Smart cities are now an established area of technological development and theoretical inquiry. Research on smart cities spans from investigations into its technological infrastructures and design scenarios, to critiques of its proposals for citizenship and sustainability. This article builds on this growing field, while at the same time accounting for expanded urban-sensing practices that take hold through citizen-sensing technologies. Detailing practice-based and participatory research that developed urban-sensing technologies for use in Southeast London, this article considers how the smart city as (...) a large-scale and monolithic version of urban systems breaks down in practice to reveal much different concretizations of sensors, cities, and people. By working through the specific instances where sensor technologies required inventive workarounds to be setup and continue to operate, as well as moments of breakdown and maintenance where sensors required fixes or adjustments, this article argues that urban sensing can produce much different encounters with urban technologies through lived experiences. Rather than propose a “grassroots” approach to the smart city, however, this article instead suggests that the smart city as a figure for urban development be contested and even surpassed by attending to workarounds that account more fully for digital urban practices and technologies as they are formed and situated within urban projects and community initiatives. (shrink)
Social Epistemology: 5 Questions is a collection of interviews with some of the world's most influential scholars working on social epistemology from a range of disciplinary perspectives. We hear their views on social epistemology; its aim, scope, use, broader intellectual environment, future direction, and how the work of the interviewees fits in these respects. Interviews with David Bloor, Cristina Bicchieri, Richard Bradley, Lorraine Code, Hans van Ditmarsch, Miranda Fricker, Steve Fuller, Sanford Goldberg, Alvin Goldman, Philip Kitcher, Martin Kusch, Jennifer Lackey, (...)Helen E. Longino, Philip Petit, Erik Olsson, Frederick Schmitt. (shrink)
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)
Epistemic Angst offers a completely new solution to the ancient philosophical problem of radical skepticism—the challenge of explaining how it is possible to have knowledge of a world external to us. Duncan Pritchard argues that the key to resolving this puzzle is to realize that it is composed of two logically distinct problems, each requiring its own solution. He then puts forward solutions to both problems. To that end, he offers a new reading of Wittgenstein's account of the structure (...) of rational evaluation and demonstrates how this provides an elegant solution to one aspect of the skeptical problem. Pritchard also revisits the epistemological disjunctivist proposal that he developed in previous work and shows how it can effectively handle the other aspect of the problem. Finally, he argues that these two antiskeptical positions, while superficially in tension with each other, are not only compatible but also mutually supporting. The result is a comprehensive and distinctive resolution to the problem of radical skepticism, one that challenges many assumptions in contemporary epistemology. (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)
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.
"Open Democracy envisions what true government by mass leadership could look like."—Nathan Heller, New Yorker How a new model of democracy that opens up power to ordinary citizens could strengthen inclusiveness, responsiveness, and accountability in modern societies To the ancient Greeks, democracy meant gathering in public and debating laws set by a randomly selected assembly of several hundred citizens. To the Icelandic Vikings, democracy meant meeting every summer in a field to discuss issues until consensus was reached. Our contemporary representative (...) democracies are very different. Modern parliaments are gated and guarded, and it seems as if only certain people—with the right suit, accent, wealth, and connections—are welcome. Diagnosing what is wrong with representative government and aiming to recover some of the lost openness of ancient democracies, Open Democracy presents a new paradigm of democracy in which power is genuinely accessible to ordinary citizens. Hélène Landemore favors the ideal of “representing and being represented in turn” over direct-democracy approaches. Supporting a fresh nonelectoral understanding of democratic representation, Landemore recommends centering political institutions around the “open mini-public”—a large, jury-like body of randomly selected citizens gathered to define laws and policies for the polity, in connection with the larger public. She also defends five institutional principles as the foundations of an open democracy: participatory rights, deliberation, the majoritarian principle, democratic representation, and transparency. Open Democracy demonstrates that placing ordinary citizens, rather than elites, at the heart of democratic power is not only the true meaning of a government of, by, and for the people, but also feasible and, today more than ever, urgently needed. (shrink)
I have been asked to consider two questions: How Christian ‘oughts’ are related to Christian ‘is-es’, and, What does Christianity take flourishing to be? The background to these questions is that Christian ethics have traditionally been taken, both by supporters and opponents, as au ethic of creature-hood, sometimes quite crudely conceived. It is a sketch, but by no means a caricature, of a great deal of standard Christian thinking, to depict it as answering the two questions as follows: God is (...) your Creator: therefore you ought to obey him. The end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever. (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.
