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epistemology and cognition
31. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Dustin Olson Дастин Олсон
Epistemic Progress Despite Systematic Disagreement
Эпистемический прогресс вопреки систематическим разногласиям

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A number of philosophers argue that because of its history of systematic disagreement, philosophy has made little to no epistemic progress – especially in comparison to the hard sciences. One argument for this conclusion contends that the best explanation for systematic disagreement in philosophy is that at least some, potentially all, philosophers are unreliable. Since we do not know who is reliable, we have reason to conclude that we ourselves are probably unreliable. Evidence of one’s potential unreliability in a domain purportedly defeats any first-order support one has for any judgments in that domain. This paper defends philosophy. First, accepting that science is rightfully treated as the benchmark of epistemic progress, I contend that a proper conception of epistemic progress highlights that philosophy and science are relevantly similar in terms of such progress. Secondly, even granting that systematic disagreement is a mark of unreliability and that it does characterize philosophy, this paper further argues that evidence of unreliability is insufficient for meta-level, domain-wide, defeat of philosophical judgments more generally.
language and mind
32. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Esther Goh Esther Goh
The Argument from Variation against Using One’s Own Intuitions as Evidence
Аргумент вариативности

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In philosophical methodology, intuitions are used as evidence to support philosophical theories. In this paper, I evaluate the skeptical argument that variation in intuitions is good evidence that our intuitions are unreliable, and so we should be skeptical about our theories. I argue that the skeptical argument is false. First, variation only shows that at least one disputant is wrong in the dispute, but each disputant lacks reason to determine who is wrong. Second, even though variation in intuitions shows that at least one disputant has the wrong intuition in the thought experiment, it is not evidence of unreliability of any disputant’s intuition regarding the philosophical theory being tested. So, variation in intuitions is not good evidence that one’s own intuitions are unreliable. One reply from the literature in peer disagreement is that we should conciliate if we cannot determine who is wrong. I argue that these disagreements are instead unconfirmed peer disagreements (i.e., no good reason to take or dismiss disputants as an epistemic peer, inferior or superior). I argue that if you have a strong intuition about a case, then it is rational for you to remain steadfast. Thus, variation in intuitions does not call for skepticism.
vista
33. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Alexander L. Nikiforov Александр Леонидович Никифоров
Problems of Metaphilosophy – a View from Aside
Проблемы метафилософии – взгляд со стороны

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The paper discusses several problems of metaphilosophy that were explored in the philosophical literature in Russia. Metaphilosophy tries to understand what is philosophy, what problems philosophers are dealing with, which methods they employ in their investigations, the nature of philosophical statements and so on. Philosophers in Russia tended to think of philosophy as a special type of worldview that exists together with the ordinary worldview and religious worldview. The author defines worldview as a collection of basic beliefs about the surrounding world, society, human being, the relations existing between individuals and society, about values and ideals. It is underscored that a worldview is always somebody’s worldview (it belongs either to an individual or a social group). The worldview problems explored by philosophers remain the same throughout thousands of years; what changes is how they are stated in different times. Every human being faces these problems if she has realized herself as an autonomous being and the reality splits for her into the I and the non-I. All philosophical problems revolve around three basic questions: what is the non-I (i.e. nature and society)? - this is the ontological question; what is I? (the anthropological question); what relations exist between the I and the non-I (the epistemological, axiological, ethical and other questions). The author also explores several stages of a philosophical investigation: an internal dissatisfaction with existing solutions, a search for a new perspective (meaning, idea, interpretation), development of the found solution. The author points at a number of characteristics that make philosophy different from science: philosophical statements and conceptions cannot be verified or refuted by experience, they are not universal. It is argued that the notion of truth in its classical interpretation cannot be applied to philosophical statements because the latter cannot be true or false. The author concludes that philosophical statements or conceptions express the subjective opinion of a given philosopher about the world and the human being. An obvious evidence for this is the existing pluralism of philosophical systems, schools, and trends.
case-studies – science studies
34. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Vladimir N. Porus Владимир Натанович Порус
The Philosophical Status of “Metaphilosophy of Science”
Философский статус «метафилософии науки»

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Interdisciplinary studies of science form a “living” organism, in which every part performs its function and is connected with other parts. Philosophy of science plays a role of the “think-tank” of that organism. It is a generator of the sense that connects the functions of its separate parts into a systematic unity. It can be called the consciousness of science. Metaphilosophy of science is related to philosophy of science in the same way as philosophy of science itself is related to science. Within metaphilosophy of science the propensity of philosophy of science to self-reflection is implemented. Metaphilosophy of science makes relevant the issues that relate to the philosophical significance of the processes taking place in the so-called “trading zone” (in the sense of P. Galison). These trading zone is a place where scientists, science-of-science theorists and philosophers exchange their ideas. The interaction between philosophy and metaphilosophy of science takes place in the course of a competition among various philosophical interpretations of the results received within the studies of these “trading” processes. Institutional, methodological, historical and culturological studies get a philosophical interpretation and become the source of metaphilosophical ideas. Metaphorically, one may say, that metaphilosophy of science is the self-consciousness of philosophy of science. The very idea that metaphilosophy of science is a participant of the process occurring in the “trading zone” puts an end to a meaningless pile of “metalevels” that very often characterize philosophical discussions of science.
35. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Johnnie R.R. Pedersen Джонни Педерсен
Normative Ethics: an Armchair Discipline?
Нормативная этика: кабинетная дисциплина?

