Lewis et al. (2011) attempted to restore the reputation of Samuel George Morton, a 19th century physician who reported on the skull sizes of different folk-races. Whereas Gould (1978) claimed that Morton’s conclusions were invalid because they reflected unconscious bias, Lewis et al. alleged that Morton’s findings were, in fact, supported, and Gould’s analysis biased. We take strong exception to Lewis et al.’s thesis that Morton was “right.” We maintain that Gould was right to reject Morton’s analysis as inappropriate and (...) misleading, but wrong to believe that a more appropriate analysis was available. Lewis et al. fail to recognize that there is, given the dataset available, no appropriate way to answer any of the plausibly interesting questions about the “populations” in question (which in many cases are not populations in any biologically meaningful sense). We challenge the premise shared by both Gould and Lewis et al. that Morton’s confused data can be used to draw any meaningful conclusions. This, we argue, reveals the importance of properly focusing on the questions asked, rather than more narrowly on the data gathered. (shrink)
Lewis et al. (2011) attempted to restore the reputation of Samuel George Morton, a 19th century physician who reported on the skull sizes of different folk-races. Whereas Gould (1978) claimed that Morton's conclusions were invalid because they reflected unconscious bias, Lewis et al. alleged that Morton's findings were, in fact, supported, and Gould's analysis biased. We take strong exception to Lewis et al.’s thesis that Morton was “right.” We maintain that Gould was right to reject Morton's analysis as inappropriate and (...) misleading, but wrong to believe that a more appropriate analysis was available. Lewis et al. fail to recognize that there is, given the dataset available, no appropriate way to answer any of the plausibly interesting questions about the “populations” in question (which in many cases are not populations in any biologically meaningful sense). We challenge the premise shared by both Gould and Lewis et al. that Morton's confused data can be used to draw any meaningful conclusions. This, we argue, reveals the importance of properly focusing on the questions asked, rather than more narrowly on the data gathered. (shrink)
Joshua Foa Dienstag engages in a critical encounter with the work of Stanley Cavell on cinema, focusing skeptical attention on the claims made for the contribution of cinema to the ethical character of democratic life.
Joshua Gert offers an original account of normative facts and properties, those which have implications for how we ought to behave. He argues that our ability to think and talk about normative notions such as reasons and benefits is dependent on how we respond to the world around us, including how we respond to the actions of other people.
Experimental philosophy uses experimental research methods from psychology and cognitive science in order to investigate both philosophical and metaphilosophical questions. It explores philosophical questions about the nature of the psychological world - the very structure or meaning of our concepts of things, and about the nature of the non-psychological world - the things themselves. It also explores metaphilosophical questions about the nature of philosophical inquiry and its proper methodology. This book provides a detailed and provocative introduction to this innovative field, (...) focusing on the relationship between experimental philosophy and the aims and methods of more traditional analytic philosophy. Special attention is paid to carefully examining experimental philosophy's quite different philosophical programs, their individual strengths and weaknesses, and the different kinds of contributions that they can make to our philosophical understanding. Clear and accessible throughout, it situates experimental philosophy within both a contemporary and historical context, explains its aims and methods, examines and critically evaluates its most significant claims and arguments, and engages with its critics. (shrink)
This book argues that this powerful technique permits the social sciences to meet an explanation, in which one 'grows' the phenomenon of interest in an artificial society of interacting agents: heterogeneous, boundedly rational actors.
Delving into the images and technique that made the daguerreotype a cutting-edge technology in 1839, the author uses her access to Harvard's collection of images to explore the early phases of this format.
