Reid’s previously published writings are substantial, both in quantity and quality. This edition attempts to make these writings more readily available in a single volume. Based upon Hamilton’s definitive two volume 6th edition, this edition is suitable for both students and scholars. Beanblossom and Lehrer have included a wide range of topics addressed by Reid. These topics include Reid’s views on the role of common sense, scepticism, the theory of ideas, perception, memory and identity, as well as his views (...) on moral liberty, duties, and principles. Historical as well as topical considerations guided the selection process. Thus, Reid’s responses to Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume are included. Through the resulting selections Reid’s influence and impact upon subsequent philosophers is manifested. (shrink)
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)
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)
In this paper, we review Keith Lehrer’s account of the basing relation, with particular attention to the two cases he offered in support of his theory, Raco (Lehrer, Theory of knowledge, 1990; Theory of knowledge, (2nd ed.), 2000) and the earlier case of the superstitious lawyer (Lehrer, The Journal of Philosophy, 68, 311–313, 1971). We show that Lehrer’s examples succeed in making his case that beliefs need not be based on the evidence, in order to be (...) justified. These cases show that it is the justification (rather than the belief) that must be based in the evidence. We compare Lehrer’s account of basing with some alternative accounts that have been offered, and show why Lehrer’s own account is more plausible. (shrink)
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)
Professor Narveson's comments about my papers on equality are both penetrating and comprehensive. I cannot hope to discuss all the issues he raises in any detail. But there is a special problem: his main question is about what I have not said. He asks how I might defend equality of resources other than simply by describing a version of it, and of course this question will require some extended discussion. But he is right to say that this is his most (...) important question, and I should hate to lose the opportunity of encouraging discussion of it. So I shall begin with some general remarks about the defence of the idea of equality and then take up, in a very hasty and summary way, the other problems he discusses or raises. Please allow me, however, this apology and caution. I know that what I shall say about the defense of equality is at many points dogmatic and at others unmindful of very natural objections and replies. I want to answer Narveson only by showing in a rough and general way how far I think a defense of equality is possible, what kind of defense this can be, and what form it should take. (shrink)
The word "truth" retains, in common use, traces of origins that link it to trust, troth, and truce, connoting ideas of fidelity, loyalty, and authenticity. The word has become, in contemporary philosophy, encased in a web of technicalities, but we know that a true image is a faithful portrait; a true friend a loyal one. In a novel or a poem, too, we have a feel for what is emotionally true, though we are not concerned with the actuality of events (...) and characters depicted. To have emotions is to care about certain things: we can wonder whether those things are really worth caring about. We can wonder whether our passions reflect who we are, and whether they constitute fitting responses to the vicissitudes of life. So there are two aspects to emotional truth: how well an emotion reflects the threats and promises of the world, and how well it reflects our own individual nature. That is the starting point of this book, which looks first at the analogies and disanalogies between strict propositional truth and a looser, "generic" sense of truth. As applied to emotions, generic truth is closer to those original meanings: as in a portrait's fidelity or friend's loyalty. Taken in this sense, the notion of emotional truth opens up large vistas on areas of life essential to our existence as social beings, and to our concerns with beauty, morality, love, death, sex, knowledge, desire, coherence, and happiness. Each of those topics illustrates some facet of the dominant theme of the book: the crucial but often ambivalent role of our emotions in grounding and yet also sometimes undermining our values. Emotions act, in holistic perspective, as ultimate arbiters of values where different and independently justified standards of value compete. (shrink)
This paper is a response to RonaldLehrer's "Perspectivism and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy". Lehrer treats Nietzsche as promoting only a modest perspectivism according to which different cognitive strategies triangulate the truth. We argue that Nietzsche's perspectivism is much more radical, and defensible, than Lehrer admits. We also suggest that Nietzsche's bundle theory of the self has important implications for psychotherapy and the concept of mental health. According to this theory, the self is an aggregate of ever-changing drives (...) and affects. The conditions of health for such persons are similarly mutable, with no one standard applicable to all persons, or even to the same person over time. (shrink)
Very often moral disagreements can be resolved by appealing to factual considerations because in these cases the parties to the dispute agree as to which factual considerations are relevant. They agree, that is, with respect to their basic moral standards. Hence, when their disagreement about the non-moral facts is resolved, so is their moral disagreement. But sometimes moral disagreement persists in spite of agreement on factual considerations. When this happens, and when neither party is guilty of illogical thinking, we have (...) a case of moral deadlock. (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.
