In this book William G. Lycan offers an epistemology of philosophy itself, a partial method for philosophical inquiry. The epistemology features three ultimate sources of justified philosophical belief. First, common sense, in a carefully restricted sense of the term-the sorts of contingentpropositions Moore defended against idealists and skeptics. Second, the deliverances of well confirmed science. Third and more fundamentally, intuitions about cases in a carefully specified sense of that term. The first half of On Evidence in Philosophy expounds a version (...) of Moore's method and applies it to each of several issues. This version is shown to resist all the standard objections to Moore; most of them do not even apply. It is argued, in Chapters 5 and 6, that philosophical method is far lesspowerful than most have taken it to be. In particular, deductive argument can accomplish very little, and hardly ever is an opposing position refuted except by common sense or by science. The final two chapters defend the evidential status of intuitions and the Goodmanian method of reflectiveequilibrium; it is argued that philosophy always and everywhere depends on them. The method is then set within a more general explanatory-coherentist epistemology, which is shown to resist standard forms of skepticism.In sum, William G. Lycan advocates a picture of philosophy as a very wide explanatory reflective equilibrium incorporating common sense, science, and our firmest intuitions on any topic-and nothing more, not ever. (shrink)
_Philosophy of Language_ introduces the student to the main issues and theories in twentieth-century philosophy of language. Topics are structured in three parts in the book. Part I, Reference and Referring Expressions, includes topics such as Russell's Theory of Desciptions, Donnellan's distinction, problems of anaphora, the description theory of proper names, Searle's cluster theory, and the causal-historical theory. Part II, Theories of Meaning, surveys the competing theories of linguistic meaning and compares their various advantages and liabilities. Part III, Pragmatics and (...) Speech Acts, introduces the basic concepts of linguistic pragmatics, includes a detailed discussion of the problem of indirect force and surveys approaches to metaphor. Unique features of the text: * chapter overviews and summaries * clear supportive examples * study questions * annotated further reading * glossary. (shrink)
This is the first detailed study to explore the little-understood notions of "knowing who someone is," "knowing a person's identity," and related locutions. It locates these notions within the context of a general theory of believing and a semantical theory of belief- and knowledge-ascriptions.The books's main contention is that what one knows, when one knows who someone is, is not normally an identity in the numerical sense of "a = b," but rather a certain sort of predication to know who (...) someone is is just to know that that person is F, where "F" is a predicate that is "important," in a technical sense defined by the authors, for the purposes determined by context. Their book offers a rigorous formal semantics for ascriptions of knowing and of knowing-who in particular, solving such well-known problems and paradoxes as Kripke's Puzzle, and Quines difficulties with de re belief, along the way.The authors apply their analysis to each of several important issues in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and ethical theory in which the previously unexamined notion of "knowing who" has loomed large-the mechanics of linguistic referring, the foundations of epistemic logic, problems of self-knowledge and self-regarding belief, universalizability and "Golden Rule" arguments in ethics, and moral "personalism" versus "impartialism."Stephen Boër is Professor of Philosophy at the Ohio State University. William Lycan is Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina and author of Logical Form in Natural Language. A Bradford Book. (shrink)
MEANING POSTULATES REINSTATED If I am right in agreeing with Cresswell that the "logicarrlexicaT distinction is one of degree rather than one of kind, that in turn impugns the distinction between the official truth-rules that define logical ...
Despite the current resurgence of modest forms of mind?body dualism, traditional Cartesian immaterial-substance dualism has few, if any, defenders. This paper argues that no convincing case has been made against substance dualism, and that standard objections to it can be credibly answered.
Locke put forward the theory of consciousness as "internal Sense" or "reflection"; Kant made it inner sense, by means of which the mind intuits itself or its inner state." On that theory, consciousness is a perception-like second-order representing of our own psychological states events. The term "consciousness," of course, has many distinct uses.
The idea of representation has been central in discussions of intentionality for many years. But only more recently has it begun playing a wider role in the philosophy of mind, particularly in theories of consciousness. Indeed, there are now multiple representational theories of consciousness, corresponding to different uses of the term "conscious," each attempting to explain the corresponding phenomenon in terms of representation. More cautiously, each theory attempts to explain its target phenomenon in terms of _intentionality_, and assumes that intentionality (...) is representation. (shrink)
Second, there is a form of ampliative inference that has come to be called ‘inference to the best explanation,’ or more briefly ‘explanatory inference.’ Roughly: From the fact that a certain hypothesis would explain the data at hand better than any other available hypothesis, we infer with some degree of confidence that that leading hypothesis is correct. There is no question but that this inference is often performed. Arguably, every human being performs it many times in a day, perhaps without (...) letup. (shrink)
It is widely thought that mind–body substance dualism is implausible at best, though mere “property” dualism is defensible and even flourishing. This paper argues that substance dualism is no less plausible than property dualism and even has two advantages over it.
Lycan (1985, 1988) defended a “Principle of Credulity”: “Accept at the outset each of those things that seem to be true” (1988, p. 165). Though that takes the form of a rule rather than a thesis, it does not seem very different from Huemer’s (2001, 2006, 2007) doctrine of phenomenal conservatism (PC): “If it seems to S that p , then, in the absence of defeaters, S thereby has at least some degree of justification for believing that p ” (2007, (...) p. 30). My Principle was differently motivated and put to uses different from Huemer’s. In this paper I shall explore some of the differences. (shrink)
There is now a considerable literature that goes under the heading of “phenomenal intentionality.” But it features a number of distinct issues. What they have in common is the claim that intentionality bears a closer relation to phenomenology than had previously been recognized. There is a basic thesis, which is controversial, and there are further arguments attempting to draw more exciting morals from the basic thesis. My purpose in this paper is to survey these issues, see what may be at (...) stake, and adjudicate. (shrink)
An explanatory coherence theory of justification is sketched and then defended against a number of recent objections: conservatism and relativism; wild and crazy beliefs; reliability; warranted necessary falsehoods; basing; distant, unknown coherences; Sosa's “self- and present-abstracts”; and Bayesian impossibility results.
Higher-Order Perception (HOP) theories in the philosophy of mind are offered as explanations of what it is that makes a mental state a conscious state. According to HOP, a mental state is conscious just in case it is itself represented in a quasi-perceptual way by an internal monitor or scanning device. We start with one of the more popular objections to HOP and a seemingly innocuous concession to it: identifying the internal monitor with the faculty of attention. We show how (...) this concession undermines HOP. (shrink)