Consistent with the planning–control model, recent fMRI data reveal that the inferior parietal lobe, the frontal lobes, and the basal ganglia are involved in motor planning. Inconsistent with the planning–control model, however, recent behavioral data reveal a spatial repulsion effect, indicating that the visual context surrounding the target can sometimes influence the on-line control of goal-directed action.
ABSTRACTIn everyday situations, people regularly receive information from large groups of people and from single experts. Although lay opinions and expert opinions have been studied extensively in isolation, the present study examined the relationship between the two by asking how many laypeople are needed to counter an expert opinion. A Bayesian formalisation allowed the prescription of this quantity. Participants were subsequently asked to assess how many laypeople are needed in different situations. The results demonstrate that people are sensitive to the (...) relevant factors identified for determining how many lay opinions are required to counteract a single expert opinion. People's assessments were fairly good in line with Bayesian predictions. (shrink)
The Carol J. Adams Reader gathers together Adams's foundational and recent articles in the fields of critical studies, animal studies, media studies, vegan studies, ecofeminism and feminism, as well as relevant interviews and conversations in which Adams identifies key concepts and new developments in her decades-long work. This volume, a companion to The Sexual Politics of Meat (Bloomsbury Revelations), offers insight into a variety of urgent issues for our contemporary world: Why do batterers harm animals? What is the relationship between (...) genocide and attitudes toward other animals? How do activism and theory feed each other? How do race, gender, and species categories interact in strengthening oppressive attitudes? In clear language, Adams identifies the often hidden aspects of cultural presumptions. The essays and conversations found here capture the decades-long energy and vision that continue to shape new ways of thinking about and responding to oppression. (shrink)
Trust is a topic of longstanding philosophical interest. It is indispensable to every kind of coordinated human activity, from sport to scientific research. Even more, trust is necessary for the successful dissemination of knowledge, and by extension, for nearly any form of practical deliberation and planning. Without trust, we could achieve few of our goals and would know very little. Despite trust’s fundamental importance in human life, there is substantial philosophical disagreement about what trust is, and further, how trusting is (...) normatively constrained and best theorized about in relation to other things we value. This entry is divided into three sections, which explore key (and sometimes interconnected) ethical and epistemological themes in the philosophy of trust: (1) The Nature of Trust; (2) The Normativity of Trust, and (3) The Value of Trust. (shrink)
The value of knowledge has always been a central topic within epistemology. Going all the way back to Plato’s Meno, philosophers have asked, why is knowledge more valuable than mere true belief? Interest in this question has grown in recent years, with theorists proposing a range of answers. But some reject the premise of the question and claim that the value of knowledge is ‘swamped’ by the value of true belief. And others argue that statuses other than knowledge, such as (...) justification or understanding, are distinctively valuable. We will call the general question of why knowledge is valuable the value problem. (shrink)
Whereas epistemology is the philosophical theory of knowledge, its nature and scope, metaepistemology takes a step back from particular substantive debates in epistemology in order to inquire into the assumptions and commitments made by those who engage in these debates. This entry will focus on a selection of these assumptions and commitments, including whether there are objective epistemic facts; and how to characterize the subject matter and the methodology of epistemology.
Strange inversions occur when things work in ways that turn received wisdom upside down. Hume offered a strangely inverted story about causation, and Darwin, about apparent design. Dennett suggests that a strange inversion also occurs when we project our own reactive complexes outward, painting our world with elusive properties like cuteness, sweetness, blueness, sexiness, funniness, and more. Such properties strike us as experiential causes, but they are really effects—a kind of shorthand for whole sets of reactive dispositions rooted in the (...) nuts and bolts of human information processing. Understanding the nature and origins of that strange inversion, Dennett believes, is thus key to understanding the nature and origins of human experience itself. This paper examines this claim, paying special attention to recent formulations that link that strange inversion to the emerging vision of the brain as a Bayesian estimator, constantly seeking to predict the unfolding sensory barrage. (shrink)
The possibility of extended cognition invites the possibility of extended knowledge. We examine what is minimally required for such forms of technologically extended knowledge to arise and whether existing and future technologies can allow for such forms of epistemic extension. Answering in the positive, we explore some of the ensuing transformations in the ethical obligations and personal rights of the resulting ‘new humans.’.
