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series introduction
1. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 5
Jaakko Hintikka, Robert Cummings Neville, Ernest Sosa, Alan M. Olson, Stephen Dawson Series Introduction
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volume introduction
2. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 5
Richard Cobb-Stevens Volume Introduction
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articles
3. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 5
George Bealer A Priori Knowledge
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This paper has three parts. First, a discussion of our use of intuitions as evidence (reasons) in logic, mathematics, philosophy (hereafter, “the a priori disciplines”). Second, an explanation of why intuitions are evidence. The explanation is provided by modal reliabilism—the doctrine that there is a certain kind of qualified modal tie between intuitions and the truth. Third, an explanation of why there should be such a tie between intuitions and the truth. This tie is a consequence of what, by definition, it is to possess the concepts involved in our intuitions. These three parts form the basis of a unified account of a priori evidence and, in turn, a priori knowledge.
4. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 5
Laurence BonJour Four Theses Concerning a Priori Justification
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In my book In Defense of Pure Reason, I offer an extended defense of the idea of a priori justification and, more specifically, of a rationalist conception of such justification: one according to which rational insight or intuition provides genuine justification for claims that need not be merely definitional or tautological in character. In the relatively brief space available to me on the present occasion, I want to present and defend, necessarily in rather broad strokes, four of the most central claims that are discussed at much greater length in that book. I will say the most about the first of these theses, somewhat less about the second and third, and only a very little about the fourth.
5. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 5
Richard Fumerton Relational, Non-Relational, and Mixed Theories of Experience
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In this paper I argue that there are excellent reasons to embrace nonrelational (adverbial) analyses of sensations and intentional states. I shall further argue, however, that the epistemology of experience requires that we recognize at least one conscious state that is genuinely relational—awareness or acquaintance. It is through the relational state of being acquainted with non-relational mental states that one can end a regress of justification.
6. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 5
Michael Pendlebury Perception and Objective Knowledge
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McDowell and Putnam are right to insist that objective knowledge is possible only because we are open to the world in perception, but neither of them offers an adequate account of the relationship between perception and perceptual judgments (which are at the core of our most fundamental knowledge of the world). This paper, intended as a contribution to the development of a sophisticated commonsense realism, proposes an account in terms of which perceptions acquire the status of perceptual judgments to the extent that they are imbedded in and engaged with the high-level patterns of consciousness and reasoning characteristic of judgments. This in turn explains how the contents of perceptual judgments which are to be understood as refinements of contents of the relevant perceptions apply to a world that is largely independent of the perceiver and knower.
7. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 5
Bill Brewer Self-Knowledge and Externalism
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A person’s authoritative self-knowledge about the contents of his or her own beliefs is thought to cause problems for content externalism, for it appears to yield arguments constituting a wholly non-empirical source of empirical knowledge: knowledge that certain particular objects or kinds exist in the environment. I set out this objection to externalism, and present a new reply. Possession of an externalist concept is an epistemological skill: it depends upon the subject’s possession of demonstratively-based knowledge about the object or kind to which it refers. Thus, a person’s knowledge that he or she has an externalist belief, since this depends upon actually having that belief, and therefore upon possessing the relevant externist concept, presupposes knowledge about the object/kind in question, which provides a direct and perfectly empirical source of knowledge that this object/kind exists. Hence, the putatively problematic arguments do not constitute a non-empirical source of such empirical knowledge.
8. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 5
Fernando Broncano Reliable Rationality
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We propose to extend a reliabilist perspective from epistemology to the very concept of rational justification. Rationality is defined as a cognitive virtue contextually relative to an information domain, to the mean performance of a cognitive community, and to normal conditions of information gathering. This proposal answers to the skeptical position derived from the evidence of the cognitive fallacies and, on the other hand, is consistent with the ecological approach to the cognitive biases. Rationality is conceived naturalistically as a control system of the flow of information: reliabilism is the approach that qualifies this system as virtuous. There can be specific-domain devices selected by evolution, although the constraints of the very flow of information can be also represented, even with imperfect means of formalization, and then rationality becomes reflective. Reliable rationality is postulated in conclusion as a more philosophically abstract concept than maximal, minimal or bounded rationality.
9. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 5
Albert Casullo Is Empiricism Coherent?
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In recent years empiricism has come under attack. Some argue that the view is incoherent and conclude, on that basis, that some knowledge is a priori. Whatever the merits of such arguments against empiricism, they cannot be parlayed into an argument in support of the a priori unless the latter is not open to those arguments. My primary contention is that the a priori is open to the arguments offered against empiricism. Hence, they do not advance the case for the a priori. I go on to offer an alternative strategy. The leading idea is that, instead of arguing against empiricism, rationalists should marshal empirical support for their position.
10. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 5
Murray Clarke Reliabilism and the Meliorative Project
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It has been suggested, recently and not so recently, by a number of analytic epistemologists that reliabilist and externalist accounts of justification and knowledge are inadequate responses to the goals of traditional epistemology and other goals of inquiry. But philosophers of science decry reliabilism and externalism because they are connected to traditional, analytic epistemology, an outmoded and utopian form of inquiry. Clearly, both groups of critics cannot be right. I think both groups are guilty of conceptual confusions that, once clarified, should allow the naturalization project to stand forth in a rather attractive light.