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John Greco
Georgetown University
  1. Achieving Knowledge: A Virtue-Theoretic Account of Epistemic Normativity.John Greco - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
    When we affirm that someone knows something, we are making a value judgment of sorts - we are claiming that there is something superior about that person's opinion, or their evidence, or perhaps about them. A central task of the theory of knowledge is to investigate the sort of evaluation at issue. This is the first book to make 'epistemic normativity,' or the normative dimension of knowledge and knowledge ascriptions, its central focus. John Greco argues that knowledge is a kind (...)
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  2. Knowledge as Credit for True Belief.John Greco - 2003 - In Michael DePaul & Linda Zagzebski (eds.), Intellectual Virtue: Perspectives From Ethics and Epistemology. Clarendon Press. pp. 111-134.
    The paper begins by reviewing two problems for fallibilism: the lottery problem, or the problem of explaining why fallible evidence, though otherwise excellent, is not enough to know that one will lose the lottery, and Gettier problems. It is then argued that both problems can be resolved if we note an important illocutionary force of knowledge attributions: namely, that when we attribute knowledge to someone we mean to give the person credit for getting things right. Alternatively, to say that a (...)
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  3. A (Different) Virtue Epistemology.John Greco - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):1-26.
    Section 1 articulates a genus-species claim: that knowledge is a kind of success from ability. Equivalently: In cases of knowledge, S’s success in believing the truth is attributable to S’s ability. That idea is then applied to questions about the nature and value of knowledge. Section 2 asks what it would take to turn the genus-species claim into a proper theory of knowledge; that is, into informative, necessary and sufficient conditions. That question is raised in the context of an important (...)
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  4.  84
    Putting Skeptics in Their Place: The Nature of Skeptical Arguments and Their Role in Philosophical Inquiry.John Greco - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book, first published in 2000, is about the nature of skeptical arguments and their role in philosophical inquiry. John Greco delineates three main theses: that a number of historically prominent skeptical arguments make no obvious mistake, and therefore cannot be easily dismissed; that the analysis of skeptical arguments is philosophically useful and important, and should therefore have a central place in the methodology of philosophy; and that taking skeptical arguments seriously requires us to adopt an externalist, reliabilist epistemology. Greco (...)
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  5. Virtue Epistemology.John Turri, Mark Alfano & John Greco - 1999 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-51.
    Contemporary virtue epistemology (hereafter ‘VE’) is a diverse collection of approaches to epistemology. At least two central tendencies are discernible among the approaches. First, they view epistemology as a normative discipline. Second, they view intellectual agents and communities as the primary focus of epistemic evaluation, with a focus on the intellectual virtues and vices embodied in and expressed by these agents and communities. -/- This entry introduces many of the most important results of the contemporary VE research program. These include (...)
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  6.  5
    The Transmission of Knowledge.John Greco - 2020 - Cambridge University Press.
    How do we transmit or distribute knowledge, as distinct from generating or producing it? In this book John Greco examines the interpersonal relations and social structures which enable and inhibit the sharing of knowledge within and across epistemic communities. Drawing on resources from moral theory, the philosophy of language, action theory and the cognitive sciences, he considers the role of interpersonal trust in transmitting knowledge, and argues that sharing knowledge involves a kind of shared agency similar to giving a gift (...)
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  7. The Nature of Ability and the Purpose of Knowledge.John Greco - 2007 - Philosophical Issues 17 (1):57–69.
    The claim that knowledge is a kind of success from ability has great theoretical power: it explains the nature of epistemic normativity, why knowledge is incompatible with luck, and why knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief. This paper addresses objections to the view by wedding it with two additional ideas: that intellectual abilities display a certain structure, and that the concept of knowledge functions to flag good information, and good sources of information, for use in practical reasoning.
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  8.  94
    Virtue Epistemology: Contemporary Readings.John Greco & John Turri (eds.) - 2012 - MIT Press.
    Virtue epistemology is a diverse and flourishing field, one of the most exciting developments in epistemology to emerge over the last three decades. Virtue epistemology begins with the premise that epistemology is a normative discipline and, accordingly, a central task of epistemology is to explain the sort of normativity that knowledge, justified belief, and the like involve. A second premise is that a focus on the intellectual virtues is essential to carrying out this central task. This collection offers some of (...)
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  9.  55
    A (Different) Virtue Epistemology.John Greco - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):1-26.