This article examines the place of human and animal subjectivity in two autobiographically informed texts by Hélène Cixous. It takes her view on the word ‘human’ and the figure of Fips, the dog of the Cixous family, as a point of departure. By thinking through this figure, I argue, Cixous analyses the dehumanizing logic of colonialism and anti-Semitism in Algeria and develops her own response to such kinds of political evils, arguing for human relationality and animal corporeality. The article shows (...) that Cixous’ meeting with Fips creates a stigma that, belatedly, breaks through the barrier between herself and the dog; the reopening of the wound takes place in a poetical writing that reveals an intense ‘animal humanity’ formed by communal suffering, finiteness, and love. The lesson Cixous learns from the memory of Fips the dog is how to become ‘better human’. This becoming is also an assault on the false humanism of the colonial project and on racialized social exclusion. (shrink)
Helen Steward argues that determinism is incompatible with agency itself--not only the special human variety of agency, but also powers which can be accorded to animal agents. She offers a distinctive, non-dualistic version of libertarianism, rooted in a conception of what biological forms of organisation might make possible in the way of freedom.
Recent discussion in epistemology has seen a huge growth in interest in the topic of epistemic value. In this paper I describe the background to this new movement in epistemology and critically survey the contemporary literature on this topic.
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.
Attributer contextualists maintain that the verb 'knows' is context-sensitive in the sense that the truth conditions of a sentence of the form "S knows that p" can be dependent upon the ascriber's context. One natural objection against attributer contextualism is that it confuses the impropriety of certain assertions which ascribe knowledge to agents with the falsity of those assertions. In an influential article, Keith DeRose has defended attributer contextualism against this charge by proposing constraints on what he calls "warranted assertibility (...) manoeuvres" of this sort. This paper argues that, contra DeRose, the warranted assertibility manoeuvre directed at attributer contextualism is able to meet the constraints that DeRose lays down. (shrink)
The claim that a miracle is a violation of a law of nature has sometimes been used as part of an a priori argument against the possibility of miracle, on the grounds that a violation is conceptually impossible. I criticize these accounts but also suggest that alternative accounts, when phrased in terms of laws of nature, fail to provide adequate conceptual space for miracles. It is not clear what a ???violation??? of a law of nature might be, but this is (...) not relevant to the question of miracles. In practice, accounts of miracle tend to be phrased in terms of God's act not in terms of laws of nature. Finally, I suggest that the a priori argument reflects an intellectual commitment that is widely held, though wrongly built into the argument itself. (shrink)
James Tabery Helen Longino’s Studying Human Behavior is an overdue effort at a nonpartisan evaluation of the many scientific disciplines that study the nature and nurture of human behavior, arguing for the acceptance of the strengths and weaknesses of all approaches. After years of conflict, Longino makes the pluralist case for peaceful coexistence. Her analysis of the approaches raises the following question: how are we to understand the pluralistic relationship among the peacefully coexisting approaches? Longino is ironically rather unpluralistic (...) about her pluralism, forcing a choice between integrative pluralism and her preferred ineliminative pluralism. I hope to show that the analysis of approaches she offers actually accommodates a pluralism that is both integrative and ineliminative.Approaches to studying human behaviorPhilosophy of biology took shape as a discipline in the 1970s. This disciplinary formation over. (shrink)
This discussion surveys recent developments in the treatment of the epistemological problem of skepticism. These are arguments which attack our knowledge of certain truths rather than, say, our belief in the existence of certain entities. In particular, this article focuses on the radical versions of these skeptical arguments, arguments which purport to show that knowledge is, for the most part, impossible, rather than just that we lack knowledge in a particular discourse. Although most of the key recent developments in this (...) area have taken place since the late 1980s and early 1990s, it is necessary to also discuss some of the movements that have developed since 1970 in order to give these recent developments the necessary setting. The date of 1970 is dictated by the publication in that year of Fred Dretske’s seminal article “Epistemic Operators,” which both pushed a “relevant alternatives” theory of knowledge to the fore of discussion and also brought into focus one possible line of argument against the so-called “closure” principle for knowledge. In so doing, it provided one of the main sources of response to the emergent.. (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)
When is it right to go to war? When is a war illegal? What are the rules of engagement? What should happen when a war is over? How should we view terrorism? _The Ethics of War and Peace_ is a fresh and contemporary introduction to one of the oldest but still most relevant ethical debates. It introduces students to contemporary Just War Theory in a stimulating and engaging way, perfect for those approaching the topic for the first time. Helen (...) Frowe explains the core issues in Just War Theory, and chapter by chapter examines the recent and ongoing philosophical? debates on: theories of self defence and national defence Jus ad Bellum, Jus in Bello, and Jus post Bellum the moral status of combatants the principle of non-combatant immunity the nature of terrorism and the moral status of terrorists. Each chapter concludes with a useful summary, discussion questions and suggestions for further reading, to aid student learning and revision. _The Ethics of War and Peace_ is the ideal textbook for students studying philosophy, politics and international relations. (shrink)
Let us focus on what I take it is the paradigm case of testimony—the intentional transfer of a belief from one agent to another, whether in the usual way via a verbal assertion made by the one agent to the other, or by some other means, such as through a note.1 So, for example, John says to Mary that the house is on fire (or, if you like, ‘texts’ her this message on her phone), and Mary, upon hearing this, forms (...) the belief that the house is on fire and consequently exits the building at speed. Clearly, a great deal of our beliefs are gained via testimony, and if the epistemic status of our testimonybased beliefs were to be called into question en masse, then this would present us with quite a predicament. It is thus essential that we have some plausible account of the epistemology of testimony. Our primary focus will be on the justification for our testimony-based beliefs, though along the way we will say a little about other relevant epistemic notions like epistemic entitlement as well. (shrink)
The Habits of Racism examines some of the complex questions raised by the phenomenon and experience of racism. Helen Ngo argues that the conceptual reworking of habit as bodily orientation helps to identify the more subtle but fundamental workings of racism, exploring what the lived experience of racism and racialization teaches about the nature of the embodied and socially-situated being.
