In this impressive second edition of Theory of Knowledge, Keith Lehrer introduces students to the major traditional and contemporary accounts of knowing. Beginning with the traditional definition of knowledge as justified true belief, Lehrer explores the truth, belief, and justification conditions on the way to a thorough examination of foundation theories of knowledge,the work of Platinga, externalism and naturalized epistemologies, internalism and modern coherence theories, contextualism, and recent reliabilist and causal theories. Lehrer gives all views careful examination and concludes that (...) external factors must be matched by appropriate internal factors to yield knowledge. This match of internal and external factors follows from Lehrer’s new coherence theory of undefeated justification. In addition to doing justice to the living epistemological traditions, the text smoothly integrates several new lines that will interest scholars. Also, a feature of special interest is Lehrer’s concept of a justification game.This second edition of Theory of Knowledge is a thoroughly revised and updated version that contains several completely new chapters. Written by a well-known scholar and contributor to modern epistemology, this text is distinguished by clarity of structure, accessible writing, and an elegant mix of traditional material, contemporary ideas, and well-motivated innovation. (shrink)
The recently offered, Purported counter-Examples to justified, True belief analyses of knowledge are looked at with some care and all found to be either incoherent or inconclusive. It is argued that justified, True belief analyses are based on sound insight into the concept of knowledge. The distinction between having been justified in claiming to know something and actually having known it is used in an effort to get the discussion of knowledge back on the right track.
The eminent philosopher Keith Lehrer offers an original and distinctively personal view of central aspects of the human condition, such as reason, knowledge, wisdom, autonomy, love, consensus, and consciousness. He argues that what is uniquely human is our capacity for evaluating our own mental states (such as beliefs and desires), and suggests that we have a system for such evaluation which allows the resolution of personal and interpersonal conflict. The keystone in this system is self-trust, on which reason, knowledge, and (...) wisdom are grounded. (shrink)
A central issue in epistemology concerns the connection between truth and justification. The burden of our paper is to explain this connection. Reliabilism, defended by Goldman, assumes that the connection is one of reliability. We argue that this assumption is too strong. We argue that foundational theories, such as those articulated by Pollock and Chisholm fail to elucidate the connection. We consider the potentiality of coherence theories to explain the truth connection by means of higher level convictions about probabilities, which (...) we call doxastic ascent, and defend such a theory. Our defense appeals to the work of Reid and contemporary cognitive psychology in order to account for the psychological reality of higher level evaluations. (shrink)
There is an objection to coherence theories of knowledge to the effect that coherence is not connected with truth, so that when coherence leads to truth this is just a matter of luck. Coherence theories embrace falliblism, to be sure, but that does not sustain the objection. Coherence is connected with truth by principles of justified acceptance that explain the connection between coherence and truth. Coherence is connected with truth by explanatory principle, not just luck.
In this important new text, Keith Lehrer introduces students to the major traditional and contemporary accounts of knowing. Beginning with the accepted definition of knowledge as justified true belief, Lehrer explores the truth, belief and justification conditions on the way to a thorough examination of foundation theories of knowledge, externalism and naturalized epistemologies, internalism and modern coherence theories as well as recent reliabilist and causal theories. Lehrer gives all views careful examination and concludes that external factors must be matched by (...) appropriate internal ones to yield knowledge. Readers of Professor Lehrer's earlier book _Knowledge_ will want to know that this text adopts the framework of that classic text. But _Theory of Knowledge_ is a completely rewritten and updated version of that book that has been simplified throughout for student use. (shrink)
Intentionality is a mark of the mental, as Brentano (1874) noted. Any representation or conception of anything has the feature of intentionality, which informally put, is the feature of being about something that may or may not exist. Visual artworks are about something, whether something literal or abstract. The artwork is a mentalized physical object. Aesthetic experience of the artwork illustrates the nature of intentionality as we focus attention on the phenomenology of the sensory exemplar. This focus of attention on (...) the exemplar in aesthetic experience simultaneously exhibits what the intentional object is like and what our conception of it is like. The exemplar is Janus-faced, looking in one direction outward toward the objects conceived and in the other direction inward toward our conceiving of them. It shows us what intentionality is like and how we know it. (shrink)
Knowing the content of art -- Consciousness, exemplars, and art -- Aesthetic theory, feminist art ,and autonomy -- Value, expression, and globalization -- Artistic creation, freedom, and self -- Aesthetics, death, and beauty -- Aesthetic experience, intentionality, and the form of representation -- Theories of art, and art as theory of the world -- Self-trust, disagreement, and reasonable acceptance -- Social reason, aggregation, and collective wisdom -- Knowledge, autonomy, and art in loop theory.
