From Bauhaus to Dada, from Virginia Woolf to John Dos Passos, the Modernist movement revolutionized the way we perceive, portray, and participate in the world. This landmark anthology is a comprehensive documentary resource for the study of Modernism, bringing together more than 150 key essays, articles, manifestos, and other writings of the political and aesthetic avant-garde between 1840 and 1950. By favoring short extracts over lengthier originals, the editors cover a remarkable range and variety of modernist thinking. Included are not (...) just the familiar high modernist landmarks such as Gustave Flaubert, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce, but also a diverse representation from the sciences, politics, philosophy, and the arts, including Charles Darwin, Thorstein Veblen, W. E. B. Du Bois, IsadoraDuncan, John Reed, Adolf Hitler, and Sergei Eisenstein. Another welcome feature is a substantial selection of hard-to-find manifestos from the many modernist movements, among them futurism, cubism, Dada, surrealism, and anarchism. (shrink)
Women, Modernism, and Performance is an interdisciplinary 2004 study that looks at a variety of texts and modes of performance in order to clarify the position of women within - and in relation to - modern theatre history. Considering drama, fiction and dance, as well as a range of performance events such as suffrage demonstrations, lectures, and legal trials, Penny Farfan expands on theatre historical narratives that note the centrality of female characters in male-authored modern plays but that do not (...) address the efforts of women artists to develop alternatives both to mainstream theatre practice and to the patriarchal avant garde. Focusing on Henrik Ibsen, Elizabeth Robins, Ellen Terry, Virginia Woolf, Djuna Barnes, Edith Craig, Radclyffe Hall and IsadoraDuncan, Farfan identifies different objectives, strategies, possibilities and limitations of feminist-modernist performance practice and suggests how the artists in question transformed the representation of gender in art and life. (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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
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.
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)
This essay offers a rearticulation and defence of the modal account of luck that the author developed in earlier work . In particular, the proposal is situated within a certain methodology, a component of which is paying due attention to the cognitive science literature on luck ascriptions. It is shown that with the modal account of luck properly articulated it can adequately deal with some of the problems that have recently been offered against it, and that the view has a (...) number of attractions over competing proposals, such as the lack of control account. (shrink)
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.
A certain construal of the Gettier problem is offered, according to which this problem concerns the task of identifying the anti-luck condition on knowledge. A methodology for approaching this construal of the Gettier problem—anti-luck epistemology—is set out, and the utility of such a methodology is demonstrated. It is argued that a range of superficially distinct cases which are meant to pose problems for anti-luck epistemology are in fact related in significant ways. It is claimed that with these cases properly understood, (...) anti-luck epistemology is able to offer a suitable diagnosis of them which doesn’t threaten the necessity of the anti-luck condition for knowledge. (shrink)
This paper argues that contemporary philosophical literature on meaning in life has important implications for the debate about our obligations to non-human animals. If animal lives can be meaningful, then practices including factory farming and animal research might be morally worse than ethicists have thought. We argue for two theses about meaning in life: that the best account of meaningful lives must take intentional action to be necessary for meaning—an individual’s life has meaning if and only if the individual acts (...) intentionally in ways that contribute to finally valuable states of affairs; and that this first thesis does not entail that only human lives are meaningful. Because non-human animals can be intentional agents of a certain sort, our account yields the verdict that many animals’ lives can be meaningful. We conclude by considering the moral implications of these theses for common practices involving animals. (shrink)
Deep disagreements concern our most basic and fundamental commitments. Such disagreements seem to be problematic because they appear to manifest epistemic incommensurability in our epistemic systems, and thereby lead to epistemic relativism. This problem is confronted via consideration of a Wittgensteinian hinge epistemology. On the face of it, this proposal exacerbates the problem of deep disagreements by granting that our most fundamental commitments are essentially arationally held. It is argued, however, that a hinge epistemology, properly understood, does not licence epistemic (...) incommensurability or epistemic relativism at all. On the contrary, such an epistemology in fact shows us how to rationally respond to deep disagreements. It is claimed that if we can resist these consequences even from the perspective of a hinge epistemology, then we should be very suspicious of the idea that deep disagreements in general are as epistemologically problematic as has been widely supposed. (shrink)
In his final notebooks, published as On Certainty , Wittgenstein offers a distinctive conception of the nature of reasons. Central to this conception is the idea that at the heart of our rational practices are essentially arational commitments. This proposal marks a powerful challenge to the standard picture of the structure of reasons. In particular, it has been thought that this account might offer us a resolution of the traditional scepticism/anti-scepticism debate. It is argued, however, that some standard ways of (...) filling out the details of this proposal ultimately lead to an epistemology which is highly problematic. The goal here is to present a more compelling version of Wittgenstein’s account of the structure of reasons which can evade these difficulties. (shrink)
This paper surveys attempts in the recent literature to offer a modal condition on knowledge as a way of resolving the problem of scepticism. In particular, safety-based and sensitivity-based theories of knowledge are considered in detail, along with the anti-sceptical prospects of an explicitly anti-luck epistemology.
