skepticism

EXTERNALISM, SKEPTICISM, AND BELIEF (pages 275-301)

Submitted by logos on Tue, 09/30/2014 - 07:34
paper title: 

EXTERNALISM, SKEPTICISM, AND BELIEF (pages 275-301)

paper type: 
article
paper author: 

Michael Shaw PERRY

paper author family name: 

PERRY

paper abstract: 

ABSTRACT: In this paper I analyze epistemological externalism and its adequacy as a response to skepticism. Externalism is defined by denial of accessibility: a subject can know if a particular condition beyond truth and belief is satisfied, even if the subject has no reflective access to the satisfaction of the condition. It hence has quick responses to skepticism. Three sorts of skepticism are differentiated and discussed: high standards skepticism, Cartesian-style skepticism, and Pyrrhonism. If we decouple high standards and Cartesian-style skepticism, a simple fallibilism is a superior response to the first and externalism is an unsatisfying response to the second. Pyrrhonism reveals what it is missing in externalism. Pyrrhonism targets belief and so redefinitions of knowledge are insufficient as a reply. Externalism assumes we have beliefs and asks what must be added to achieve knowledge, but if we look at the epistemic situation the externalist puts us in, it is not clear we would form or retain beliefs. In similar circumstances the Pyrrhonist suspends judgment. Once we are clear how Pyrrhonism actually challenges externalism it provides a direct and more revealing critique, making clear what is given up and pointing the way for further epistemological inquiry.      

paper issue: 
17

DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT A BRAIN IN A VAT? (pages 161–181)

Submitted by logos on Tue, 07/01/2014 - 09:42
paper title: 

DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT A BRAIN IN A VAT? (pages 161–181)

paper type: 
article
paper author: 

Ned MARKOSIAN

paper author family name: 

MARKOSIAN

paper abstract: 

ABSTRACT: The topic of this paper is the familiar problem of skepticism about the external world. How can you know that you are not a brain in a vat being fooled by alien scientists? And if you can’t know that, how can you know anything about the external world? The paper assumes Evidentialism as a theory about justification, and then argues that you are justified in believing that you are not a brain in a vat, in virtue of the fact that your evidence supports that belief. The paper also considers a number of different objections to this proposal. The upshot is that you do know that you are a not a brain in a vat, and that you also know lots of things about the external world. 

paper issue: 
16

FOLEY’S SELF-TRUST AND RELIGIOUS DISAGREEMENT (pages 217–226)

Submitted by logos on Sat, 06/29/2013 - 08:07
paper title: 

FOLEY’S SELF-TRUST AND RELIGIOUS DISAGREEMENT (pages 217–226)

paper type: 
debate
paper author: 

Tomas BOGARDUS

paper author family name: 

BOGARDUS

paper abstract: 

ABSTRACT: In this paper, I’ll look at the implications of Richard Foley’s epistemology for two different kinds of religious disagreement. First, there are those occasions on which a stranger testifies to me that she holds disagreeing religious beliefs. Typically, I’m dismissive of such religious disagreement, and I bet you are too. Richard Foley gives reasons to think that we need not be at all conciliatory in the face of stranger disagreement, but I’ll explain why his reasons are insufficient. After that, I’ll look at those types of religious disagreement that occur between epistemic peers . Foley has argued for a conciliatory position. I worry that his position leads to what some in the literature have called “spinelessness.” I also worry that his view is self-defeating, and vulnerable to some apparent counterexamples. I’ll end the paper by sketching my own, non-Foleyan, solution to those problems.

paper issue: 
12

IN DEFENSE OF VIRTUE-RESPONSIBILISM (pages 201–216)

Submitted by logos on Sat, 06/29/2013 - 08:05
paper title: 

IN DEFENSE OF VIRTUE-RESPONSIBILISM (pages 201–216)

paper type: 
debate
paper author: 

Christopher BOBIER

paper author family name: 

BOBIER

paper abstract: 

ABSTRACT: Modest realism affirms that some of the objects of our beliefs exist independently of our beliefs. That is, there is a mind-independent world that we can epistemically access. The Cartesian skeptic claims that we can’t offer any non-questionbegging arguments in favor of modest realism and therefore we are not justified in believing that modest realism is true. Reliabilists argue that the skeptic assumes an evidentialist-internalist account of justification and that a proper account of justification jettisons this. Hence, our belief in modest realism can be justified. I argue in this paper that virtue-responsibilism offers an analogous response to the Cartesian skeptic. According to the virtue-responsibilist, my belief that P is an instance of knowledge iff it maps onto reality and is the result of an act of virtue. I show that the virtueresponsibilist theory excludes evidentialist-internalism, and allows for our belief in modest realism to be justified. However, it may be objected that the virtue-responsibilist can’t offer non-question-begging reasons for thinking that the virtues are reliable. I argue that this objection fails and that we can know that the virtues are reliable by empirical study. Thus, virtue-responsibilism provides a satisfactory response to the Cartesian skeptic.

paper issue: 
12
paper title: 

THE CONCILIATORY VIEW AND THE CHARGE OF WHOLESALE SKEPTICISM (pages 619-627)

paper type: 
debate
paper author: 

Christopher BOBIER

paper author family name: 

BOBIER

paper abstract: 

