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Displaying: 1-10 of 18 documents

1. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 43
Quassim Cassam Epistemic Insouciance
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This paper identifies and elucidates a hitherto unnamed epistemic vice: epistemic insouciance. Epistemic insouciance consists in a casual lack of concern about whether one’s beliefs have any basis in reality or are adequately supported by the best available evidence. The primary intellectual product of epistemic insouciance is bullshit in Frankfurt’s sense. This paper clarifies the notion of epistemic insouciance and argues that epistemic insouciance is both an epistemic posture and an epistemic vice. Epistemic postures are attitudes towards epistemic objects such as knowledge, evidence, or inquiry. Epistemic vices are defined as character traits, attitudes, or thinking styles that systematically obstruct the gaining, keeping or sharing of knowledge. Epistemic insouciance is not just a posture but an affective posture. Such postures are distinguished from epistemic stances, which are policies that one can adopt or reject. Epistemic malevolence is an example of an epistemically vicious epistemic stance that issues in active attempts to undermine the knowledge possessed by a specified group of individuals. An example of epistemic malevolence in action is the so-called ‘tobacco strategy.’ I argue that epistemic malevolence undermines knowledge by instilling doubts about respectable sources of evidence.
2. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 43
Alessandra Tanesini Intellectual Servility and Timidity
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Intellectual servility is a vice opposing proper pride about one’s intellectual achievements. Intellectual timidity is also a vice; it is manifested in a lack of proper concern for others’ esteem. This paper offers an account of the nature of these vices and details some of the epistemic harms that flow from them. I argue that servility, which is often the result of suffering humiliation, is a form of damaged self-esteem. It is underpinned by attitudes serving social-adjustive functions and causes ingratiating behaviors. Timidity, which is habituated through self-silencing, is underpinned by negative attitudes toward the intellectual worth of the self, which serve a defensive function. Like servility, timidity is an obstacle to the acquisition and transmission of knowledge and especially knowledge about oneself.
3. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 43
Ian James Kidd Deep Epistemic Vices
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Although the discipline of vice epistemology is only a decade old, the broader project of studying epistemic vices and failings is much older. This paper argues that contemporary vice epistemologists ought to engage more closely with these earlier projects. After sketching some general arguments in section one, I then turn to deep epistemic vices: ones whose identity and intelligibility depends on some underlying conception of human nature or the nature of reality. The final section then offers a case study from a vice epistemic tradition that emerged in early modern English natural philosophy.
4. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 43
Paul Bloomfield The Character of the Hypocrite
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A distinction is made between acting hypocritically and the character trait of being a hypocrite. The former is understood as resulting from the employment of a double standard in order to obtain a wrongful advantage, while a particular problem with the latter is that hypocrites do not give trustworthy testimony.
5. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 43
Yotam Benziman What Is Wrong With a Thumping Liar
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I address the puzzle of the supposed wrongness of “a thumping liar” (a term I borrow from a story by Henry James.) On the one hand, it seems that the more you lie, the more wrong you commit. On the other hand, the more you lie, the more people are aware that you are not telling the truth, the less can you deceive them, the less can you wrong them. The liar who is known as such seems to cause no harm. I show how according to some analyses such a person would not even be considered to be lying, which is surely mistaken. I claim that he is both lying and bullshitting, thus challenging Frankfurt’s distinction between the two terms. The thumping liar excludes himself from being a meaningful part in the joint venture of conversation. It is himself that he mainly harms.
6. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 43
Shane Ryan Epistemic Environmentalism
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I motivate and develop a normative framework for undertaking work in applied epistemology. I set out the framework, which I call epistemic environmentalism, explaining the role of social epistemology and epistemic value theory in the framework. Next, I explain the environmentalist terminology that is employed and its usefulness. In the second part of the paper, I make the case for a specific epistemic environmentalist proposal. I argue that dishonest testimony by experts and certain institutional testifiers should be liable to the sanction of inclusion on a register of epistemic polluters. In doing so, I explain the special role that experts and the relevant institutional testifiers play in the epistemic environment and how the proposal is justified on the basis of that special role.
7. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 43
John Capps Even Worse Than It Seems: Transformative Experience and the Selection Problem
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Laurie Paul has recently proposed that transformative experiences are a distinct challenge to our ability to make rational decisions about our futures. In response, many have claimed that the situation is not as bad as it seems and that it is possible to rationally choose to undergo a transformative experience. Here I argue that the situation is actually worse because the current debate has so far only been framed in terms of comparing a transformative experience to the familiar status quo. If we instead consider choices among transformative experiences—what I call a transformative selection—then transformative experiences continue to pose a significant challenge to our rational decision-making.
8. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 43
Wolfgang Barz Is There Anything to the Authority Thesis?
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Many philosophical theories of self-knowledge can be understood as attempts to explain why self-ascriptions enjoy a certain kind of authority that other-ascriptions lack (the Authority Thesis). The aim of this paper is not to expand the stock of existing explanations but to ask whether the Authority Thesis can be adequately specified. To this end, I identify three requirements that must be met by any satisfactory specification. I conclude that the search for an adequate specification of the Authority Thesis leads to a dilemma: it either yields an interpretation under which the thesis is philosophically interesting but false, or it produces an interpretation under which the thesis is actually true but of minor philosophical interest.
9. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 43
Jan Narveson Bhandary on Liberal Care Provision
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According to Asha Bhandary, there is a liberal (Rawlsian) justification for including “the receipt of dependency care among the benefits of social cooperation” (“Liberal Dependency Care,” 43). The novelty is to claim that such care is among the Rawlsian circumstances of justice. I argue that liberalism does not support this extremely strong claim. Dependency care is indeed among the goods generated by social cooperation, broadly speaking—but so are virtually all goods, such as pizza provision, scarcely any of which are among the circumstances of justice. Most of us have ample inclination toward caring for dependents—but neither is this extended to everyone else’s dependents, nor is it mostly a legal duty, as indeed having children at all is not. Nor should it be on liberal principles. Neither of the two Rawlsian Principles support general dependency care. And, Bhandary’s “strong proceduralism,” calling for the training of all persons in care-giving skills, would edge up toward totalitarianism—hardly a welcome outcome of liberalism.
10. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 43
Asha Bhandary Dependency Care before Pizza: A Reply to Narveson
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This essay responds to Jan Narveson’s libertarian commentary on my earlier work “Liberal Dependency Care.” There, I argued that the underlying logic of the circumstances of justice warrants adding care to a liberal theory of justice. In this essay, I rebut Narveson’s skeptical claims about the liberal credentials of my justificatory argument by identifying the extent to which my view shares the same reasonable constraints on liberty as those defended by John Stuart Mill. I also suggest that a libertarian refusal to add care to the core functions of the state is plausible only if women’s labor remains invisible. Finally, I refute Narveson’s contention that my strong procedural principle of care provision is incipiently totalitarian. The case for public support to teach basic levels of attentiveness and responsiveness is analogous to the case for teaching the foundational skills of arithmetic, which are legitimately taught in primary and secondary schools.