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)
We propose that the prevalent moral aversion to AWS is supported by a pair of compelling objections. First, we argue that even a sophisticated robot is not the kind of thing that is capable of replicating human moral judgment. This conclusion follows if human moral judgment is not codifiable, i.e., it cannot be captured by a list of rules. Moral judgment requires either the ability to engage in wide reflective equilibrium, the ability to perceive certain facts as moral considerations, moral (...) imagination, or the ability to have moral experiences with a particular phenomenological character. Robots cannot in principle possess these abilities, so robots cannot in principle replicate human moral judgment. If robots cannot in principle replicate human moral judgment then it is morally problematic to deploy AWS with that aim in mind. Second, we then argue that even if it is possible for a sufficiently sophisticated robot to make ‘moral decisions’ that are extensionally indistinguishable from (or better than) human moral decisions, these ‘decisions’ could not be made for the right reasons. This means that the ‘moral decisions’ made by AWS are bound to be morally deficient in at least one respect even if they are extensionally indistinguishable from human ones. Our objections to AWS support the prevalent aversion to the employment of AWS in war. They also enjoy several significant advantages over the most common objections to AWS in the literature. (shrink)
A certain conception of the relevance of virtue epistemology to the philosophy of education is set out. On this conception, while the epistemic goal of education might initially be promoting the pupil's cognitive success, it should ultimately move on to the development of the pupil's cognitive agency. A continuum of cognitive agency is described, on which it is ultimately cognitive achievement, and thus understanding, which is the epistemic goal of education. This is contrasted with a view on which knowledge is (...) the epistemic goal. (shrink)
The idea of is explored. It is claimed that there is something epistemically important about acquiring one's knowledge first-hand via active perception rather than second-hand via testimony. Moreover, it is claimed that this kind of active perceptual seeing it for oneself is importantly related to the kind of understanding that is acquired when one possesses a correct and appropriately detailed explanation of how cause and effect are related. In both cases we have a kind of seeing it for oneself which (...) serves what is claimed to be a fundamental good: intellectual autonomy. It is argued that this proposal leads to a distinctive view about the goal of inquiry as often being a certain kind of knowledge rather than knowledge simpliciter. Finally, it is claimed that treating intellectual autonomy as a fundamental good is entirely compatible with granting that there is an important social dimension to our epistemic practices. (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)
It is argued that the standard way that the criminal justice debate regarding the permissible extent of wrongful convictions is cast is fundamentally flawed. In particular, it is claimed that there is an inherent danger in focussing our attention in this debate on different ways of measuring the probabilistic likelihood of wrongful conviction and then evaluating whether these probabilities are unacceptably high. This is because such probabilistic measures are clumsy ways of capturing the level of risk involved, to the extent (...) that a defendant can be subject to an unacceptably high level of legal risk in this regard even where the relevant probabilities are very low. An alternative conception of legal risk – one that is primarily cast along modal rather than probabilistic lines – is set out which offers a much better way of framing the debate regarding what would be an acceptable level of wrongful conviction. It is further argued that with this modal conception of legal risk in play we can capture an important necessary condition that should be imposed on legal evidence, one that has application beyond the context of the criminal trial. (shrink)
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)
An overview of Wittgenstein’s remarks on scepticism in On Certainty is offered, especially with regard to the notion of a “hinge proposition”. Several possible interpretations of the anti-sceptical import of this text are then critically assessed, with each view situated within the contemporary literature on scepticism.
This paper examines the relationship between perceptual knowledge and discrimination in the light of the so-called ‘relevant alternatives’ intuition. It begins by outlining an intuitive relevant alternatives account of perceptual knowledge which incorporates the insight that there is a close connection between perceptual knowledge and the possession of relevant discriminatory abilities. It is argued, however, that in order to resolve certain problems that face this view, it is essential to recognise an important distinction between favouring and discriminating epistemic support that (...) is often overlooked in the literature. This distinction complicates the story regarding how an alternative becomes relevant, and in doing so weakens the connection between perceptual knowledge and discrimination. The theory that results, however—what I term a ‘two-tiered’ relevant alternatives theory of perceptual knowledge—accommodates many of our intuitions about perceptual knowledge and so avoids the revisionism of some recent proposals in the epistemological literature. (shrink)