The philosophical significance of attitudinal autonomy—viz., the autonomy of attitudes such as beliefs—is widely discussed in the literature on moral responsibility and free will. Within this literature, a key debate centres around the following question: is the kind of attitudinal autonomy that’s relevant to moral responsibility at a given time determined entirely by a subject’s present mental structure at that time? Internalists say ‘yes’, externalists say ’no’. In this essay, I motivate a kind of distinctly epistemic attitudinal autonomy, attitudinal autonomy (...) that is relevant to knowledge. I argue that regardless of whether we are externalists or internalists about the kind of attitudinal autonomy that is relevant for moral responsibility, we should be externalists about the kind of autonomy that a belief must have to qualify as knowledge. (shrink)
A new way to transpose the virtue epistemologist’s ‘knowledge = apt belief’ template to the collective level, as a thesis about group knowledge, is developed. In particular, it is shown how specifically judgmental belief can be realised at the collective level in a way that is structurally analogous, on a telic theory of epistemic normativity (e.g., Sosa 2020), to how it is realised at the individual level—viz., through a (collective) intentional attempt to get it right aptly (whether p) by alethically (...) affirming that p. An advantage of the proposal developed is that it is shown to be compatible with competing views—viz., joint acceptance accounts and social-distributive accounts—of how group members must interact in order to materially realise a group belief. I conclude by showing how the proposed judgment-focused collective (telic) virtue epistemology has important advantages over a rival version of collective virtue epistemology defended in recent work by Jesper Kallestrup (2016). (shrink)
We know facts, but we also know how to do things. To know a fact is to know that a proposition is true. But does knowing how to ride a bike amount to knowledge of propositions? This is a challenging question and one that deeply divides the contemporary landscape. A Critical Introduction to Knowledge-How introduces, outlines, and critically evaluates various contemporary debates surrounding the nature of knowledge-how. Carter and Poston show that situating the debate over the nature of knowledge-how in (...) other epistemological debates provides new ways to make progress. In particular, Carter and Poston explore the question of what knowledge-how involves, and how it might come apart from propositional knowledge, by engaging with key epistemological topics including epistemic luck, knowledge of language, epistemic value, virtue epistemology and social epistemology. New frontiers for research on knowledge-how are also explored relating to the internalism - externalism debate as well as embodied and extended knowledge. A Critical Introduction to Knowledge-How provides an accessible introduction to the main arguments in this important and thriving debate suited for undergraduates and postgraduates in philosophy and related areas. A strength of the book is its methodology which places a premium on placing the debates over knowledge-how in a broader conversation over the nature of knowledge. This book also offers an opinionated discussion of various lines of argument which will be of interest to professional philosophers as well. (shrink)
Extended Cognition examines the way in which features of a subject's cognitive environment can become constituent parts of the cognitive process itself. This volume explores the epistemological ramifications of this idea, bringing together academics from a variety of different areas, to investigate the very idea of an extended epistemology.
Philosophy of mind and cognitive science (e.g., Clark and Chalmers 1998; Clark 2010; Palermos 2014) have recently become increasingly receptive tothe hypothesis of extended cognition, according to which external artifacts such as our laptops and smartphones can—under appropriate circumstances—feature as material realisers of a person’s cognitive processes. We argue that, to the extent that the hypothesis of extended cognition is correct, our legal and ethical theorising and practice must be updated, by broadening our conception of personal assault so as to (...) include intentional harm towards gadgets that have been appropriately integrated. We next situate the theoretical case for extended personal assault within the context of some recent ethical and legal cases and close with some critical discussion. (shrink)
Reductive intellectualists hold that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. For this thesis to hold water, it is obviously important that knowledge-how and knowledge-that have the same epistemic properties. In particular, knowledge-how ought to be compatible with epistemic luck to the same extent as knowledge-that. It is argued, contra reductive intellectualism, that knowledge-how is compatible with a species of epistemic luck which is not compatible with knowledge-that, and thus it is claimed that knowledge-how and knowledge-that come apart.