Our brains were designed for tribal life, for getting along with a select group of others and for fighting off everyone else. But modern times have forced the world’s tribes into a shared space, resulting in epic clashes of values along with unprecedented opportunities. As the world shrinks, the moral lines that divide us become more salient and more puzzling. We fight over everything from tax codes to gay marriage to global warming, and we wonder where, if at all, we (...) can find our common ground. (shrink)
As new military technologies change the character of war by empowering agents in new ways, it can become more difficult for our ethics of war to achieve the right balance between moral principle and necessity. Indeed, there is an ever-growing literature that seeks to apply, defend and / or update the ethics of war in light of what is often claimed to be an unprecedented period of rapid advancement in military robotics, or warbots. To increase confidence that our approach to (...) this development finds success in appropriately constraining war, this article compares our current discourse to the ethical debate over the rise of air power during the interwar period. As moral norms largely failed to constrain air power in World War II, by highlighting the interrelated processes of technological change, ethical debate, and the eventual reconciliation of war practice and war ethics, this historical case offers insights that can help military ethicists maintain their “critical edge” as remote and autonomous robotic weapons continue to mature and proliferate. (shrink)
How to Do Things with Fictions considers how fictional works, ranging from Chaucer to Beckett, subject readers to a series of exercises meant to fortify their mental capacities. While it is often assumed that fictions must be informative or morally improving in order to be of any real benefit to us, certain texts defy this assumption by functioning as training-grounds for the capacities: in engaging with them we stand not to become more knowledgeable or more virtuous but more skilled, whether (...) at rational thinking, at maintaining necessary illusions, at achieving tranquillity of mind, or even at religious faith. Instead of offering us propositional knowledge, these texts yield know-how; rather than attempting to instruct by means of their content, they hone capacities by means of their form; far from seducing with the promise of instantaneous transformation, they recognize, with Aristotle, that change is a matter of sustained and patient practice. (shrink)
Science frequently gives us multiple, compatible ways of solving the same problem or formulating the same theory. These compatible formulations change our understanding of the world, despite providing the same explanations. According to what I call "conceptualism," reformulations change our understanding by clarifying the epistemic structure of theories. I illustrate conceptualism by analyzing a typical example of symmetry-based reformulation in chemical physics. This case study poses a problem for "explanationism," the rival thesis that differences in understanding require ontic explanatory differences. (...) To defend conceptualism, I consider how prominent accounts of explanation might accommodate this case study. I argue that either they do not succeed, or they generate a skeptical challenge. (shrink)
In book Λ. of the Metaphysics, Aristotle suggests that an unmoved, unmoving being (God) is the source of all movement in the cosmos. He explains that this being instigates movement through desire. But how does desire affect movement? And what would make Aristotle’s God an object of desire? I attend to both questions in this paper, arguing that God’s existence as pure actuality (energeia) is crucial to understanding God’s status as the primary and ultimate source of wonder, and that it (...) is as the ultimate source of wonder that we can make sense of how God affects desire. (shrink)
In the present article, the first section recapitulates my “figuration” philosophy of dance, the “dancing-with” interpretive method derived therefrom, and my previous application of figuration to salsa dance as a decolonizing gestural discourse. The second section deepens and modifies this analysis through a reinterpretation of Argentinian philosopher Ernesto Laclau’s concept of hegemony and his dance-resonant interpretations of Derrida. And the final section offers a template for this hegemonic dancing-with in the Birmingham, Alabama Latin dance troupe, Corazon de Alabama (Heart of (...) Alabama), as a new strategy for decolonizing and reconstructing social justice. (shrink)
This article aims to provide a consistent explication of the doctrine of Divine Simplicity. To achieve this end, a re-construal of the doctrine is made within an “aspectival trope-theoretic” metaphysical framework, which will ultimately enable the doctrine to be elucidated in a consistent manner, and the Plantingian objections raised against it will be shown to be unproblematic.
Drawing on the writings of the Jewish thinker, Abraham Joshua Heschel, I defend a partial response to the problem of divine hiddenness. A Jewish approach to divine love includes the thought that God desires meaningful relationship not only with individual persons, but also with communities of persons. In combination with John Schellenberg’s account of divine love, the admission of God’s desire for such relationships makes possible that a person may fail to believe that God exists not because of any (...) individual failing, but because the individual is a member of a larger community that itself is culpable. (shrink)
There are several important arguments in metaethics that rely on explanatory considerations. Gilbert Harman has presented a challenge to the existence of moral facts that depends on the claim that the best explanation of our moral beliefs does not involve moral facts. The Reliability Challenge against moral realism depends on the claim that moral realism is incompatible with there being a satisfying explanation of our reliability about moral truths. The purpose of this chapter is to examine these and related arguments. (...) In particular, this chapter will discuss four kinds of arguments – Harman’s Challenge, evolutionary debunking arguments, irrelevant influence arguments, and the Reliability Challenge – understood as arguments against moral realism. The main goals of this chapter are (i) to articulate the strongest version of these arguments; (ii) to present and assess the central epistemological principles underlying these arguments; and (iii) to determine what a realist would have to do to adequately respond to these arguments. (shrink)
