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 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)
First published in 1984 as part of The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell , Theory of Knowledge represents an important addition to our knowledge of Russell's thought. In this work Russell attempts to flesh out the sketch implicit in The Problems of Philosophy . It was conceived by Russell as his next major project after Principia Mathematica and was intended to provide the epistemological foundations for his work. Russell's subsequent difficulties in presenting his theory of knowledge, brought (...) on by what he considered to be devastating criticisms of Wittgenstein, led to both his abandonment of this work and to a major transformation in his thought. Theory of Knowledge , now available for the first time in paperback, gives us a picture of one of the great minds of the twentieth century at work. It is possible to see the unsolved problems left without disguise or evasion. This second edition has retained the full scholarly introduction. The photographs of the manuscript, appendices, and notes on textual matters have been eliminated to provide a concise and accessible guide to understanding both Russell's own thought and his relationship with Wittgenstein. (shrink)
The book attempts, in as comprehensive a way as possible, to make clear the central issues for the theory of knowledge, so as to provide a framework for that subject and also to indicate something of the way in which, as the author believes, the issues should be faced.
Having entered into the problem structuring methods, system dynamics (SD) is an approach, among systems’ methodologies, which claims to recognize the main structures of socio-economic behaviors. However, the concern for building or discovering strong philosophical underpinnings of SD, undoubtedly playing an important role in the modeling process, is a long-standing issue, in a way that there is a considerable debate about the assumptions or the philosophical foundations of it. In this paper, with a new perspective, we have explored theory of (...)knowledge in SD models and found strange similarities between classic epistemological concepts such as justification and truth, and the mechanism of obtaining knowledge in SD models. In this regard, we have discussed related theories of epistemology and based on this analysis, have suggested some implications for moderating common problems in the modeling process of SD. Furthermore, this research could be considered a reword of system dynamics modeling principles in terms of theory of knowledge. (shrink)
Contextualist theories of knowledge offer a semantic hypothesis to explain the observed contextual variation in what people say they know, and the difficulty people have resolving skeptical paradoxes. Subject or speaker relative versions make the truth conditions of “S knows that p” depend on the standards of either the knower’s context (Hawthorne and Stanley) or those of the speaker’s context (Cohen and DeRose). Speaker contextualism avoids objections to subject contextualism, but is implausible in light of evidence that “know” (...) does not behave like an indexical. I deepen and extend these criticisms in light of recent defenses by contextualists (including Ludlow). Another difficulty is that whether certain standards are salient or intended does not entail that they are the proper standards. A normative form of contextualism on which the truth of a knowledge claim depends on the proper standards for the context is more promising, but still unsatisfactory whether the view is speaker or subject relative. I defend alternative explanations for the observed linguistic and psychological data: a pragmatic account for some cases and a cognitive account for others. 1. (shrink)
Epistemology or the theory of knowledge is one of the cornerstones of analytic philosophy, and this book provides a clear and accessible introduction to the subject. It discusses some of the main theories of justification, including foundationalism, coherentism, reliabilism, and virtue epistemology. Other topics include the Gettier problem, internalism and externalism, skepticism, the problem of epistemic circularity, the problem of the criterion, a priori knowledge, and naturalized epistemology. Intended primarily for students taking a first class in epistemology, (...) this lucid and well-written text would also provide an excellent introduction for anyone interested in knowing more about this important area of philosophy. (shrink)
As teorias epistemológicas do rastreamento sustentam que o conhecimento é uma relação real entre o agente cognitivo e seu ambiente. Os estados cognitivos de um agente epistêmico fazem o rastreamento da verdade das proposições que são objeto de conhecimento ao embasarem a crença em indicadores confiáveis da verdade (evidência, razões, ou métodos de formação de crença). A novidade nessa abordagem é que se dá pouca ênfase no tipo de justificação epistêmica voltada ao fornecimento de procedimentos de decisão doxástica ou regras (...) de responsabilidade epistêmica. Este artigo oferece um pouco da história das teorias de rastreamento e, então, defende-as contra muitas objeções que se pretendem (equivocadamente) refutadoras dessas teorias. PALAVRAS – CHAVE – Teorias de rastreamento. Nozick. Dretske. Conhecimento. ABSTRACT Tracking theories of knowledge maintain that knowledge is a real relation between cognitive agent and environment. Cognitive states of a knower track the truth of known propositions by basing belief on reliable indicators of truth (evidence, reasons, or belief forming methods). The novelty of this approach is that it places little emphasis on epistemic justification of a kind that aims at guiding epistemic agents by giving doxastic decision procedures or rules of epistemic responsibility. This paper gives some of the history of tracking theories, and then defends them against many of the objections most often judged (mistakenly) to refute tracking theories. KEY WORDS – Tracking theories. Nozick. Dretske. Knowledge. (shrink)