In Lehrer’s case of the superstitious lawyer, a lawyer possesses conclusive evidence for his client’s innocence, and he appreciates that the evidence is conclusive, but the evidence is causally inert with respect to his belief in his client’s innocence. This case has divided epistemologists ever since Lehrer originally proposed it in his argument against causal analyses of knowledge. Some have taken the claim that the lawyer bases his belief on the evidence as a data point for our theories to accommodate, (...) while others have denied that the lawyer has knowledge, or that he bases his belief on the evidence. In this paper, we move the dialectic forward by way of arguing that the superstitious lawyer genuinely infers his client’s innocence from the evidence. To show that the lawyer’s inference is genuine, we argue in defense of a version of a doxastic construal of the ‘taking’ condition on inference. We also provide a pared-down superstitious lawyer-style case, which displays the key features of the original case without including its complicated and distracting features. But interestingly, although we argue that the lawyer’s belief is based on his good evidence, and is also plausibly doxastically justified, we do not argue that the lawyer knows that his client is innocent. (shrink)
This volume explores the epistemology of distributed cognition, the idea that groups of people can generate cognitive systems that consist of all participating members. Can distributed cognitive systems generate knowledge in a similar way to individuals? If so, how does this kind of knowledge differ from normal, individual knowledge?
Inference to the best explanation—or, IBE—tells us to infer from the available evidence to the hypothesis which would, if correct, best explain that evidence. As Peter Lipton puts it, the core idea driving IBE is that explanatory considerations are a guide to inference. But what is the epistemic status of IBE, itself? One issue of contemporary interest is whether it is possible to provide a justification for IBE itself which is non- objectionably circular. We aim to carve out some new (...) space in this debate. In particular, we suggest that the matter of whether a given rule-circular argument is objectionably circular itself depends crucially on some subtle distinctions which have been made in the recent literature on perceptual warrant. By bringing these debates together, a principled reason emerges for why some kinds of rule-circular justifications for IBE are considerably less objectionable than others. (shrink)
First, a theoretical background to the volume’s topic, extended epistemology, is provided by a brief outline of its cross-disciplinary theoretical lineage and some key themes. In particular, it is shown how and why the emergence of recent and more egalitarian thinking in the cognitive sciences about the nature of human cognizing and its bounds—viz., the so-called ‘extended cognition’ program, and the related idea of an ‘extended mind’—has important and interesting ramifications in epistemology. Second, an overview is provided of the papers (...) included as chapters in the volume. The sixteen contributions are divided into two categories: those that engage with foundational issues to do with extended epistemology, and those that pursue applications of extended epistemology to new areas of research. (shrink)
'Knowledge-First' constitutes what is widely regarded as one of the most significant innovations in contemporary epistemology in the past 25 years. Knowledge-first epistemology is the idea that knowledge per se should not be analysed in terms of its constituent parts (e.g., justification, belief), but rather that these and other notions should be analysed in terms of the concept of knowledge. This volume features a substantive introduction and 13 original essays from leading and up-and-coming philosophers on the topic of knowledge-first philosophy. (...) The contributors' essays range from foundational issues to applications of this project to other disciplines including the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of perception, ethics and action theory. Knowledge First: Approaches in Epistemology and Mind aims to provide a relatively open-ended forum for creative and original scholarship with the potential to contribute and advance debates connected with this philosophical project. (shrink)
In recent work, Mark Alfano and Jennifer Saul have put forward a similar kind of provocative sceptical challenge. Both appeal to recent literature in empirical psychology to show that our judgments across a wide range of cases are riddled with unreliable cognitive heuristics and biases. Likewise, they both conclude that we know a lot less than we have hitherto supposed, at least on standard conceptions of what knowledge involves. It is argued that even if one grants the empirical claims that (...) Saul and Alfano make, the sceptical conclusion that they canvass might not be as dramatic as it first appears. It is further argued, however, that one can reinstate a more dramatic sceptical conclusion by targeting their argument not at knowledge but rather at the distinct epistemic standing of understanding. (shrink)
