Sven Bernecker presents an analysis of the concept of propositional (or factual) memory, and examines a number of metaphysical and epistemological issues crucial to the understanding of memory. -/- Bernecker argues that memory, unlike knowledge, implies neither belief nor justification. There are instances where memory, though hitting the mark of truth, succeeds in an epistemically defective way. This book shows that, contrary to received wisdom in epistemology, memory not only preserves epistemic features generated by other epistemic sources but also functions (...) as a source of justification and knowledge. According to the causal theory of memory argued for in this book, the dependence of memory states on past representations supports counterfactuals of the form: if the subject hadn't represented a given proposition in the past he wouldn't represent it in the present. The book argues for a version of content externalism whereupon the individuation of memory contents depends on relations the subject bears to his past physical or social environment. Moreover, Bernecker shows that memory doesn't require identity, but only similarity, of past and present attitudes and contents. The notion of content similarity is explicated in terms of the entailment relation. (shrink)
This paper attempts to answer the question of what defines mnemonic confabulation vis-à-vis genuine memory. The two extant accounts of mnemonic confabulation as “false memory” and as ill-grounded memory are shown to be problematic, for they cannot account for the possibility of veridical confabulation, ill-grounded memory, and wellgrounded confabulation. This paper argues that the defining characteristic of mnemonic confabulation is that it lacks the appropriate causal history. In the confabulation case, there is no proper counterfactual dependence of the state of (...) seeming to remember on the corresponding past representation. (shrink)
This book investigates central issues in the philosophy of memory. Does remembering require a causal process connecting the past representation to its subsequent recall and, if so, what is the nature of the causal process? Of what kind are the primary intentional objects of memory states? How do we know that our memory experiences portray things the way they happened in the past? Given that our memory is not only a passive device for reproducing thoughts but also an active device (...) for processing stored thoughts, when are thoughts sufficiently similar to be memory-related? -/- The Metaphysics of Memory defends a version of the causal theory of memory, argues for direct realism about memory, proposes an externalist response to skepticism about memory knowledge, and develops a contextualist account of the factivity constraint on memory. (shrink)
It is a mistake to think that we cannot be morally responsible for forgetting because, as a matter of principle, forgetting is outside of our control. Sometimes we do have control over our forgetting. When forgetting is under our control there is no question that it is the proper object of praise and blame. But we can also be morally responsible for forgetting something when it is beyond our control that we forget that thing. The literature contains three accounts of (...) the blameworthiness of forgetting over which the agent has no control—the tracing account, the liberalized awareness condition, and attributionism. Even though these are competing accounts of the blameworthiness of harmful forgetting they are compatible with one another. In particular, it is possible to come up with a position that endorses the tracing account for certain kinds of harmful forgetting and attributionism for other kinds of harmful forgetting. (shrink)
The global method safety account of knowledge states that an agent’s true belief that p is safe and qualifies as knowledge if and only if it is formed by method M, such that her beliefs in p and her beliefs in relevantly similar propositions formed by M in all nearby worlds are true. This paper argues that global method safety is too restrictive. First, the agent may not know relevantly similar propositions via M because the belief that p is the (...) only possible outcome of M. Second, there are cases where there is a fine-grained belief that is unsafe and a relevantly similar coarse-grained belief that is safe and where both beliefs are based on the same method M. Third, the reliability of conditional reasoning, a basic belief-forming method, seems to be sensitive to fine-grained contents, as suggested by the wide variation in success rates for thematic versions of the Wason selection task. (shrink)
This paper argues that for someone to know proposition p inferentially it is not enough that his belief in p and his justification for believing p covary with the truth of p through a sphere of possibilities. A further condition on inferential knowledge is that p's truth-maker is identical with, or causally related to, the state of affairs the justification is grounded in. This position is dubbed ‘identificationism.’.
In diesem Aufsatz stelle ich eine neue Interpretation der Reinhold’schen Sprachphilosophie vor. Mein Ziel ist es zu erklären, wie Reinhold der Meinung sein konnte, seine Sprachphilosophie stelle, ebenso wie seine Elementarphilosophie, den Versuch dar, Kants Kritische Philosophie zu fundieren. Außerdem möchte ich zeigen, worin die philosophische Bedeutung von Reinholds Ansatz gegenüber den Sprachphilosophien seiner Zeitgenossen besteht.