David Malament argued that Hartry Field's nominalisation program is unlikely to be able to deal with non-space-time theories such as phase-space theories. We give a specific example of such a phase-space theory and argue that this presentation of the theory delivers explanations that are not available in the classical presentation of the theory. This suggests that even if phase-space theories can be nominalised, the resulting theory will not have the explanatory power of the original. Phase-space theories thus raise problems for (...) nominalists that go beyond Malament's initial concerns. Thanks to Mark Steiner, Jens Christian Bjerring, Ben Fraser, John Mathewson, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (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.
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)
A main thread of the debate over mathematical realism has come down to whether mathematics does explanatory work of its own in some of our best scientific explanations of empirical facts. Realists argue that it does; anti-realists argue that it doesn't. Part of this debate depends on how mathematics might be able to do explanatory work in an explanation. Everyone agrees that it's not enough that there merely be some mathematics in the explanation. Anti-realists claim there is nothing mathematics can (...) do to make an explanation mathematical ; realists think something can be done, but they are not clear about what that something is. I argue that many of the examples of mathematical explanations of empirical facts in the literature can be accounted for in terms of Jackson and Pettit's  notion of program explanation, and that mathematical realists can use the notion of program explanation to support their realism. This is exactly what has happened in a recent thread of the debate over moral realism. I explain how the two debates are analogous and how moves that have been made in the moral realism debate can be made in the mathematical realism debate. However, I conclude that one can be a mathematical realist without having to be a moral realist. (shrink)
Some have argued that chance and determinism are compatible in order to account for the objectivity of probabilities in theories that are compatible with determinism, like Classical Statistical Mechanics (CSM) and Evolutionary Theory (ET). Contrarily, some have argued that chance and determinism are incompatible, and so such probabilities are subjective. In this paper, I argue that both of these positions are unsatisfactory. I argue that the probabilities of theories like CSM and ET are not chances, but also that they are (...) not subjective probabilities either. Rather, they are a third type of probability, which I call counterfactual probability. The main distinguishing feature of counterfactual-probability is the role it plays in conveying important counterfactual information in explanations. This distinguishes counterfactual probability from chance as a second concept of objective probability. (shrink)
I will compare Lehrer’s anti-skeptical strategy from a coherentist point of view with the anti-skeptical strategy of the Mooreans. I will argue that there are strong similarities between them: neither can present a persuasive argument to the skeptic and both face the problem of easy knowledge in one way or another. However, both can offer a complete and self-explanatory explanation of knowledge although Mooreanism can offer the more natural one. Hence, one has good reasons to prefer Mooreanism to (...) class='Hi'>Lehrer’s anti-skeptical approach, if one does not prefer coherentism to foundationalism for other reasons. (shrink)
It is usually supposed that the central limit theorem explains why various quantities we find in nature are approximately normally distributed—people's heights, examination grades, snowflake sizes, and so on. This sort of explanation is found in many textbooks across the sciences, particularly in biology, economics, and sociology. Contrary to this received wisdom, I argue that in many cases we are not justified in claiming that the central limit theorem explains why a particular quantity is normally distributed, and that in some (...) cases, we are actually wrong. 1 Introduction2 Normal Distributions and the Central Limit Theorem2.1 Normal distributions2.2 The central limit theorem2.3 Terminology3 Explaining Normality3.1 Loaves of bread3.2 Varying variances and probability densities3.3 Tensile strengths and problems with summation3.4 Products of factors and log-normal distributions3.5 Transforming factors and sub-factors3.6 Transformations of quantities3.7 Quantitative genetics3.8 Inference to the best explanation4 Maximum Entropy Explanations5 Conclusion. (shrink)
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.