A fictional text is commonly viewed as constituting an invitation to play a certain game of make-believe, with the individual sentences written by the author providing the propositions we are to imagine and/or accept as true within the fiction. However, we can’t always take the text at face value. What narratologists call ‘unreliable narrators’ may present a confused or misleading picture of the fictional world. Meanwhile there has been a debate in philosophy about so-called ‘imaginative resistance’ in which we (...) are inclined to resist imagining (or even accepting as true in the fiction) what’s explicitly stated in the text. But if we can’t take the text’s word for it, how do we determine what’s true in a fiction? We propose an account of fiction interpretation in a dynamic setting (a version of DRT with a mechanism for opening, updating, and closing temporary ‘workspaces’) and combine this framework with belief revision logic. With these tools in hand we turn to modelling imaginative resistance and unreliable narrators. (shrink)
Arrow and turnstile interpolations are investigated in UCL [introduced by Sernadas et al. ], a logic that is a complete extension of classical propositional logic for reasoning about connectives that only behave as expected with a given probability. Arrow interpolation is shown to hold in general and turnstile interpolation is established under some provisos.
I address Sinnott-Armstrong's argument that evidence of framing effects in moral psychology shows that moral intuitions are unreliable and therefore not noninferentially justified. I begin by discussing what it is to be epistemically unreliable and clarify how framing effects render moral intuitions unreliable. This analysis calls for a modification of Sinnott-Armstrong's argument if it is to remain valid. In particular, he must claim that framing is sufficiently likely to determine the content of moral intuitions. I then re-examine (...) the evidence which is supposed to support this claim. In doing so, I provide a novel suggestion for how to analyze the reliability of intuitions in empirical studies. Analysis of the evidence suggests that moral intuitions subject to framing effects are in fact much more reliable than perhaps was thought, and that Sinnott-Armstrong has not succeeded in showing that noninferential justification has been defeated. (shrink)
There is a virtual consensus in contemporary epistemology that knowledge must be reliably produced. Everyone, it seems, is a reliabilist about knowledge in that sense. I present and defend two arguments that unreliable knowledge is possible. My first argument proceeds from an observation about the nature of achievements, namely, that achievements can proceed from unreliable abilities. My second argument proceeds from an observation about the epistemic efficacy of explanatory inference, namely, that inference to the best explanation seems to (...) produce knowledge, even if it isn't reliable. I also propose a successor to standard versions of reliabilism, which I call ‘ecumenical reliabilism’. Ecumenical reliabilism is consistent with unreliably produced knowledge and helps explain why unreliably produced knowledge is possible. (shrink)
The article “Confabulating as Unreliable Imagining: In Defence of the Simulationist Account of Unsuccessful Remembering”, written by “Kourken Michaelian”, was originally published electronically on the publisher’s internet portal https://link.springer.com/article/ https://doi.org/10.1007/s11245-018-9591-z on 15 October 2018 without open access.
By considering the epistemology and relations among certain philosophical problems, I argue for a disjunctive thesis: either (1) it is highly probable that there are (i) several (ii) mutually independent philosophical reductios of highly commonsensical propositions that are successful—so several aspects of philosophy have succeeded at refuting common sense—or (2) there is enough hidden semantic structure in even simple sentences of natural language to make philosophers highly unreliable at spotting deductive validity in some of the simplest cases—so we are (...) much worse at logic than we think and cannot, in general, know when our own arguments are valid. The untoward consequences of each disjunct are explained. (shrink)
I argue that, despite claims that might be made to the contrary, no scientific evidence could ever prove that introspection is unreliable, even in principle. This paper was read at the annual POH symposium in Lake Wenatchee in May, 2011.
