Volume II, Issue 4, 2011

Articles

FOR A POST-HISTORICIST PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY. BEYOND HERMENEUTICS (pages 489-505)

Adrian COSTACHE

ABSTRACT: With the publication of Being and Time and Truth and Method philosophical hermeneutics seems to have become the official philosophy of history, with exclusive rights on the questions arising from the fact-of-having-a-past. From now on the epistemological approach of the German historical school, reaching a peak in Dilthey’s thought, is unanimously recognized as definitively overcome, aufheben, by the ontological interrogation of hermeneutics. But, with the same unanimity, it is also recognized that the reasons behind this overcoming and their validity are not readily apparent. For, as it has been shown in the literature, Heidegger’s critique of Dilthey proves to be partial and lacunar, whereas Gadamer’s is straightforwardly ambiguous. Our paper assumes as its first task a re-evaluation of these critiques and of the hypotheses proposed in the literature with regard to what could be the problem with Dilthey’s epistemology. In this sense the paper argues that the problem resides in that the fundamental concepts on which it is based are bound to miss the peculiarity of history by idealizing it and masking the power relations inhabiting it. As a second task, our paper proposes an investigation of whether philosophical hermeneutics itself manages to rise to the expectations through which Dilthey’s thought is evaluated. As it will become manifest, the answer to this question is in the negative. That is why, in the end, we will defend the necessity of a post-historicist and post-hermeneutic philosophy of history.




WHO IS AN EPISTEMIC PEER? (pages 507-514)

Axel GELFERT

ABSTRACT: Contemporary epistemology of peer disagreement has largely focused on our immediate normative response to prima facie instances of disagreement. Whereas some philosophers demand that we should withhold judgment (or moderate our credences) in such cases, others argue that, unless new evidence becomes available, disagreement at best gives us reason to demote our interlocutor from his peer status. But what makes someone an epistemic peer in the first place? This question has not received the attention it deserves. I begin by surveying different notions of ‘epistemic peer’ that have been peddled in the contemporary literature, arguing that they tend to build normative assumptions about the correct response to disagreement into the notion of peerhood. Instead, I argue, epistemic peerhood needs to be taken seriously in its own right. Importantly, for epistemic agents to count as peers, they should exhibit a comparable degree of reflective awareness of the character and limitations of their own knowledge.




WHAT IS INTERESTING? (pages 515-542)

Stephen GRIMM

ABSTRACT: In this paper I consider what it is that makes certain topics or questions epistemically interesting. Getting clear about this issue, I argue, is not only interesting in its own right, but also helps to shed light on increasingly important and perplexing questions in the epistemological literature: e.g., questions concerning how to think about ‘the epistemic point of view,’ as well as questions concerning what is most worthy of our intellectual attention and why.

curiosity | Epistemology | interest | value



UNKNOWABLE TRUTHS (pages 543-555)

Paul HUMPHREYS

ABSTRACT: This paper addresses a solution due to Michael Fara to the Church/Fitch paradox of knowability. Fara’s solution has significant interest but the paradox can be resurrected within his approach by considering a slightly more complex sentence. The issue of what counts as an epistemological capability for enhanced agents is then discussed with some emphasis on the developmental heritage of agents and their ability to transcend conceptual frameworks.




EVIDENCE AND TRANSMISSION FAILURE (pages 557-574)

Mark McBRIDE

ABSTRACT: Some philosophers (can be taken to) claim that there are no genuine instances of transmission failure provided we operate with the right account of the sources of warrant-or-evidence for future reasoning. My aim in this paper is to (begin to) clear the way for instances of transmission failure regardless of the account of the sources of warrant-or-evidence for future reasoning with which one operates. My aim is not to claim there are in fact genuine instances of transmission failure; merely to render it possible, on all – or most – plausible accounts of the sources of warrant-or-evidence for future reasoning.




TRACING CULPABLE IGNORANCE (pages 575-582)

Rik PEELS

ABSTRACT: In this paper, I respond to the following argument which several authors have presented. If we are culpable for some action, we act either from akrasia or from culpable ignorance. However, akrasia is highly exceptional and it turns out that tracing culpable ignorance leads to a vicious regress. Hence, we are hardly ever culpable for our actions. I argue that the argument fails. Cases of akrasia may not be that rare when it comes to epistemic activities such as evidence-gathering and working on our intellectual virtues and vices. Moreover, particular cases of akrasia may be rare, but they are not exceptional when we consider chains of actions. Finally and most importantly, we can be culpable for our actions even if we do not act from akrasia or from culpable ignorance, namely in virtue of our unactivated dispositional beliefs.