In this paper, we consider two different attempts to make an end run around the experimentalist challenge to the armchair use of intuitions: one due to Max Deutsch and Herman Cappelen, contending that philosophers do not appeal to intuitions, but rather to arguments, in canonical philosophical texts; the other due to Joshua Knobe, arguing that intuitions are so stable that there is in fact no empirical basis for the experimentalist challenge in the first place. We show that a closer (...) attention to philosophical practices reveal, in turn, that we cannot make sense of these philosophical texts as arguments all the way down; and that our methods are so sensitive to error that even a modest amount of instability is enough to raise deep methodological concerns. (shrink)
What ethical questions does neuroscience raise and help to answer? Neuroethics blends philosophical analysis with modern brain science to address central questions within this growing field: · Is free will an illusion? · Does brain stimulation impair a patient's autonomy? · Does having a mental disorder excuse bad behavior? · Is addiction a brain disease? · Should we trust our gut feelings in ethics and politics? · Should we alter our brains to become better people? · Is human reasoning bound (...) to be biased by our values? · Can brain science be trusted to read the minds of criminals and consumers? This book provides an opinionated tour through captivating cases and a close examination of the philosophical issues and scientific evidence. Joshua May's lively and accessible writing style makes it an indispensable resource for students and scholars in both the sciences and humanities. (shrink)
The Arab Spring, with its calls for sweeping political change, marked the most profound popular uprising in the Middle East for generations. But if the nascent democracies born of these protests are to succeed in the absence of a strong democratic tradition, their success will depend in part on an understanding of how Middle Easterners view themselves, their allegiances to family and religion, and their relationship with the wider world in which they are increasingly integrated. Many of these same questions (...) were raised by Alexis de Tocqueville during his 1831 tour of America, itself then a rising democracy. Joshua Mitchell spent years teaching Tocqueville’s classic account, _Democracy in America, _in America and the Arab Gulf and, with _Tocqueville in Arabia_, he offers a profound personal take. One of the reasons for the book’s widespread popularity in the region is that its commentary on the challenges of democracy and the seemingly contradictory concepts of equality and individuality continue to speak to current debates. While Mitchell’s American students tended to value the individualism of commercial self-interest, his Middle Eastern students had grave doubts about individualism and a deep suspicion for capitalism, which they saw as risking the destruction of long-held loyalties and obligations. When asked about suffering, American students answered in psychological or sociological terms, while Middle Eastern students understood it in terms of religion. Mitchell describes modern democratic man as becoming what Tocqueville predicted: a “distinct kind of humanity” that would be increasingly isolated and alone. Whatever their differences, students in both worlds were grappling with a sense of disconnectedness that social media does little to remedy. We live in a time rife with mutual misunderstandings between America and the Middle East, and _Tocqueville in Arabia_ offers a guide to the present, troubled times, leavened by the author’s hopes about the future. (shrink)
We are reliable about logic in the sense that we by-and-large believe logical truths and disbelieve logical falsehoods. Given that logic is an objective subject matter, it is difficult to provide a satisfying explanation of our reliability. This generates a significant epistemological challenge, analogous to the well-known Benacerraf-Field problem for mathematical Platonism. One initially plausible way to answer the challenge is to appeal to evolution by natural selection. The central idea is that being able to correctly deductively reason conferred a (...) heritable survival advantage upon our ancestors. However, there are several arguments that purport to show that evolutionary accounts cannot even in principle explain how it is that we are reliable about logic. In this paper, I address these arguments. I show that there is no general reason to think that evolutionary accounts are incapable of explaining our reliability about logic. (shrink)
Since the publication of Timothy Williamson’s Knowledge and its Limits, knowledge-first epistemology has become increasingly influential within epistemology. This paper discusses the viability of the knowledge-first program. The paper has two main parts. In the first part, I briefly present knowledge-first epistemology as well as several big picture reasons for concern about this program. While this considerations are pressing, I concede, however, that they are not conclusive. To determine the viability of knowledge-first epistemology will require philosophers to carefully evaluate the (...) individual theses endorsed by knowledge-first epistemologists as well as to compare it with alternative packages of views. In the second part of the paper, I contribute to this evaluation by considering a specific thesis endorsed by many knowledge-first epistemologists – the knowledge norm of assertion. According to this norm, roughly speaking, one should assert that p only if one knows that p. I present and motivate this thesis. I then turn to a familiar concern with the norm: In many cases, it is intuitively appropriate for someone who has a strongly justified belief that p, but who doesn't know that p, to assert that p. Proponents of the knowledge norm of assertion typically explain away our judgments about such cases by arguing that the relevant assertion is improper but that the subject has an excuse and is therefore not blameworthy for making the assertion. I argue that that this response does not work. In many of the problem cases, it is not merely that the subject’s assertion is blameless. Rather, the subject positively ought to make the assertion. Appealing to an excuse cannot be used to adequately explain this fact. (Nor can we explain this fact by appealing to some other, quite different, consideration.) Finally, I conclude by briefly considering whether we should replace the knowledge norm of assertion with an alternative norm. I argue that the most plausible view is that there is no norm specifically tied to assertion. (shrink)
