Alvin Plantinga (1993a, 1993b, 2000) argues that de jure objections to theism depend on de facto objections: in order to say that belief in God is not warranted, one should first assume that this belief is false. Assuming Plantinga’s epistemology and his de facto/de jure distinction, In this essay, I argue that to show that belief in miracles is not warranted, one must suppose that belief in miracles is always false. Therefore, a person who holds a skeptical position regarding miracles (...) must choose either to find evidence that all of the supposed miracles are false, or admit that one is assuming an areligious commitment as a starting point. (shrink)
This is an early, alternative version of the paper that became Shieber 2013, “Toward a truly social epistemology: Babbage, the division of mental labor, and the possibility of socially distributed warrant,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 86(2), pp. 266-294. This paper differs from the later paper in a few notable respects. In this earlier paper – written in 2008-9 – I use Hutchins to illustrate the phenomenon of socially distributed cognitive processes, rather than Babbage, and I discuss the attributes of such (...) cognitive processes in greater detail. (shrink)
The term ‘intelligence’ as used in this paper refers to items of knowledge collected for the sake of assessing and maintaining national security. The intelligence community (IC) of the United States (US) is a community of organizations that collaborate in collecting and processing intelligence for the US. The IC relies on human-machine-based analytic strategies that 1) access and integrate vast amounts of information from disparate sources, 2) continuously process this information, so that, 3) a maximally comprehensive understanding of world actors (...) and their behaviors can be developed and updated. Herein we describe an approach to utilizing outcomes-based learning (OBL) to support these efforts that is based on an ontology of the cognitive processes performed by intelligence analysts. Of particular importance to the Cognitive Process Ontology is the class Representation that is Warranted. Such a representation is descriptive in nature and deserving of trust in its veridicality. The latter is because a Representation that is Warranted is always produced by a process that was vetted (or successfully designed) to reliably produce veridical representations. As such, Representations that are Warranted are what in other contexts we might refer to as ‘items of knowledge’. (shrink)
A diagnostic process is an investigative process that takes a clinical picture as input and outputs a diagnosis. We propose a method for distinguishing diagnoses that are warranted from those that are not, based on the cognitive processes of which they are the outputs. Processes designed and vetted to reliably produce correct diagnoses will output what we shall call ‘warranted diagnoses’. The latter are diagnoses that should be trusted even if they later turn out to have been wrong. Our work (...) is based on the recently developed Cognitive Process Ontology and further develops the Ontology of General Medical Science. It also has applications in fields such as intelligence, forensics, and predictive maintenance, all of which rely on vetted processes designed to secure the reliability of their outputs. (shrink)
A number of counterexamples have recently been leveled against Alvin Plantinga's Proper Functionalism, counterexamples aimed at showing that Plantinga's theory fads to provide sufficient conditions for warrant — that elusive epistemic property which together with true belief yields knowledge Among these counterexamples, Laurence Bonjour s is perhaps the most formidable and, if successful, shows that Proper Functionalism is simply too weak to serve as an acceptable theory of warrant In this paper, I argue that, contrary to initial appearances, BonJour's counterexample (...) is not successful More exactly, I argue that, once it is recognized that a defeasibility constraint is deeply embedded within Plantinga's proper function condition for warrant — a constraint which says, in effect, that a belief B is warranted for an agent S only of S does not possess any defeaters against B — BonJour's counterexample to Proper Functionalism can be handled quite straightforwardly. (shrink)
This article explores the Korean application of “mind-transmission” (K. chŏnsim, C. chuanxin) episodes to the intra-Sŏn (C. Chan) polemics. Korean Sŏn masters, unlike Chinese counterparts, sought for the religious meaning of the existence of multiple transmission episodes that circulated in East Asia from the Sŏn polemical perspective. In particular, Kagun and Paekp’a used the term “samch’ŏ chŏnsim” to promote their own visions of Sŏn within the situation in which different visions of Sŏn competed for dominance.
This paper explains how the notion of justification transmission can be used to ground a notion of knowledge transmission. It then explains how transmission theories can characterise schoolteacher cases, which have prominently been presented as counterexamples to transmission theories.
This study provides a critical appraisal of Duncan Pritchard’s argument to the effect that ability to preserve certain eminently plausible transmission and/or closure principles for knowledge serves as a powerful adequacy test on alternative accounts of so-called Wittgensteinian certainties or hinge commitments. I argue that Pritchard fails to establish this claim—the transmission test does not favour his favourite conception over alternative conceptions premised on the idea that hinge commitments are not supportable via evidential-cognitive routes.
This paper advances the debate over the question whether false beliefs may nevertheless have warrant, the property that yields knowledge when conjoined with true belief. The paper’s first main part—which spans Sections 2–4—assesses the best argument for Warrant Infallibilism, the view that only true beliefs can have warrant. I show that this argument’s key premise conflicts with an extremely plausible claim about warrant. Sections 5–6 constitute the paper’s second main part. Section 5 presents an overlooked puzzle about warrant, and uses (...) that puzzle to generate a new argument for Warrant Fallibilism, the view that false beliefs can have warrant. Section 6 evaluates this pro-Fallibilism argument, finding ultimately that it defeats itself in a surprising way. I conclude that neither Infallibilism nor Fallibilism should now constrain theorizing about warrant. (shrink)
A quick, information-packed introduction to the early history of the Church as known from the New Testament and of the origin and transmission of the New Testament itself, with considerable detail on manuscript traditions and reconstruction.--P. J.
