowledge -- The modest route -- Fool's knowledge -- The distinctive value of knowledge -- Fool's justification -- Arguing from illusion -- The regress of justifications -- Transparency and knowledge -- Transparency and entitlement -- On trying to do without transparency -- Transparency and luminosity -- Non-sensible knowledge -- Self-knowledge -- Non-sensible knowledge of action -- The two dimensions -- The distinctive value of knowledge of action -- Non-observational knowledge -- Practical knowledge and intention -- Practical knowledge and direction of fit. (shrink)
What is Knowledge? Where does it come from? Can we know anything at all? This lucid and engaging introduction grapples with these central questions in the theory of knowledge, offering a clear, non-partisan view of the main themes of epistemology including recent developments such as virtue epistemology and contextualism. Duncan Pritchard discusses traditional issues and contemporary ideas in thirteen easily digestible sections, including: the value of knowledge the structure of knowledge virtues and faculties perception testimony and memory induction scepticism. (...) _What is this thing called Knowledge?_ contains many helpful student-friendly features including study questions, annotated further reading, a glossary and a guide to web resources. Clear and interesting examples are used throughout. This is an ideal first textbook in the theory of knowledge for undergraduates taking a first course in philosophy. (shrink)
Eighteen leading philosophers offer critical assessments of Timothy Williamson's ground-breaking work on knowledge and its impact on philosophy today. They discuss epistemological issues concerning evidence, defeasibility, scepticism, testimony, assertion, and perception, and debate Williamson's central claim that knowledge is a mental state.
Liberalism is a term employed in a dizzying variety of ways in political thought and social science. This essay challenges how the liberal tradition is typically understood. I start by delineating different types of response—prescriptive, comprehensive, explanatory—that are frequently conflated in answering the question “what is liberalism?” I then discuss assorted methodological strategies employed in the existing literature: after rejecting “stipulative” and “canonical” approaches, I outline a contextualist alternative. Liberalism, on this account, is best characterised as the sum of the (...) arguments that have been classified as liberal, and recognised as such by other self-proclaimed liberals, over time and space. In the remainder of the article, I present an historical analysis of shifts in the meaning of liberalism in Anglo-American political thought between 1850 and 1950, focusing in particular on how Locke came to be characterised as a liberal. I argue that the scope of the liberal traditionexpanded during the middle decades of the twentieth century, such that it came to be seen by many as the constitutive ideology of the West. This capacious understanding of liberalism was a product of the ideological wars fought against “totalitarianism” and assorted developments in the social sciences. Today we both inherit and inhabit it. (shrink)
G. E. Moore famously offered a strikingly straightforward response to the radical sceptic which simply consisted of the claim that one could know, on the basis of one's knowledge that one has hands, that there exists an external world. In general, the Moorean response to scepticism maintains that we can know the denials of sceptical hypotheses on the basis of our knowledge of everyday propositions. In the recent literature two proposals have been put forward to try to accommodate, to varying (...) extents, this Moorean thesis. On the one hand, there are those who endorse an externalist version of contextualism, such as Keith DeRose, who have claimed that there must be some contexts in which Moore is right. More radically still, Ernest Sosa has expanded on this externalist thesis by arguing that, contra DeRose's contextualism, Moore may be right in all contexts. In this paper I evaluate these claims and argue that, suitably modified, one can resurrect the main elements of the Moorean anti-sceptical thesis. (shrink)
The term ‘Scottish Enlightenment’ annoys some Scottish historians, because to them it seems to suggest that a state of unenlightenment prevailed in Scotland before the mideighteenth century, but ‘enlightenment’ when used by the historian of ideas is simply a technical term to describe certain aspects of eighteenth-century thought. The trouble is in defining precisely what aspects of eighteenth-century thought it is meant to describe. Different people study the eighteenth century Scottish thinkers for different reasons; for Professor Pocock, for example, they (...) belong to the tradition of ‘civic humanism’ and constitute one of his Machiavellian moments. But they are more widely known nowadays for the modernity and sophistication of their social theory. (shrink)
When this work was first published in 1960, it immediately filled a void in Kantian scholarship. It was the first study entirely devoted to Kant's _Critique of Practical Reason_ and by far the most substantial commentary on it ever written. This landmark in Western philosophical literature remains an indispensable aid to a complete understanding of Kant's philosophy for students and scholars alike. This _Critique_ is the only writing in which Kant weaves his thoughts on practical reason into a unified argument. (...) Lewis White Beck offers a classic examination of this argument and expertly places it in the context of Kant's philosophy and of the moral philosophy of the eighteenth century. (shrink)
Recent epistemology has reflected a growing interest in the social dimension of the subject. This volume presents new work by leading philosophers on a wide range of topics in social epistemology, such as the nature of testimony, the epistemology of disagreement, and the social genealogy of the concept of knowledge.
