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discussion notes/debate
101. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
John Biro Reply to Forrai: No Reprieve for Gettier “Beliefs”
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In a recent paper in this journal, Gabor Forrai offers ways to resist my argument that in so-called Gettier cases the belief condition is not, as is commonly assumed, satisfied. He argues that I am mistaken in taking someone's reluctance to assert a proposition he knows follows from a justified belief on finding the latter false as evidence that he does not believe it, as such reluctance may be explained in other ways. While this may be true, I show that it does not affect my central claim which does not turn on considerations special to assertion.
102. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Howard Sankey Factivity or Grounds? Comment on Mizrahi
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This note is a comment on a recent paper in this journal by Moti Mizrahi. Mizrahi claims that the factivity of knowledge entails that knowledge requires epistemic certainty. But the argument that Mizrahi presents does not proceed from factivity to certainty. Instead, it proceeds from a premise about the relationship between grounds and knowledge to the conclusion about certainty.
103. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Notes on the Contributors
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104. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Logos and Episteme. Aims and Scope
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105. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Notes to Contributors
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research articles
106. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Adam Michael Bricker There are Actual Brains in Vats Now
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There are brains in vats (BIVs) in the actual world. These “cerebral organoids” are roughly comparable to the brains of three-month-old foetuses, and conscious cerebral organoids seem only a matter of time. Philosophical interest in conscious cerebral organoids has thus far been limited to bioethics, and the purpose of this paper is to discuss cerebral organoids in an epistemological context. In doing so, I will argue that it is now clear that there are close possible worlds in which we are BIVs. Not only does this solidify our intuitive judgement that we cannot know that we are not BIVs, but it poses a fundamental problem for both the neo-Moorean (i.e. safety-based) antisceptical strategy, which purports to allow us to know that we aren’t BIVs, and the safety condition on knowledge itself. Accordingly, this case is especially instructive in illustrating just how epistemologically relevant empirical developments can be.
107. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
James Cargile Possibility Versus Possible Worlds
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It is a common idea in philosophy that some false propositions such as (C) that Charlottesville is the largest city in Virginia, have the property of being possibly true. It is not a clear idea but an important one which has inspired considerable effort at clarification. One suggestion is that there exist (really, not just possibly) “possible worlds” in which C or some suitable facsimile is true. One further attempt at clarification on offer is that there exists (again, really) a maximal consistent set of propositions containing C. It is argued here that these attempts at clarification are profoundly erroneous. There exist actual powers of imaginative construction which would yield a scenario sufficiently detailed to be recognized by competent reviewers as one in which C is true. (The depiction might be in film or narrative and would avoid analytic falsehoods.) This is a frail clarification, vulnerable to questions, but is the best possible direction for a clear idea of the possibility of the proposition. The notion of possible worlds is associated with very valuable work in mathematical logic. It can only improve our appreciation of this excellent work to separate it from cloudy metaphysics.
108. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
David Coss Pragmatic Encroachment and Context Externalism
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Pragmatic Encroachment (PE hereafter), sometimes called ‘antiintellectualism,’ is a denial of epistemic purism. Purism is the view that only traditional, truth-relevant, epistemic factors determine whether a true belief is an instance of knowledge. According to anti-intellectualists, two subjects S and S*, could be in the same epistemic position with regards to puristic epistemic factors, but S might know that p while S* doesn’t if less is at stake for S than for S*. Motivations for rejecting purism take two forms: case-based and principle-based arguments. In considering both approaches, I argue that PE is best viewed as externalist about epistemic contexts. That is to say, I claim that what determines a subject’s epistemic context is external to her mind.
109. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Christos Kyriacou Evolutionary Debunking: The Demarcation Problem
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Recent literature has paid considerable attention to evolutionary debunking arguments. But the cogency of evolutionary debunking arguments is compromised by a problem for such arguments that has been somewhat overlooked, namely, what we may call ‘the demarcation problem.’ This is the problem of asking in virtue of what regulative metaepistemic norm evolutionary considerations either render a belief justified, or debunk it as unjustified. In this paper, I present and explain why in the absence of such a regulative metaepistemic norm any appeal to evolutionary considerations (in order to justify or debunk a belief) is bound to be ad hoc and question-begging and, therefore, ultimately unjustified.
110. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Daniella Meehan Is Epistemic Blame Distinct from Moral Blame?
