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research articles
1. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Miguel López-Astorga Reduction, Intuition, and Cognitive Effort in Scientific Language
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In his search for a better scientific language, Carnap offered a number of definitions, ideas, and arguments. This paper is devoted to one of his definitions in this regard. In particular, it addresses a definition providing rules to add new properties to the descriptions of objects or beings by taking into account other properties of those very objects or beings that are already known. The main point that this paper tries to make is that, if a current cognitive theory such as the theory of mental models is assumed, it can be said that those rules are easy to use by scientists and philosophers of science. This is because, following the essential theses of this last theory, the rules do not demand excessive cognitive effort to be applied. On the contrary, they are simple rules that make researchers’ work harder in no way.
2. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Erhan Demircioglu On the Very Idea of Undercutting Defeat
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My aim in this paper is to cast doubt on the idea of undercutting defeat by showing that it is beset by some serious problems. I examine a number of attempts to specify the conditions for undercutting defeat and find them to be defective. Absent further attempts, and on the basis of the considerations offered, I conclude that an adequate notion of undercutting defeat is lacking.
3. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Steven Diggin Everything is Self-Evident
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Plausible probabilistic accounts of evidential support entail that every true proposition is evidence for itself. This paper defends this surprising principle against a series of recent objections from Jessica Brown. Specifically, the paper argues that: (i) explanationist accounts of evidential support convergently entail that every true proposition is self-evident, and (ii) it is often felicitous to cite a true proposition as evidence for itself, just not under that description. The paper also develops an objection involving the apparent impossibility of believing P on the evidential basis of P itself, but gives a reason not to be too worried about this objection. Establishing that every true proposition is self-evident saves probabilistic accounts of evidential support from absurdity, paves the way for a non-sceptical infallibilist theory of knowledge and has distinctive practical consequences.
4. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Tsung-Hsing Ho Evidentialists’ Internalist Argument for Pragmatism
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A popular evidentialist argument against pragmatism is based on reason internalism: the view that a normative reason for one to φ must be able to guide one in normative deliberation whether to φ. In the case of belief, this argument maintains that, when deliberating whether to believe p, one must deliberate whether p is true. Since pragmatic considerations cannot weigh in our deliberation whether p, the argument concludes that pragmatism is false. I argue that evidentialists fail to recognize that the question whether to φ is essentially the question whether one should φ. Furthermore, the question of whether one should believe p can be answered on pragmatic grounds. The internalist argument turns out to favor pragmatism.
5. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Shane Ryan A Virtue Theoretic Ethics of Intellectual Agency
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There is a well-established literature on the ethics of belief. Our beliefs, however, are just one aspect of our intellectual lives with which epistemology should be concerned. I make the case that epistemologists should be concerned with an ethics of intellectual agency rather than the narrower category of ethics of belief. Various species of normativity, epistemic, moral, and so on, that may be relevant to the ethics of belief are laid out. An account adapted from virtue ethics for an ethics that goes beyond the ethics of belief is defended. The main claim advanced here is that we should act as the virtuous agent would characteristically act in the circumstances. This claim is supported with reference to a number of examples, as well as considerations informing virtue ethics. An acknowledged feature of this account is that it provides limited guidance regarding right action in intellectual agency. While the account draws on virtue responsibilism to offer guidance, the case is made that it’s a mistake to think that an account in this area can provide a successful decision procedure.
discussion notes/debate
6. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Peter Baumann True Knowledge
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That knowledge is factive, that is, that knowledge that p requires that p, has for a long time typically been treated as a truism. Recently, however, some authors have raised doubts about and arguments against this claim. In a recent paper in this journal, Michael Shaffer presents new arguments against the denial of the factivity of knowledge. This article discusses one of Shaffer’s objections: the one from “inconsistency and explosion.” I discuss two potential replies to Shaffer’s problem: dialetheism plus paraconsistency and epistemic pluralism. This is not to be understood so much as a criticism of Shaffer’s view but rather as a request to develop his very promising objection from inconsistency and explosion further.
7. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Howard Sankey Kuhn, Values and Academic Freedom
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For Kuhn, there are a number of values which provide scientists with a shared basis for theory-choice. These values include accuracy, breadth, consistency, simplicity and fruitfulness. Each of these values may be interpreted in different ways. Moreover, there may be conflict between the values in application to specific theories. In this short paper, Kuhn's idea of scientific values is extended to the value of academic freedom. The value of academic freedom may be interpreted in a number of different ways. Moreover, there are other values which play a role in the functioning of our academic institutions. As with the possible conflict between scientific values, there may be conflict among the academic values.
