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31. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
John A. Barker, Fred Adams Epistemic Closure and Skepticism
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Closure is the epistemological thesis that if S knows that P and knows that P implies Q, then if S infers that Q, S knows that Q. Fred Dretske acknowledges that closure is plausible but contends that it should be rejected because it conflicts with the plausible thesis: Conclusive reasons (CR): S knows that P only if S believes P on the basis of conclusive reasons, i.e., reasons S wouldn‘t have if it weren‘t the case that P. Dretske develops an analysis of knowing that centers on CR, and argues that the requirement undermines skepticism by implying the falsity of closure. We develop a Dretske-style analysis of knowing that incorporates CR, and we argue that this analysis not only accords with closure, but also implies it. In addition, we argue that the analysis accounts for the prima facie plausibility of closure-invoking skeptical arguments, and nonetheless implies that they are fallacious. If our arguments turn out to be sound, the acceptability of Dretske‘s analysis of knowing will be significantly enhanced by the fact that, despite implying closure, it undermines closure-based skepticism.
32. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Bernard D. Katz, Doris Olin Reasoning about Closure
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The specter of epistemic closure haunts current epistemology: some regard the refutation of closure as obvious, while others take its denial to be an epistemicoutrage. To some extent, the strong difference of opinion has its source in certain misapprehensions. This paper tries to formulate and clarify the key issues dividing the two sides and contends that, in certain respects, the difference between the friend and the foe of closure may be more a matter of semantics than substance. The paper goes on to argue that once the substantial issues have been properly formulated, there is a limit to how far deductive reasoning can take the parties to the dispute.
33. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
John Turri Mythology of the Factive
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It’s a cornerstone of epistemology that knowledge requires truth – that is, that knowledge is factive. Allan Hazlett boldly challenges orthodoxy by arguing thatthe ordinary concept of knowledge is not factive. On this basis Hazlett further argues that epistemologists shouldn’t concern themselves with the ordinary concept of knowledge, or knowledge ascriptions and related linguistic phenomena. I argue that either Hazlett is wrong about the ordinary concept of knowledge, or he’s right in a way that leaves epistemologists to carry on exactly as they have, paying attention to much the same things they always did.
34. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Ioan Alexandru Tofan Balkan Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 2, Issue 1
35. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Steve Fuller Can Science Survive its Democratisation?
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The question in the title is addressed in three parts. First, I associate the democratisation of science with the rise of ‘Protscience’ (i.e. ‘Protestant Science’), which pertains to the long-term tendency of universities to place the means of knowledge production in everyone’s hands, thereby producing universal knowledge that is also universally spread. Second, I discuss how the current neo-liberal political economy of knowledge production is warping the ways that universities deal with this long-term tendency. These include: the segmentation of research and teaching; the alienation of the student constituency; the lack of incentive to defend the university. I then discuss strategies for addressing the resulting deformities and re-building solidarity within the knowledge producing community. These include the establishment of a student-based co-curriculum and the introduction of employee ownership policies to the university as whole. Third, I reprise the entire argument by focusing on the economic challenges facing the integrity of the university and knowledge as a public good. Some of these arise from Protscience itself and others from the neo-liberal environment that it inhabits. But in any case, it is important that the democratisation of science is not reduced to its marketisation.
36. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Bogdan Baghiu Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
37. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Michael J. Shaffer Three Problematic Theories of Conditional Acceptance
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In this paper it is argued that three of the most prominent theories of conditional acceptance face very serious problems. David Lewis' concept of imaging, theRamsey test annd Jonathan Bennett's recent hybrid view all face viscous regresses, or they either employ unanalyzed components or depend upon an implausibly strong version of doxastic voluntarism.
38. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Jonathan L. Kvanvig Against Pragmatic Encroachment
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Anti-intellectualist theories of knowledge claim that in some way or other, practical stakes are involved in whether knowledge is present (or, where the view iscontextualist, whether sentences about knowledge are true in a given context). Interest in pragmatic encroachment arose with the development of contextualist theories concerning knowledge ascriptions. In these cases, there is an initial situation in which hardly anything is at stake, and knowledge is easily ascribed. The subsequent situation is one where the costs of being wrong are fairly significant from a practical point of view, and the claim made by pragmatic encroachers is that knowledge should not be ascribed in such situations and typically is not by competent speakers. My goal here is to show how mistaken the idea of pragmatic encroachment is.
39. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Logos & Episteme. Aims and Scope
40. Logos & Episteme: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
P.D. Magnus Miracles, Trust, and Ennui in Barnes’ Predictivism
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Eric Barnes’ The Paradox of Predictivism is concerned primarily with two facts: predictivism (the fact that novel predictions play an important part in scientificconfirmation) and pluralism (the fact that scientific development is not just a matter of isolated individuals judging the truth, but at least partly a matter of trusting legitimate experts). In the middle part of the book, he peers through these two lenses at the tired realist scarecrow of the no-miracles argument. He attempts to reanimate this weatherworn realist argument, contra suggestions by people like me that it should be abandoned. In this paper, I want to get clear on Barnes’ contribution to the debate. He focuses on what he calls the miraculous endorsement argument, which explains not the success of a specific theory but instead the history of successes for an entire research program. The history of successes is explained by reliable and improving methods, which are the flipside of approximately true background theories. Yet, as Barnes notes, the whole story must begin with methods that are at least minimally reliable. Barnes demands that the realist explain the origin of the minimally reliable take-off point, and he suggests a way that the realist might do so. I contend that his explanation still relies on contingent developments and so fails to completely explain the development of take-off theories. However, this line of argument digs into familiar details of the no-miracles argument and overlooks what’s new in Barnes’ approach. By calling attention to pluralism, he reminds us that we need an account of scientific expertise. This is important, I suggest, because expertise is not indefinite. We do not trust specific experts for everything, but only for things within the bounds of their expertise. Drawing these boundaries relies on our own background theories and is only likely to be reliable if our background theories are approximately true. I argue, then, that pluralism gives us reason to be realists (about some things).