Some argue that a prāsaṅgika mādhyamika is committed to rejecting all epistemic instruments (pramāṇas) in virtue of the rejection of intrinsic nature (svabhāva) and intrinsic characteristic (svalakṣaṇa). This chapter takes a different perspective, arguing that Candrakīrti accepts both conventional and rational epistemic instruments, and develops a cogent account of their respective roles in our cognitive lives. To be sure, any mādhyamika rejects intrinsic nature, but Candrakīrti shows that epistemic instruments give us access to epistemic objects precisely because they lack such (...) nature, and that each has its appropriate sphere of use, simply because, relative to the standards appropriate to those spheres, each apprehends its respective object. (shrink)
In this paper I will argue that (principled) attempts to ground a priori knowledge in default reasonable beliefs cannot capture certain common intuitions about what is required for a priori knowledge. I will describe hypothetical creatures who derive complex mathematical truths like Fermat’s last theorem via short and intuitively unconvincing arguments. Many philosophers with foundationalist inclinations will feel that these creatures must lack knowledge because they are unable to justify their mathematical assumptions in terms of the kind of basic facts (...) which can be known without further argument. Yet, I will argue that nothing in the current literature lets us draw a principled distinction between what these creatures are doing and paradigmatic cases of good a priori reasoning (assuming that the latter are to be grounded in default reasonable beliefs). I will consider, in turn, appeals to reliability, coherence, conceptual truth and indispensability and argue that none of these can do the job. (shrink)
This paper discusses ways in which empirical research investigating sexual networks can further understanding of the transmission of HIV in London, using information from a 24-month period of participant observation and 53 open-ended, in-depth interviews with eighteen men and one woman who have direct and indirect sexual links with each other. These interviews enabled the identification of a wider sexual network between 154 participants and contacts during the year August 1994-July 1995. The linked network data help to identify pathways of (...) transmission between individuals who are HIV+ and those who are HIVolderyounger’ men, and with male prostitutes. There appears to be considerable on-going transmission of HIV in London. The majority of participants reported having had unprotected anal and/or vaginal sex within a variety of relationships. The implications of these findings for policies designed to prevent the transmission of HIV are discussed. (shrink)
In das paper 1 ccmstder the rehabday condaton in Atm PlanungaS's proper functionabst account of eptstemtc warrant I begm by reviewing m some detail the features of the rehabdity condition as Planunga lias aruculated a From there, 1 consider what is needed to ground or secure the sort of rehability whzch Plantinga has m mind, and argue that what is needed is a significant causai condam which has generally been overlooked Then, after identifying eight verstons of the relevant sort of (...) reltabdity, I exam me each alternative as to whether as requirement, along with PlanungaSs other proposed conditions, would give us a sausfactory account of epis tenuc warrant I conclude that there is bale to no hope of formulatmg a rehabilay condaion that would yield a sattsfactory analysts of the sort Plantinga destres. (shrink)
Let ‘warrant’ denote whatever precisely it is that makes the difference between knowledge and mere true belief. A current debate in epistemology asks whether warrant entails truth, i.e., whether (Infallibilism) S’s belief that p is warranted only if p is true. The arguments for infallibilism have come under considerable and, as of yet, unanswered objections. In this paper, I will defend infallibilism. In Part I, I advance a new argument for infallibilism; the basic outline is as follows. Suppose fallibilism is (...) true. An implication of fallibilism is that the property that makes the difference between knowledge and mere belief (which I dub ‘warrant*’) is the conjunctive property being warranted and true . I show that this implication of fallibilism conflicts with an uncontroversial thesis we have learned from reflection on Gettier cases: that nonaccidental truth is a constituent of warrant*. It follows that infallibilism is true. In the second part of the paper, I present and criticize a new argument against infallibilism. The argument states that there are plausible cases where, intuitively, the only thing that is keeping a belief from counting as knowledge is the falsity of that belief. Furthermore, it is plausible that such a belief is warranted and false. So, the argument goes, infallibilism is false. I show that this argument fails. (shrink)
The paper reconstructs Plantinga’s understanding of knowledge as an alternative to the standard conception of knowledge. In the first phase, Plantinga’s work about warrant was taken as a contribution to the discussion about the possibility of a priori knowledge. With his conception of knowledge as warranted belief he wanted to show that also a posteriori belief can have a degree of warrant, and may be considered to be knowledge. The paper concludes that Plantinga points at an alternative to the standard (...) conception of knowledge, but cannot show either that God exists or that the theistic belief is universally basic without lapsing again into one of those self-referential theories that he would in principle reject. (shrink)