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261. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
Andrew Reisner, Joseph Van Weelden Moral Reasons for Moral Beliefs: A Puzzle for Moral Testimony Pessimism
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According to moral testimony pessimists, the testimony of moral experts does not provide non-experts with normative reasons for belief. Moral testimony optimists hold that it does. We first aim to show that moral testimony optimism is, to the extent such things may be shown, the more natural view about moral testimony. Speaking roughly, the supposed discontinuity between the norms of moral beliefs and the norms of non-moral beliefs, on careful reflection, lacks the intuitive advantage that it is sometimes supposed to have. Our second aim is to highlight the difference in the nature of the pragmatic reasons for belief that support moral testimony optimism and moral testimony pessimism, setting out more clearly the nature and magnitude of the challenge for the pessimist.
262. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
Notes on the Contributors
263. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
Dustin Olson A Case for Epistemic Agency
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This paper attempts to answer two questions: What is epistemic agency? And what are the motivations for having this concept? In response to the first question,it is argued that epistemic agency is the agency one has over one’s belief-forming practices, or doxastic dispositions, which can directly affect the way one forms a belief and indirectly affect the beliefs one forms. In response to the second question, it is suggested that the above conception of epistemic agency is either implicitly endorsed by those theorists sympathetic to epistemic normativity or, at minimum, this conception can make sense of the legitimacy of the normative notions applicable to how and what one should believe. It is further contended that belief formation in some respects is a skill that can be intentionally developed and refined. Accepting this contention and the existence of certain epistemic norms provide inconclusive yet good reasons to endorse this concept. Recent challenges to this concept by Hillary Kornblith and Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij are also considered.
264. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
Benjamin Wald Transparency and Reasons for Belief
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Belief has a special connection to truth, a connection not shared by mental states like imagination. One way of capturing this connection is by the claim that belief aims at truth. Normativists argue that we should understand this claim as a normative claim about belief – beliefs ought to be true. A second important connection between belief and truth is revealed by the transparency of belief, i.e. the fact that, when I deliberate about what to believe, I can settle this deliberation only by appeal to considerations I take to show p to be true. It is natural to think that there is a connection between these two features of belief, that the fact that believing for non-evidential considerations would be irrational can help to explain why it is impossible, and Shah and Velleman make exactly this argument. However, as I shall argue, we cannot explain transparency on the basis of a normative requirement on belief. For this explanation to work non-evidential considerations would have to fail to be reasons for belief, and we would have to be able to explain why we are unable to form beliefs on the basis of nonevidentialconsiderations by appealing to the fact that they fail to be reasons for belief. However, while it is plausible that non-evidential considerations are not in fact reasons for belief, the explanatory picture is the other way around. Such considerations only fail to be reasons for belief because we are unable to form beliefs on their basis.
265. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
Brian Hedden Believing and Acting: Voluntary Control and the Pragmatic Theory of Belief
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I argue that an attractive theory about the metaphysics of belief – the pragmatic, interpretationist theory endorsed by Stalnaker, Lewis, and Dennett, amongothers – implies that agents have a novel form of voluntary control over their beliefs. According to the pragmatic picture, what it is to have a given belief is in part for that belief to be part of an optimal rationalization of your actions. Since you have voluntary control over your actions, and what actions you perform in part determines what beliefs you count as having, this theory entails that you have some voluntary control over your beliefs. However, the pragmatic picture doesn’t entail that you can believe something as a result of intention to believe it. Nevertheless, I argue that the limited sort of voluntary control implied by the pragmatic picture may be of use in vindicating the deontological conception of epistemic justification.
266. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
Logos & Episteme: Aims and Scope
267. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 6 > Issue: 4
Notes to Contributors
268. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Michael J. Shaffer What If Bizet and Verdi had Been Compatriots?
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Stalnaker argued that conditional excluded middle should be included in the principles that govern counterfactuals on the basis that intuitions support that principle. This is because there are pairs of competing counterfactuals that appear to be equally acceptable. In doing so, he was forced to introduced semantic vagueness into his system of counterfactuals. In this paper it is argued that there is a simpler and purely epistemic explanation of these cases that avoids the need for introducing semantic vagueness into the semantics for counterfactuals.
269. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
John N. Williams Still a New Problem for Defeasibility: A Rejoinder to Borges
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I objected that the defeasibility theory of knowledge prohibits you from knowing that you know that p if your knowledge that p is a posteriori. Rodrigo Borges claims that Peter Klein has already satisfactorily answered a version of my objection. He attempts to defend Klein’s reply and argues that my objection fails because a principle on which it is based is false.I will show that my objection is not a version of the old one that Klein attempts (unsuccessfully) to address, that Borges’ defence of Klein’s reply fails and that his argument against my new objection leaves it untouched.
270. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Notes on the Contributors
271. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Fred Adams, Murray Clarke Two Non-Counterexamples to Truth-Tracking Theories of Knowledge
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In a recent paper, Tristan Haze offers two examples that, he claims, are counterexamples to Nozick's Theory of Knowledge. Haze claims his examples work against Nozick's theory understood as relativized to belief forming methods M. We believe that they fail to be counterexamples to Nozick's theory. Since he aims the examples at tracking theories generally, we will also explain why they are not counterexamples to Dretske's Conclusive Reasons Theory of Knowledge.
272. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Alexander R. Pruss Being Sure and Being Confident That You Won’t Lose Confidence
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There is an important sense in which one can be sure without being certain, i.e., without assigning unit probability. I will offer an explication of this sense of sureness, connecting it with the level of credence that a rational agent would need to have to be confident that she won’t ever lose her confidence. A simple formal result then gives us an explicit formula connecting the threshold α for credence needed for confidence with the threshold needed for being sure: one needs 1−(1−α)² to be sure. I then suggest that stepping between α and 1−(1−α)² gives a procedure that generates an interesting hierarchy of credential thresholds.
273. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Rodrigo Borges A Failed Twist to an Old Problem: A Reply to John N. Williams
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John N. Williams argued that Peter Klein's defeasibility theory of knowledge excludes the possibility of one knowing that one has (first-order) a posteriori knowledge. He does that by way of adding a new twist to an objection Klein himself answered more than forty years ago. In this paper I argue that Williams' objection misses its target because of this new twist.
274. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Mark Schroeder Knowledge Based on Seeing
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In Epistemological Disjunctivism, Duncan Prichard defends his brand of epistemological disjunctivism from three worries. In this paper I argue that his responses to two of these worries are in tension with one another.
275. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Logos and Episteme. Aims and Scope
276. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Mihai Hîncu Games of Partial Information and Predicates of Personal Taste
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A predicate of personal taste occurring in a sentence in which the perspectival information is not linguistically articulated by an experiencer phrase may have two different readings. In case the speaker of a bare sentence formed with a predicate of personal taste uses the subjective predicate encoding perspectival information in one way and the hearer interprets it in another way, the agents’ acts are not coordinated. In this paper I offer an answer to the question of how a hearer can strategically interact with a speaker on the intended perspectival information so that both agents can optimally solve their coordination problem. In this sense, I offer a game-theoretical account of the strategic communication with expressions referring to agents’ perspectives, communication which involves the interaction between a speaker who intends to convey some perspectival information and who chooses to utter a bare sentence formed with a predicate of personal taste, instead of a sentence in which the perspectival information is linguistically articulated by an experiencer phrase, and a hearer who has to choose between interpreting the uttered sentence in conformity with the speaker’s autocentric use of the predicate of personal taste or in conformity with the speaker’s exocentric use.
277. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Luis Rosa Justification and the Uniqueness Thesis Again: A Response to Anantharaman
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I reinforce my defense of permissivism about the rationality of doxastic attitudes on the face of a certain body of evidence against criticism published in this journal by Anantharaman. After making some conceptual clarifications, I manage to show that at least one of my original arguments pro-permissivism is left unscathed by Anantharaman's points.
278. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Moti Mizrahi Why Gettier Cases Are Misleading
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In this paper, I argue that, as far as Gettier cases are concerned, appearances are deceiving. That is, Gettier cases merely appear to be cases of epistemic failure (i.e., failing to know that p) but are in fact cases of semantic failure (i.e., failing to refer to x). Gettier cases are cases of reference failure because the candidates for knowledge in these cases contain ambiguous designators. If this is correct, then we may simply be mistaking semantic facts for epistemic facts when we consider Gettier cases. This, in turn, is a good reason not to assign much, if any, evidential weight to Gettier intuitions (i.e., that S doesn’t know that p in a Gettier case).
279. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Notes to Contributors
280. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Stewart Cohen Suppositional Reasoning and Perceptual Justification
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James Van Cleve raises some objections to my attempt to solve the bootstrapping problem for what I call “basic justification theories.” I argue that given 1 the inference rules endorsed by basic justification theorists, we are a priori (propositionally) justified in believing that perception is reliable. This blocks the bootstrapping result.