Robust Virtue Epistemology maintains that knowledge is achieved just when an agent gets to the truth through, or because of, the manifestation of intellectual virtue or ability. A notorious objection to the view is that the satisfaction of the virtue condition will be insufficient to ensure the safety of the target belief; that is, RVE is no anti-luck epistemology. Some of the most promising recent attempts to get around this problem are considered and shown to ultimately fail. Finally, a new (...) proposal for defending RVE as a kind of anti-luck epistemology is defended. The view developed here turns importantly on the idea that knowledge depends on ability and luck in a way that is gradient, not rigid, and that we know just when our cognitive success depends on ability not rather, but more so, than luck. (shrink)
According to reductive intellectualism, knowledge-how just is a kind of propositional knowledge (e.g., Stanley & Williamson 2001; Stanley 2011a, 2011b; Brogaard, 2008a, 2008b, 2009, 2011, 2009, 2011). This proposal has proved controversial because knowledge-how and propositional knowledge do not seem to share the same epistemic properties, particularly with regard to epistemic luck. Here we aim to move the argument forward by offering a positive account of knowledge-how. In particular, we propose a new kind of anti-intellectualism. Unlike neo-Rylean anti-intellectualist views, according (...) to which the possession of knowledge-how is just a matter of possessing certain abilities, we submit that knowledge-how is a particular kind of cognitive achievement attained just when cognitive ability is connected in the right way with successful performance. (shrink)
This paper is about two topics: metaepistemological absolutism and the epistemic principles governing perceptual warrant. Our aim is to highlight—by taking the debate between dogmatists and conservativists about perceptual warrant as a case study—a surprising and hitherto unnoticed problem with metaepistemological absolutism, at least as it has been influentially defended by Paul Boghossian as the principal metaepistemological contrast point to relativism. What we find is that the metaepistemological commitments at play on both sides of this dogmatism/conservativism debate do not line (...) up with epistemic relativism nor do they line up with absolutism, at least as Boghossian articulates this position. What this case study reveals is the need in metaepistemological option space for the recognition of a weaker and less tendentious form of absolutism, what we call “environment relativism”. On this view, epistemic principles are knowable, objective, and they can serve as the basis of particular epistemic evaluations, but their validity is relative to the wider global environment in which they are applied. (shrink)
Duncan Pritchard (2008, 2009, 2010, forthcoming) has argued for an elegant solution to what have been called the value problems for knowledge at the forefront of recent literature on epistemic value. As Pritchard sees it, these problems dissolve once it is recognized that that it is understanding-why, not knowledge, that bears the distinctive epistemic value often (mistakenly) attributed to knowledge. A key element of Pritchard’s revisionist argument is the claim that understanding-why always involves what he calls strong cognitive achievement—viz., cognitive (...) achievement that consists always in either (i) the overcoming of a significant obstacle or (ii) the exercise of a significant level of cognitive ability. After outlining Pritchard’s argument, we show (contra Pritchard) that understanding-why does not essentially involve strong cognitive achievement. Interestingly, in the cases in which understanding-why is distinctively valuable, it is (we argue) only because there is sufficiently rich objectual understanding in the background. If that’s right, then a plausible revisionist solution to the value problems must be sensitive to different kinds of understanding and what makes them valuable, respectively. (shrink)
Our aim is to provide a topography of the relevant philosophical terrain with regard to the possible ways in which knowledge can be conceived of as extended. We begin by charting the different types of internalist and externalist proposals within epistemology, and we critically examine the different formulations of the epistemic internalism/externalism debate they lead to. Next, we turn to the internalism/externalism distinction within philosophy of mind and cognitive science. In light of the above dividing lines, we then examine first (...) the extent to which content externalism is compatible with epistemic externalism; second, whether active externalism entails epistemic externalism; and third whether there are varieties of epistemic externalism that are better suited to accommodate active externalism. Finally, we examine whether the combination of epistemic and cognitive externalism is necessary for epistemology and we comment on the potential ramifications of this move for social epistemology and philosophy of science. (shrink)
Recent thinking within philosophy of mind about the ways cognition can extend has yet to be integrated with philosophical theories of emotion, which give cognition a central role. We carve out new ground at the intersection of these areas and, in doing so, defend what we call the extended emotion thesis: the claim that some emotions can extend beyond skin and skull to parts of the external world.
