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  1. Pragmatism, skepticism, and over-compatibilism: on Michael Hannon’s What’s the Point of Knowledge?Georgi Gardiner - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Function-first approaches illuminate phenomena by investigating their functional roles. I first describe virtues of this approach. By foregrounding normal instances of knowledge, for example, function-first theorising offers a much-needed corrective to epistemology's counterexample-driven momentum towards increasingly byzantine, marginal cases. And epistemic practices are shaped by human limitations, needs, vices, and power relations. These non-ideal, naturalistic forces of embodied sociality form the roots of function-first theorising, which creates a fecund foundation for social epistemology. Secondly, I consider an objection to function-first theorising. (...)
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  2. Defending Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Analysis.
    In this paper, I respond to three critical notices of The Practical Origins of Ideas: Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering, written by Cheryl Misak, Alexander Prescott-Couch, and Paul Roth, respectively. After contrasting genealogical conceptual reverse-engineering with conceptual reverse-engineering, I discuss pragmatic genealogy’s relation to history. I argue that it would be a mistake to understand pragmatic genealogy as a fiction (or a model, or an idealization) as opposed to a form of historical explanation. That would be to rely on precisely the (...)
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  3. Debunking Concepts.Matthieu Queloz - 2023 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 47 (1):195-225.
    Genealogies of belief have dominated recent philosophical discussions of genealogical debunking at the expense of genealogies of concepts, which has in turn focused attention on genealogical debunking in an epistemological key. As I argue in this paper, however, this double focus encourages an overly narrow understanding of genealogical debunking. First, not all genealogical debunking can be reduced to the debunking of beliefs—concepts can be debunked without debunking any particular belief, just as beliefs can be debunked without debunking the concepts in (...)
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  4. Purity and Practical Reason: On Pragmatic Genealogy.Nicholas Smyth - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 10 (37):1057-1081.
    Pragmatic Genealogy involves constructing fictional, quasi-historical models in order to discover what might explain and justify our concepts, ideas or practices. It arguably originated with Hume, but its most prominent practitioners are Edward Craig, Bernard Williams and Mathieu Queloz. Its defenders allege that the method allows us to understand “what the concept does for us, what its role in our life might be” (Craig, 1990), and that this in turn can ground practical reasons to preserve or further a conceptual practice. (...)
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  5. The Practical Origins of Ideas, by Matthieu Queloz. [REVIEW]Michael Hannon - 2022 - Mind 132 (528):1185-1193.
    Philosophy is a discipline of grand abstractions. Truth, justice, knowledge, goodness, democracy, beauty, freedom, and other venerable ideas have been at the ce.
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  6. Genealogy, Evaluation, and Engineering.Matthieu Queloz - 2022 - The Monist 105 (4):435-451.
    Against those who identify genealogy with reductive genealogical debunking or deny it any evaluative and action-guiding significance, I argue for the following three claims: that although genealogies, true to their Enlightenment origins, tend to trace the higher to the lower, they need not reduce the higher to the lower, but can elucidate the relation between them and put us in a position to think more realistically about both relata; that if we think of genealogy’s normative significance in terms of a (...)
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  7. Genealogical Solutions to the Problem of Critical Distance: Political Theory, Contextualism and the case of Punishment in Transitional Scenarios.Francesco Testini - 2022 - Res Publica 28 (2):271-301.
    In this paper, I argue that one approach to normative political theory, namely contextualism, can benefit from a specific kind of historical inquiry, namely genealogy, because the latter provides a solution to a deep-seated problem for the former. This problem consists in a lack of critical distance and originates from the justificatory role that contextualist approaches attribute to contextual facts. I compare two approaches to genealogical reconstruction, namely the historiographical method pioneered by Foucault and the hybrid method of pragmatic genealogy (...)
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  8. What's the point of knowledge?: A function‐first epistemology. Michael Hannon. Oxford University Press, 2019, ix+275 pp., ISBN: 9780190914721. $78.00. [REVIEW]Georgi Gardiner - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (3):674-678.