It is argued that standard accounts of the epistemology of religious commitmentfail to be properly sensitive to certain important features of the nature of religious conviction. Once one takes these features of religious conviction seriously, then it becomes clear that we are not to conceive of the epistemology of religious conviction along completely rational lines.But the moral to extract from this is not fideism, or even a more moderate proposal that casts the epistemic standing of basic religious beliefs along nonrational (...) lines. Rather, one needs to recognise that in an important sense religious convictions are not beliefs at all, but that this is compatible with the idea that many other religious commitments are beliefs. This picture of the nature of religious commitment is shown to fit snugly with the Wittgensteinian account of hinge commitments, such that all rational belief essentially presupposes certain basic arational hinge commitments, along lines originally suggested by John Henry Newman. We are thus able to marshal a parity-style argument in defence of religious commitment. Although religious belief presupposes basic arational religious convictions, it is not on this score epistemically amiss since all belief presupposes basic arational convictions, or hinge commitments. The resulting view of the epistemology of religious commitment is a position I call quasi-fideism. (shrink)
This paper discusses the materialist views of Margaret Cavendish, focusing on the relationships between her views and those of two of her contemporaries, Thomas Hobbes and Henry More. It argues for two main claims. First, Cavendish's views sit, often rather neatly, between those of Hobbes and More. She agreed with Hobbes on some issues and More on others, while carving out a distinctive alternative view. Secondly, the exchange between Hobbes, More, and Cavendish illustrates a more general puzzle about just what (...) divided materialists from their opponents. Seemingly straightforward disagreements about whether incorporeal substances exist turn out to be more complex ones in which the nature of those things is disputed at the same time as their existence. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 51 - 61 _Epistemic Angst: Radical Skepticism and the Groundlessness of our Believing_. By Duncan Pritchard. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016. Pp. xv + 239. ISBN 978-0-691-16723-7.
The language of rights pervades modern social and political discourse and yet there is deep disagreement amongst citizens, politicians and philosophers about just what they mean. Who has them? Who should have them? Who can claim them? What are the grounds upon which they can be claimed? How are they related to other important moral and political values such as community, virtue, autonomy, democracy and social justice? In this book, Duncan Ivison offers a unique and accessible integration of, and (...) introduction to, the history and philosophy of rights. He focuses especially on the politics of rights: the fact that rights have always been, and will remain, deeply contested. He discusses not only the historical contexts in which some of the leading philosophers of rights formed their arguments, but also the moral and logical issues they raise for thinking about the nature of rights more generally. At each step, Ivison also considers various deep criticisms of rights, including those made by communitarian, feminist, Marxist and postmodern critics. The book is aimed at students and readers coming to these issues for the first time, but also at more knowledgeable readers looking for a distinctive integration of history and theory as applied to questions about the nature of rights today. (shrink)
It is claimed that McDowell’s treatment of scepticism offers a potential way of resurrecting the much derided ‘Moorean’ response to scepticism in a fashion that avoids the problems facing classical internalist and externalist construals of neo-Mooreanism. I here evaluate the prospects for a McDowellian neo-Mooreanism and, in doing so, offer further support for the view.
