One argument for reductive physicalism, the explanatory argument, rests on its ability to explain the vast and growing body of acknowledged psychophysical correlations. Jaegwon Kim has recently levelled four objections against the explanatory argument. I assess all of Kim's objections, showing that none is successful. The result is a defence of the explanatory argument for physicalism.
The swamping problem is the problem of explaining why reliabilist knowledge (reliable true belief) has greater value than mere true belief. Swamping problem advocates see the lack of a solution to the swamping problem (i.e., the lack of a value-difference between reliabilist knowledge and mere true belief) as grounds for rejecting reliabilism. My aims here are (i) to specify clear requirements for a solution to the swamping problem that are as congenial to reliabilism's critics as possible, (ii) to clear away (...) various existing reliabilist solutions on the basis of these requirements, and (iii) to present a reliabilist solution that succeeds in meeting all of them. To meet all the requirements, my solution develops a more nuanced understanding of the epistemic end than is currently discussed, and with it a novel way of individuating beliefs. I close with a brief discussion of the question whether reliabilism's critics might impose further demands which reliabilism cannot possibly meet. (shrink)
In the present commentary, I argue that Foster has attacked an uncharitable reconstruction of Etchemendy's argument against Tarski's account of the logical properties. I provide an alternative, more charitable reconstruction of that argument that withstands Foster's objections.
In 1955, Goodman set out to 'dissolve' the problem of induction, that is, to argue that the old problem of induction is a mere pseudoproblem not worthy of serious philosophical attention. I will argue that, under naturalistic views of the reflective equilibrium method, it cannot provide a basis for a dissolution of the problem of induction. This is because naturalized reflective equilibrium is -- in a way to be explained -- itself an inductive method, and thus renders Goodman's dissolution viciously (...) circular. This paper, then, examines how the old problem of induction crept back in while nobody was looking. (shrink)
The basic aim of Alvin Goldman’s approach to epistemology, and the tradition it represents, is naturalistic; that is, epistemological theories in this tradition aim to identify the naturalistic, nonnormative criteria on which justified belief supervenes (Goldman, 1986; Markie, 1997). The basic method of Goldman’s epistemology, and the tradition it represents, is the reflective equilibrium test; that is, epistemological theories in this tradition are tested against our intuitions about cases of justified and unjustified belief (Goldman, 1986; Markie, 1997). I will argue (...) that the prospect of having to reject their standard methodology is one epistemologists have to take very seriously; and I will do this by arguing that some current rival theories of epistemic justification are in fact in reflective equilibrium with our intuitions about cases of justified and unjustified belief. That is, I will argue that intuition underdetermines theory choice in epistemology, in much the way that observation underdetermines theory choices in empirical sciences. If reflective equilibrium leads to the underdetermination problem I say it leads to, then it cannot satisfy the aims of contemporary epistemology, and so cannot serve as its standard methodology. (shrink)
John Etchemendy (1990) has argued that Tarski's definition of logical consequence fails as an adequate philosophical analysis. Since then, Greg Ray (1996) has defended Tarski's analysis against Etchemendy's criticisms. Here, I'll argue that--even given Ray's defense of Tarski's definition--we may nevertheless lay claim to the conditional conclusion that 'if' Tarski intended a conceptual analysis of logical consequence, 'then' it fails as such. Secondly, I'll give some reasons to think that Tarski 'did' intend a conceptual analysis of logical consequence.
In 1955, Goodman set out to ‘dissolve’ the problem of induction, that is, to argue that the old problem of induction is a mere pseudo‐problem not worthy of serious philosophical attention. This dissolution, which has enjoyed tremendous acceptance, essentially involved an application of what has since been called the method of reflective equilibrium. Largely in connection with naturalism in epistemology, the reflective equilibrium method has lately been the subject of considerable attention. I will argue that, under naturalistic views of the (...) reflective equilibrium method, it cannot provide a basis for a dissolution of the problem of induction. This is because naturalized reflective equilibrium is – in a way to be explained – itself an inductive method, and thus renders Goodman's dissolution viciously circular. This paper, then, examines how the old problem of induction crept back in while nobody was looking. (shrink)