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This paper discusses a challenge to normative ethics motivated by experimental philosophy. Experimental philosophers object to the perceived “armchair” or a priori nature of philosophy, claiming it should rather be empirical or naturalistic. The paper investigates the application of this claim to normative ethics. Dubbing the application of the experimental philosophers’ contention to normative ethics “the Armchair Claim,” I distinguish descriptive and normative versions of this challenge, and consider their merits as comments on the method of normative ethics (descriptive versions), and as comments on how normative ethics should be done (normative versions). Characterizing normative ethics as essentially involving the use of the method of reflective equilibrium, I show how the versions of the Armchair Claim that I distinguish either misconstrue normative ethics, or are committed to metaethical views that are controversial. To bring home the latter point, I contrast two meta-ethical positions, and show how, on one such view, naturalism, the descriptive version could be correct, whereas on another, intuitionism, it would be false. The normative version, in turn, is consistent with naturalism, but begs the question against the intuitionist since she argues that normative ethics cannot be empirical. The upshot is that a conclusive assessment of the Armchair Claim will have to await the resolution of disputed issues in meta-ethics. However, normative ethicists can get on with their work since reflective equilibrium is unaffected by such debates.
interdisciplinary studies
36. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Marketa Jakešova Маркета Якешова
The Question of Reflexivity
Вопрос рефлексивности

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This article aims to critically examine three approaches to reflexivity in philosophical texts, specifically the case when the textuality becomes its own topic. The first approach is when there is no reflexivity at all. It is just describing how – according to the author – things are. As an example of this approach I take German media philosophy. This tradition is specific because reflexivity is supposed to be its very topic. However, the media philosophers succeeded in touching the indefinability of mediality itself. Another method is to question one’s own and possibly also the reader’s position. I have chosen Annemarie Mol’s empirical philosophy as the example here. The problem is that despite following the “ontological turn”, the author remains (probably inevitably) also to a large extent trapped in the fact that he/she describes the world, that is, in subject/object dichotomy and therefore, in epistemology. The third way to write aims to make readers feel what the author tells. My example here is the varied work of Walter Benjamin whom I for the purpose of this article consider more as a prophet rather than the precise thinker who he (also) by all means was. While using the second approach myself, I discuss advantages and challenges of the three and find their points of touch.
archive
37. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Teodor I. Oizerman Теодор Ильич Ойзерман
On the Meaning of the Question “What Is Philosophy?”
О смысле вопроса «что такое философия?»

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Theodor Oizerman’s article “On The Meaning of the Question‘What is Philosophy?’” was first published in the journal “Voprosy filosofii”, 1968, vol. 11. Since that the issue has become a bibliographical rarity and still does not exist in a digital form. Other versions of the article were rewritten in the form of book chapters and transformed in the context of the current situation. This proposed publication bases on one of the older versions, which, is, on the one hand, close to the original author’s intention, and on the other hand, lacks a certain dependence on the ideological context. The text, however, includes some critically important arguments appearing only in later editions. In general, the article is of central significance in terms of its place in the Metaphilosophy concept proposed by Oizerman, which later the following books have manifested: “The Problem Of The History Of Philosophy”(1969, 1983), “The Foundations For The Theory Of The Historico-Philosophical Process” (1983, in co-authorship with A.S. Bogomolov), “Philosophy As A History Of Philosophy” (1999), “Ambivalence Of Philosophy” (2011); “Metaphilosophy: Theory Of The Historico-Philosophical Process” (2009). A number of references due to the difficulty of reading the archived article text have been omitted or taken from new editions. The text has been prepared and edited by Ilya T. Kasavin.
38. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Andrey A. Veretennikov Андрей Анатольевич Веретенников
McTaggart: Reality in Idealism
МакТаггарт: реальность в идеализме

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Article is dedicated to the description and analysis of metaphilosophical and scientific contexts of the McTaggart paper ‘The Unreality of Time’ (1908) and drawing connections to the ‘analytical’ style of his pupils – B. Russell and G.E. Moore. Main line of argument against the reality of time is presented and analyzed. By the positive relation of McTaggart to the work on ethics by G.E. Moore and negative – to philosophical implications of the special theory of relativity author shows the movement for the autonomy of philosophy or ‘antipsychologism’. Question of a different understanding of the term ‘reality’ in Moore and McTaggart is posed and resolved.
39. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
John Ellis McTaggart Джон Эллис МакТаггарт
The Unreality of Time
Нереальность времени

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This text is a translation of an article by British idealist J.E. McTaggart “The Unreality of Time” published in the journal Mind in 1908. Author argues for the unreality of time by employing his typical methods – rejection of reality of contradictory objects, difference between real and existent, etc. This paper became a standard of excellence of McTaggart analytical style and is a classic example of British absolute idealism. The translation was made by Andrey A. Veretennikov.
book reviews
40. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Alina O. Kostina Алина Олеговна Костина
Normativity, Expertise and Epistemological Paternalism in the Philosophy of Science: A Review of the Journal “Metaphilosophy”
Нормативность, экспертиза и эпистемологический патернализм в философии науки

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For almost 50 years the journal Metaphilosophy has been publishing research on a wide range of philosophical issues from the fundamental questions of ontology, epistemology and the philosophy of science to applied studies on ethics, technology and STS. The following review focuses on a number of key questions that have become the stumbling block for investigations in epistemology, philosophy and methodology of science and STS. The spotlight here is on the issues of reestablishment of normativity in philosophy of science, related to the PSP turn; new perspectives on the “armchair philosophy” and the ex cathedra principle; the misuse of scientific data by the philosophers of science; experimental philosophy and the “undermined” authority of philosophical expertise; and also we’ll find out how epistemic paternalism may become a virtue of research practice.