Cover of Logos & Episteme
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research articles
1. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 4
Umut Baysan Memory, Confabulation, and Epistemic Failure
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Mnemonic confabulation is an epistemic failure that involves memory error. In this paper, I examine an account of mnemonic confabulation offered by Sarah Robins in a number of works. In Robins’ framework, mnemonic cognitive states in general (e.g., remembering, misremembering) are individuated by three conditions: existence of the target event, matching of the representation and the target event, and an appropriate causal connection between the target event and its representation. Robins argues that when these three conditions are not met, the cognitive state in question is an instance of mnemonic confabulation. Here, I argue that this is not true. There are mnemonic cognitive states which don’t meet any of these conditions, and they are not cases of mnemonic confabulation. On a more positive note, I argue that mnemonic confabulation requires it to be a failing on behalf of either the subject or her mnemonic system that these conditions are not met.
2. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 4
John Biro, Fabio Lampert ‘Peer Disagreement’ and Evidence of Evidence
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What the rational thing to do in the face of disagreement by an epistemic peer is has been much discussed recently. Those who think that a peer’s disagreement is itself evidence against one’s belief, as many do, are committed to a special form of epistemic dependence. If such disagreement is really evidence, it seems reasonable to take it into account and to adjust one’s belief accordingly. But then it seems that the belief one ends up with depends, in part, on what someone else believes, even if one does not know why that someone believes what he does. While the practical impossibility of finding actual cases of peer disagreement has been often noted, its conceptual possibility has gone unquestioned. Here we challenge this consensus and argue, first, that, strictly speaking, peer disagreement is impossible and, second, that cases of – all-too-common – near-peer disagreement present no special puzzle and require nothing more than adhering to standard principles of sensible epistemic conduct. In particular, we argue that in such cases there is no good reason to adopt the widely accepted principle that evidence of evidence is evidence. If so, even if one takes a near-peer’s disagreement as a reason for reexamining one’s belief, one is not epistemically dependent in the sense one would be if that disagreement were evidence concerning the matter in question.
3. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 4
Miguel López-Astorga An Axiom Linking Necessity and Obligation Provided by Prior and Its Analysis Under Carnap’s Method
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Although written long before, in 2012 a work by Prior presenting a system that was able to demonstrate Hintikka’s theorem was published. Maybe one of the most relevant elements of that system is an axiom that clearly relates necessity, and hence modal logic, to obligation, and hence deontic logic. This paper analyzes that axiom based upon Carnap’s method of extension and intension in order to show that it should be accepted. Thus, the paper is intended to give further evidence supporting not only the aforementioned axiom, but also Prior’s system in general and, accordingly, Hintikka’s theorem.
4. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 4
P.D. Magnus Science, Values, and the Priority of Evidence
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It is now commonly held that values play a role in scientific judgment, but many arguments for that conclusion are limited. First, many arguments do not show that values are, strictly speaking, indispensable. The role of values could in principle be filled by a random or arbitrary decision. Second, many arguments concern scientific theories and concepts which have obvious practical consequences, thus suggesting or at least leaving open the possibility that abstruse sciences without such a connection could be value-free. Third, many arguments concern the role values play in inferring from evidence, thus taking evidence as given. This paper argues that these limitations do not hold in general. There are values involved in every scientific judgment. They cannot even conceivably be replaced by a coin toss, they arise as much for exotic as for practical sciences, and they are at issue as much for observation as for explicit inference.
5. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 4
Timothy Perrine Evidentialism, Knowledge, and Evidence Possession
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Evidentialism has shown itself to be an important research program in contemporary epistemology, with evidentialists giving theories of virtually every important topic in epistemology. Nevertheless, at the heart of evidentialism is a handful of concepts, namely evidence, evidence possession, and evidential fit. If evidentialists cannot give us a plausible account of these concepts, then their research program, with all its various theories, will be in serious trouble. In this paper, I argue that evidentialists has yet to give a plausible account of evidence possession and the prospects for doing so are dim.
6. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 4
Mattias Skipper Higher-Order Defeat Without Epistemic Dilemmas
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Many epistemologists have endorsed a version of the view that rational belief is sensitive to higher-order defeat. That is to say, even a fully rational belief state can be defeated by (sufficiently strong) misleading higher-order evidence, which indicates that the belief state is irrational. In a recent paper, however, Maria Lasonen-Aarnio calls this view into doubt. Her argument proceeds in two stages. First, she argues that higher-order defeat calls for a two-tiered theory of epistemic rationality. Secondly, she argues that there seems to be no satisfactory way of avoiding epistemic dilemmas within a two-tiered framework. Hence, she concludes that the prospects look dim for making sense of higher-order defeat within a broader theoretical picture of epistemic rationality. Here I aim to resist both parts of Lasonen-Aarnio’s challenge. First, I outline a way of accommodating higher-order defeat within a single-tiered framework, by amending epistemic rules with appropriate provisos for different kinds of higher-order defeat. Secondly, I argue that those who nevertheless prefer to accommodate higher-order defeat within a two-tiered framework can do so without admitting to the possibility of epistemic dilemmas, since epistemic rules are not always accompanied by ‘oughts’ in a two-tiered framework. The considerations put forth thus indirectly vindicate the view that rational belief is sensitive to higher-order defeat.
7. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 4
Jacques-Henri Vollet The Warrant Account and the Prominence of ‘Know’
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Many philosophers agree that there is an epistemic norm governing action. However, they disagree on what this norm is. It has been observed that the word ‘know’ is prominent in ordinary epistemic evaluations of actions. Any opponent of the knowledge norm must provide an explanation of this fact. Gerken has recently proposed the most developed explanation. It invokes the hypothesis that, in normal contexts, knowledge-level warrant is frequently necessary and very frequently sufficient (Normal Coincidence), so that knowledge-based assessments would be a good heuristic for practical reasoning and epistemic evaluations of action. In this paper, I raise three problems for this approach. First, I argue that Normal Coincidence is ad hoc: it relies on an unsupported frequency hypothesis that we should expect to be false given the warrant account that Gerken also endorses. Second, I argue that, in any case, Normal Coincidence is insufficient to support the hypothesis that knowledge-based evaluation of action constitutes a good heuristic. Third, I consider three other hypotheses close to Normal Coincidence apparently more likely to support the heuristic hypothesis, but I argue that they seem even more ad hoc than Normal Coincidence.
8. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 4
Notes on the Contributors
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9. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 4
Logos and Episteme. Aims and Scope
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10. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 4
Notes to Contributors
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