The sensitivity condition on knowledge says that one knows that P only if one would not believe that P if P were false. Difficulties for this condition are now well documented. Keith DeRose has recently suggested a revised sensitivity condition that is designed to avoid some of these difficulties. We argue, however, that there are decisive objections to DeRose’s revised condition. Yet rather than simply abandoning his proposed condition, we uncover a rationale for its adoption, a rationale which suggests a (...) further revision that avoids our objections as well as others. The payoff is considerable: along the way to our revision, we learn lessons about the epistemic significance of certain explanatory relations, about how we ought to envisage epistemic closure principles, and about the epistemic significance of methods of belief formation. (shrink)
We will be in a better position to evaluate some important skeptical theses if we first investigate two questions about justified suspended judgment. One question is this: when, if ever, does one justified suspension confer justification on another suspension? And the other is this: what is the structure of justified suspension? The goal of this essay is to make headway at answering these questions. After surveying the four main views about the non-normative nature of suspended judgment and offering a taxonomy (...) of the epistemic principles that might govern which suspended judgments are justified, I will isolate five important principles that might govern which suspended judgments are justified. I will call these suspension-to-suspension principles. I will then evaluate these principles by the lights of each of the four views about what suspensions are. I close by drawing some conclusions about the prospects for skepticism, the structure of justified suspended judgment, and the importance of theorizing about justified suspended judgment. (shrink)
Under what conditions is a belief inferentially justified? A partial answer is found in Justification from Justification : a belief is inferentially justified only if all of the beliefs from which it is essentially inferred are justified. After reviewing some important features of JFJ, I offer a counterexample to it. Then I outline a positive suggestion for how to think about inferentially justified beliefs while still retaining a basing condition. I end by concluding that epistemologists need a model of inferentially (...) justified belief that is more permissive and more complex than JFJ. (shrink)
This paper looks at an argument strategy for assessing the epistemic closure principle. This is the principle that says knowledge is closed under known entailment; or (roughly) if S knows p and S knows that p entails q, then S knows that q. The strategy in question looks to the individual conditions on knowledge to see if they are closed. According to one conjecture, if all the individual conditions are closed, then so too is knowledge. I give a deductive argument (...) for this conjecture. According to a second conjecture, if one (or more) condition is not closed, then neither is knowledge. I give an inductive argument for this conjecture. In sum, I defend the strategy by defending the claim that knowledge is closed if, and only if, all the conditions on knowledge are closed. After making my case, I look at what this means for the debate over whether knowledge is closed. (shrink)
A novel argument is offered against the following popular condition on inferential knowledge: a person inferentially knows a conclusion only if they know each of the claims from which they essentially inferred that conclusion. The epistemology of conditional proof reveals that we sometimes come to know conditionals by inferring them from assumptions rather than beliefs. Since knowledge requires belief, cases of knowing via conditional proof refute the popular knowledge from knowledge condition. It also suggests more radical cases against the condition (...) and it brings to light the under-recognized category of inferential basic knowledge. (shrink)
What epistemic defect needs to show up in a skeptical scenario if it is to effectively target some belief? According to the false belief account, the targeted belief must be false in the skeptical scenario. According to the competing ignorance account, the targeted belief must fall short of being knowledge in the skeptical scenario. This paper argues for two claims. The first is that, contrary to what is often assumed, the ignorance account is superior to the false belief account. The (...) second is that the ignorance account ultimately hobbles the skeptic. It does so for two reasons. First, when this account is joined with either a closure-based skeptical argument or a skeptical underdetermination argument, the best the skeptic can do is show that we don’t know that we know. And second, the ignorance account directly implies the maligned KK principle. (shrink)
What does current empirically informed moral psychology imply about the goals that can be realistically achieved in college-level applied ethics courses? This paper takes up this question from the vantage point of Jonathan Haidt’s Social Intuitionist Model of human moral judgment. I summarize Haidt’s model, and then consider a variety of pedagogical goals. I begin with two of the loftiest goals of ethics education, and argue that neither is within realistic reach if Haidt’s model is correct. I then look at (...) three goals that can be achieved if his model is correct; but each of these goals, I argue, lacks significant value. I end by identifying three goals that are of significant value and also realistically attainable on Haidt’s model. These should be the focus of applied ethics pedagogy if Haidt’s model is correct. (shrink)
Ernest Sosa and others have proposed a safety condition on knowledge: If S knows p, then in the nearest (non-actual) worlds in which S believes p, p is true.1 Colloquially, this is the idea that knowing requires not being easily mistaken. Here, I will argue that like another condition requiring a counterfactual relation between a subject’s belief and the world, viz. Robert Nozick’s sensitivity condition, safety leads, in certain cases, to the unacceptable result that knowledge is not closed under known (...) implication. (shrink)
Conceivability is an important source of our beliefs about what is possible; inconceivability is an important source of our beliefs about what is impossible. What are the connections between the reliability of these sources? If one is reliable, does it follow that the other is also reliable? The central contention of this paper is that suitably qualified the reliability of inconceivability implies the reliability of conceivability, but the reliability of conceivability fails to imply the reliability of inconceivability.