    Section 1 articulates a genus-species claim: that knowledge is a kind of success from ability. Equivalently: In cases of knowledge, S's success in believing the truth is attributable to S's ability. That idea is then applied to questions about the nature and value of knowledge. Section 2 asks what it would take to turn the genus-species claim into a proper theory of knowledge; that is, into informative, necessary and sufficient conditions. That question is raised in the context of an important (...)
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  10. Agent Reliabilism.John Greco - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13:273-296.
    This paper reviews two skeptical arguments and argues that a reliabilist framework is necessary to avoid them. The paper also argues that agent reliabilism, which makes the knower the seat of reliability, is the most plausible version of reliabilism.
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  11. A Virtue Epistemology.John Greco - 2010 - International Philosophical Quarterly 50 (3):399-401.
    Section 1 articulates a genus-species claim: that knowledge is a kind of success from ability. Equivalently: In cases of knowledge, S’s success in believing the truth is attributable to S’s ability. That idea is then applied to questions about the nature and value of knowledge. Section 2 asks what it would take to turn the genus-species claim into a proper theory of knowledge; that is, into informative, necessary and sufficient conditions. That question is raised in the context of an important (...)
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  12. What's Wrong with Contextualism?John Greco - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):416-436.
    This paper addresses two worries that might be raised about contextualism in epistemology and that carry over to its moral analogues: that contextualism robs epistemology (and moral theory) of a proper subject-matter, and that contextualism robs knowledge claims (and moral claims) of their objectivity. Two theses are defended: (1) that these worries are appropriately directed at interestdependent theories in general rather than at contextualism in particular, and (2) that the two worries are over-stated in any case. Finally, the paper offers (...)
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  13. Knowledge and Success From Ability.John Greco - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (1):17 - 26.
    This paper argues that knowledge is an instance of a more general and familiar normative kind—that of success through ability (or success through excellence, or success through virtue). This thesis is developed in the context of three themes prominent in the recent literature: that knowledge attributions are somehow context sensitive; that knowledge is intimately related to practical reasoning; and that one purpose of the concept of knowledge is to flag good sources of information. Wedding these themes to the proposed account (...)
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  14.  91
    Powers and Capacities in Philosophy: The New Aristotelianism.John Greco & Ruth Groff (eds.) - 2012 - Routledge.
    "Powers and Capacities in Philosophy" is designed to stake out an emerging, discipline-spanning neo-Aristotelian framework grounded in realism about causal powers. The volume brings together for the first time original essays by leading philosophers working on powers in relation to metaphysics, philosophy of natural and social science, philosophy of mind and action, epistemology, ethics and social and political philosophy. In each area, the concern is to show how a commitment to real causal powers affects discussion at the level in question. (...)
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  15.  26
    Agent Reliabilism.John Greco - 1999 - Noûs 33 (s13):273-296.
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  16. Virtues in Epistemology.John Greco - 2002 - In Paul Moser (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Epistemology. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 287--315.
    Part One reviews some recent history of epistemology, focusing on ways in which the intellectual virtues have been invoked to solve specific epistemological problems. This part gives a sense of the contemporary landscape that has emerged and clarifies some of the disagreements among those who invoke the virtues in epistemology. Part Two explores some problems about knowledge in greater detail, and defends a externalist approach in virtue epistemology.
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  17.  15
    Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology.David K. Henderson & John Greco (eds.) - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Epistemic Evaluation aims to explore and apply a particular methodology in epistemology. The methodology is to consider the point or purpose of our epistemic evaluations, and to pursue epistemological theory in light of such matters. Call this purposeful epistemology. The idea is that considerations about the point and purpose of epistemic evaluation might fruitfully constrain epistemological theory and yield insights for epistemological reflection. Several contributions to this volume explicitly address this general methodology, or some version of it. Others focus on (...)
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  18. What is Transmission*?John Greco - 2016 - Episteme 13 (4):481-498.
    Almost everyone believes that testimony can transmit knowledge from speaker to hearer. What some philosophers mean by this is ordinary and pedestrian-- they mean only that, in at least some cases, a speaker S knows that p, S testifies that p to a hearer H, and H comes to know that p as a result of believing S's testimony. There is disagreement about how this occurs, but that it does occur is sufficient for the transmission of knowledge in the intended (...)
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  19. The Value Problem.John Greco - 2009 - In Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 313--22.