As COVID-19 spread, clinicians warned of mental illness epidemics within the coronavirus pandemic. Funding for digital mental health is surging and researchers are calling for widespread adoption to address the mental health sequalae of COVID-19. -/- We consider whether these technologies improve mental health outcomes and whether they exacerbate existing health inequalities laid bare by the pandemic. We argue the evidence for efficacy is weak and the likelihood of increasing inequalities is high. -/- First, we review recent trends in digital (...) mental health. Next, we turn to the clinical literature to show that many technologies proposed as a response to COVID-19 are unlikely to improve outcomes. Then, we argue that even evidence-based technologies run the risk of increasing health disparities. We conclude by suggesting that policymakers should not allocate limited resources to the development of many digital mental health tools and should focus instead on evidence-based solutions to address mental health inequalities. (shrink)
This book is an exploration of Plato's Republic that bypasses arcane scholarly debates. Plato's Fable provides refreshing insight into what, in Plato's view, is the central problem of life: the mortal propensity to adopt defective ways of answering the question of how to live well. How, in light of these tendencies, can humankind be saved? Joshua Mitchell discusses the question in unprecedented depth by examining one of the great books of Western civilization. He draws us beyond the ancients/moderns debate, (...) and beyond the notion that Plato's Republic is best understood as shedding light on the promise of discursive democracy. Instead, Mitchell argues, the question that ought to preoccupy us today is neither "reason" nor "discourse," but rather "imitation." To what extent is man first and foremost an "imitative" being? This, Mitchell asserts, is the subtext of the great political and foreign policy debates of our times. Plato's Fable is not simply a work of textual exegesis. It is an attempt to move debates within political theory beyond their current location. Mitchell recovers insights about the depth of the problem of mortal imitation from Plato's magnificent work, and seeks to explicate the meaning of Plato's central claim--that "only philosophy can save us.". (shrink)
There are many domains about which we think we are reliable. When there is prima facie reason to believe that there is no satisfying explanation of our reliability about a domain given our background views about the world, this generates a challenge to our reliability about the domain or to our background views. This is what is often called the reliability challenge for the domain. In previous work, I discussed the reliability challenges for logic and for deductive inference. I argued (...) for four main claims: First, there are reliability challenges for logic and for deduction. Second, these reliability challenges cannot be answered merely by providing an explanation of how it is that we have the logical beliefs and employ the deductive rules that we do. Third, we can explain our reliability about logic by appealing to our reliability about deduction. Fourth, there is a good prospect for providing an evolutionary explanation of the reliability of our deductive reasoning. In recent years, a number of arguments have appeared in the literature that can be applied against one or more of these four theses. In this paper, I respond to some of these arguments. In particular, I discuss arguments by Paul Horwich, Jack Woods, Dan Baras, Justin Clarke-Doane, and Hartry Field. (shrink)
The concept of the sublime was crucial to the thought of Immanuel Kant, who defined it as the experience of what is great in power, size, or number. From ancient times to the present, the aesthetic experience of the sublime has been associated with morality, but if we want to be able to exclude evil, fascistic, or terroristic uses of the sublime—the inescapable awe generated by the Nuremberg rallies, for example—we require a systematic justification of the claim that there are (...) internal moral constraints on the sublime. In _Kant on Sublimity and Morality_, Joshua Rayman argues that Kant alone provides the system by which we can bind sublimity to moral ideas, the exhibition of freedom, the production of respect, and violence towards inclinations. (shrink)
The burgeoning science of ethics has produced a trend toward pessimism. Ordinary moral thought and action, we’re told, are profoundly influenced by arbitrary factors and ultimately driven by unreasoned feelings. This book counters the current orthodoxy on its own terms by carefully engaging with the empirical literature. The resulting view, optimistic rationalism, shows the pervasive role played by reason, and ultimately defuses sweeping debunking arguments in ethics. The science does suggest that moral knowledge and virtue don’t come easily. However, despite (...) the heavy influence of automatic and unconscious processes that have been shaped by evolutionary pressures, we needn’t reject ordinary moral psychology as fundamentally flawed or in need of serious repair. Reason can be corrupted in ethics just as in other domains, but a special pessimism about morality in particular is unwarranted. Moral judgment and motivation are fundamentally rational enterprises not beholden to the passions. (shrink)