PROMISES TO KEEP: SPEECH ACTS AND THE VALUE OF REFLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE (pages 583-590)

John TURRI

ABSTRACT: This paper offers a new account of reflective knowledge’s value, building on recent work on the epistemic norms of speech acts. Reflective knowledge is valuable because it licenses us to make guarantees and promises.




DEFENDING INTEREST–RELATIVE INVARIANTISM (pages 591-609)

Brian WEATHERSON

ABSTRACT: I defend interest-relative invariantism from a number of recent attacks. One common thread to my response is that interest-relative invariantism is a much weaker thesis than is often acknowledged, and a number of the attacks only challenge very specific, and I think implausible, versions of it. Another is that a number of the attacks fail to acknowledge how many things we have independent reason to believe knowledge is sensitive to. Whether there is a defeater for someone's knowledge can be sensitive to all manner of features of their environment, as the host of examples from the post-Gettier literature shows. Adding in interest-sensitive defeaters is a much less radical move than most critics claim it is.




Debate

BAILEY ON INCOMPATIBILISM AND THE “NO PAST OBJECTION” (pages 613-617)

Anthony BRUECKNER, Christopher T. BUFORD

ABSTRACT: In ”Incompatibilism and the Past,” Andrew Bailey engages in a thorough investigation of what he calls the "No Past Objection" to arguments for incompatibilism. This is an objection that stems from the work of Joseph Keim Campbell and that has generated an Interesting literature. Bailey ends by offering his own answer to the No Past Objection by giving his own argument for incompatibilism, an argument that he claims to be immune to the objection. We have some observations to make regarding what we take to be Bailey's answer to the objection (all of whose details are left to the reader – we attempt to fill this lacuna).




ON EPISTEMIC ABSTEMIOUSNESS: A REPLY TO AIKIN, HARBOUR, NEUFELD, AND TALISSE (pages 619-624)

Alex BUNDY

ABSTRACT: The principle of suspension says that when you disagree with an epistemic peer about p, you should suspend judgment about p. In “Epistemic Abstainers, Epistemic Martyrs, and Epistemic Converts,” Scott F. Aikin, Michael Harbour, Jonathan Neufeld, and Robert B. Talisse argue against the principle of suspension. In “In Defense of Epistemic Abstemiousness” I presented arguments that their arguments do not succeed, and in “On Epistemic Abstemiousness: A Reply to Bundy” they argue that my arguments are not successful. I here clarify and defend my arguments.




RE-REDUCING RESPONSIBILITY: REPLY TO AXTELL (pages 625-632)

Trent DOUGHERTY

ABSTRACT: In this brief reply to Axtell, I review some general considerations pertaining to the disagreement and then reply point-by-point to Axtell's critique of the dilemma I pose for responsibilists in virtue epistemology. Thus I re-affirm my reductionist identity thesis that every case of epistemic irresponsibility is either a case of ordinary moral irresponsibility or ordinary practical irrationality.




REPLY TO LICON ON TIME TRAVEL (pages 633-636)

Steven D. HALES

ABSTRACT: In this paper I offer a rejoinder to the criticisms raised by Jimmy Alfonso Licon in “No Suicide for Presentists: A Response to Hales.” I argue that Licon's concerns are misplaced, and that his hypothetical presentist time machine neither travels in time nor saves the life of the putative traveler. I conclude that sensible time travel is still forbidden to presentists.




History of Epistemology

COMPLEMENTARITY AND ANTINOMY (pages 639-652)

Teodor DIMA

ABSTRACT: In this study we present some contributions of the logician and philosopher Petre Botezatu (27.02.1911-01.12.1981), who turned the idea of complementarity, formulated by Niels Bohr for the interpretation of the wave-particle structure of the quantum world, into an ordering principle of his work. Thus, he understood general logic as a synthesis in which the style of classical logic is complementary to the style of the 20th century logic. He didn’t give up either the mathematical modelling of logical language or the conceptual description through natural language. Thus, natural operational logic was created. Then Petre Botezatu assessed the achievements and failures of deduction in order to build the notion of methodological antinomy, and formulated five antinomies of axiomatization and five antinomies of formalization. The main purpose of this study is to present and interpret them.




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