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Displaying: 21-30 of 847 documents


21. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Alvin Goldman What Can Psychology Do for Epistemology?: Revisiting Epistemology and Cognition
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Within the analytic tradition—especially under the influence of Frege’s anti-psychologism—the thought of incorporating empirical psychology into epistemology was definitely out of bounds. This began to change with the advent of “naturalistic” epistemology, in which Epistemology and Cognition (1986) played a role. However, there is no settled consensus (even among the naturalistically inclined) as to how, exactly, empirical psychology or cognitive science should contribute to the epistemological enterprise. This is the topic to which the present paper is addressed. The discussion explores four topics or issues in contemporary epistemology to which current research in psychology might make helpful contributions: (1) the generality problem for reliabilism; (2) algorithms and belief-forming processes; (3) epistemology and the Bayesian theory of vision; and (4) the rationality wars and dual-process systems.
22. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Peter J. Graham Normal Circumstances Reliabilism: Goldman on Reliability and Justified Belief
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Alvin Goldman’s paper “What Is Justified Belief" and his book Epistemology and Cognition pioneered reliabilist theories of epistemic justifiedness. In light of counterexamples to necessity (demon worlds, brains-in-vats) and counterexamples to sufficiency (Norman the clairvoyant, Mr. Truetemp), Goldman has offered a number of refinements and modifications. This paper focuses on those refinements that relativize the justification conferring force of a belief-forming process to its reliably producing a high ratio of true beliefs over falsehoods in special circumstances: reliability in the actual world, in normal worlds, and in nonmanipulated environments. This paper argues that Goldman’s refinements fall short and suggests instead the relativization to reliability in normal circumstances. Normal circumstances are those where the belief-forming process acquired the etiological function of reliably inducing true beliefs. This theory invites the Swampman objection. Two lines of response are pursued.
23. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Hilary Kornblinth Doxastic Justification is Fundamental
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It is widely assumed that the notion of doxastic justification should be explained in terms of the more fundamental notion of propositional justification, a notion which itself explains evidential support relations as a priori knowable. It is argued here, following Goldman, that this is a mistake. Doxastic justification is the more fundamental notion, and once one sees this, one must recognize that evidential support relations have an ineliminable psychological dimension which undermines the claim that they are knowable a priori.
24. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Gary Lupyan How Reliable is Perception?
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People believe that perception is reliable and that what they perceive reflects objective reality. On this view, we perceive a red circle because there is something out there that is a red circle. It is also commonly believed that perceptual reliability is threatened if what we see is allowed to be influenced by what we know or expect. I argue that although human perception is often (but not always) highly consistent and stable, it is difficult to evaluate its reliability because when it comes to perception, it is unclear how one could establish a fact of the matter. An alternative to thinking of perception as being in the business of truth, is thinking of it as being in the business of transducing sensory energy into a form useful for guiding adaptive behavior. On this position, perception ought to be (and, as I argue, is) richly influenced by some types of knowledge insofar as this knowledge can aid in the construction of useful representations from sensory input.
25. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Lisa Miracchi Epistemic Agency and the Generality Problem
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I present and motivate a new solution to the generality problem for reliabilism. I suggest that we shift our focus from process-types that can be characterized independently of a subject’s epistemic concerns to process-types that play important roles in the life of the epistemic agent. Once we do so, a simple, promising solution suggests itself: the C-Typing Thesis. According to the C-Typing Thesis, how an epistemic agent forms her degree of confidence in a believed proposition determines the epistemically relevant type of belief-forming process for that belief. First I motivate this view generally, arguing that it satisfies important desiderata for a solution to the generality problem. Then I show that it makes the intuitively correct predictions for a wide range of cases. I also show how it can solve Brian Weatherson’s temporal generality problem, and, relatedly, Jonathan Vogel’s bootstrapping problem for reliabilism. The C-Typing Thesis is plausible not only because it makes correct predictions, but also because it does so in a way that responds to a common charge against reliabilism: that reliability is disconnected from our lives as epistemic inquirers. The C-Typing Thesis shows how epistemic agency can play a significant role in an externalist account of justification and knowledge.
26. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Ram Neta Two Legacies of Goldman’s Epistemology
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Goldman’s epistemology has been influential in two ways. First, it has influenced some philosophers to think that, contrary to erstwhile orthodoxy, relations of evidential support, or confirmation, are not discoverable a priori. Second, it has offered some philosophers a powerful argument in favor of methodological reliance on intuitions about thought experiments in doing philosophy. This paper argues that these two legacies of Goldman’s epistemology conflict with each other.
27. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Katherine Puddifoot Stereotyping: The Multifactorial View
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This paper proposes and defends the multifactorial view of stereotyping. According to this view, multiple factors determine whether or not any act of stereotyping increases the chance of an accurate judgment being made about an individual to whom the stereotype is applied. To support this conclusion, various features of acts of stereotyping that can determine the accuracy of stereotyping judgments are identified. The argument challenges two existing views that suggest that it is relatively easy for an act of stereotyping to increase the chance of an accurate judgment being made. In the process, it shows why stereotyping that associates black people more strongly than white people with criminality in the United States cannot be defended, and actions to reduce the stereotyping criticized, on the basis that engaging in this form of stereotyping increases the chance of accurate judgments. As each of these important conclusions is supported by results from empirical psychology, the discussion exemplifies and vindicates the naturalistic approach to epistemology, according to which psychological findings provide an important contribution to understanding the epistemic standing of beliefs.
28. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Lance J. Rips Core Cognition and its Aftermath
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A current and very influential theory in psychology holds that infants have innate, perceptually informed systems that endow them with surprisingly high-level concepts—for example, concepts of cardinality and causality. Proponents of core cognition hold that these initial concepts then provide the building blocks for later adult ideas within these domains. This paper reviews the evidence for core cognition and argues that these systems aren’t sufficient to explain how children learn their way to adult thoughts about language, number, or cause.
29. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Patrick Rysiew Veritism, Values, Epistemic Norms
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This paper considers Hilary Kornblith’s suggestion that epistemic norms have a practical basis—that their normative force stems from the fact that observing them helps us to achieve our various goals. This view, I’ll argue, provides a plausible account of why epistemic norms and appraisals have a claim on us. But it does not explain, and is not meant to explain, why true belief has the status of fundamental epistemic good. An answer to that question may come from familiar semantico-conceptual analysis, for example, or from the idea that belief as such is governed by a ‘norm of truth’. However, just as Kornblith’s account presumes, and requires, the essentially veritistic character of epistemic assessment, the latter ideas may require supplementation by Kornblith-style reflections on the practical value of true belief if they’re to explain why the relevant norms and appraisals have directive force. In this way, and contrary to how matters are often presented, a Kornblith-style appeal to practical considerations, and the idea (for example) that belief as such is governed by a norm of truth, may be interestingly complementary.
30. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
Jack Lyons Message from the New Editor
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