Manila is one of the world’s most fragmented, privatized and un-public of cities. Why is this so? This paper contemplates the seemingly immutable privacy of the city of Manila, and the paradoxical character of its publicity. Manila is our prime exemplar of the 21st-century mega-city whose apparent disorder discloses a coherent order which we here call ‘neo-patrimonial urbanism’. Manila is a city where poor and rich alike have their own government, infrastructure, and armies, the shopping malls are the simulacra of (...) public congregations once found in cathedrals and plazas, and where household order is matched by streetside chaos, and personal cleanliness wars with public dirt. We nominate the key characteristics of this uncanny approximation of chaotic and discordant order – a polyphonous and polyrhythmic social order but one lacking harmony – and offer a historical sociology, a genealogy that traces an emblematic pattern across the colonizing periods of its emergent urban forms into the contemporary impositions of gated zones and territories. The enduring legacy of patrimonial power to Manila is to be found in the households and on the streets that undermine and devalue public forms of social power in favour of the patriarch and his householders (now relabelled as ‘shareholders’ in ‘public companies’) at the cost of harmonious, peaceable and just public order. Such a state of affairs is not only destructive of the historic built environment of the city, especially its public parks and plazas and heritage districts, its streets, footpaths, public transport and utilities, but is directly injurious of its citizens. To address the question of Manila’s private order and public chaos is to reopen the quest for the good city as the just polis. It is also to take us beyond arguments of indigenous versus colonial forms of urbanism that are mired in nationalist and modernization ideologies respectively, and it is to reject the reductive logics of globalization arguments that Asian mega-cities are but variations of American logics of urbanism. (shrink)
Presenting a contemporary interpretation of stoicism, the essay draws on Agnes Heller's philosophy of existential choice in order to outline a reconstructed stoic theory of happiness and a pneumatic ethics addressing the context and dynamics of cybernetically structured societies in which vocational (professional) ethics play a declining role.
A study of the nature of philosophical reason, architecture, and politics as they are shaped by the influence of port cities and by the eternally returning movement of entry and exit through those cities. The examples of Piraeus, Venice, Rome, Marseilles, Königsberg and New York are considered.
Andrew Benjamin’s book Disclosing Spaces (2004) presents a theory of painting. The theory is developed via a meticulous analysis of a series of individual artworks. The pivot of Benjamin’s theory of painting is the idea of relationality. The theory is critically reviewed with reference to the works of Edward Hopper, Gerhard Richter and Jacques-Louis David.
The traditional way of drawing the a priori/a posteriori distinction, bequeathed to us by Kant, leads to overestimating the role that experience plays in justifying ourbeliefs. There is an irony in this: though Kant was in the rationalist camp, his way of drawing the distinction gives an unfair advantage to radical empiricism. I offer an alternative way of drawing the distinction, one that does not bias the rationalist/empiricist debate.
The most important structural feature of the music of the New World is its often-time polyrhythmic and polymetrical character. This is also a key to unlocking the nature of social form and democratic persona in the diasporic and settler metropolises of the New World. In such settings, composers and musicians working with simultaneous temporalities, lines, groups, textures and characters offer intimations of a just totality for culturally fragmented societies.