Volume III, Issue 2, 2012
IS THERE PROPOSITIONAL UNDERSTANDING? (pages 181-192)
ABSTRACT: Literature in epistemology tends to suppose that there are three main types of understanding – propositional, atomistic, and objectual. By showing that all apparent instances of propositional understanding can be more plausibly explained as featuring one of several other epistemic states, this paper argues that talk of propositional understanding is unhelpful and misleading. The upshot is that epistemologists can do without the notion of propositional understanding.
THE LOGICAL LIMITS OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE: HISTORICAL AND INTEGRATIVE PERSPECTIVES (pages 193-227)
ABSTRACT: This work investigates some of the most important logical limits of scientific knowledge. We argue that scientific knowledge is based on different logical forms and paradigms. The logical forms, which represent the rational structure of scientific knowledge, show their limits through logical antinomies. The paradigms, which represent the scientific points of view on the world, show their limits through the theoretical anomalies. When these limits arise in science and when scientists become fully and deeply aware of them, they can determine logical or paradigmatic revolutions. These are different in their respective courses, although the logical forms and the paradigms are parts of the same type of knowledge. In the end, science can avoid or can integrate its different limits. In fact, the limits of science can become new opportunities for its growth and development.
THE BADNESS OF BEING CERTAIN OF A FALSEHOOD IS AT LEAST 1/(log 4 − 1) TIMES GREATER THAN THE VALUE OF BEING CERTAIN OF A TRUTH (pages 229-238)
ABSTRACT: Surprisingly precise results are provided on how much more one should disvalue being wrong than one values being right.
NOT-EXACT-TRUTHS, PRAGMATIC ENCROACHMENT AND THE EPISTEMIC NORM OF PRACTICAL REASONING (pages 239-259)
ABSTRACT: Recently a number of variously motivated epistemologists have argued that knowledge is closely tied to practical matters. On the one hand, radical pragmatic encroachment is the view that facts about whether an agent has knowledge depend on practical factors and this is coupled to the view that there is an important connection between knowledge and action. On the other hand, one can argue for the less radical thesis only that there is an important connection between knowledge and practical reasoning. So, defenders of both of these views endorse the view that knowledge is the norm of practical reasoning. This thesis has recently come under heavy fire and a number of weaker proposals have been defended. In this paper counter-examples to the knowledge norm of reasoning will be presented and it will be argued that this view – and a number of related but weaker views – cannot be sustained in the face of these counter-examples. The paper concludes with a novel proposal concerning the norm of practical reasoning that is immune to the counter-examples introduced here.
RETHINKING THE A PRIORI/A POSTERIORI DISTINCTION (pages 261-277)
ABSTRACT: This paper offers an account of the a priori/a posteriori distinction utilizing the insights of reliabilism, focusing on the inputs to reliable belief-forming processes. I propose that a belief possesses a priori justification if it is the result of a reliable belief-producing process whose input is ‘non-sensory’ and the reliability of this process does not ‘causally depend’ on the reliability of a prior process taking in ‘sensory’ input. One of the interesting consequences of this account is in the treatment of introspective knowledge of one’s belief-states; it was classically considered a posteriori, but comes out a priori on this model.
INTERNALIST EVIDENTIALISM AND EPISTEMIC VIRTUE: RE-REPLY TO AXTELL (pages 281-289)
ABSTRACT: In this brief re-reply to Axtell, I reply to key criticisms of my previous reply and flesh out a bit my notions of the relationship between internalist evidentialism and epistemic virtue and epistemic value.
STUMBLING IN NOZICK’S TRACKS (pages 291-293)
ABSTRACT: Rachael Briggs and Daniel Nolan have recently proposed an improved version of Nozick’s tracking account of knowledge. I show that, despite its virtues, the new proposal suffers from three serious problems.
History of Epistemology
FREGE ON IDENTITY. THE TRANSITION FROM BEGRIFFSSCHRIFT TO ÜBER SINN UND BEDEUTUNG (pages 297-308)
ABSTRACT: The goal of the paper is to offer an explanation why Frege has changed his Begriffsschrift account of identity to the one presented in Über Sinn und Bedeutung. The main claim of the paper is that in order to better understand Frege’s motivation for the introduction of his distinction between sense and reference, which marks his change of views, one should place this change in its original setting, namely the broader framework of Frege’s fundamental preoccupations with the foundations of arithmetic and logic. The Fregean thesis that mathematics is contentful, and its defense against formalism and psychologism, provides us an valuable interpretative key. Thus, Fregean senses are not just the mere outcome of some profound reflections on language, rather they play an important role in the articulation of Frege’s program in the foundations of arithmetic
EPISTEMOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES IN LATE ANTIQUITY – A DIALOG BETWEEN RATIONALISM AND EMPIRICISM IN THE SCIENTIFIC WRITINGS (pages 309-321)
ABSTRACT: Given the particular character of Ancient Literature, I considered it useful to approach the issue from the perspective of the Philosophy of Science: Epistemology and the Philosophy of Science stem from the same source, and this aspect is all the more patent for Antiquity. In fact, the two perspectives that I mentioned in the subtitle, Empiricism and Rationalism, both represent epistemological choices and approaches specific to the Sciences, as well as to the Philosophy of Science, in the manner that they were practiced in Antiquity. This present study argues that Empiricism noticeably distinguishes itself from Rationalism, not merely in the philosophical works of the above-mentioned period, but also in its non-philosophical literature, especially the one pertaining to Science. Consequently, this study aims to indicate the major lines of thought in the Ancient Philosophy of Science, which reflect themselves in Epistemology in an unmediated manner.
ARISTOTLE VERSUSVAN TIL AND LUKASIEWICZ ON CONTRADICTION: ARE CONTRADICTIONS IRRATIONAL IN SCIENCE AND THEOLOGY? (pages 323-344)
ABSTRACT: The Polish logician Jan Lukasiewicz and the American theologian Cornelius Van Til are famous for challenging Aristotle’s Principle of Contradiction. Whereas apparent contradictions such as God and physical reality being both One and Not One (Many) are accepted in terms of an idealism held by Van Til, the Principle’s violations in theology and science reflect a realism held by Lukasiewicz. Lukasiewicz is favored for explaining why the Principle’s violation may be rational for a scientific and theological realism.