Cover of Logos & Episteme
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research articles
1. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Eros M. de Carvalho Overcoming Intellectualism about Understanding and Knowledge: A Unified Approach
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In this paper I defend a unified approach to knowledge and understanding. Both are achievements due to cognitive abilities or skills. The difference between them is a difference of aspects. Knowledge emphasizes the successful aspect of an achievement and the exclusion of epistemic luck, whereas understanding emphasizes the agent's contribution in bringing about an achievement through the exercise of one's cognitive skills. Knowledge and understanding cannot be separated. I argue against the claim that understanding is distinct from knowledge because the former is compatible with environmental luck. Achievements rule out environmental luck because abilities can be exercised only in their proper environment. I also reject the intellectualist claim that understanding requires the ability to explain what one intends to understand. The understanding of an item is reflected in our ability to solve cognitive tasks using that item. The more tasks one can deal with by using an item, the deeper is one’s understanding of that item. Being able to explain why a claim holds is not necessary for possessing understanding, even though it may be necessary for accomplishing some very specific tasks. Neither understanding nor knowledge require any kind of second-order cognition by default.
2. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Finlay Malcolm Testimonial Insult: A Moral Reason for Belief?
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When you don’t believe a speaker’s testimony for reasons that call into question the speaker’s credibility, it seems that this is an insult against the speaker. There also appears to be moral reasons that count in favour of refraining from insulting someone. When taken together, these two plausible claims entail that we have a moral reason to refrain from insulting speakers with our lack of belief, and hence, sometimes, a moral reason to believe the testimony of speakers. Reasons for belief arising from nonepistemic sources are controversial, and it’s often argued that it’s impossible to base a belief on non-epistemic reasons. However, I will show that even if it is possible to base a belief on non-epistemic reasons, in the case of testimonial insult, for many or most cases, the moral reasons for belief don’t need to be the basis of our doxastic response. This is because there are, in many or most cases, either sufficient epistemic reasons for belief, or sufficient moral reasons for action that guide our response to testimony. Reasons from testimonial insult, in many cases, simply lead to overdetermination. Even if there are such moral reasons for belief, they are therefore practically unnecessary in many cases. There are, though, some cases in which they play an important role in guiding belief. This perhaps surprising conclusion is one unexplored way to defend epistemic over pragmatic reasons for belief.
3. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Howard Sankey Lakatosian Particularism
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This paper explores a particularist element in the theory of method of Imre Lakatos, who appealed to the value-judgements of élite scientists in the appraisal of competing theories of method. The role played by such value-judgements is strongly reminiscent of the epistemological particularism of Roderick Chisholm. Despite the existence of a clear parallel between the particularist approaches of both authors, it is argued that Lakatos’s approach is subject to a weakness that does not affect the approach of Chisholm.
discussion notes/debate
4. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Kevin McCain Explanatory Virtues are Indicative of Truth
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In a recent issue of this journal, Miloud Belkoniene challenges explanationist accounts of evidential support in two ways. First, he alleges that there are cases that show explanatory virtues are not linked to the truth of hypotheses. Second, he maintains that attempts to show that explanatoriness is relevant to evidential support because it adds to the resiliency (stability) of probability functions fail. I contest both of Belkoniene’s claims.
5. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Moti Mizrahi Gettier Cases, Mental States, and Best Explanations: Another Reply to Atkins
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I have argued that Gettier cases are misleading because, even though they appear to be cases of knowledge failure, they are in fact cases of semantic failure. Atkins has responded to my original paper and I have replied to his response. He has then responded again to insist that he has the so-called “Gettier intuition.” But he now admits that intuitions are only defeasible, not conclusive, evidence for and/or against philosophical theories. I address the implications of Atkins’ admission in this paper and I again show that his attempts to revise Gettier’s original cases such that they do not involve semantic failures are unsuccessful.
6. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Mona Simion Epistemic Trouble for Engineering ‘Woman'
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This paper puts forth a functionalist difficulty for Sally Haslanger’s proposal for engineering our concept of ‘woman.’ It is argued that the project of bringing about better political function fulfillment cannot get off the ground in virtue of epistemic failure.
7. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Gaston G. LeNotre Mental Language: From Plato to William of Ockham
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8. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Notes on the Contributors
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9. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Logos and Episteme. Aims and Scope
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10. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Notes to Contributors
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