The status of boundaries and borders, questions of global poverty and inequality, criteria for the legitimate uses of force, the value of international law, human rights, nationality, sovereignty, migration, territory, and citizenship: debates over these critical issues are central to contemporary understandings of world politics. Bringing together an interdisciplinary range of contributors, including historians, political theorists, lawyers, and international relations scholars, this is the first volume of its kind to explore the racial and imperial dimensions of normative debates over global (...) justice. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that one strong motivation for adopting a conciliatory stance with regard to the epistemology of peer disagreement is that the non-conciliatory alternatives are incompatible with the demands of intellectual character, and incompatible with the virtue of intellectual humility in particular. It is argued that this is a mistake, at least once we properly understand what intellectual humility involves. Given some of the inherent problems facing conciliatory proposals, it is maintained that non-conciliatory approaches to epistemic peer disagreement (...) are thus on much stronger dialectical ground than many suppose, including some defenders of this line. In particular, non-conciliatory proposals can resist the idea that epistemic peer disagreement directly weakens one’s epistemic justification, as conciliatory views maintain. This means that the epistemic justification that our beliefs in this regard enjoy, and thus our knowledge, is more secure than conciliatory approaches to epistemic peer disagreement would suggest. (shrink)
Support is canvassed for a novel solution to the sceptical problem regarding our knowledge of the external world. Key to this solution is the claim that what initially looks like a single problem is in fact two logically distinct problems. In particular, there are two putative sceptical paradoxes in play here, which each trade on distinctive epistemological theses. It is argued that the ideal solution to radical scepticism would thus be a biscopic proposal—viz., a two-pronged, integrated, undercutting treatment of both (...) putative sceptical paradoxes. A particular biscopic proposal is then explored which brings together two apparently opposing anti-sceptical theses: he Wittgensteinian account of the structure of rational evaluation and epistemological disjunctivism. It is argued that each proposal enables us to gain a purchase on one, but only one, aspect of the two-sided sceptical problem. Furthermore, it is argued that these proposals are not only compatible positions, but also mutually supporting and advanced in the same undercutting spirit. A potential cure is thus offered for epistemic angst. (shrink)
This paper describes a pilot study devoted to developing the teaching of philosophy within prison education in Scotland. The study paired the CoPI approach to learning and teaching with a set of educational resources created around a high-profile MOOC that introduced students to core topics in philosophy. The primary goal of the study was to determine the extent to which the teaching of philosophy in prisons in this specific manner could enhance the intellectual virtues, and thereby the intellectual character, of (...) the students. The results that were collected suggested that the project generated significant success on this front. In addition, the study had a further consequence, which had not been anticipated, in that it also helped the students to develop important personal and interpersonal skills, and thereby also enhanced their character more generally. (shrink)
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.
Reductive intellectualists hold that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. For this thesis to hold water, it is obviously important that knowledge-how and knowledge-that have the same epistemic properties. In particular, knowledge-how ought to be compatible with epistemic luck to the same extent as knowledge-that. It is argued, contra reductive intellectualism, that knowledge-how is compatible with a species of epistemic luck which is not compatible with knowledge-that, and thus it is claimed that knowledge-how and knowledge-that come apart.
This is a study of Hume's political thought based on a survey of all his writings in their original and revised versions, with very full reference to the works of predecessors and contemporaries, including journalists, pamphleteers and historians. Hume's political thinking is presented in its historical context as a modem, 'philosophical', empirically based system of politics for a new post-revolutionary age, and a political education for parochial, backward-looking party men.
This paper explores the ramifications of the extended cognition thesis in the philosophy of mind for contemporary epistemology. In particular, it argues that all theories of knowledge need to accommodate the ability intuition that knowledge involves cognitive ability, but that once this requirement is understood correctly there is no reason why one could not have a conception of cognitive ability that was consistent with the extended cognition thesis. There is thus, surprisingly, a straightforward way of developing our current thinking about (...) knowledge such that it incorporates the extended cognition thesis. (shrink)
It is argued that a popular way of accounting for the distinctive value of knowledge by appeal to the distinctive value of cognitive achievements fails because it is a mistake to identify knowledge with cognitive achievements. Nevertheless, it is claimed that understanding, properly conceived, is a type of cognitive achievement, and thus that the distinctive value of cognitive achievements can explain why understanding is of special value.