     
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  20. Virtues and Vices of Virtue Epistemology.John Greco - 1993 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):413-432.
    In recent years, virtue epistemology has won the attention of a wide range of philosophers. A developed form of the position has been expounded forcefully by Ernest Sosa and represents the most plausible version of reliabilism to date. Through the person of Alvin Plantinga, virtue epistemology has taken philosophy of religion by storm, evoking objections and defenses in a wide variety of journals and volumes. Historically, virtue epistemology has its roots in the work of Thomas Reid, and the explosion of (...)
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  21. The Blackwell Guide to Epistemology.John Greco & Ernest Sosa (eds.) - 1999 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    Written by an international assembly of leading philosophers, this volume includes seventeen newly-commissioned full-length survey articles on the central topics of epistemology.
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  22. Worries About Pritchard’s Safety.John Greco - 2007 - Synthese 158 (3):299-302.
    I take issue with two claims that Duncan Pritchard makes in his recent book, "Epistemic Luck". The first concerns his safety-based response to the lottery problem; the second his account of the relationship between safety and intellectual virtue.
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  23. Epistemic Value.John Greco - 2009 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  24. Justification is Not Internal.John Greco - 2005 - In Steup Matthias & Sosa Ernest (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell. pp. 257--269.
    When we say that someone knows something we are making a value judgment—we are saying that there is something intellectually good or right about the person’s belief, or about the way she believes it, or perhaps about her. We are saying, for example, that her belief is intellectually better than someone else’s mere opinion. Notice that we might make this sort of value judgment even if the two persons agree. Suppose that two people agree that the earth is the third (...)
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  25.  51
    Ernest Sosa: And His Critics.John Greco (ed.) - 2004 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This is the first book devoted to the work of Ernest Sosa, one of the most influential contemporary epistemologists. Part of the acclaimed Philosophers and Their Critics series. The editor’s introduction serves as an introduction to Sosa’s epistemology. Contains critical essays by more than twenty of the most prominent epistemologists in the world, commenting on Sosa's work. Concludes with Sosa’s own reply to his critics.
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  26. Putting Skeptics in Their Place: The Nature of Skeptical Arguments and Their Role in Philosophical Inquiry.John Greco - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (204):398-401.
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  27. How to Reid Moore.John Greco - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209):544-563.
    Moore's 'Proof of an External World' has evoked a variety of responses from philosophers, including bafflement, indignation and sympathetic reconstruction. I argue that Moore should be understood as following Thomas Reid on a variety of points, both epistemological and methodological. Moreover, Moore and Reid are exactly right on all of these points. Hence what I present is a defence of Moore's 'Proof', as well as an interpretation. Finally, I argue that the Reid-Moore position is useful for resolving an issue that (...)
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  28.  89
    The Transmission of Knowledge and Garbage.John Greco - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2867-2878.
    Almost everyone will grant that knowledge is often transmitted through testimony. Indeed, to deny this would be to accept a broad-ranging skepticism. Here is a problem: Knowledge seems to be transmitted right along side lots of garbage. That is, besides transmitting genuine knowledge, we manage to transmit lots of beliefs that are irrational, superstitious, self-deceiving, and flat out false. So how is that possible? How is it that the very same channels manage to transmit both knowledge and garbage together? Call (...)
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  29.  10
    Putting Skeptics in Their Place: The Nature of Skeptical Arguments and Their Role in Philosophical Inquiry.John Greco - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):432-436.
    The second major thesis of the book follows closely on the first: that the analysis of skeptical arguments is philosophically useful and important, and should therefore have a central role in the methodology of philosophy, and especially in the methodology of epistemology. A close analysis of skeptical arguments highlights our pre-theoretically plausible, but ultimately mistaken, assumptions about the nature of knowledge and evidence. Skeptical arguments are powerful just because their assumptions are so plausible pre-theoretically. But the arguments show us where (...)
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  30. Cognitive Integration and the Ownership of Belief: Response to Bernecker.Daniel Breyer & John Greco - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):173–184.
    This paper responds to Sven Bernecker’s argument that agent reliabilism cannot accommodate internalist intuitions about clarvoyance cases. In section 1 we clarify a version of agent reliabilism and Bernecker’s objections against it. In section 2 we say more about how the notion of cognitive integration helps to adjudicate clairvoyance cases and other proposed counterexamples to reliabilism. The central idea is that cognitive integration underwrites a kind of belief ownership, which in turn underwrites the sort of responsibility for belief required for (...)