  9. Tracing Concepts to Needs.Mathieu Queloz - 2021 - The Philosopher 109 (3):34-39.
    Why is the concept of truth so important to us? After all, it is not at all obvious why human intelligence would have evolved to do anything other than to dissimulate, deceive, cheat, and trick. Pragmatic genealogies like the genealogies of the value of truth told by Nietzsche and Williams can help us grasp why we think as we do. But instead of explaining concepts by tracing them to antecedent objects in reality, they trace them to practical needs and reverse-engineer (...)
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  10. Ideas that Work.Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Aeon:1–8.
    Truth, knowledge, justice – to understand how our loftiest abstractions earn their keep, trace them to their practical origins.
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  11. The Practical Origins of Ideas: Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering (Open Access).Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Why did such highly abstract ideas as truth, knowledge, or justice become so important to us? What was the point of coming to think in these terms? This book presents a philosophical method designed to answer such questions: the method of pragmatic genealogy. Pragmatic genealogies are partly fictional, partly historical narratives exploring what might have driven us to develop certain ideas in order to discover what these do for us. The book uncovers an under-appreciated tradition of pragmatic genealogy which cuts (...)
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  12. The genealogical method in epistemology.Martin Kusch & Robin McKenna - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1057-1076.
    In 1990 Edward Craig published a book called Knowledge and the State of Nature in which he introduced and defended a genealogical approach to epistemology. In recent years Craig’s book has attracted a lot of attention, and his distinctive approach has been put to a wide range of uses including anti-realist metaepistemology, contextualism, relativism, anti-luck virtue epistemology, epistemic injustice, value of knowledge, pragmatism and virtue epistemology. While the number of objections to Craig’s approach has accumulated, there has been no sustained (...)
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  13. Revealing Social Functions through Pragmatic Genealogies.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - In Rebekka Hufendiek, Daniel James & Raphael Van Riel (eds.), Social Functions in Philosophy: Metaphysical, Normative, and Methodological Perspectives. London: Routledge. pp. 200-218.
    There is an under-appreciated tradition of genealogical explanation that is centrally concerned with social functions. I shall refer to it as the tradition of pragmatic genealogy. It runs from David Hume (T, 3.2.2) and the early Friedrich Nietzsche (TL) through E. J. Craig (1990, 1993) to Bernard Williams (2002) and Miranda Fricker (2007). These pragmatic genealogists start out with a description of an avowedly fictional “state of nature” and end up ascribing social functions to particular building blocks of our practices (...)
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  14. From Paradigm-Based Explanation to Pragmatic Genealogy.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):683-714.
    Why would philosophers interested in the points or functions of our conceptual practices bother with genealogical explanations if they can focus directly on paradigmatic examples of the practices we now have?? To answer this question, I compare the method of pragmatic genealogy advocated by Edward Craig, Bernard Williams, and Miranda Fricker—a method whose singular combination of fictionalising and historicising has met with suspicion—with the simpler method of paradigm-based explanation. Fricker herself has recently moved towards paradigm-based explanation, arguing that it is (...)
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  15. Précis of The Practical Origins of Ideas: Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering.Mattieu Queloz - 2020 - Analysis.
    In this précis of The Practical Origins of Ideas: Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering (OUP 2021), I summarize the key claims of the book. The book describes, develops, and defends an underappreciated methodological tradition: the tradition of pragmatic genealogy, which aims to identify what our loftiest and most inscrutable conceptual practices do for us by telling strongly idealized, but still historically informed stories about what might have driven people to adopt and elaborate them as they did. What marks out this methodological (...)
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  16. Testing pragmatic genealogy in political theory: The curious case of John Rawls.Francesco Testini - 2020 - European Journal of Political Theory 1 (4):650-670.
    Starting from the ‘Dewey Lectures’, Rawls presents his conception of justice within a contextualist framework, as an elaboration of the basic ideas embedded in the political culture of liberal-democratic societies. But how are these basic ideas to be justified? In this article, I reconstruct and criticize Rawls’s strategy to answer this question. I explore an alternative strategy, consisting of a genealogical argument of a pragmatic kind – the kind of argument provided by authors like Bernard Williams, Edward Craig and Miranda (...)
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  17. Real and imaginary genealogies critique.Mónica Humeres - 2018 - Cinta de Moebio 63:314-322.
