In a recent article Dylan Dodd has argued that anyone who holds that all knowledge is evidence must concede that we know next to nothing about die external world. The argument is intended to show that any infallibilist account of knowledge is committed to scepticism, and that anyone who identifies our evidence with the propositions we know is committed to infallibilism. I shall offer some reasons for thinking Dodd's argument is unsound, and explain where his argument goes wrong.
The siren call of individualism is compelling. And although we have recognized its dangerous allure in the realm of adult decision-making, it has had profound and yet unnoticed dangerous effects in pediatric decision-making as well. Liberal individualism as instantiated in the best interest standard conceptualizes the child as independent and unencumbered and the goal of child rearing as rational autonomous adulthood, a characterization that is both ontologically false and normatively dangerous. Although a notion of the individuated child might have a (...) place in establishing a threshold of care obligated and enforced by the state, beyond this context we should turn our attention more explicitly to the relational interests of children. (shrink)
Quite plausibly, epistemic justification and rationality is tied to possession of evidence. According to Williamson, one’s evidence is what one knows. This is not compatible with non-epistemic perception, however, since non-epistemic perception does not require belief in what one perceives and, thus, does not require knowledge of the evidence – and, standardly, knowledge does require belief. If one non-epistemically perceives a piece of evidence, this can be sufficient for possessing it as evidence. Williamson’s arguments for the necessity of belief will (...) be discussed and rebutted. Interestingly, the view that non-epistemic perception is sufficient for possession of evidence can allow for conceptual or non-conceptual content of perception and it provides the framework for a neo-foundationalist account of epistemic justification. (shrink)
Timothy Williamson (2000) makes a strong prima facie case for the identification of a subject's total evidence with the subject's total knowledge (E = K). However, as Brian Weatherson (Ms) has observed, there are intuitively problematic consequences of E = K. In this article, I'll offer a contextualist implementation of E = K that provides the resources to respond to Weatherson's argument; the result will be a novel approach to knowledge and evidence that is suggestive of an unexplored contextualist approach (...) to basic knowledge. (shrink)
Bowra , referring to the image of the , and to the striking impression , states ‘Pindar seems to fuse two unusually disparate images into a single result… While the sheddingof leaves implies that he would have grown old without winning any wide renown, the cock means that such renown as he would have got would have beenof little account in the Greek world at large.’ Gildersleeve's comment ad loc, ‘The thus becomes a flower’, implies a similar assumption, that the (...) secondimage is entirely unconnected with the first. (shrink)
In a recent article I drew attention to the fact that the well-known fable of the improvident cicada and the industrious ant has a close resemblance to the story of the twin brothers Amphion and Zethus and their classic debate on the respective merits of the artistic and practical life in Euripides' Antiope, which is reflected not only in the argument of Callicles and Socrates in the Gorgias and Horace, Ep. i. 18.
Gow and Page are of the opinion that Planudes’ àένναος in the fifth line of this epigram may be not his conjecture but the true reading, and reject Jacobs' commonly received emendation àєί λáνος, with κηρο in the following line. But I have no doubt that for the two words μέν àλανóς we should read μєμαλαγαγμένος for ó μєμαλαγαγμένος κηρóς is the regular gloss1 on the waxy substance called μàλθα or μàλθα which was used in Athens—at the time of Sophocles (...) himself2—particularly for spreading on wooden writing-tablets. It was surmised by Schwabe that μàλθη had been the word glossed in Ael. Dion. Two entries in Pollux are especially important for establishing the use ofmaltha. In 10. 58–9, describing it as ό ένών т πινακίδί κηρϳς, he quotes passages from Herodotus , Cratinus , and Aristophanes referring to the soft wax which could easily be scraped from writing-tablets to erase writing. In 8. 16 he says it is the wax spread on the dicasts’ πινáκιον тιμηтικóν, from scratching on which the ‘long line’ of condemnation it will be remembered that Athenian philheliasts got wax under their finger-nails. (shrink)
In The Norm of Belief, John Gibbons claims that there is a “natural reaction” to the general idea that one can be normatively required to Ø when that requirement is in some sense outside of one’s first person perspective or inaccessible to one. The reaction amounts to the claim that this is not possible. Whether this is a natural or intuitive idea or not, it is difficult to articulate exactly why we might think it is correct. To do so, we (...) need a view about the relationship between agents’ capacities to accord with normative requirements and the conditions under which those normative requirements obtain. I offer an account of the epistemic dimension of this relationship. The goal is to provide enough of a story about the natural reaction to make accounting for it look like an important desideratum for any theory of the nature of normative requirements—whether these are moral or epistemic. To focus the discussion, I use Timothy Williamson’s knowledge-first view of evidence as an example of a view in epistemology that generates the natural reaction. One upshot of the discussion, then, is a detailed account of what is troubling about Williamson’s influential but controversial view of evidence. (shrink)
Every Greek scholar knows the celebrated lapsus linguae committed by the tragic actor Hegelochus at the Great Dionysia of 408 B.C., when he faltered in his enunciation of line 279 of Euripides' Orestes and gave the impression to the mirthful audience of having said I am surprised, however, that the commentators on this line have only partially explained the reason for its having seemed exceptonally funny.