In this collection of essays, Lehrer argues that freedom, rationality, consensus, and knowledge depend on "metamental" operations--thoughts about thoughts--and are impossible without them. Metamental operations provide for our optionality, plasticity, and most of all, for the evaluation and control of lower-level information. The human mind, he argues, is essentially a metamind.
In his widely influential two-volume work, Warrant: The Current Debate and Warrant and Proper Function, Alvin Plantinga argued that warrant is that which explains the difference between knowledge and true belief. Plantinga not only developed his own account of warrant but also mapped the terrain of epistemology. Motivated by Plantinga's work, fourteen prominent philosophers have written new essays investigating Plantingian warrant and its contribution to contemporary epistemology. The resulting collection, representing a broad array of views, not only gives readers a (...) critical perspective on Plantinga's landmark work, but also provides in one volume a clear statement of the variety of approaches to the nature of warrant within contemporary epistemology, and to the connections between epistemology and metaphysics. Positions covered include internalism and externalism, reliabilism, coherentism and foundationalism, virtue theories, and defensibility theories. Alvin Plantinga responds to the essays in his own contribution. (shrink)
Memory sometimes yields knowledge and sometimes does not. It is, however, natural to suppose that i f a man remembers that p, then he knows that p and formerly knew that p. Remembering something is plausibly construed as a f o rm of knowing something which one has not forgotten and which one knew previously. We argue, to the contrary, that this thesis is false. We present four counterexamples to the thesis that support a different analysis of remembering. We propose (...) that a person remembers that p (at t) if and only if the thought or conviction that p comes from memory (at t) when, in fact, it is true that p. (shrink)
Reid's philosophy of the moral faculty must be interpreted in the context of his philosophical theory concerning the human faculties and their connection with truth. One purpose of this paper is to offer an account of the development of our moral concepts that accords with a proposal of Esther Kroeker and also my own . Another is to explain how Reid combines an account of the objectivity of moral judgments with the denial of the existence of moral properties, the affirmation (...) of a necessary connection of the moral judgments with sentiment and the accommodation of moral disagreement. (shrink)
Chisholm held that some states of ourselves are self-presenting and provide a stopping place in the quest for justification. The justification we have for accepting that we are in those states is transparent to us in a way that enables us to answer questions about justification. Representation enables us to apprehend such self-presenting states through themselves in a representational loop. It is a loop of exemplarization wherein the state is used as an exemplar to represent the kind of state it (...) is. The result is that the representation of the state provides the subject with a kind of representation that loops back onto itself escaping the bondage of stratified mentality. This form of representation by exemplarization is shown to resolve problems and paradoxes concerning subjectivity, consciousness and the self raised by the writings of Hume, Kierkegaard, Ferrier, Sartre and Frank Jackson. (shrink)
Thomas Reid has a theory of consciousness that is central to his philosophy of mind but which raises a regress problem. I have two tasks in this paper. The first is to give an account of Reid's views on consciousness and the avoidance of the regress based on textual analysis. The second is to expand the theory of consciousness Reid gives to offer a deeper explanation of how the regress is avoided that is based on Reid's philosophy of mind but (...) goes beyond any text from Reid that I know. The distinction is important. Philosophers are inclined to attribute to a philosopher views that they have invented by studying the philosopher. Both textual analysis and invention based on a philosopher's writings are legitimate uses of the history of philosophy. When they are confused, however, arguments about what the philosopher held generate confusion. If you invent something from his or her philosophy, even something implied by it, that is your philosophy, not the philosopher's. The distinction is important for avoiding useless disputes. This first part of my paper is an attempt to remain true to the texts of Reid. The second part goes beyond the text, though it is what I extrapolate from Reid. (shrink)