    Resumen: Actualmente el término genealogía se encuentra bastante extendido en las ciencias sociales como una metodología empleada para explicar problemas contemporáneos. Con todo, la genealogía, en tanto forma de conocimiento, se emplea de maneras disímiles. Filósofos contemporáneos como Bernard Williams y Edward Craig han abordado distintas perspectivas genealógicas, caracterizando las cualidades y posibilidades que ofrece cada una e identificando así dos tipos: lo que denominan genealogías reales y genealogías imaginarias o ficcionales. En este artículo argumento que dicha clasificación es problemática (...)
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  18. Genealogia epistêmica e normas de credibilidade.Breno Ricardo Guimarães Santos - 2018 - Sofia 1 (7):126-146.
    In this paper, I present two ways of conceiving a genealogical explanation of the concept of knowledge. The first one is through the epistemic state of nature hypothesis developed by Edward Craig, according to which knowledge is understood as a concept evolved from the concept of a good informant. After considering Craig’s project, I draw a parallel between this approach and Miranda Fricker’s value-laden account of the same concept. Then, I present and discuss Fricker’s social take on Craig’s genealogy, in (...)
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  19. Teleologies and the Methodology of Epistemology.Georgi Gardiner - 2015 - In David K. Henderson & John Greco (eds.), Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 31-45.
    The teleological approach to an epistemic concept investigates it by asking questions such as ‘what is the purpose of the concept?’, ‘What role has it played in the past?’, or ‘If we imagine a society without the concept, why would they feel the need to invent it?’ The idea behind the teleological approach is that examining the function of the concept illuminates the contours of the concept itself. This approach is a relatively new development in epistemology, and as yet there (...)
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  20. What we own Before Property: Hugo Grotius and the Suum.Alejandra Mancilla - 2015 - Grotiana 36 (1):63-77.
    _ Source: _Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 63 - 77 At the basis of modern natural law theories, the concept of the _suum_, i.e. what belongs to the person, has received little scholarly attention despite its importance both in explaining and justifying not only the genealogy of property, but also that of morality and war. In this essay I focus on Grotius’s account of the _suum_ and examine what it is, what things it includes, what rights it gives rise to, (...)
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  21. Knowledge and Certainties in the Epistemic State of Nature.Martin Kusch - 2011 - Episteme 8 (1):6-23.
    This paper seeks to defend, develop, and revise Edward Craig's “genealogy of knowledge”. The paper first develops the suggestion that Craig's project is naturally thought of as an important instance of “social cognitive ecology”. It then introduces the genealogy of knowledge and some of its main problems and weaknesses, suggesting that these are best taken as challenges for further work rather than as refutations. The central sections of the paper conduct a critical dialogue between Craig's theory and Wittgenstein's claim–familiar from (...)
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  22. 3. The State of Nature: A Rough Guide.Bernard Williams - 2010 - In Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy. Princeton University Press. pp. 41-62.
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  23. Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy.Bernard Williams - 2002 - Princeton University Press.
    What does it mean to be truthful? What role does truth play in our lives? What do we lose if we reject truthfulness? No philosopher is better suited to answer these questions than Bernard Williams. Writing with his characteristic combination of passion and elegant simplicity, he explores the value of truth and finds it to be both less and more than we might imagine.Modern culture exhibits two attitudes toward truth: suspicion of being deceived and skepticism that objective truth exists at (...)
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  24. Rational authority and social power: Towards a truly social epistemology.Miranda Fricker - 1998 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (2):159–177.
    This paper explores the relation between rational authority and social power, proceeding by way of a philosophical genealogy derived from Edward Craig's Knowledge and the State of Nature. The position advocated avoids the errors both of the 'traditionalist' (who regards the socio-political as irrelevant to epistemology) and of the 'reductivist' (who regards reason as just another form of social power). The argument is that a norm of credibility governs epistemic practice in the state of nature, which, when socially manifested, is (...)
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  25. A Genealogy of Law.David Galbraith - 1988 - Dissertation, The University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
    Available from UMI in association with The British Library. Requires signed TDF. ;The purpose of this dissertation is to trace the genealogy of our modern idea of law back to its logical and practical ancestors in order to understand liberal law. This is, of course, an analytical and synthetic rather than an historical genealogy. ;The argument is at once a critique and a reconstruction. ;Chapters Two and Three set forth a critique and reconstruction of liberalism as a logical matter. It (...)
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