According to Paul Boghossian a core tenet of epistemic relativism is what he calls epistemic pluralism, according to which ‘there are many fundamentally different, genuinely alternative epistemic systems’, but ‘no facts by virtue of which one of these systems is more correct than any of the others’. Embracing the former claim is more or less uncontroversial–viz., a descriptive fact about epistemic diversity. The latter claim by contrast is very controversial. Interestingly, the Wittgenstenian ‘hinge’ epistemologist, in virtue of maintaining that rational (...) evaluation is essentially local, will be committed to the more controversial leg of the epistemic pluralist thesis, simply in virtue of countenancing the descriptive leg. This paper does three central things. First, it is shown that this ‘relativistic’ reading of Wittgenstein’s epistemology is plausible only if the locality of rational evaluation commits the Wittgenstenian to a further epistemic incommensurability thesis. Next, Duncan Pritchard’s novel attempt to save the hinge epistemologist from a commitment to epistemic incommensurability is canvassed and critiqued. Finally, it is suggested how, regardless of whether Pritchard’s strategy is successful, there might be another very different way—drawing from recent work by John MacFarlane —for the hinge epistemologist to embrace epistemic pluralism while steering clear of epistemic relativism, understood in a very specific way. (shrink)
Contemporary debates about epistemic luck and its relation to knowledge have traditionally proceeded against a tacit background commitment to cognitive internalism, the thesis that cognitive processes play out inside the head. In particular, safety-based approaches (e.g., Pritchard 2005; 2007; Luper-Foy 1984; Sainsbury 1997; Sosa 1999; Williamson 2000) reveal this commitment by taking for granted a traditional internalist construal of what I call the cognitive fixedness thesis—viz., the thesis that the cognitive process that is being employed in the actual world is (...) always ‘held fixed’ when we go out to nearby possible worlds to assess whether the target belief is lucky in a way that is incompatible with knowledge. However, for those inclined to replace cognitive internalism with the extended mind thesis (e.g., Clark and Chalmers 1998), a very different, ‘active externalist’ version of the cognitive fixedness thesis becomes the relevant one for the purposes of assessing a belief’s safety. The aim here will be to develop this point in a way that draws out some of the important ramifications it has for how we think about safety, luck and knowledge. (shrink)
While openmindedness is often cited as a paradigmatic example of an intellectual virtue, the connection between openmindedness and truth is tenuous. Several strategies for reconciling this tension are considered, and each is shown to fail; it is thus claimed that openmindedness, when intellectually virtuous, bears no interesting essential connection to truth. In the final section, the implication of this result is assessed in the wider context of debates about epistemic value.
Within contemporary philosophy of mind, it is taken for granted that externalist accounts of meaning and mental content are, in principle, orthogonal to the matter of whether cognition itself is bound within the biological brain or whether it can constitutively include parts of the world. Accordingly, Clark and Chalmers (1998) distinguish these varieties of externalism as ‘passive’ and ‘active’ respectively. The aim here is to suggest that we should resist the received way of thinking about these dividing lines. With reference (...) to Brandom’s (1994; 2000; 2008) broad semantic inferentialism, we show that a theory of meaning can be at the same time a variety of active externalism. While we grant that supporters of other varieties of content externalism (e.g., Putnam 1975 and Burge 1986) can deny active externalism, this is not an option for semantic inferentialists: On this latter view, the role of the environment (both in its social and natural form) is not ‘passive’ in the sense assumed by the alternative approaches to content externalism. (shrink)
Controversial view agnosticism is the thesis that we are rationally obligated to withhold judgment about a large portion of our beliefs in controversial subject areas, such as philosophy, religion, morality and politics. Given that one’s social identity is in no small part a function of one’s positive commitments in controversial areas, CVA has unsurprisingly been regarded as objectionably ‘spineless.’ That said, CVA seems like an unavoidable consequence of a prominent view in the epistemology of disagreement—conformism—according to which the rational response (...) to discovering that someone you identify as an epistemic peer or expert about p disagrees with you vis-à-vis p is to withhold judgment. This paper proposes a novel way to maintain the core conciliatory insight without devolving into an agnosticism that is objectionably spineless. The approach offered takes as a starting point the observation that–for reasons that will be made clear—the contemporary debate has bypassed the issue of the reasonableness of maintaining, rather than giving up, representational states weaker than belief in controversial areas. The new position developed and defended here explores this overlooked space; what results is a kind of controversial view. (shrink)