The goal of this paper is to mark the transition from an anti-luck epistemology to an anti-risk epistemology, and to explain in the process how the latter has advantages over the former. We begin with an account of anti-luck epistemology and the modal account of luck that underpins it. Then we consider the close inter-relationships between luck and risk, and in the process set out the modal account of risk that is a natural extension of the modal account of luck. (...) Finally, we apply the modal account of risk to epistemology in order to develop an anti-risk epistemology, and then explore the merits of this proposal. In particular, it is shown that this account can avoid a theoretical lacuna in anti-luck epistemology, and there is a stronger theoretical motivation for anti-risk epistemology compared with anti-luck epistemology, especially when it comes to explaining why environmental epistemic luck is incompatible with knowledge. (shrink)
Postcolonial Liberalism presents a compelling account of the challenges to liberal political theory by claims to cultural and political autonomy and land rights made by indigenous peoples today. It also confronts the sensitive issue of how liberalism has been used to justify and legitimate colonialism. Ivison argues that there is a pressing need to re-shape liberal thought to become more receptive to indigenous aspirations and modes of being. What is distinctive about the book is the middle way it charts between (...) separatism, on the one hand, and assimilation, on the other. These two options present a false dichotomy as to what might constitute a genuinely postcolonial liberal society. In defending this ideal, the book addresses important recent debates over the nature of public reason, justice in multicultural and multinational societies, collective responsibility for the past, and clashes between individual and group rights. (shrink)
The Ashgate Research Companion to Multiculturalism brings together a collection of new essays by leading and emerging scholars in the humanities and social sciences on some of the key issues facing multiculturalism today. It provides a comprehensive and cutting-edge treatment of this important and hotly contested field, offering scholars and students a clear account of the leading theories and critiques of multiculturalism that have developed over the past twenty-five years, as well as a sense of the challenges facing multiculturalism in (...) the future. Key leading scholars, including James Bohman, Barbara Arneil, Avigail Eisenberg, Ghassan Hage, and Paul Patton, discuss multiculturalism in different cultural and national contexts and across a range of disciplinary approaches. In addition to contributions, Duncan Ivison also provides a comprehensive Introduction which surveys the field and offers an extensive guide to further reading. (shrink)
This article details the relationship between history and bioethics. I argue that historians' reluctance to engage with bioethics rests on a misreading of the field as solely reducible to applied ethics, and overlooks previous enthusiasm for historical perspectives. I claim that seeing bioethics as its practitioners see it – as an interdisciplinary meeting ground – should encourage historians to collaborate in greater numbers. I conclude by outlining how bioethics might benefit from new histories of the field, and how historians can (...) lend a fresh perspective to bioethical debates. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis paper provides a detailed account of the period of the complex history of British algebra and geometry between the publication of George Peacock's Treatise on Algebra in 1830 and William Rowan Hamilton's paper on quaternions of 1843. During these years, Duncan Farquharson Gregory and William Walton published several contributions on ‘algebraical geometry’ and ‘geometrical algebra’ in the Cambridge Mathematical Journal. These contributions enabled them not only to generalize Peacock's symbolical algebra on the basis of geometrical considerations, but also (...) to initiate the attempts to question the status of Euclidean space as the arbiter of valid geometrical interpretations. At the same time, Gregory and Walton were bound by the limits of symbolical algebra that they themselves made explicit; their work was not and could not be the ‘abstract algebra’ and ‘abstract geometry’ of figures such as Hamilton and Cayley. The central argument of the paper is that an understanding of the contributions to ‘algebraical geometry’ and ‘geometrical algebra’ of the second generation of ‘scientific’ symbolical algebraists is essential for a satisfactory explanation of the radical transition from symbolical to abstract algebra that took place in British mathematics in the 1830s–1840s. (shrink)
Recent scholarship on John Stuart Mill has illuminated his arguments about the normative legitimacy of imperial rule. However, it has tended to ignore or downplay his extensive writings on settler colonialism: the attempt to create permanent "civilized" communities, mainly in North America and the South Pacific. Mill defended colonization throughout his life, although his arguments about its character and justification shifted over time. While initially he regarded it as a solution to the "social problem" in Britain, he increasingly came to (...) argue that its legitimacy resided in the universal benefits—civilization, peace, and prosperity—it generated for humanity. In the final years of his life Mill seemed to lose faith in the project. Finally recognizing the prevalence of colonial violence and the difficulty of realizing his grand ambitions, yet refusing to give up on colonization altogether, his colonial romance gave way to a form of melancholia. (shrink)
In this article it is argued that the standard theoretical account of risk in the contemporary literature, which is cast along probabilistic lines, is flawed, in that it is unable to account for a particular kind of risk. In its place a modal account of risk is offered. Two applications of the modal account of risk are then explored. First, to epistemology, via the defence of an anti-risk condition on knowledge in place of the normal anti-luck condition. Second, to legal (...) theory, where it is shown that this account of risk can cast light on the debate regarding the extent to which a criminal justice system can countenance the possibility of wrongful convictions. (shrink)