Drawing on the performance appraisal and medical literatures, we examine representative ethical issues involved in current appraisal practices of individual physicians: the use of invalid and unreliable measures; organizational goals conflicting with patient health goals; using individual measures for what are group performance results; making individual attributions for what are systemic causes (and results); and using clinical feedback for organizational purposes. Suggestions for developing more ethical performance appraisals include reflecting upon the multiple purposes and means of appraisals, and the (...) limitations of current practices. Greater understanding of the effects of current appraisal practices on physicians can help minimize its potentially adverse consequences on the delivery of quality healthcare. (shrink)
Drawing on the performance appraisal and medical literatures, we examine representative ethical issues involved in current appraisal practices of individual physicians: the use of invalid and unreliable measures; organizational goals conflicting with patient health goals; using individual measures for what are group performance results; making individual attributions for what are systemic causes ; and using clinical feedback for organizational purposes. Suggestions for developing more ethical performance appraisals include reflecting upon the multiple purposes and means of appraisals, and the limitations (...) of current practices. Greater understanding of the effects of current appraisal practices on physicians can help minimize its potentially adverse consequences on the delivery of quality healthcare. (shrink)
We appeal to the theory of Bayesian Networks to model different strategies for obtaining confirmation for a hypothesis from experimental test results provided by less than fully reliable instruments. In particular, we consider (i) repeated measurements of a single test consequence of the hypothesis, (ii) measurements of multiple test consequences of the hypothesis, (iii) theoretical support for the reliability of the instrument, and (iv) calibration procedures. We evaluate these strategies on their relative merits under idealized conditions and show some surprising (...) repercussions on the variety-of-evidence thesis and the Duhem-Quine thesis. (shrink)
Dogged resistance to demanding moral views frequently takes the form of The Demandingness Objection. Premise (1): Moral view V demands too much of us. Premise (2): If a moral view demands too much of us, then it is mistaken. Conclusion: Therefore, moral view V is mistaken. Objections of this form harass major theories in normative ethics as well as prominent moral views in applied ethics and political philosophy. The present paper does the following: (i) it clarifies and distinguishes between various (...) demandingness objections in the philosophical literature, (ii) identifies a formidable and interesting form of the demandingness objection that targets a wide scope of moral views, and (iii) defuses this objection by developing a local skeptical argument from unreliability the form of which may, interestingly, be effectively deployed in other areas of philosophy. (shrink)
This paper responds to Bernecker’s attack on Michaelian’s simulationist account of confabulation, as well as his defence of the causalist account of confabulation :432–447, 2016a) against Michaelian’s attack on it. The paper first argues that the simulationist account survives Bernecker’s attack, which takes the form of arguments from the possibility of unjustified memory and justified confabulation, unscathed. It then concedes that Bernecker’s defence of the causalist account against Michaelian’s attack, which takes the form of arguments from the possibility of veridical (...) confabulation and falsidical relearning, is partly successful. This concession points the way, however, to a revised simulationist account that highlights the role played by failures of metacognitive monitoring in confabulation and that provides a means of distinguishing between “epistemically innocent” and “epistemically culpable” memory errors. Finally, the paper responds to discussions by Robins and Bernecker of the role played by the concept of reliability in Michaelian’s approach, offering further considerations in support of simulationism. (shrink)
This article is concerned with Mark Timmons and Terence Horgan's influential twin - earth argument against the semantic views of that school of thought in metaethics that has come to be known as “Cornell realism”. The semantic views of Cornell realism have been developed in greatest detail by Richard Boyd, and it is Boyd's view that is targeted by Timmons and Horgan. In the first part of the article, the twin - earth argument is introduced and two versions of it (...) are disentangled. Thereafter, a defensive strategy is developed against the most powerful version of the argument. The conclusion of the article is that Timmons and Horgan's argument does not succeed in showing that the semantic views associated with Cornell realism are false. (shrink)
This paper presents a decision theory which allows subjects to account for the uncertainties of their probability estimates. This is accomplished by modelling beliefs about states of nature by means of a class of probability measures. In order to represent uncertainties of those beliefs a measure of epistemic reliability is introduced. The suggested decision theory is evaluated in the light of empirical evidence on ambiguity and uncertainty in decision making. The theory is also compared to Tversky & Kahneman's prospect theory.
The standard Bayesian recipe for selecting the rational choice is presented. A familiar example in which the recipe fails to produce any definite result is introduced. It is argued that a generalization of Gärdenfors’ and Sahlin’s theory of unreliable probabilities — which itself does not guarantee a solution to the problem — offers the best available approach. But a number of challenges to this approach are also presented and discussed.