This paper is an investigation of the relation between personal and social conditions of knowledge. A coherence theory of knowledge and justification is assumed, according to which incoming information is evaluated in terms of background information. The evaluation of incoming information in terms of background information is a higher order or metamental activity. Personal knowledge and justification is based on the coherent integration of individual information. Social knowledge and justification is based on the coherent aggregation of social information, that is, (...) the information of individuals belonging to the social group. Personal justification and consensual justification are based upon personal and consensual probabilities respectively. Consensual and personal probabilities may differ, but under salient conditions personal probabilities will coincide with consensual probabilities and consensual probabilities will coincide with truth. (shrink)
This paper argues against the deductive reconstruction of scientific prediction, that is, against the view that in prediction the predicted event follows deductively from the laws and initial conditions that are the basis of the prediction. The major argument of the paper is intended to show that the deductive reconstruction is an inaccurate reconstruction of actual scientific procedure. Our reason for maintaining that it is inaccurate is that if the deductive reconstruction were an accurate reconstruction, then scientific prediction would be (...) impossible. (shrink)
There is a contemporary conflict between individualistic andcommunitarian conceptions of rationality. Robert Goodin describes it asa conflict between an enlightenment individualistic conception of a``sovereign artificer'''' and ``a socially unencumbered self'''' ascontrasted with the communitarian conception of a ``socially embeddedself'''' whose identity is formed by his or her community. Should wejustify and explain rationality individualistically or socially? This isa false dilemma when consensus is reached by a model articulated byKeith Lehrer and Carl Wagner. According to this model, the consensusresults from the (...) positive weights individuals give to others and use tocontinually average and, thus, aggregate their allocations. Aggregationconverges toward a consensus in which the social preference and theindividual preferences become identical. The truth of communitarianismis to be found in the aggregate and the truth of individualism in theaggregation. The original conflict dissolves in rational consensus. (shrink)
Internalism and externalism are both false. What is needed to convert true belief into knowledge is the appropriate blend of subjective and objective factors to yield the appropriate sort of connection between mind and the world. The sort of knowledge explicated is calledmetaknowledge and is knowledge that involves the evaluation of incoming information in terms of a background system. It is proposed that knowledge is equivalent to undefeated justification which is justification on the basis of every system that eliminates or (...) corrects any error in what a person accepts. The system of such system is called the ultrasystem of the person. This account appeals both to internal factors and external factors and involves appeal to both normative requirements and empirical constraints. Justification is defined in terms of a comparative notion of rationality adapted from Chisholm. (shrink)
Harry G. Frankfurt has presented a case of a counterfactual intervener CI with knowledge and power to control an agent so he will do A. He concludes that if the agent prefers to do A and there is no intervention by CI, the agent has acted of his own free will and is morally responsible for doing A, though he lacked an alternative possibility. I consider the consequences for freedom and moral responsibility of CI having a complete plan P for (...) all actions of an agent, Lucky, who luckily has preferences that accord with P, and I extend the argument to all citizens of a land, Luckyland, who are like Lucky. I argue the citizens of Luckyland have free will but lack moral responsibility because of the connection between moral responsibility, reactive attitudes and future action. Furthermore, the presence of CI and his plan P may allow free will but is incompatible with freedom of preference. Preference concerns alternatives excluded by CI. I argue that a special higher order preference for the preference structure, a power preference, ends the regress of higher order preference and explains the first order preference. Causal determinism is compatible with freedom of preference explained by a power preference when a power preference would also explain an alternative preference. The remoteness argument for incompatibility fails because of a lack of transitivity causal explanation. The power preference is the self-explained source of freedom of preference. That basic freedom may be limited by government knowledge of our preferences, even if, like Lucky, our preferences do not provoke intervention and we conform of our own free will. (shrink)