Here is a definition of knowledge: for you to know a proposition p is for you to have an outright belief in p that is correct precisely because it manifests the virtue of rationality. This definition resembles Ernest Sosa’s “virtue theory”, except that on this definition, the only virtue that must be manifested in all instances of knowledge is rationality, and no reductive account of rationality is attempted—rationality is assumed to be an irreducibly normative notion. This definition is (...) compatible with “internalism” about rationality, and with a form of “pragmatic encroachment” on the conditions of rational outright belief. An interpretation is given of this definition, and especially of the sense of ’because’ that it involves. On this interpretation, this definition entails that both safety and adherence are necessary conditions on knowledge; it supports a kind of contextualism about terms like ‘knowledge’; and it provides resources to defend safety, adherence, and contextualism, against some recent objections. (shrink)
This book is an accessible introduction to contemporary epistemology, the theory of knowledge. It introduces traditional topics in epistemology within the context of contemporary debates about the definition, sources, and limits of human knowledge. Rich in examples and written in an engaging style, it explains the field while avoiding technical detail. It relates epistemology to work in cognitive science and defends a plausible version of explanationism regarding epistemological method.
A satisfactory theory of knowledge in which the shortcomings of a pure externalist account are avoided and in which the Gettier problem is solved should consist in a combination of externalist and internalist components. The internalist component should guarantee that the epistemic subject has cognitive access to the justifying grounds of her belief. And the externalist component should guarantee that the justification of her belief does not depend on any false statement. Keith Lehrer's coherence theory of knowledge as (...) undefeated justification is an example of such an internalist-externalist analysis of knowledge. But nevertheless, Lehrer's account leads to unintended results. Therefore, it is argued that a satisfactory coherence theory of knowledge must also be based on a gradual notion of systematic coherence. (shrink)
The central question of this article is how to combine counterfactual theories of knowledge with the notion of actuality. It is argued that the straightforward combination of these two elements leads to problems, viz. the problem of easy knowledge and the problem of missing knowledge. In other words, there is overgeneration of knowledge and there is undergeneration of knowledge. The combination of these problems cannot be solved by appealing to methods by which beliefs are (...) formed. An alternative solution is put forward. The key is to rethink the closeness relation that is at the heart of counterfactual theories of knowledge. (shrink)
Is knowledge consistent with literally any credence in the relevant proposition, including credence 0? Of course not. But is credence 0 the only credence in p that entails that you don’t know that p? Knowledge entails belief (most epistemologists think), and it’s impossible to believe that p while having credence 0 in p. Is it true that, for every value of ‘x,’ if it’s impossible to know that p while having credence x in p, this is simply because (...) it’s impossible to believe that p while having credence x in p? If so, is it possible to believe that p while having (say) credence 0.4 in p? These questions aren’t standard epistemological fare, at least in part because many epistemologists think their answers are obvious, but they have unanticipated consequences for epistemology. Let ‘improbabilism’ name the thesis that it’s possible to know that p while having a credence in p below 0.5. Improbabilism will strike many epistemologists as absurd, but careful reflection on these questions reveals that, if improbabilism is false, then all of the most plausible theories of knowledge are also false. Or so I argue in this paper. Since improbabilism is widely rejected by epistemologists (at least implicitly), this paper reveals a tension between all of the most plausible theories of knowledge and a widespread assumption in epistemology. (shrink)
While previous studies of Dewey's work have taken either a historical or topical focus, Shook offers an innovative, organic approach to understanding Dewey and eloquently shows that Dewey's instrumentalism grew seamlessly out of his idealism. He argues that most current scholarship operates under a mistaken impression of Dewey's early philosophical positions.