Aelivs donatvs, the note d grammarian of the fourth century of our era, wrote commentaries on Terence and Virgil. The commentary on Terence has been preserved, though in a curiously heterogeneous form which thus far has defied analysis. The most plausible supposition is that our present text is a conflation of two commentaries, one by Donatus himself, and one by Euanthius, whose work was obviously utilized for part of the introductory note on comedy. But even if this is the right (...) statement of the question, the question remains to be solved. The problem of the commentary on Virgil is, unfortunately, more simple, or at least is universally adjudged more simple. We have extant Donatus's life of Virgil, his dedicatory letter to Lucius Munatius, and his introductory remarks on Bucolic poetry. The commentary itself, save for scattered references in later grammarians, glossaries, and commentaries, has been lost. (shrink)
Philocleon's dance in the exodus of the Wasps, and its allusions to, and caricatures of, contemporary composers or dancers, have often been discussed, and much is bound to remain inconclusive in view of the dubious nature of such scanty material as has survived in explanation of the scene in the scholiastic tradition. It is particularly unfortunate that it is not certain who is the Phrynichus referred to in 1490 ff.
A direct implication of E=K seems to be that false beliefs cannot justify other beliefs, for no false belief can be part of one’s total evidence and one’s total evidence is what inferentially justifies belief. The problem with this alleged implication of E=K, as Comesaña and Kantin :447–454, 2010) have noted, is that it contradicts a claim Gettier cases rely on. The original Gettier cases relied on two principles: that justification is closed under known entailment, and that sometimes one is (...) justified in believing a falsehood. In this paper I argue that E=K, contrary to what Comesaña and Kantin would want us to believe, is compatible with the agent being justified in believing a falsehood. (shrink)
In this article I focus on some unduly neglected common-sense considerations supporting the view that one's evidence is the propositions that one knows. I reply to two recent objections to these considerations.
Context: The idea for this article sprang from a desire to revive a conversation with the late Ernst von Glasersfeld on the heuristic function - and epistemological status - of forms of ideations that resist linguistic or empirical scrutiny. A close look into the uses of humor seemed a thread worth pursuing, albeit tenuous, to further explore some of the controversies surrounding the evocative power of the imaginal and other oblique forms of knowing characteristic of creative individuals. Problem: People generally (...) respond to humor, i.e., they are inclined to smile at things they find funny. People like to crack jokes, make puns, and, starting at age two, human infants engage in pretense or fantasy play. Research on creativity, on the other hand, has mostly scorned the trickster within. Cognitivists in particular are quick to relegate wit, whimsy, and even playfulness to the ranks of artful or poetic frivolities. Method: We use the emblems of the craftsman, the trickster, and the poet to highlight some of the oblique ways of knowing by which creative thinkers bring forth new insights. Each epitomizes dimensions intrinsic to the art of “possibilizing.” Taken together, they help us better understand what it means to be playful beyond curious, rigorous beyond reasonable, and why this should matter, even to constructivists! Results: The musings characteristic of creative individuals speak to intelligent beings’ ability to use glitches intentionally or serendipitously as a means to open up possibilities; to hold on to a thought before spelling it out; and to resist treating words or images as conventional and arbitrary signs regardless of their evocative power. To fall into nominalism, Bachelard insisted, is a poet’s nightmare! Implications: Psyche is image, said Jung, and when we feel alive we rely on the imaginal to guide our reason. Note that image is not here to be understood as a picture in the head or a photographic snapshot of the world. The imaginal does not represent, it brings forth what we understand beyond words. It does not lock us into a single mode. Instead, it is a call to be mindful, in Ellen Langer’s sense: in the present, mentally alert, and on the outlook for our psyche’s own surprising wisdom (sagacity. Constructivist content: Debates on the heuristic function and epistemological status of oblique ways of knowing have long occupied constructivist scholars. I can only guess whether my uses of Jung’s imaginal or Bachelard’s anti-nominalism would have amused or exasperated Ernst! I do know that, on occasion, Ernst the connoisseur, bricoleur, and translator allowed the rationalist-within to include the poet’s power to evoke as a legitimate form of rationality. He himself has written about oblique knowing as legit! (shrink)