It is widely thought that if knowledge requires sensitivity, knowledge is not closed because sensitivity is not closed. This paper argues that there is no valid argument from sensitivity failure to non-closure of knowledge. Sensitivity does not imply non-closure of knowledge. Closure considerations cannot be used to adjudicate between safety and sensitivity accounts of knowledge.
This paper argues that lohn Greco’s agent reliabilism fails in its attempt to meet the double requirement of accounting for the internalist intuition that knowledge requires sensitivity to the reliability of one’s evidence and evading the charge of psychological implausibility.
Tyler Burge and other externalists about mental content have tried to accommodate privileged self-knowledge and to neutralize skepticism about one's ability to authoritatively know one's present thoughts. I show that, though Burgean compatibilism explains knowing it is p I believe, it doesn't explain how I can have privileged knowledge that the state I occupy is a state of believing rather than, say, a state of doubting. Moreover, given externalism, self-knowledge of attitudinal component is vulnerable to a certain kind of error (...) and so doesn't have the same kind of privilege as self-knowledge of current content. (shrink)
Hilary Putnam has famously argued that “we are brains in a vat” is necessarily false. The argument assumes content externalism (also known as semantic externalism and anti-individualism), that is, the view that the individuation conditions of mental content depend, in part, on external or relational properties of the subject’s environment. Recently content externalism has given rise to the hypothesis of the extended mind, whereby mental states are not only externally individuated but also externally located states. This chapter argues that when (...) content externalism is combined with the extended mind hypothesis it is robbed of its anti-skeptical power. Given the extended mind hypothesis, the supercomputer and the envatted brain can be regarded as aspects of the extended mind of the evil scientist. On this view, the thought contents of the coupled brain–computer–scientist system do not differ from those of a normal human. But without a difference in thought contents Putnam’s anti-skeptical argument crumbles. (shrink)
This paper argues that Sosa’s virtue perspectivism fails to combine satisfactorily internalist and externalist features in a single theory. Internalism and externalism are reconciled at the price of creating a Gettier problem at the level of “reflective” or second-order knowledge. The general lesson to be learned from the critique of virtue perspectivism is that internalism and externalism cannot be combined by bifurcating justification and knowledge into an object-level and a meta-level and assigning externalism and internalism to different levels.
This paper criticizes the widespread view whereby a second-order judgment of the form ‘I believe that p ’ qualifies as self-knowledge only if the embedded content, p , is of the same type as the content of the intentional state reflected upon and the self-ascribed attitude, belief, is of the same type as the attitude the subject takes towards p . Rather than requiring identity of contents across levels of cognition self-knowledge requires only that the embedded content of the second-order (...) thought be an entailment of the content of the intentional state reflected upon. And rather than demanding identity of attitudes across levels of cognition self-knowledge demands only that the attitude of the intentional state reflected upon and the attitude the subject self-attributes share certain features such as direction of fit and polarity. (shrink)
In this paper I argue in favor of the compatibility of semantic externalism with privileged self-knowledge by showing that an argument for incompatibilism from switching scenarios fails. Given the inclusion theory of self-knowledge, the hypothesis according to which I am having twater thoughts while thinking that I have water thoughts simply isn't a (entertainable) possibility. When I am on Earth thinking earthian concepts, I cannot believe that I am thinking that twater is wet for I don't have the concept of (...) twater available; so this concept cannot figure in any of my mental states. Analogously, when I am on Twin Earth, I cannot mistakenly believe that I am entertaining water thoughts. No matter how often I am switched between Earth and Twin Earth, I will never erroneously think that I am having water thoughts while in fact I am having twater thoughts and vice versa. Privileged self-knowledge is therefore immune to skeptical arguments from switching and twinning scenarios. (shrink)
This is a response to three critical discussions of my book Memory: A Philosophical Study (Oxford University Press 2010): Marya Schechtman, Memory and Identity , Fred Adams, Husker Du? , and Sanford Goldberg The Metasemantics of Memory.