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In contemporary epistemology, recent attempts have been made to resist the notion of epistemic blame. This view, which I refer to as ‘epistemic blame skepticism,’ seems to challenge the notion of epistemic blame by reducing apparent cases of the phenomenon to examples of moral or practical blame. The purpose of this paper is to defend the notion of epistemic blame against a reductionist objection to epistemic blame, offered by Trent Dougherty in “Reducing Responsibility.” This paper will object to Dougherty’s position by examining an account in favour of epistemic blame and demonstrate concerns over the reductionist methodology employed by Dougherty to argue for his sceptical position.
111. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Giovanni Rolla Knowing How One Knows
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In this paper, I argue that knowledge is dimly luminous. That is: if a person knows that p, she knows how she knows that p. The argument depends on a safety-based account of propositional knowledge, which is salient in Williamson’s critique of the ‘KK’ principle. I combine that account with non-intellectualism about knowledge-how – according to which, if a person knows how to φ, then in nearly all (if not all) nearby possible worlds in which she φes in the same way as in the actual world, she only φes successfully. Thus, the possession of first-order propositional knowledge implies secondorder practical knowledge, and this can be iterated. Because of the assumed nonintellectualism about know-how, dim luminosity does not imply bright luminosity about knowledge, which is expressed by the traditional KK principle. I conclude by considering some potential counterexamples to the view that knowledge is dimly luminous.
112. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Michael J. Shaffer Quine and the Incoherence of the Indispensability Argument
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It is an under-appreciated fact that Quine’s rejection of the analytic/synthetic distinctionwhen coupled with some other plausible and related viewsimplies that there are serious difficulties in demarcating empirical theories from pure mathematical theories within the Quinean framework. This is a serious problem because there seems to be a principled difference between the two disciplines that cannot apparently be captured in the orthodox Quienan framework. For the purpose of simplicity let us call this Quine’s problem of demarcation. In this paper this problem will be articulated and it will be shown that the typical sorts of responses to this problem are all unworkable within the Quinean framework. It will then be shown that the lack of resources to solve this problem within the Quinean framework implies that Quine’s version of the indispensability argument cannot get off the ground, for it presupposes the possibility of making such a distinction.
discussion notes/debate
113. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Gábor Forrai Gettiered Beliefs are Genuine Beliefs: A Reply to Gaultier and Biro
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In recent articles in this journal Benoit Gaultier and John Biro have argued that the original Gettier cases and the ones closely modelled on them fail, and the reason for the failure is that the subject in these cases does not actually have the belief that would serve as a counterexample to the justified-true-belief analysis of knowledge. They claim that if our evidence pertains to a particular individual (as in the first case) or to the truth of one of the disjuncts (as in the second case), we do not genuinely believe the existential generalization or the disjunction which logically follows. I will challenge their arguments and suggest that our unwillingness to assert the existential generalization or the disjunction under these conditions does not stem from lack of belief but from pragmatic principles.
114. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Moti Mizrahi You Can’t Handle the Truth: Knowledge = Epistemic Certainty
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In this discussion note, I put forth an argument from the factivity of knowledge for the conclusion that knowledge is epistemic certainty. If this argument is sound, then epistemologists who think that knowledge is factive are thereby also committed to the view that knowledge is epistemic certainty.
115. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Notes on the Contributors
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116. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Logos and Episteme. Aims and Scope
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117. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Notes to Contributors
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118. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Scott F. Aikin Introduction: Epistemology’s Ancient Origins and New Developments
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119. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Harald Thorsrud Sextus Empiricus on the Siren Song of Reason and the Skeptical Defense of Ordinary Life
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By understanding the sense in which Sextus thinks reason is deceptive we may clarify his attitude towards ordinary life. The deception, like that of the Siren's song, is practical rather than epistemic. It is not a matter of leading us to assent to false or unjustified conclusions but is rather a distraction from, or even corruption of, ordinary life.
120. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Timothy Roche The Practical Life, the Contemplative Life, and the Perfect Eudaimonia in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics 10.7-8
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Two views continue to be defended today. One is that the account of eudaimonia in EN 10 is inconsistent with claims made about it in other books of the work. The other view is that the account in EN 10 is consistent with other claims made in the other books because Aristotle presents one account of perfect eudaimonia by portraying it as consisting solely in contemplative activity. I call this view the intellectualist interpretation. I then argue that neither view is correct because although Aristotle’s position is consistent, he does not hold that the perfect eudaimonia for a human being involves nothing but excellent theoretical activity. His philosopher possesses and exercises the moral excellences and practical wisdom and so some portion of his happiness consists in these activities as well as contemplative activity.