Reductive intellectualists (e.g., Stanley & Williamson 2001; Stanley 2011a; 2011b; Brogaard 2008; 2009; 2011) hold that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. If this thesis is correct, then we should expect the defeasibility conditions for knowledge-how and knowledge-that to be uniform—viz., that the mechanisms of epistemic defeat which undermine propositional knowledge will be equally capable of imperilling knowledge-how. The goal of this paper is twofold: first, against intellectualism, we will show that knowledge-how is in fact resilient to being undermined by (...) the very kinds of traditional (propositional) epistemic defeaters which clearly defeat the items of propositional knowledge which intellectualists identify with knowledge-how. Second, we aim to fill an important lacuna in the contemporary debate, which is to develop an alternative way in which epistemic defeat for knowledge-how could be modelled within an anti-intellectualist framework. (shrink)
Extended cognition theorists argue that cognitive processes constitutively depend on resources that are neither organically composed, nor located inside the bodily boundaries of the agent, provided certain conditions on the integration of those processes into the agent’s cognitive architecture are met. Epistemologists, however, worry that in so far as such cognitively integrated processes are epistemically relevant, agents could thus come to enjoy an untoward explosion of knowledge. This paper develops and defends an approach to cognitive integration—cluster-model functionalism—which finds application in (...) both domains of inquiry, and which meets the challenge posed by putative cases of cognitive or epistemic bloat. (shrink)
Full aptness is the most important concept in performance-based virtue epistemology. The structure of full aptness, in epistemology and elsewhere, is bi-levelled. At the first level, we evaluate beliefs, like performances, on the basis of whether they are successful, competent, and apt – viz., successful because competent. But the fact that aptness itself can be fragile – as it is when an apt performance could easily have been inapt – points to a higher zone of quality beyond mere aptness. To (...) break in to this zone, one must not merely perform aptly but also in doing so safeguard in skilled ways against certain risks to inaptness. But how must this be done, exactly? This paper has two central aims. First, I challenge the credentials of mainstream thinking about full-aptness by raising some new and serious problems for the view. I then propose a novel account of full aptness – what I call de minimis normativism – which keeps all the advantages of the canonical view, avoids its problems entirely, and offers some additional payoffs. (shrink)
In a recent and provocative paper, Matthew Fisher, Mariel Goddu, and Frank Keil have argued, on the basis of experimental evidence, that ‘searching the Internet leads people to conflate information that can be found online with knowledge “in the head” ’, specifically, by inclining us to conflate mere access to information for personal knowledge. This paper has three central aims. First, we briefly detail Fisher et al.’s results and show how, on the basis of re- cent work in virtue epistemology, (...) their interpretation of the data supports the thesis that searching the Internet is conducive to the vice of intellectual arrogance. Second, we argue that this arrogance interpretation of the data rests on an implicit commitment to cognitive internalism. Thirdly, we show how the data can be given a very different explanation in light of the hypothesis of extended cognition —one which challenges the extent to which Fisher et al. are entitled to insist that subjects are actually conflating access to knowledge for personal knowledge in the first place. We conclude by suggesting how, against the background of extended cognition rather than cognitive internalism, we have some reason to think that searching the Internet might actually foster virtuous intellectual humility. (shrink)
According to robust virtue epistemology , knowledge is type-identical with a particular species of cognitive achievement. The identification itself is subject to some criticism on the grounds that it fails to account for the anti-luck features of knowledge. Although critics have largely focused on environmental luck, the fundamental philosophical problem facing RVE is that it is not clear why it should be a distinctive feature of cognitive abilities that they ordinarily produce beliefs in a way that is safe. We propose (...) a novel way to resolve this problem. Key to our proposal will be an appreciation of different representational states beholden to truth. We suggest these different representational states are distinguished by how, in the proper governance of these states, the twin goods of attaining truth and avoiding error are weighted. Moreover, we explain how varieties of representational states line up with varieties of cognitive achievement such that knowledge, cum cognitive achievement, must be safe because of the kind of attempt at success that belief is—namely, an attempt that places the premium it does on avoiding error. (shrink)