ABSTRACT: If I reasonably think that you and I enjoy the same evidence as well as virtues and vices, then we are epistemic peers. What does rationality require of us should we disagree? According to the conciliatory view, I should become less confident in my belief upon finding out that you, whom I take to be my peer, disagree with me. Question: Does the conciliatory view lead to wholesale skepticism regarding areas of life where disagreement is rampant? After all, people focusing on the same arguments and possessing the same virtues commonly disagree over religion, politics, ethics, philosophy and other areas. David Christensen and Adam Elga have responded that conciliationism does not lead to wholesale skepticism. I argue that Christensen and Elga cannot avoid the charge of wholesale skepticism. But I also argue that if they could avoid skepticism, then the conciliatory view would become irrelevant since it would not inform us as to what rationality requires of us in every-day disagreement. Thus either way the conciliatory view is saddled with unintuitive consequences. 

paper issue: 
10

TOWARD A SEMANTIC APPROACH IN EPISTEMOLOGY (pages 531-543)

Submitted by logos on Fri, 12/28/2012 - 10:45
paper title: 

TOWARD A SEMANTIC APPROACH IN EPISTEMOLOGY (pages 531-543)

paper type: 
article
paper author: 

Arnold CUSMARIU

paper author family name: 

CUSMARIU

paper abstract: 

ABSTRACT: Philosophers have recognized for some time the usefulness of semantic conceptions of truth and belief. That the third member of the knowledge triad, evidence, might also have a useful semantic version seems to have been overlooked. This paper corrects that omission by defining a semantic conception of evidence for science and mathematics and then developing a semantic conception of knowledge for these fields, arguably mankind’s most important knowledge repository. The goal is to demonstrate the advantages of having an answer to the more modest question “What is necessary and sufficient for introducing a knowledge predicate into scientific and mathematical languages?” – as contrasted with the ambitious Platonic question “What is knowledge?” After presenting the theory, the paper responds to a wide range of objections stemming from traditional philosophical concerns. 

paper issue: 
10

SKEPTICISM AND VARIETIES OF TRANSCENDENTAL ARGUMENT (pages 395-411)

Submitted by logos on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 11:36
paper title: 

SKEPTICISM AND VARIETIES OF TRANSCENDENTAL ARGUMENT (pages 395-411)

paper type: 
article
paper author: 

Hamid VAHID

paper author family name: 

VAHID

paper abstract: 

ABSTRACT: Transcendental arguments have been described as disclosing the necessary conditions of the possibility of phenomena as diverse as experience, self-knowledge and language. Although many theorists saw them as powerful means to combat varieties of skepticism, this optimism gradually waned as many such arguments turned out, on examination, to deliver much less than was originally thought. In this paper, I distinguish between two species of transcendental arguments claiming that they do not actually constitute distinct forms of reasoning by showing how they collapse into more familiar inferences. I then turn to the question of their epistemic potentials which I argue to be a function of both their types as well as their targets. Finally, these claims are reinforced by uncovering links between certain recent claims about the efficacy of transcendental arguments and the so-called Moore’s paradox.

paper issue: 
5

LIMITING SKEPTICISM (pages 211-224)

Submitted by logos on Tue, 06/28/2011 - 16:37
paper title: 

LIMITING SKEPTICISM (pages 211-224)

paper type: 
article
paper author: 

Vincent F. HENDRICKS, John SYMONS

paper author family name: 

HENDRICKS

paper abstract: 

ABSTRACT: 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.

paper issue: 
4

HEALTHY SKEPTICISM AND PRACTICAL WISDOM (pages 87-102)

Submitted by logos on Mon, 03/28/2011 - 10:12
paper title: 

HEALTHY SKEPTICISM AND PRACTICAL WISDOM (pages 87-102)

paper type: 
article
paper author: 

Pierre LE MORVAN

paper author family name: 

LE MORVAN

paper abstract: 

ABSTRACT. This paper explores and articulates an alternative to the two main approaches that have come to predominate in contemporary philosophical discussions of skepticism. These we may call the ‘Foil Approach’ and the ‘Bypass Approach’ respectively. On the Foil Approach, skepticism is treated as a problem to be solved, or challenge to be met, or threat to be parried; skepticism’s value, insofar as it is deemed to have one, accrues from its role as a foil contrastively illuminating what is required for knowledge and justified belief. On the Bypass Approach, skepticism is bypassed as a central concern of epistemology. In this paper, I articulate an alternative to both these approaches, one that explores when skepticism is healthy and when it is not. I call it the ‘Health Approach’ to skepticism.

paper issue: 
3

EPISTEMIC CLOSURE AND SKEPTICISM (pages 221-246)

Submitted by logos on Mon, 12/27/2010 - 22:50
paper title: 

EPISTEMIC CLOSURE AND SKEPTICISM (pages 221-246)

paper type: 
article
paper author: 

John A. BARKER, Fred ADAMS

paper author family name: 

Barker

paper abstract: 

ABSTRACT: Closure is the epistemological thesis that if S knows that P and knows that P implies Q, then if S infers that Q, S knows that Q. Fred Dretske acknowledges that closure is plausible but contends that it should be rejected because it conflicts with the plausible thesis: Conclusive reasons (CR): S knows that P only if S believes P on the basis of conclusive reasons, i.e., reasons S wouldn’t have if it weren’t the case that P. Dretske develops an analysis of knowing that centers on CR, and argues that the requirement undermines skepticism by implying the falsity of closure. We develop a Dretske-style analysis of knowing that incorporates CR, and we argue that this analysis not only accords with closure, but also implies it. In addition, we argue that the analysis accounts for the prima facie plausibility of closure-invoking skeptical arguments, and nonetheless implies that they are fallacious. If our arguments turn out to be sound, the acceptability of Dretske’s analysis of knowing will be significantly enhanced by the fact that, despite implying closure, it undermines closure-based skepticism.

paper issue: 
2

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