This comprehensive and accessible book is designed for use by students following the Theory of Knowledge course in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. The book is also useful for students following other critical thinking courses. The fundamental question in Theory of Knowledge is 'How do you know? In exploring this question, the author encourages critical thinking across a range of subject areas and helps students to ask relevant questions, use language with care and precision, support ideas with (...) evidence, argue coherently and make sound judgements. All chapters include the following features: - preliminary quotations to prompt critical thinking - questions and exercises to encourage students to actively engage with the material - reading resources to explore some of the topics in greater depth - illustrations to support the text Richard van de Lagemaat has more than 20 years' experience in international education. (shrink)
The Gettier Problem is the problem of revising the view that knowledge is justified true belief in a way that is immune to Gettier counter-examples. The “Gettier Problem problem”, according to Lycan, is the problem of saying what is misguided about trying to solve the Gettier Problem. In this paper I take up the Gettier Problem problem. I distinguish giving conditions that are necessary and sufficient for knowledge from giving conditions that explain why one knows when one does (...) know. I argue that the problem with the Gettier Problem is that it requires us to articulate conditions that suffice for knowledge even if those conditions are non-explanatory. After defending this view, I take up two related methodological issues, one about the evidence that can be given in favor of an account of knowledge, and one about the role that investigating justification might play in investigating knowledge. (shrink)
An account of Plato’s theory of knowledge is offered. Plato is in a sense a contextualist: at least, he recognizes that his own use of the word for “knowledge” varies – in some contexts, it stands for the fullest possible level of understanding of a truth, while in other contexts, it is broader and includes less complete levels of understanding as well. But for Plato, all knowledge, properly speaking, is a priori knowledge of necessary truths – (...) based on recollection of aspects of the Forms – and so in contemporary terms, it meets the conditions of “safety” and “adherence” (or “indefeasibility”) to the highest degree. This account is defended on the basis of the text of Meno, Phaedo, and the Republic, against some objections – especially objections that are due to Gail Fine. (shrink)
In a recent monograph, Sandy Goldberg argues that epistemology should be renovated so as to accommodate the way in which human beings are dependent on others for what they know. He argues that the way to accomplish this is to consider the cognition of others to be part of the belief-forming process for the purposes of epistemic assessment when radical dependence on others is in evidence. In this paper, I argue that, contrary to what one may expect, a credit theory (...) of knowledge is well positioned to make the sort of anti-individualistic move that Goldberg advocates. Furthermore, unlike Goldberg's extended process reliabilism, an extended credit theory has a theoretically motivated way of restricting the domain of epistemic evaluation to the cognitive. Finally, I argue that, although adopting the extended cognition hypothesis would help Goldberg's position, an extended credit theory would still have the advantage. (shrink)
When future generations come to analyze and survey twentieth-century philosophy as a whole, Bertrand Russell’s logic and theory of knowledge is assured a place of prime importance. Yet until this book was first published in 1969 no comprehensive treatment of his epistemology had appeared. Commentators on twentieth-century philosophy at the time assumed that Russell’s important contributions to the theory of knowledge were made before 1921. This book challenges that assumption and draws attention to features of Russell’s later work (...) which were overlooked. The analysis starts with Russell’s earliest views and moves from book to book and article to article through his enormous span of writing on the problems and theory of knowledge. The changes in ideas as he developed the theory are traced, and the study culminates in a statement of his latest views. His work is seen in a continuity in which the changes were part of the development of his mature thought, and the total evaluation and interpretation clarify many of the common misunderstandings of his philosophy. This is naturally of interest to all philosophers, and for students this is the answer to inevitable questions on the nature of Russell’s ideas and their evolution. (shrink)