Epistemology, the philosophy of knowledge, is at the core of many of the central debates and issues in philosophy, interrogating the notions of truth, objectivity, trust, belief and perception. _The Routledge Companion to Epistemology_ provides a comprehensive and the up-to-date survey of epistemology, charting its history, providing a thorough account of its key thinkers and movements, and addressing enduring questions and contemporary research in the field. Organized thematically, the _Companion_ is divided into ten sections: Foundational Issues, The Analysis of Knowledge, (...) The Structure of Knowledge, Kinds of Knowledge, Skepticism, Responses to Skepticism, Knowledge and Knowledge Attributions, Formal Epistemology, The History of Epistemology, and Metaepistemological Issues. Seventy-eight chapters, each between 5000 and 7000 words and written by the world’s leading epistemologists, provide students with an outstanding and accessible guide to the field. Designed to fit the most comprehensive syllabus in the discipline, this text will be an indispensible resource for anyone interested in this central area of philosophy. _The Routledge Companion to Epistemology_ is essential reading for students of philosophy. (shrink)
This paper provides a novel argument for granting memory the status of a generative source of justification and knowledge. Memory can produce justified output beliefs and knowledge on the basis of unjustified input beliefs alone. The key to understanding how memory can generate justification and knowledge, memory generativism, is to bear in mind that memory frequently omits part of the stored information. The proposed argument depends on a broadly reliabilist approach to justification.
Given how epistemologists conceive of understanding, to what degree do we understand the hypothesis of extended mind? If the extended mind debate is a substantive dispute, then we have only superficial understanding of the extended mind hypothesis. And if we have deep understanding of the extended mind hypothesis, then the debate over this hypothesis is nothing but a verbal dispute.
This paper develops a novel interpretation of Kant's argument from incongruent counterparts to the effect that the representations of space and time are intuitions rather than concepts. When properly understood, the argument anticipates the contemporary position whereby the meaning of indexicals cannot be captured by descriptive contents.
This paper explains and defends Reinhold’s epistemology of disagreement. The concept of agreement is of central importance for Reinhold’s philosophy. He attempts to settle the most basic disputes among post-Kantian philosophers by offering intermediate positions that reconcile the seemingly incompatible views. Moreover, Reinhold argues for epistemic objectivism, that is, the thesis that a group of philosophers sharing the same information and respecting each other’s opinion may not reasonably disagree. If the members of such a group search for truth then they (...) must converge toward consensus. Disagreement is irrational. (shrink)
This paper argues that, given the representational theory of mind, one cannot know a priori that one knows that p as opposed to being incapable of having any knowledge states; but one can know a priori that one knows that p as opposed to some other proposition q.
Wie der Titel des Aufsatzes bereits signalisiert, werde ich dafür argumentieren, dass das Gettier-Problem ein genuines Problem ist, keines, das sich lediglich einer falschen Fragestellung verdankt. Versuche, das Gettier-Problem aufzulösen statt zu lösen, sind zum Scheitern verurteilt. In den ersten beiden Abschnitten wird eine Typologisierung von Gettier-Fällen vorgenommen und zwischen zwei Lesarten des Gettier-Problems unterschieden. Im dritten Abschnitt werden einige Auflösungsversuche des Gettier-Problems der kritischen Prüfung unterzogen. Der vierte Abschnitt diskutiert die reliabilistische Antwort auf das Gettier-Problem. Es wird gezeigt, dass (...) sich mit Hilfe des Reliabilismus nicht alle Gettier-Fälle ausschließen lassen. Im fünften Abschnitt wird eine neue Lösung des Gettier-Problems entwickelt. (shrink)
Content externalism about memory says that the individuation of memory contents depends on relations the subject bears to his past environment. I defend externalism about memory by arguing that neither philosophical nor psychological considerations stand in the way of accepting the context dependency of memory that follows from externalism.