This paper argues for a particular account of luck by comparing two distinct versions of the modal account of luck that have been provided by Duncan Pritchard (2005, 2014). More specifically, it argues that there are three respects in which Pritchard’s earlier modal account of luck is preferable to his later account: it accounts better for the fact that luck comes in degrees, it includes a significance condition, and it better acknowledges the subjective nature of luck. The paper (...) then discusses two consequences of the points it makes for epistemology: an alleged pragmatic encroachment, and a particular view on the relation between knowledge, luck, and justification. (shrink)
The recent literature on the theory of knowledge has taken a distinctive turn by focusing on the role of the cognitive and intellectual virtues in the acquisition of knowledge. The main contours and motivations for such virtue-theoretic accounts of knowledge are here sketched and it is argued that virtue epistemology in its most plausible form can be regarded as a refined form of reliabilism, and thus a variety of epistemic externalism. Moreover, it is claimed that there is strong empirical support (...) in favour of the virtue epistemic position so understood, and an empirical study regarding the cognitive processes employed by medical experts in their diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy is cited in this regard. In general, it is argued that one can best account for 'expert' knowledge in terms of a virtue-theoretic epistemology that retains key reliabilist features. It is thus shown that understanding knowledge along virtue-theoretic lines has important implications for our understanding of how knowledge is acquired, and thus for the philosophy of education. (shrink)
It is a platitude in epistemology to say that knowledge excludes luck. Indeed, if one can show that an epistemological theory allows ‘lucky’ knowledge, then that usually suffices to warrant one in straightforwardly rejecting the view. Even despite the prevalence of this intuition, however, very few commentators have explored what it means to say that knowledge is incompatible with luck. In particular, no commentator, so far as I am aware, has offered an account of what luck is and on this (...) basis identified what it means for a true belief to be non-lucky. It is just such a view that I propose, however, and I hope to give a flavour of what this strategy involves here. In particular, I have two goals in this paper. The first is to outline the general contours of the position and show how such a view can account for the attraction of adducing a safety condition on knowledge, with all the epistemic benefits that this principle holds. Relatedly, I will also explain how an anti-luck epistemology can assist us in determining the best formulation of this principle. The second goal of the paper is to show anti-luck epistemology in action by highlighting how such a view can deal with the various problems posed by lottery-style examples. (shrink)
In the contemporary epistemological literature, ignorance is normally understood as the absence of an epistemic standing, usually either knowledge or true belief. It is argued here that this way of thinking about ignorance misses a crucial ingredient, which is the normative aspect of ignorance. In particular, to be ignorant is not merely to lack the target epistemic standing, but also entails that this is an epistemic standing that one ought to have. I explore the motivations for this claim, and show (...) how it can help us make sense of a range of cases concerning ignorance that the conventional, non-normative, accounts of ignorance struggle with. I also use this normative conception of ignorance to help elucidate the specific kind of epistemic standing the lack of which is entailed by ignorance. (shrink)
My contribution to the author meets critics discussion of Pritchard's _Epistemological Disjunctivism_. In this paper, I examine some of the possible motivations for epistemological disjunctivism and look at some of the costs associated with the view. While Pritchard's view seems to be that our visual beliefs constitute knowledge because they're based on reasons, I argue that the claim that visual beliefs are based on reasons or evidence hasn't been sufficiently motivated. In the end I suggest that we'll get (...) all the benefits with none of the costs of epistemological disjunctivism if we accept E=K. (shrink)
There are parallels between certain responses to local epistemological scepticism about religious belief and an influential reply to radical epistemological scepticism. What ties both accounts together is that they utilise, either implicitly or explicitly, a “hinge” proposition thesis which maintains that the pivotal beliefs in question are immune to sceptical attack even though they lack sufficient epistemic grounds. It is argued that just as this strategy lacks any anti-sceptical efficacy in the context of the radical sceptical debate, so it offers (...) no defence against a localised scepticism regarding religious belief either. What the defender of religious belief should do, it is claimed, is re-examine the manner in which a commitment to the doctrine of epistemological internalism underlies the sceptical attack. (shrink)