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  31.  82
    Safety in Sosa.John Greco - 2020 - Synthese 197 (12):5147-5157.
    What is the relationship between virtue and safety? This paper argues that Sosa’s positions in A Virtue Epistemology and in Judgment and Agency regarding this question are, despite appearances to the contrary, in fact consistent. Moreover, Sosa’s position there is well motivated—his Virtue Epistemology explains why knowledge should require apt belief, and why aptness should imply safety. Finally, the paper shows how two kinds of safety are importantly related to Sosa’s response to the Pyrrhonian Problematic. Specifically, reflections on the modal (...)
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  32. Recent Work on Testimonial Knowledge.John Greco - 2012 - American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (1):15-28.
    Recent interest in the epistemology of testimony can be traced to C. A. J. Coady's Testimony: A Philosophical Study (1992) and then a collection of papers edited by Bimal Krishna Matilal and Arindam Chakrabarti, Knowing from Words (1994). These two volumes framed several issues in the epistemology of testimony and largely set the agenda for work in that area over the next two decades. -/- One major issue in this literature is whether testimonial knowledge can be "reduced" to some other (...)
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  33. Internalism and Epistemically Responsible Belief.John Greco - 1990 - Synthese 85 (2):245 - 277.
    In section one the deontological (or responsibilist) conception of justification is discussed and explained. In section two, arguments are put forward in order to derive the most plausible version of perspectival internalism, or the position that epistemic justification is a function of factors internal to the believer's cognitive perspective. The two most common considerations put forward in favor of perspectival internalism are discussed. These are the responsibilist conception of justification, and the intuition that two believers with like beliefs and experiences (...)
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  34. The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism.John Greco (ed.) - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
    In the history of philosophical thought, few themes loom as large as skepticism. Skepticism has been the most visible and important part of debates about knowledge. Skepticism at its most basic questions our cognitive achievements, challenges our ability to obtain reliable knowledge; casting doubt on our attempts to seek and understand the truth about everything from ethics, to other minds, religious belief, and even the underlying structure of matter and reality. Since Descartes, the defense of knowledge against skepticism has been (...)
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  35. Transmitting Faith.John Greco - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (3):85-104.
    Part One of the paper argues against evidentialism and individualism in religiousepistemology, and in favor of a “social turn” in the field. The idea here is that humanbelief in general, and religious belief in particular, is largely characterized by epistemicdependence on other persons. An adequate epistemology, it is agued, ought to recognizeand account for social epistemic dependence.Part Two considers a problem that becomes salient when we make such a turn. Inshort, how are we to understand the transmission of knowledge and (...)
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  36.  90
    A Second Paradox Concerning Responsibility and Luck.John Greco - 1995 - Metaphilosophy 26 (1-2):81-96.
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  37. Testimonial Knowledge and the Flow of Information.John Greco - 2015 - In David K. Henderson & John Greco (eds.), Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology. Oxford University Press UK.
    This chapter reviews a number of related problems in the epistemology of testimony, and suggests some dilemmas for any theory of knowledge that tries to solve them. Here a common theme emerges: It can seem that any theory must make testimonial knowledge either too hard or too easy, and that therefore no adequate account of testimonial knowledge is possible. The chapter then puts forward a proposal for making progress. Specifically, an important function of the concept of knowledge is to govern (...)
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  38. Virtue, Luck and the Pyrrhonian Problematic.John Greco - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 130 (1):9-34.
    A number of contemporary philosophers endorse a Pyrrhonian theme: that one has knowledge only if one knows or understands that one’s beliefs are reliably formed. Otherwise, one is like a man who grasps gold in the dark: such a man is successful, but his success is a matter of luck, and so not creditable to him. It is argued that the skeptical problem and the problem of moral luck share a common structure and a common solution. Specifically, a virtue-theoretic approach (...)
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  39. Two Kinds of Intellectual Virtue. [REVIEW]John Greco - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):179.
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  40. Virtue Epistemology.Chris Kelp & John Greco (eds.) - forthcoming
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  41.  53
    Hinge Epistemology and the Prospects for a Unified Theory of Knowledge.John Greco - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 15):3593-3607.