One of the deepest ideological divides in contemporary epistemology concerns the relative importance of belief versus credence. A prominent consideration in favor of credence-based epistemology is the ease with which it appears to account for rational action. In contrast, cases with risky payoff structures threaten to break the link between rational belief and rational action. This threat poses a challenge to traditional epistemology, which maintains the theoretical prominence of belief. The core problem, we suggest, is that belief may not be (...) enough to register all aspects of a subject’s epistemic position with respect to any given proposition. We claim this problem can be solved by introducing other doxastic attitudes—genuine representations—that differ in strength from belief. The resulting alternative picture, a kind of doxastic states pluralism, retains the central features of traditional epistemology—most saliently, an emphasis on truth as a kind of objective accuracy—while adequately accounting for rational action. (shrink)
Philosophy of mind and cognitive science have recently become increasingly receptive to the hypothesis of extended cognition, according to which external artifacts such as our laptops and smartphones can—under appropriate circumstances—feature as material realizers of a person's cognitive processes. We argue that, to the extent that the hypothesis of extended cognition is correct, our legal and ethical theorizing and practice must be updated by broadening our conception of personal assault so as to include intentional harm toward gadgets that have been (...) appropriately integrated. We next situate the theoretical case for extended personal assault within the context of some recent ethical and legal cases and close with critical discussion. (shrink)
Reductive intellectualists about knowledge-how hold, contra Ryle, that knowing how to do something is just a kind of propositional knowledge. In a similar vein, traditional reductivists about understanding-why insist, in accordance with a tradition beginning with Aristotle, that the epistemic standing one attains when one understands why something is so is itself just a kind of propositional knowledge—viz., propositional knowledge of causes. A point that has been granted on both sides of these debates is that if these reductive proposals are (...) right, then knowledge-how and understanding-why should be susceptible to the same extent as knowledge-that is to being undermined by epistemic luck. This paper reports experimental results that test these luck-based predictions. Interestingly, these results suggest a striking positive correlation between self-reported philosophical expertise and attributions of knowledge-how, understanding-why and knowledge-that which run contrary to reductive proposals. We contextualize these results by showing how they align very well with a particular kind of overarching non-reductive proposal, one that two of the authors have defended elsewhere according to which knowledge-how and understanding-why, but not knowledge-that, essentially involve cognitive achievement. We conclude by situating the interpretive narrative advanced within contemporary discussions about the role of expertise in philosophical judgment. (shrink)
According to the canonical formulation of the modal account of luck [e.g. Pritchard ], an event is lucky just when that event occurs in the actual world but not in a wide class of the nearest possible worlds where the relevant conditions for that event are the same as in the actual world. This paper argues, with reference to a novel variety of counterexample, that it is a mistake to focus, when assessing a given event for luckiness, on events distributed (...) over just the nearest possible worlds. More specifically, our objection to the canonical formulation of the modal account of luck reveals that whether an event is lucky depends crucially on events distributed over all possible worlds–viz., across the modal universe. It is shown that an amended modal account of luck which respects this point has the additional virtue of avoiding a notable kind of counterexample to modal accounts of luck proposed by Lackey. (shrink)
Relativists about knowledge ascriptions think that whether a particular use of a knowledge-ascribing sentence, e.g., “Keith knows that the bank is open” is true depends on the epistemic standards at play in the assessor’s context—viz., the context in which the knowledge ascription is being as- sessed for truth or falsity. Given that the very same knowledge-ascription can be assessed for truth or falsity from indefinitely many perspectives, relativism has a striking consequence. When I ascribe knowledge to someone (e.g., when I (...) say that, at a particular time, “Keith knows that the bank is open”), what I’ve said does not get a truth-value absolutely, but only relatively. If this semantic thesis about the word “knows” and its cognates is true, what implications would this have for epistemology, the philosophical theory of knowledge? e present aim will be to engage with this mostly unexplored question, and then to consider how the epistemological conclusions drawn might bear on the plausibility of a relativist semantics for “knows”. (shrink)
When extended cognition is extended into mainstream epistemology, an awkward tension arises when considering cases of environmental epistemic luck. Surprisingly, it is not at all clear how the mainstream verdict that agents lack knowledge in cases of environmental luck can be reconciled with principles central to extended cognition.