This paper argues that the question, ‘where are virtues?’ demands a response from virtue theorists. Despite the polarizing nature of debates about the relevance of empirical work in psychology for virtue theory, I first show that there is widespread agreement about the underlying structure of virtue. Namely, that virtues are comprised of cognitive and affective processes. Next, I show that there are well-developed arguments that cognitive processes can extend beyond the agent. Then, I show that there are similarly well-developed arguments (...) that affective processes can extend beyond the agent. I then introduce three cases to establish that these cognitive and affective processes are relevantly similar to the cognitive and affective processes countenanced by plausible theories of virtue. Finally, I conclude that virtue theorists must abandon default internalism, the view that the cognitive and affective processes comprising virtues are internal to the agent. (shrink)
It has been standard philosophical practice in analytic philosophy to employ intuitions generated in response to thought-experiments as evidence in the evaluation of philosophical claims. In part as a response to this practice, an exciting new movement—experimental philosophy—has recently emerged. This movement is unified behind both a common methodology and a common aim: the application of methods of experimental psychology to the study of the nature of intuitions. In this paper, we will introduce two different views concerning the relationship that (...) holds between experimental philosophy and the future of standard philosophical practice (what we call, the proper foundation view and the restrictionist view), discuss some of the more interesting and important results obtained by proponents of both views, and examine the pressure these results put on analytic philosophers to reform standard philosophical practice. We will also defend experimental philosophy from some recent objections, suggest future directions for work in experimental philosophy, and suggest what future lines of epistemological response might be available to those wishing to defend analytic epistemology from the challenges posed by experimental philosophy. (shrink)
Joshua Matthan Brown contrasts the concept of God assumed by most analytic philosophers, what he refers to as theistic personalism, with that of the apophatic conception of God endorsed by Eastern Christian thinkers. He maintains that the most powerful and economical response to contemporary arguments for atheism is to reject theistic personalism and adopt apophatic theism. Apophatic theists believe there is a lot we cannot say about God, taking the divine nature to be completely ineffable. Brown develops a coherent (...) account of divine ineffability and provides reasons for adopting this oft misunderstood view. Importantly, he draws upon apophatic theology, and its commitment to divine ineffability, to proffer an undercutting defeater for virtually every contemporary argument for the nonexistence of God. Along the way he anticipates and responds to several significant objections. (shrink)
Imagination plays a rich epistemic role in our cognitive lives. For example, if I want to learn whether my luggage will fit into the overhead compartment on a plane, I might imagine trying to fit it into the overhead compartment and form a justified belief on the basis of this imagining. But what explains the fact that imagination has the power to justify beliefs, and what is the structure of imaginative justification? In this paper, I answer these questions by arguing (...) that imaginings manifest an epistemic status: they are epistemically evaluable as justified or unjustified. This epistemic status grounds their ability to justify beliefs, and they accrue this status in virtue of being based on evidence. Thus, imaginings are best understood as justified justifiers. I argue for this view by way of showing how it offers a satisfying explanation of certain key features of imaginative justification that would otherwise be puzzling. I also argue that imaginings exhibit a number of markers of the basing relation, which further motivates the view that imaginings can be based on evidence. The arguments in this paper have theoretically fruitful implications not only for the epistemology of imagination, but for accounts of reasoning and epistemic normativity more generally. (shrink)
McTaggart's argument that time is unreal was agreed by few philosophers, but it opened up a great split among twentieth‐century philosophers of time over the question of whether time must form an A‐series (“A‐theory”) or whether a B‐series suffices for the reality of time (“B‐theory”). This chapter discusses the most prominent twentieth‐century arguments in favor of the negative responses to questions that were seen to be especially important in deciding this matter. It begins with the puzzle of change because if (...) one accepts that temporal predicates indeed any predicates that can report change are in fact relations, then the appeal of the four pillars of the B‐theory becomes apparent. The pillars of B‐theory are (i) any conception of temporal passage as the gain and loss of non‐relational, tensed properties is incoherent; (ii) the underlying, logical structure of tensed language is tenseless; (iii) eternalism; and (iv) temporal experience is explainable B‐theoretically. (shrink)
We chart how neuroscience and philosophy have together advanced our understanding of moral judgment with implications for when it goes well or poorly. The field initially focused on brain areas associated with reason versus emotion in the moral evaluations of sacrificial dilemmas. But new threads of research have studied a wider range of moral evaluations and how they relate to models of brain development and learning. By weaving these threads together, we are developing a better understanding of the neurobiology of (...) moral judgment in adulthood and to some extent in childhood and adolescence. Combined with rigorous evidence from psychology and careful philosophical analysis, neuroscientific evidence can even help shed light on the extent of moral knowledge and on ways to promote healthy moral development. (shrink)
In virtue of what are we justified in employing the rule of inference Modus Ponens? One tempting approach to answering this question is to claim that we are justified in employing Modus Ponens purely in virtue of facts concerning meaning or concept-possession. In this paper, we argue that such meaning-based accounts cannot be accepted as the fundamental account of our justification.