reviews
8. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Octavio García Kirk Lougheed, The Epistemic Benefits of Disagreement
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9. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Erratum Notice
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10. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Notes on the Contributors
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11. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Logos and Episteme. Aims and Scope
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12. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Notes to Contributors
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research articles
13. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Javier Anta Make Information in Science Meaningful Again
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Although the everyday notion of information has clear semantic properties, the all-pervasive technical concept of Shannon information was defended being a non-semantic concept. In this paper I will show how this measure of information was implicitly ‘semantized’ in the early 1950s by many authors, such as Rothstein's or Brillouin's, in order to explain the knowledge dynamics underlying certain scientific practices such as measurement. On the other hand, I will argue that the main attempts in the literature to develop a quantitative measure of semantic information to clarify science and scientific measurements, such as Carnap-Bar-Hillel, or Dretske, will not successfully achieve this philosophical aim for several reasons. Finally, I will defend the use of a qualitative notion of semantic information within the information-theoretical framework MacKay to assess the informational dynamics underlying scientific practices, particularly measurements in statistical mechanics.
14. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
J. Spencer Atkins Epistemic Norms, the False Belief Requirement, and Love
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Many authors have argued that epistemic rationality sometimes comes into conflict with our relationships. Although Sarah Stroud and Simon Keller argue that friendships sometimes require bad epistemic agency, their proposals do not go far enough. I argue here for a more radical claim—romantic love sometimes requires we form beliefs that are false. Lovers stand in a special position with one another; they owe things to one another that they do not owe to others. Such demands hold for beliefs as well. Two facets of love ground what I call the false belief requirement , or the demand to form false beliefs when it is for the good of the beloved: the demand to love for the right reasons and the demand to refrain from doxastic wronging. Since truth is indispensable to epistemic rationality, the requirement to believe falsely, consequently, undermines truth norms. I demonstrate that, when the false belief requirement obtains, there is an irreconcilable conflict between love and truth norms of epistemic rationality: we must forsake one, at least at the time, for the other.
15. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Hamed Bikaraan-Behesht Methodological Naturalism and Reflexivity Requirement
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Methodological naturalists regard scientific method as the only effective way of acquiring knowledge. Quite the contrary, traditional analytic philosophers reject employing scientific method in philosophy as illegitimate unless it is justified by the traditional methods. One of their attacks on methodological naturalism is the objection that it is either incoherent or viciously circular: any argument that may be offered for methodological naturalism either employs a priori methods or involves a vicious circle that ensues from employing the very method that the argument is aimed to show its credentials. The charge of circularity has also been brought against the naturalistic arguments for specific scientific methods; like the inductive argument for induction and the abductive argument for the inference to the best explanation. In this paper, I respond to the charge of circularity using a meta-methodological rule that I call ‘reflexivity requirement.’ Giving two examples of philosophical works, I illustrate how the requirement has already been considered to be necessary for self-referential theories. At the end, I put forward a meta-philosophical explanation of the naturalism-traditionalism debate over the legitimate method of philosophy.
16. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Andreas Stephens Consistency and Shifts in Gettier Cases
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Two Gettier cases are described in detail and it is shown how they unfold in terms of reflective and reflexive desiderata. It is argued that the Gettier problem does not pose a problem for conceptions of knowledge as long as we are consistent in how we understand justification and knowledge. It is only by reading the cases with a reflective understanding of justification but a reflexive understanding of knowledge, without acknowledging that this takes place, that the cases become ‘problems.’
17. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Ron Wilburn What is the Relation between Semantic and Substantive Epistemic Contextualism?
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Epistemic Contextualism is generally treated as a semantic thesis that may or may not have epistemological consequences. It is sometimes taken to concern only knowledge claims (as the assertion that the word “know” means different things in different contexts of use). Still, at other times it is taken to regard the knowledge relation itself (as the assertion that knowledge itself has no single univocal nature). Call the former view Semantic EC, the latter view Substantive EC, and the idea that the plausibility of Semantic EC presupposes that of Substantive EC, the “Presupposition Thesis.” Numerous authors argue against the Presupposition Thesis on the grounds that an understanding of the nature of knowledge is no more required to understand the meaning of knowledge assertions than an understanding of the self, for instance, is needed to understand the meaning of sentences containing “I.” These authors then offer additional arguments for the same conclusion, using further comparisons between “know” and other indexicals, as well as between “know” and quantifiers, gradable and modal adjectives. Herein, I defend the Presupposition Thesis by arguing against these authors’ claims (based as they are on these types of comparisons) that Semantic EC is plausible without the supposition of Substantive EC.
discussion notes/debate
18. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Jakob Koscholke Conjunction Closure without Factivity: Reassessing the Hybrid Paradox
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Francesco Praolini has recently put pressure on the view that justified believability is closed under conjunction introduction. Based on what he calls ‘the hybrid paradox,’ he argues that accepting the principle of conjunction closure for justified believability, quite surprisingly, entails that one must also accept the principle of factivity for justified believability, i.e. that there are no propositions that are justifiably believable and false at the same time. But proponents of conjunction closure can do without factivity, as I argue in this short note. A less demanding principle is available.
19. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Notes on the Contributors
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20. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Logos and Episteme. Aims and Scope
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