Mainstream and Formal Epistemology provides the first, easily accessible, yet erudite and original analysis of the meeting point between mainstream and formal theories of knowledge. These two strands of thinking have traditionally proceeded in isolation from one another, but in this book, Vincent F. Hendricks brings them together for a systematic comparative treatment. He demonstrates how mainstream and formal epistemology may significantly benefit from one another, paving the way for a new unifying program of 'plethoric' epistemology. His book will both (...) define and further the debate between philosophers from two very different sides of the epistemological spectrum. (shrink)
This book provides a valuable look at the work of up and coming epistemologists. The topics covered range from the central issues of mainstream epistemology to the more formal issues in epistemic logic and confirmation theory. This book should be read by anyone interested in seeing where epistemology is currently focused and where it is heading. - Stewart Cohen , Arizona State University..
Epistemic logic begins with the recognition that our everyday talk about knowing and believing has some systematic features that we can track and re‡ect upon. Epistemic logicians have studied and extended these glints of systematic structure in fascinating and important ways since the early 1960s. However, for one reason or another, mainstream epistemologists have shown little interest. It is striking to contrast the marginal role of epistemic logic in contemporary epistemology with the centrality of modal logic for metaphysicians. This article (...) is intended to help in correcting this oversight by presenting some important developments in epistemic logic and suggesting ways to understand their applicability to traditional epistemological problems. Obviously, by itself, tweaking the formal apparatus of epistemic logic does not solve traditional epistemological problems. Epistemic logic can help us to navigate through problems in a systematic fashion by unpacking the logic of the problematic concepts, it can also lead us to recognize problems that we had not anticipated. This is basically analogous to the role that modal logic has played in contemporary metaphysics. (shrink)
The essays both represent a variety of epistemological approaches, including those of the humanities, social studies, natural science, sociology, psychology, and engineering sciences and reflect a diversity of philosophical traditions such ...
The purpose of this survey is twofold: (1) to place some centralthemes of epistemic logic in a general epistemological context,and (2) to outline a new framework for epistemic logic developedjointly with S. Andur Pedersen unifying some key ``mainstream''epistemological concerns with the ``formal'' epistemologicalapparatus.
Epistemic logic is the logic of knowledge and belief. It provides insight into the properties of individual knowers, has provided a means to model complicated scenarios involving groups of knowers and has improved our understanding of the dynamics of inquiry.
It has become a truism that we live in so-called information societies where new information technologies have made information abundant. At the same time, information science has made us aware of many phenomena tied to the way we process information. This article explores a series of socio-epistemic information phenomena resulting from processes that track truth imperfectly: pluralistic ignorance, informational cascades, and belief polarization. It then couples these phenomena with the hypothesis that modern information technologies may lead to their amplification so (...) as to give rise to what are called “infostorms.” This points to the need for studying further the exact relations between information technologies and such infostorms, as well as the ways we may design technologies to avoid being misled away from what we have good reasons to believe. (shrink)
Skeptics argue that the acquisition of knowledge is impossible given the standing possibility of error. We present the limiting convergence strategy for responding to skepticism and discuss the relationship between conceivable error and an agent’s knowledge in the limit. We argue that the skeptic must demonstrate that agents are operating with a bad method or are in an epistemically cursed world. Such demonstration involves a significant step beyond conceivability and commits the skeptic to potentially convergent inquiry.
Abstract: Pluralistic ignorance is a nasty informational phenomenon widely studied in social psychology and theoretical economics. It revolves around conditions under which it is "legitimate" for everyone to remain ignorant. In formal epistemology there is enough machinery to model and resolve situations in which pluralistic ignorance may arise. Here is a simple first stab at recovering from pluralistic ignorance by means of knowledge transmissibility.
Philosophical logicians proposing theories of rational belief revision have had little to say about whether their proposals assist or impede the agent's ability to reliably arrive at the truth as his beliefs change through time. On the other hand, reliability is the central concern of formal learning theory. In this paper we investigate the belief revision theory of Alchourron, Gardenfors and Makinson from a learning theoretic point of view.
Much like the trade and traits of bubbles in financial markets, similar bubbles appear on the science market. When economic bubbles burst, the drop in prices causes the crash of unsustainable investments leading to an investor confidence crisis possibly followed by a financial panic. But when bubbles appear in science, truth and reliability are the first victims. This paper explores how fashions in research funding and research management may turn science into something like a bubble economy.
Engineering science is a scientific discipline that from the point of view of epistemology and the philosophy of science has been somewhat neglected. When engineering science was under philosophical scrutiny it often just involved the question of whether engineering is a spin-off of pure and applied science and their methods. We, however, hold that engineering is a science governed by its own epistemology, methodology and ontology. This point is systematically argued by comparing the different sciences with respect to a particular (...) set of characterization criteria. (shrink)
As part of the conference commemorating Theoria's 75th anniversary, a round table discussion on philosophy publishing was held in Bergendal, Sollentuna, Sweden, on 1 October 2010. Bengt Hansson was the chair, and the other participants were eight editors-in-chief of philosophy journals: Hans van Ditmarsch (Journal of Philosophical Logic), Pascal Engel (Dialectica), Sven Ove Hansson (Theoria), Vincent Hendricks (Synthese), Søren Holm (Journal of Medical Ethics), Pauline Jacobson (Linguistics and Philosophy), Anthonie Meijers (Philosophical Explorations), Henry S. Richardson (Ethics) and Hans Rott (Erkenntnis).