Professor Parkinson's book on Spinoza's theory of knowledge makes a serious attempt to consider this theme in isolation. The author argues that an understanding of this particular theory is a prerequisite to any understanding of Spinoza's theory of ethics or his metaphysical views. The text also discusses Spinoza's interests, especially the influence of science on the development of his thought, and ultimately provides a critical account of the philosopher's methodology, theory of truth, and theory of differing kinds of (...) class='Hi'>knowledge. (shrink)
First published in 1962. Kant’s philosophical works, and especially the _Critique of Pure Reason_, have had some influence on recent British philosophy. But the complexities of Kant’s arguments, and the unfamiliarity of his vocabulary, inhibit understanding of his point of view. In _Kant’s Theory of Knowledge _an attempt is made to relate Kant’s arguments in the _Critique of Pure Reason _to contemporary issues by expressing them in a more modern idiom. The selection of issues discussed is intended to present (...) a continuous argument, of an epistemological kind, which runs centrally through the _Critique_. The argument deals with essentially with the problems, raised in the Transcendental Analytic, about the status of categories. It deals with certain preliminary assumptions made in setting these problems, and discusses the way in which the various sections of the Analytic contribute to their solution. It also deals with Kant’s criticisms of traditional metaphysics, and ends with an account of his effort in the Third Antinomy to resolve the conflict between freedom and causality, and so to effect a transition of knowledge to moral philosophy. (shrink)
There have been many attempts of late to formulate a satisfactory theory of knowledge with which to replace the traditional justified true belief analysis. Almost all agree that it must be the case that in order for S to know that p; i.) p be true, and ii.) S believe that p. Although many argue that there must be a condition stating that S has adequate evidence for p, requirements other than i.) and ii.) are controversial. The most popular (...) approach taken, however, is the addition of a requirement to the effect that for S to know that p there must be no other evidence against p strong enough to undermine S's belief that p, should this evidence come to S's attention. I shall call such a requirement a “defeasibility condition” and any theory containing such a requirement a defeasibility theory.Defeasibility theories are quite effective in handling a certain kind of difficulty to which theories of knowledge are subject, namely problems dealing with what Harman has termed the social aspect of knowledge. (shrink)
Originally published in 1949. Understanding the questions is the major problem when beginning philosophy. This book does not attempt to provide the answers, but defines the questions and shows by example how they should be tackled. Subjects treated include the nature of the objects of thought and judgment; truth and error in belief; perception and knowledge of the material world; the status and function of memory.
_An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge_ guides the reader through the key issues and debates in contemporary epistemology. Lucid, comprehensive and accessible, it is an ideal textbook for students who are new to the subject and for university undergraduates. The book is divided into five parts. Part I discusses the concept of knowledge and distinguishes between different types of knowledge. Part II surveys the sources of knowledge, considering both _a priori_ and _a posteriori_ knowledge. Parts (...) III and IV provide an in-depth discussion of justification and scepticism. The final part of the book examines our alleged knowledge of the past, other minds, morality and God. O'Brien uses engaging examples throughout the book, taking many from literature and the cinema. He explains complex issues, such as those concerning the private language argument, non-conceptual content, and the new riddle of induction, in a clear and accessible way. This textbook is an invaluable guide to contemporary epistemology. (shrink)
Kant's masterpiece, Critique of Pure Reason, is universally recognized to be among the most difficult of all philosophical writing, and yet it is required reading in almost every course that covers modern philosophy. Most students find Critique of Pure Reason impenetrable without the help of secondary sources. While there are numerous advanced scholarly works on the topic, Dicker's is the first treatment explicitly designed for undergraduates to read alongside the primary text, rendering Kant's views accessible without oversimplifying them. His book (...) will be useful to both undergraduate and graduate students tackling this notoriously difficult yet highly influential thinker in courses in modern philosophy, epistemology, and Kant. (shrink)
First published in 1962, this book provides a systematic account of the development of Plato’s theory of knowledge. Beginning with a consideration of the Socratic and other influences which determined the form in which the problem of knowledge first presented itself to Plato, the author then works through the dialogues from the Meno to the Laws and examines in detail Plato’s progressive attempts to solve the problem.