In this anthology, distinguished editors Sven Bernecker and Fred Dretske offer the most comprehensive review available of contemporary epistemology. They bring together the most important and influential writings in the field, including selections that cover frequently neglected topics such as dominant responses to skepticism, introspection, memory, and testimony. Knowledge is divided into fifteen subject areas and includes forty-one readings by eminent contributors. An accessible introduction to each subject area outlines the problems discussed in the essays that follow so that students (...) can focus on analyzing them. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question whether introspection plus externalism about mental content warrant an a priori refutation of external-world skepticism and ontological solipsism. The suggestion is that if thought content is partly determined by affairs in the environment and if we can have non-empirical knowledge of our current thought contents, we can, just by reflection, know about the world around us -- we can know that our environment is populated with content-determining entities. After examining this type of transcendental argument and (...) discussing various objections found in the literature, I argue that the notion of privileged self-knowledge underlying this argument presupposes that we can learn, via introspection, that our so-called thoughts are propositional attitudes rather than contentless states. If, however, externalism is correct and thought content consists in the systematic dependency of internal states on relational properties, we cannot know non-empirically whether or not we have propositional attitudes. Self-knowledge (apropositional attitude) is consistent with us lacking the ability to rule out, via introspection, the possibility that we don't have any propositional attitudes. Self-knowledge provides us with knowledge of what is in our minds, but not that we have minds. Hence, the combination of externalism with the doctrine of privileged self-knowledge does not allow for an a priori refutation of skepticism and is therefore unproblematic. (shrink)
This paper raises two objections to Tyler Burge's externalist theory of privileged self-knowledge. The first point is that Burge owes us an account of external content-determining factors of our belief concept. The second point is that that Burge can reconcile externalism with self-knowledge only at the price of abandoning Frege's insight concerning the referential opacity of propositional attitudes.
This paper argues for an overlooked dimension in the metaphysical microstructure of knowledge. The connection between knowledge and truth is even deeper than generally acknowledged. Knowledge, I argue, supervenes not only on a specific (namely modal) relation between the proposition p’s truth and an agent’s belief that p, but also on specific relations between the proposition’s truthmaker and the belief’s justification-maker. S knows that p only if the states of affairs referred to by S’s reasons for believing that p are (...) identical with, causally related to, or grounded in the states of affairs that make p true. (shrink)
It has long been known that memory need not be a literal reproduction of the past but may be a constructive process. To say that memory is a constructive process is to say that the encoded content may differ from the retrieved content. At the same time, memory is bound by the authenticity constraint which states that the memory content must be true to the subject's original perception of reality. This paper addresses the question of how the constructive nature of (...) visual memory can be reconciled with the authenticity constraint. In what respect and to what extent may the content of a visual memory differ from the original perceptual state while still adequately reflecting the subject's original perception? (shrink)
Philosophy of medicine has traditionally examined two issues: the scientific ontology for medicine and the epistemic significance of the types of evidence used in medical research. In answering each question, philosophers have typically brought to bear tools from traditional analytic philosophy. In contrast, this volume explores medical knowledge from the perspective offered by social epistemology.While many of the same issues are addressed, the approach to these issues generates both fresh questions and new insights into old debates. In addition, the broader (...) purview offered by social epistemology opens up opportunities to address new topics such as the role of consensus conferences, epistemic injustice, the value of medical knowledge, continuing medical education, and industry funding. This article situates and summarizes the contributions to this special issue. (shrink)