    I defend two theses here. First, I argue that at least many of the commitments that Wittgenstein identifies as “hinge commitments” are plausibly what cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence call “procedural knowledge.” Procedural knowledge can be implemented in cognitive systems in a variety of ways, and these modes of implementation, I argue, predict several properties of Wittgensteinian hinge commitments, including their functional profile, as well as other of their characteristic features. Second, I argue that thinking of hinge commitments as a (...)
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  42.  24
    22. Virtues in Epistemology.John Greco - 2003 - In Steven Luper (ed.), Essential Knowledge: Readings in Epistemology. Longman. pp. 211.
    In ”Virtues in Epistemology,” John Greco presents and evaluates two main notions of intellectual virtue. The first concerns Ernest Sosa's development of this concept as a disposition to grasp truth and avoid falsehood. Greco contrasts this with moral models of intellectual virtue that include a motivational component in their definition, namely a desire for truth. Instead, Greco argues that a minimalist reliabilist account of intellectual virtue “in which the virtues are conceived as reliable cognitive abilities or powers,” can be illuminating (...)
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  43. Virtue and Luck, Epistemic and Otherwise.John Greco - 2003 - Metaphilosophy 34 (3):353-366.
    This essay defends virtue reliabilism against a line of argument put forward by Duncan Pritchard. In the process, it discusses (1) the motivations for virtue reliabilism, (2) some analogies between epistemic virtue and moral virtue, and (3) the relation between virtue (epistemic and otherwise) and luck (epistemic and otherwise). It argues that considerations about virtue and luck suggest a solution to Gettier problems from the perspective of a virtue theory.
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  44. Skepticism About the External World.John Greco - 2008 - In The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. Oxford University Press. pp. 108--128.
  45. A Different Sort of Contextualism.John Greco - 2004 - Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):383-400.
    A number of virtue epistemologists endorse the following thesis: Knowledge is true belief resulting from intellectual virtue, where Ss true belief results from intellectual virtue just in case S believes the truth because S is intellectually virtuous. This thesis commits one to a sort of contextualism about knowledge attributions. This is because, in general, sentences of the form X occurred because Y occurred require a contextualist treatment. This sort of contextualism is contrasted with more familiar versions. It is argued that (...)
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  46. Further Thoughts on Agent Reliabilism: Replies to Cohen, Geivett, Kvanvig, and Schmitt and Lahroodi.John Greco - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):466-480.
    This paper replies to various concerns raised in a symposium on Putting Skeptics in Their Place: The Nature of Skeptical Arguments and Their Role in Philosophical Inquiry.
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  47.  90
    Sosa on Abilities, Concepts, and Externalism.Timothy Williamson & John Greco - 2004 - In John Greco (ed.), Ernest Sosa: And His Critics. Blackwell.
    A kind of intellectual project characteristic of Ernest Sosa is to resolve an apparently flat-out dispute by showing that it is not after all a zero-sum game. His irenic goal is to do justice to both sides and give each of them most of what it wants. In his subtle paper ‘Abilities, Concepts, and Externalism’ he applies this strategy to the dispute between internalism and externalism in the philosophy of mind. It is a pleasure to engage in discussion with a (...)
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  48.  26
    Virtues and Rules in Epistemology.John Greco - 2001 - In Abrol Fairweather & Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski (eds.), Virtue Epistemology: Essays on Epistemic Virtue and Responsibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 117--141.
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  49. Reliabilist Virtue Epistemology.John Greco & Jonathan Reibsamen - 2018 - In Nancy Snow (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Virtue. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 725-746.
    According to reliabilist virtue epistemology, or virtue reliabilism, knowledge is true belief that is produced by intellectual excellence (or virtue), where intellectual excellence is understood in terms of reliable, truth-directed cognitive dispositions. This essay explains why virtue reliabilism is a form of epistemological externalism, is a moderately naturalized epistemology, and is distinct from virtue responsibilism. We explain virtue reliabilism’s answers to various forms of skepticism, its solution to the Gettier Problem, and its explanation of the value of knowledge. We also (...)
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  50. Discrimination and Testimonial Knowledge.John Greco - 2007 - Episteme 4 (3):335-351.
    Sanford Goldberg has called our attention to an interesting problem: How is it that young children can learn from the testimony of their caregivers (their parents, teachers, and nannies, for example) even when the children themselves are undiscriminating consumers of testimony? Part One describes the importance and scope of the problem, showing that it generalizes beyond tots and their caregivers. Part Two considers and rejects several strategies for solving the problem, including Goldberg's own. Part Three defends a solution, positing a (...)
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