_Epistemology_ is an accessible and indispensable volume for undergraduates studying philosophy. Essential introduction to epistemology, a field of fundamental philosophical importance Offers concise and well-written synopses of different epistemological debates and concerns.
_Epistemology _is an accessible and indispensable volume for undergraduates studying philosophy. Essential introduction to epistemology, a field of fundamental philosophical importance Offers concise and well-written synopses of different epistemological debates and concerns.
The contributions in this volume make an important effort to resurrect a rather old fashioned form of foundationalism. They defend the position that there are some beliefs that are justified, and are not themselves justified by any further beliefs. This epistemic foundationalism has been the subject of rigorous attack by a wide range of theorists in recent years, leading to the impression that foundationalism is a thing of the past. DePaul argues that it is precisely the volume and virulence of (...) the assaults which points directly to the strength and coherence of the position. (shrink)
The relationship between mind and matter, mental states and physical states, has occupied the attention of philosophers for thousands of years. Richard Fumerton's primary concern is the knowledge argument for dualism - an argument that proceeds from the idea that we can know truths about our existence and our mental states without knowing any truths about the physical world. This view has come under relentless criticism, but here Fumerton makes a powerful case for its rehabilitation, demonstrating clearly the importance of (...) its interconnections with a wide range of other controversies within philosophy. Fumerton analyzes philosophical views about the nature of thought and the relation of those views to arguments for dualism, and investigates the connection between a traditional form of foundationalism about knowledge, and a foundationalist view about thought that underlies traditional arguments for dualism. His book will be of great interest to those studying epistemology and the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
In Metaepistemology and Skepticism (Rowman & Littlefield:\n1995), Richard Fumerton defends foundationalism. As part of\nthe defense he rejects infinitism--the view that holds that\nthe solution to the problem of the regress of justificatory\nreasons is that the reasons are infinitely many and\nnonrepeating. I examine some of those arguments and attempt\nto show that they are not really telling against (at least\nsome versions of) infinitism. Along the way I present some\nobjections to his account of inferential justification.
In this paper I want to cast doubt on the claim that there is a legitimate process of reasoning to the best explanation which can serve as an alternative to either straightforward inductive reasoning or a combination of inductive and deductive reasoning. I shall argue a) that paradigmatic cases of acceptable arguments to the best explanation must be considered enthymemes and b) that when the suppressed premises are made explicit we have all of the premises we need to present either (...) a straightforward inductive argument or an argument employing both induction and deduction. (shrink)
Carroll's short piece “What the Tortoise said to Achilles” in many ways anticipates issues that arise in a number of contemporary controversies. One might argue, for example, that initially plausible attempts to deal with the problem of easy knowledge will land one in the unfortunate position of Achilles who followed the Tortoise down a road that leads to vicious infinite regress. Or consider the conditions required for inferential justification. For idealized inferential justification, I have defended the view that to be (...) justified in believing P on the basis of E one needs to be not only justified in believing E, but justified in believing that E makes probable P. And again, critics have argued that such a strong requirement fails to learn the lesson that Achilles should have been taught by the Tortoise. Even more generally, one might well argue that strong access internalists will need to deal with a variation of Carroll's puzzle even for their accounts of non-inferential justification. In this paper I'll examine these controversies with a mind to reaching a conclusion about just exactly how one can accept intellectually demanding conditions on justified belief without encountering vicious regress. (shrink)
Coady’s book is probably the single most comprehensive treatment of philosophical questions relating to testimony and as such must be read by anyone interested in the topic. His epistemological conclusions concerning testimony challenge much of the philosophical tradition.