Incompatibilism is the view that privileged knowledge of our own mental states cannot be reconciled with externalism regarding the content of mental states. Davidson has recently developed two arguments that are supposed to disprove incompatibilism and establish the consistency of privileged access and externalism. One argument criticizes incompatibilism for assuming that externalism conflicts with the mind?body identity theory. Since mental states supervene on neurological events, Davidson argues, they are partly ?in the head? and are knowable just by reflection. Another argument (...) rejects incompatibilism by repudiating the object perception model of introspection. Once extemalism is freed from the internalist idea that thoughts take objects which are inner epistemological intermediaries, Davidson maintains, it poses no threat to privileged self?knowledge. It is argued that neither of these arguments is successful, since both disprove assumptions irrelevant to incompatibilism. Moreover, it is indicated how Davidson would have to go about defending his positive account of privileged self?knowledge against the principal incompatibilist arguments. (shrink)
This paper examines the revisions the Elementary-Philosophy underwent when Reinhold studied Fichte’s Science of Knowledge. The goal is to reconstruct Reinhold’s argument for the primacy of facts of moral consciousness over facts of theoretical consciousness when it comes to establishing the first principle of philosophy, and to relate this argument to his idea that moral enlightenment is a precondition of philosophical enlightenment. I argue that there is an intimate relation between Reinhold’s work as an Elementary-Philosopher and his activity as champion (...) of enlightenment. The doctrine according to which moral enlightenment has priority over philosophical enlightenment corresponds to the revaluation of facts of moral consciousness within the framework of the amended Elementary-Philosophy. (shrink)
Kants Position zur moralischen Selbsterkenntnis liegt zwischen den beiden Polen des Cartesianismus und des Behaviorismus. Hinsichtlich des Wissens um die eigenen Maximeninhalte vertritt Kant die cartesische Direktheitsthese und m.E. auch die Unfehlbarkeitsthese. Die beiden anderen Aspekte der moralischen Selbsterkenntnis – das Wissen um die Pflichtgemäßheit der Maximen und das Wissen um die Handlungsmotive – sind Kant zufolge allerdings weder infallibel, noch unbezweifelbar, noch direkt. Und obgleich Überzeugungen hinsichtlich der eigenen Handlungsmotive in Zweifel gezogen werden und sich als falsch erweisen können, (...) sind sie dennoch verläßlicher als Überzeugungen hinsichtlich der Handlungsmotive anderer. (shrink)
According to the standard view, the causal process connecting a past representation and its subsequent recall involves intermediary memory traces. Yet Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein held that since the physiological evidence for memory traces isn't quite conclusive, it is prudent to come up with an account of memory causation-referred to as nmemic causation—that manages without the stipulation of memory traces. Given mnemic causation, a past representation is directly causally active over a temporal distance. I argue that the stipulation of (...) memory traces is indeed indispensable for analyzing mernory causation. (shrink)
Die Leitfrage der Untersuchung ist, ob die externalistische These von der extra-mentalen Konstitution propositionaler Gedankeninhalte mit der Cartesischen Theorie der Selbstgewißheit der eigenen Gedanken vereinbar ist. Anhand von Burges Theorie des privilegierten Selbstwissens wird gezeigt, daß die mit dem Externalismus verträgliche epistemische Asymmetrie zwischen Selbst- und Fremdzuschreibungen von Einstellungen um vieles eingeschränkter ist als von Cartesianern behauptet wird. Einerseits kann man sich hinisichtlich der mit den eigenen propositionalen Inhalten notwendigerweise verbundenen Gegebenheitsweisen oder Attitüden irren. Andererseits kann durch Introspektion allein nicht (...) entschieden werden, ob man überhaupt über intentiolnale Zustände verfügt, d.i. ob die eigenen Gehirnzustände Träger propositionaler Ghalte sind. Zum Schluß wird ein schwacher Begriff des Selbstwissens entwickelt, der mit dem Externalismus kompatibel ist und den Grundgedanken der Autorität der ersten Person bewahrt. (shrink)
Sections 1 and 2 examine Hilary Putnam's brain-in-a-vat argument and an analogous argument by Fred Dretske and show that anti-skeptical arguments from semantic externalism presuppose that we can know non-empirically that we possess beliefs and thus aren't zombies. In section 3 I argue that, given semantic externalism, we cannot non-empirically know whether we have beliefs or are zombies. Section 4 spells out the consequences of this position for Putnam's and Dretske's anti-skeptical arguments.
Das Ziel dieses Aufsatzes ist es erstens, die Unterscheidung zwischen dem direkten und indirekten Realismus hinsichtlich der Wahrnehmung zu erläutern und zweitens, die weit verbreitete Ansicht, der direkte Realismus sei mit der Kausaltheorie der Wahrnehmung unvereinbar, zu widerlegen. Es lassen sich fünf Argumente für die Inkompatibilität des direkten Realismus mit der Kausaltheorie der Wahrnehmung unterscheiden. Keines dieser Argumente ist stichhaltig.
This paper argues that there is a tension between the two components of Davidson's anomalous monism--the supervenience of the mental on the physical and the anomalism of the mental. While the anomalism of the mental denies the possibility of strict psychophysical laws, the principle of supervenience sometimes suggests that such laws do exist and that they are responsible for the dependence of the mental on the physical.