Pessimism claims an impressive following--from Rousseau, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, to Freud, Camus, and Foucault. Yet "pessimist" remains a term of abuse--an accusation of a bad attitude--or the diagnosis of an unhappy psychological state. Pessimism is thought of as an exclusively negative stance that inevitably leads to resignation or despair. Even when pessimism looks like utter truth, we are told that it makes the worst of a bad situation. Bad for the individual, worse for the species--who would actually counsel pessimism? (...) class='Hi'>Joshua Foa Dienstag does. In Pessimism, he challenges the received wisdom about pessimism, arguing that there is an unrecognized yet coherent and vibrant pessimistic philosophical tradition. More than that, he argues that pessimistic thought may provide a critically needed alternative to the increasingly untenable progressivist ideas that have dominated thinking about politics throughout the modern period. Laying out powerful grounds for pessimism's claim that progress is not an enduring feature of human history, Dienstag argues that political theory must begin from this predicament. He persuasively shows that pessimism has been--and can again be--an energizing and even liberating philosophy, an ethic of radical possibility and not just a criticism of faith. The goal--of both the pessimistic spirit and of this fascinating account of pessimism--is not to depress us, but to edify us about our condition and to fortify us for life in a disordered and disenchanted universe. (shrink)
This chapter argues that epistemic uses of the imagination are a sui generis form of reasoning. The argument proceeds in two steps. First, there are imaginings which instantiate the epistemic structure of reasoning. Second, reasoning with imagination is not reducible to reasoning with doxastic states. Thus, the epistemic role of the imagination is that it is a distinctive way of reasoning out what follows from our prior evidence. This view has a number of important implications for the epistemology of the (...) imagination. For one thing, it clarifies the epistemic role of widely invoked “constraints” on the imagination. For another, it highlights important and underappreciated disanalogies between how perceptual experiences and imaginings justify beliefs. Ultimately, the view that we can reason with imagination offers an illuminating and theoretically fruitful framework through which to understand the epistemic structure of the imagination. (shrink)
This article aims to provide a response to the problem of suffering through an explication of a new theodicy termed the Exemplarist Theodicy. This specific theodicy will be formulated in light of the moral theory provided by Linda Zagzebski, termed the Exemplarist Moral Theory, the notion of transformative experience, as explicated by L.A. Paul, Havi Carel and Ian James Kidd, and the virtue-theoretic approach to suffering proposed by Michael Brady, which, in combination with some further precisifying philosophical concepts—namely, compensation, total (...) empathy, and infinitely valuable connections—will provide us with a possible, morally sufficient reason for why God allows individuals to experience suffering. (shrink)
In our thought, we employ rules of inference and belief-forming methods more generally. For instance, we (plausibly) employ deductive rules such as Modus Ponens, ampliative rules such as Inference to the Best Explanation, and perceptual methods that tell us to believe what perceptually appears to be the case. What explains our entitlement to employ these rules and methods? This chapter considers the motivations for broadly internalist answers to this question. It considers three such motivations—one based on simple cases, one based (...) on a general conception of epistemic responsibility, and one based on skeptical scenarios. The chapter argues that none of these motivations is successful. The first two motivations lead to forms of internalism—Extreme Method Internalism and Defense Internalism—that are too strong to be tenable. The third motivation motivates Mental Internalism (Mentalism), which does not fit with plausible accounts of entitlement. (shrink)