This paper examines the relevance of Wittgenstein’s On Certainty to the contemporary debate regarding the problem of radical scepticism. In particular, it considers two accounts in the recent literature which have seen in Wittgenstein’s remarks on “hinge propositions” in On Certainty the basis for a primarily epistemological anti-sceptical thesis—viz., the inferential contextualism offered by Michael Williams and the ‘unearned warrant’ thesis defended by Crispin Wright. Both positions are shown to be problematic, both as interpretations of Wittgenstein and as anti-sceptical theses. (...) Indeed, it is argued that on a reading of On Certainty which has Wittgenstein advancing a primarily epistemological thesis, there is in fact strong evidence to suggest that Wittgenstein thought that no epistemic response to the sceptic was available—at best, it seems, only a pragmatic antisceptical thesis is on offer. Such a conclusion is not without import to the present debate regarding radical scepticism, however, since it poses a general challenge for how the sceptical argument is conceived in the contemporary literature. (shrink)
The recent movement towards virtue–theoretic treatments of epistemological concepts can be understood in terms of the desire to eliminate epistemic luck. Significantly, however, it is argued that the two main varieties of virtue epistemology are responding to different types of epistemic luck. In particular, whilst proponents of reliabilism–based virtue theories have been focusing on the problem of what I call “veritic” epistemic luck, non–reliabilism–based virtue theories have instead been concerned with a very different type of epistemic luck, what I call (...) “reflective” epistemic luck. It is argued that, prima facie at least, both forms of epistemic luck need to be responded to by any adequate epistemological theory. The problem, however, is that one can best eliminate veritic epistemic luck by adducing a so–called safety–based epistemological theory that need not be allied to a virtue–based account, and there is no fully adequate way of eliminating reflective epistemic luck. I thus conclude that this raises a fundamental difficulty for virtue–based epistemological theories, on either construal. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]. (shrink)
Helen Steward puts forward a radical critique of the foundations of contemporary philosophy of mind, arguing that it relies too heavily on insecure assumptions about the sorts of things there are in the mind--events, processes, and states. She offers a fresh investigation of these three categories, clarifying the distinctions between them, and argues that the category of state has been very widely and seriously misunderstood.
_ 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.
Much of the recent debate regarding scepticism has focussed on a certain template sceptical argument and a rather restricted set of proposals concerning how one might deal with that argument. Throughout this debate the ‘Moorean’ response to scepticism is often cited as a paradigm example of how one should not respond to the sceptical argument, so conceived. As I argue in this paper, however, there are ways of resurrecting the Moorean response to the sceptic. In particular, I consider the prospects (...) for three such proposals in this regard: a classical epistemic internalist neo-Mooreanism, a classical epistemic externalist neo-Mooreanism, and a non-classical McDowellian epistemic internalist neo-Mooreanism, and maintain that the last two of these proposals (both of which make appeal to a disjunctivist account of perception, broadly conceived) merit further exploration. Indeed, I claim that a suitably qualified version of neo-Mooreanism would actually sit quite well with the general philosophical motivations behind other key anti-sceptical views and I argue that given this fact neo-Mooreanism is actually at a dialectical advantage relative to other views when it comes to dealing with the sceptical problem as it is typically conceived. (shrink)
A certain interpretation of Wittgenstein’s remarks in On Certaintyadvanced by such figures as Hilary Putnam, Peter Strawson, Avrum Stroll and Crispin Wrighthas become common currency in the recent literature. In particular, this reading focuses upon the supposed anti-sceptical import of the Wittgensteinian notion of a “hinge” proposition. In this paper it is argued that this interpretation is flawed both on the grounds that there is insufficient textual support for this reading and that, in any case, it leads to unpalatable philosophical (...) problems. Moreover, it is claimed that the popularity of this construal of On Certainty in the contemporary debate reflects an implicit commitment to the contentious doctrine of epistemological internalism. Nevertheless, it is argued that, suitably modified along the epistemologically externalist lines suggested by Michael Williams, one might be able to resurrect a viable anti-sceptical hinge proposition thesis. Furthermore, it is claimed that such a conception of the notion also receives some, albeit inconclusive, textual support from On Certainty. (shrink)