Epistemology: 5 Questions is a collection of short interviews based on 5 questions presented to some of the most influential and prominent scholars in epistemology. We hear their views on epistemology with particular emphasis on the intersection between mainstream and formal approaches to the field, the aim, scope, the future direction of epistemology and how their work fits in these respects.
The volume includes the proceedings from the conference FOL75 -- 75 Years of First-Order Logic held at Humboldt University, Berlin, September 18 - 21, 2003 on the occasion of the anniversary of the publication of Hilbert's and Ackermann's Grundzuge der theoretischen Logik. The papers provide analyses of the historical conditions of the shaping of FOL, discuss several modern rivals to it, and show the importance of FOL for interdisciplinary research. While there is no doubt that the celebrated book marks a (...) most important step in the development of logic, the volume in hand proves the actuality of the question "Which logic is the right logic." The volume contains articles by: H. Andreka, J. X. Madarasz, I. Nemeti, A. Avron, K. Brunnler, A. Guglielmi, G. Englebretsen, W. Ewald, P. Hajek, J. Hintikka, W. Hodges, M. Kracht, R. Lanzet, H. Ben-Yami, C. Toke, S. P. Odintsov, H. Wansing, J. A. Robinson, M. Rossberg, M. Thielscher, D. E. Willard, andJ. Wole 'nski. (shrink)
An anthology of previously unpublished essays from some of the most outstanding scholars working in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science today, _Self-Reference_ reexamines the latest theories of self-reference, including those that attempt to explain and resolve the semantic and set-theoretic paradoxes. With a thorough introduction that contextualizes the subject for students, this book will be important reading for anyone interested in the general area of self-reference and philosophy.
In 1974, a wonderful little book came out entitled Formal Philosophy: Selected Papers of Richard Montague, edited by Richmond H. Thomason. The book was a beautiful testimony to the fact that formal methods may indeed clarify, sharpen and solve philosophical problems, defusing airy philosophical intuitions in clear, crisp and concise ways while at the same time turning philosophical wonder into scientific inquiry.
Formal epistemology is the study of crucial concepts in general or main- stream epistemology including knowledge, belief , certainty, ra- tionality, reasoning, decision, justi cation, learning, agent interaction and information processing using a spread of di¤erent formal tools. These formal tools may be drawn from elds such as logic, probability theory, game theory, decision theory, formal learning theory, and distributed com- puting such variety is typical in formal epistemology, a eld in which interaction with topics outside of philosophy proper is (...) the rule rather than the exception. Practitioners of formal epistemology include philosophers, computer scientists, social scientists, cognitive psychologists, theoretical economists, mathematicians, and theoretical linguists. The interdiscipli- nary nature of formal epistemology can make it di¢ cult for those new to the eld to have a sense of some of its basic agendas, actors, and issues. What follows is a breezy overview of formal epistemology as organized around notions of agency and interaction. (shrink)
Recent years have witnessed impressive leaps forward in modelling the dynamics of inquiry. Diﬀerent models have been suggested to fathom various aspects of the reasoning processes relevant to inquiry; belief revision, dynamic epistemic and doxastic logics, stit-theory, logics of action, intention and doxastic voluntarism—in general, logics and formal models for – using an adequately covering term coined by Parikh – social software [Par02]. Many of these logics and formal frameworks rely on combining diﬀerent modal logics in the realization that inquiry (...) incorporates a multiplicity of parameters including time, change, relevant alternatives, epistemological forcing and learning just to mention a few. The result: Multi-modal systems. (shrink)
Pluralistic ignorance is a nasty informational phenomenon studied widely in social psychology and theoretical economics. It revolves around conditions under which it is "legitimate" for everyone to remain ignorant. In formal epistemology there is enough machinery to model and resolve situations in which pluralististic ignorance may arise. Here is a simple …rst stab at recovering from pluralistic ignorance by means of knowledge transmissibility.
Within epistemology and the philosophy of science there is, in a number of cases, an a-symmetrical relation or even complementarity between innovation and justification. Innovations are not always justifiable, within the currently accepted body of scientific knowledge and readily justifiable innovations are seldom too interesting. This paper describes some such cases drawn from the history of science and attempts to classify different types of innovations.
‘Over a ten year period starting in the mid 90’s I became convinced that all these topics –game theory, economic design, voting theory –belonged to a common area which I called Social Software.’ — Rohit Parikh, [Parikh 05]: p. 252..
Contemporary epistemologists are roughly divided into those relying largely on common-sense considerations and focusing on examples and counterexamples for advancing or rejecting various epistemological theses, and those applying a variety of tools and methods from logic, computability theory or probability theory to the theory of knowledge. The two sorts, and the traditions to which they hitherto are taken to belong, have unfortunately proceeded largely in isolation from one another. But on closer examination the approaches have much in common, may be (...) bridged for their mutual beneﬁt and the advancement of epistemology in general. Here are 7 ways of doing it as the invited papers in this special issue of Philosophical Studies demonstrate the fruitful interaction between informal considerations and various formal apparata in order to support, sharpen, undermine, realize, or contribute in some other pertinent way to fundamental epistemological themes. (shrink)
The goal with these questions is to gain a sense of what contemporary epistemology is up to and its broader intellectual environment , with particular emphasis on the meeting point between mainstream and formal epistemology.
From the point of view of the KaLC-paradigm this paper has two aims. First of all it attempts to sketch some of the pertinent problems of scientific discovery and secondly, it outlines how these problems can be treated in the KaLC -paradigm.
This book sheds light on some recent discussions of the problems in probability theory and their history, analysing their philosophical and mathematical significance, and the role pf mathematical probability theory in other sciences.