Resumo Neste artigo, defender-se-á uma interpretação do filme A Time to Kill, como sendo uma narrativa cinematográfica falível, mesmo sem a presença de um narrador. Neste texto, assume-se, que uma narrativa falível resulta de um defeito estético e ético do filme. Deste modo, a estrutura estética do filme representa a intenção do realizador em contar a sua versão da história, influenciando assim o seu significado e efeito empático. Com o evoluir da narrativa cinematográfica, as regras de inferência tornam-se cada vez (...) mais complexas. Ainda assim, a convenção cinematográfica estabelece um contexto e define limites identificadores para a sua interpretação. Uma história mal contada inibe a reconstrução imaginativa do espectador, no que diz respeito às motivações das personagens e da causalidade narrativa. Portanto, a qualidade narrativa é essencial para o raciocínio narrativo e empatia estética. Se a narrativa oferece uma compreensão do mundo e de outras pessoas, que de outra forma seriam inacessíveis, e se a forma ou o estilo da narrativa determinam a sua eficácia, então, as formas assumidas pelas nossas histórias têm consequências epistemológicas. Palavras-chave : estética, ética, identificação, narrativa falível, narrativa, raçaIn this paper, I argue for an interpretation of A Time to Kill as an unreliable, yet narrator-less, cinematic narrative. In my view, unreliable narration is an aesthetic and ethical flaw of the film rather than of the narrator. Thus, the film’s aesthetic structure represents the director’s storytelling intentions, and influences its meaning and empathic affect. As cinematic narrative evolves, rules of inference become increasingly complex. Still, filmic convention establishes a context and sets identifiable boundaries for interpretation. A poorly told story inhibits the viewer’s imaginative reconstruction of narrative causation and characters’ motives. Thus, narrative quality is essential to narrative reasoning and aesthetic empathy. If narrative provides an understanding of the world and other people that is otherwise inaccessible, and if the form or style of narrative determines its effectiveness, then the forms our stories take have epistemological consequences. Keywords : aesthetics, ethics, identification, narrative, race, unreliable narrative. (shrink)
Combining testimonial reports from independent and partially reliable information sources is an important epistemological problem of uncertain reasoning. Within the framework of Dempster–Shafer theory, we propose a general model of partially reliable sources, which includes several previously known results as special cases. The paper reproduces these results on the basis of a comprehensive model taxonomy. This gives a number of new insights and thereby contributes to a better understanding of this important application of reasoning with uncertain and incomplete information.
Experimental philosophers have gathered impressive evidence for the surprising conclusion that philosophers' intuitions are out of step with those of the folk. As a result, many argue that philosophers' intuitions are unreliable. Focusing on the Knobe Effect, a leading finding of experimental philosophy, we defend traditional philosophy against this conclusion. Our key premise relies on experiments we conducted which indicate that judgments of the folk elicited under higher quality cognitive or epistemic conditions are more likely to resemble those of (...) the philosopher. We end by showing how our experimental findings can help us better understand the Knobe Effect. (shrink)
Intuitively, Gettier cases are instances of justified true beliefs that are not cases of knowledge. Should we therefore conclude that knowledge is not justified true belief? Only if we have reason to trust intuition here. But intuitions are unreliable in a wide range of cases. And it can be argued that the Gettier intuitions have a greater resemblance to unreliable intuitions than to reliable intuitions. Whats distinctive about the faulty intuitions, I argue, is that respecting them would mean (...) abandoning a simple, systematic and largely successful theory in favour of a complicated, disjunctive and idiosyncratic theory. So maybe respecting the Gettier intuitions was the wrong reaction, we should instead have been explaining why we are all so easily misled by these kinds of cases. (shrink)
Among philosophers of science there seems to be a general consensus that understanding represents a species of knowledge, but virtually every major epistemologist who has thought seriously about understanding has come to deny this claim. Against this prevailing tide in epistemology, I argue that understanding is, in fact, a species of knowledge: just like knowledge, for example, understanding is not transparent and can be Gettiered. I then consider how the psychological act of "grasping" that seems to be characteristic of understanding (...) differs from the sort of psychological act that often characterizes knowledge. Zagzebski's account Kvanvig's account Two problems Comanche cases Unreliable sources of information The upper-right quadrant So is understanding a species of knowledge? A false choice. (shrink)
In this paper we critically evaluate an argument put forward by William Lane Craig for the existence of God based on the assumption that if there were no God, there could be no objective morality. Contrary to Craig, we show that there are some necessary moral truths and objective moral reasoning that holds up whether there is a God or not. We go on to argue that religious faith, when taken alone and without reason or evidence, actually risks undermining morality (...) and is an unreliable source of moral truths. We recommend a viewpoint on morality that is based on reason and public consensus, that is compatible with science, and that cuts across the range of religious and non-religious positions. (shrink)
We study shared intentions in what we call “loose groups”. These are groups that lack a codified organizational structure, and where the communication channels between group members are either unreliable or not completely open. We start by formulating two desiderata for shared intentions in such groups. We then argue that no existing account meets these two desiderata, because they assume either too strong or too weak an epistemic condition, that is, a condition on what the group members know and (...) believe about what the others intend, know, and believe. We propose an alternative, pooled knowledge, and argue that it allows formulating conditions on shared intentions that meet the two desiderata. (shrink)
Are the circumstances in which moral testimony serves as evidence that our judgement-forming processes are unreliable the same circumstances in which mundane testimony serves as evidence that our mundane judgement-forming processes are unreliable? In answering this question, we distinguish two possible roles for testimony: (i) providing a legitimate basis for a judgement, (ii) providing (‘higher-order’) evidence that a judgement-forming process is unreliable. We explore the possibilities for a view according to which moral testimony does not, in contrast (...) to mundane testimony play role (i), but can play role (ii). We argue that standard motivations for rejecting this hybrid position are unpersuasive but suggest that a more compelling reason might be found in considering the social nature of morality. (shrink)