_John Stuart Mill_ investigates the central elements of the 19th century philosopher’s most profound and influential works, from _On Liberty_ to _Utilitarianism_ and _The Subjection of Women_. Through close analysis of his primary works, it reveals the very heart of the thinker’s ideas, and examines them in the context of utilitarianism, liberalism and the British empiricism prevalent in Mill’s day. • Presents an analysis of the full range of Mill’s primary writings, getting to the core of the philosopher’s ideas. • (...) Examines the central elements of Mill’s writings in easily accessible prose • Places Mill’s work and thought within the larger cultural and social context of 19th century Britain • Illustrates the continued relevance of Mill’s philosophy to today’s reader. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that there is no viable alternative to construing our knowledge and justified belief as resting on a foundation restricted to truths about our internal states. Against Williamson and others I defend the claim that the internal life of a cognizer really does constitute a special sort of cognitive home that is importantly different from the rest of what we think we know and justifiably believe.
In this article, I try to defend my conception of noninferential justification from important criticisms raised by Ted Poston in a recent article published in Philosophical Studies. More specifically, I argue that from within the framework of an acquaintance theory, one can still allow for fallible noninferential justification, and one can do so without losing the advantages I claim for the theory.
In “Theories of Justification,” Richard Fumerton begins an overview of several prominent positions on the nature of justification by isolating epistemic justification from nonepistemic justification. He also distinguishes between “having justification for a belief” and “having a justified belief,” arguing that the former is conceptually more fundamental. Fumerton then addresses the possibility that justification is a normative matter, suggesting that this possibility has little to offer as a concept of epistemic justification. He also critically examines more specific attempts to capture (...) the structure and content of epistemic justification. These include traditional foundationalism and variants thereof, externalist versions of foundationalism, contextualism, coherentism, and “mixed” theories which combine aspects of coherentism and foundationalism. (shrink)
In this paper I examine contemporary accounts of noninferential justification in light of what I take to be the Cartesian project of building epistemology on foundations made secure by the impossibility of error. I argue that familiar abstract arguments for foundationalism, by themselves, don’t seem to motivate Cartesianism. But I further argue that there is one version of foundationalism that is more closely linked to the way in which Descartes sought ideal knowledge.
This chapter contains section titled: The Distinction between Animal and Reflective Knowledge and the Search for Compromise Sosa's Conception of Animal Knowledge The Appeal of Externalism Dissatisfaction with Externalism: Is That All There Is? Sosa's Conception of Epistemic Ascent to Reflective Knowledge An Externalist Response Sosa's Epistemic Ladder Epistemic Descent: Another Approach to Distinguishing Reflective from Animal Knowledge and Rationality Unreflective Knowledge, Justified Belief, and Skepticism Conclusion.
Let’s define epistemological direct realism as the view that we have noninferentially justified beliefs in at least some contingent propositions describing the external physical world. I add the adjective “external” here so as to leave open the question of whether sensations and other mental phenomena are themselves physical. I take it that an indirect realist can consistently maintain both that all knowledge of external physical reality must be inferred from knowledge of subjective sensations and also conclude that subjective sensations are, (...) for example, brain states. It’s a bit awkward, however, to use the cumbersome expression “external physical reality” and so for ease of exposition I shall often omit the adjective “external.” I shall say that a proposition describes the physical world only if its truth entails a proposition which attributes to some object those properties in virtue of which the thing is physical. So, for example, I might be able to know that the F exists, where the F is, in fact, a physical object. But if the proposition that the F exists does not entail that the F is physical, the proposition that the F exists is not, in this sense, a proposition describing the physical world. Berkeley, for example, sometimes posed as an epistemological direct realist when he claimed both that we can know unproblematically that certain ideas exist and that a physical object is nothing but a bundle of ideas. But when he was being careful he made clear that the ideas we know directly are never by themselves constitutive of a physical object—at best they are logical “parts” of objects. On his more sophisticated view, knowledge that a given physical object exists would always require inference—complex inference at that. Berkeley was no epistemological direct realist. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction Qualitative Hedonism Objections to Mill's Qualitative Hedonism: Internal Inconsistency and Value Pluralism The Judgment of Competent Agents: Self‐Development and Value Measurement Self‐Development and Virtue Ethics Further Reading.