This chapter defines "epistemology," introduces the key epistemological questions, and briefly outlines how the field has evolved over time. It serves as the introduction to the edited collection, Introduction to Philosophy: Epistemology (a volume in the Introduction to Philosophy open textbook series edited by Christina Hendricks).
A common view among nontheists combines the de jure objection that theism is epistemically unacceptable with agnosticism about the de facto objection that theism is false. Following Plantinga, we can call this a “proper” de jure objection—a de jure objection that does not depend on any de facto objection. In his Warranted Christian Belief, Plantinga has produced a general argument against all proper de jure objections. Here I first show that this argument is logically fallacious (it makes subtle probabilistic fallacies (...) disguised by scope ambiguities), and proceed to lay the groundwork for the construction of actual proper de jure objections. (shrink)
Development and targeting efforts by academic organizations to effectively promote research integrity can be enhanced if they are able to collect reliable data to benchmark baseline conditions, to assess areas needing improvement, and to subsequently assess the impact of specific initiatives. To date, no standardized and validated tool has existed to serve this need. A web- and mail-based survey was administered in the second half of 2009 to 2,837 randomly selected biomedical and social science faculty and postdoctoral fellows at 40 (...) academic health centers in top-tier research universities in the United States. Measures included the Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SORC) as well as measures of perceptions of organizational justice. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses yielded seven subscales of organizational research climate, all of which demonstrated acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach’s α ranging from 0.81 to 0.87) and adequate test–retest reliability (Pearson r ranging from 0.72 to 0.83). A broad range of correlations between the seven subscales and five measures of organizational justice (unadjusted regression coefficients ranging from 0.13 to 0.95) document both construct and discriminant validity of the instrument. The SORC demonstrates good internal (alpha) and external reliability (test–retest) as well as both construct and discriminant validity. (shrink)
Brian Goodwin, author of How the Leopard Changed Its Spots, argues for a view of nature as complex, interrelated networks of relationships. He proposes that, in order for us to once again work with nature to achieve true sustainability on our planet, we need to adopt a new science, new art, new design, new economies and new patterns of responsibility. We must be willing to pay nature its due: to recognize what we owe to the natural world and resist (...) exploiting it solely for our own ends. (shrink)
Not long ago, under the influence of Michel Foucault, one spoke of the conjunction of knowledge and power, but in this post-truth era power appears singularly uninterested in knowledge, even as the supporters of Donald Trump claim that he alone of all politicians speaks the truth. This essay proposes to examine the relations of power and knowledge under the present populist assault. This analysis begins in the work of Claude Lefort, who spoke of the separation of knowledge and power in (...) democracy’s symbolic regime, and is then counterposed to Ernesto Laclau’s understanding of ‘populist reason’ in order to explore the present torsion of this relation to the point where power can appear not just separated from, but opposed to knowledge. It will be argued that it is less a question of post-truth than of different forms of truth with different truth claims, borne by different imperatives, and tied to different forms of representation – truth claims that can, in relation to each other, be indifferent, complementary, or conflictual. With this in mind, the essay asks: what is the relation of the people to truth? Do those who claim to represent the people seek possession of a different kind of truth? What is the relation of populism to ideology? And what is populism’s relation to ‘post-modernism’? (shrink)
According to the traditional analysis of propositional knowledge (which derives from Plato's account in the Meno and Theaetetus), knowledge is justified true belief. This chapter develops the traditional analysis, introduces the famous Gettier and lottery problems, and provides an overview of prospective solutions. In closing, I briefly comment on the value of conceptual analysis, note how it has shaped the field, and assess the state of post-Gettier epistemology.
Contemporary Foucauldian research assimilates the political with governance. This formulation dates to Foucault's emphasis on the significance of the anti-Machiavellians in introducing the concept of governance into political theory. Returning to Machiavelli, we argue that early modern political theory was instead characterized by the simultaneous problematization of ruler and ruled, and the co-constitution of sovereignty and governance. We then outline the relation of ruler and ruled in the political structure of the democratic sovereign. Concepts of both sovereignty and governance are (...) necessary to theorize the political in modernity, including the dangers that arise from fusing sovereignty and governance, as occurred during the Nazi period in Germany, when the distinction between the sovereign people and the governed population was conflated. (shrink)
This article discusses the need for more satisfactory implicit measures in consumer psychology and assesses the theoretical foundations, validity, and value of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) as a measure of implicit consumer social cognition. Study 1 demonstrates the IAT’s sensitivity to explicit individual differences in brand attitudes, ownership, and usage frequency, and shows their correlations with IAT-based measures of implicit brand attitudes and brand relationship strength. In Study 2, the contrast between explicit and implicit measures of attitude toward the (...) ad for sportswear advertisements portraying African American (Black) and European American (White) athlete–spokespersons revealed different patterns of responses to explicit and implicit measures in Black and White respondents. These were explained in terms of self-presentation biases and system justification theory. Overall, the results demonstrate that the IAT enhances our understanding of consumer responses, particularly when consumers are either unable or unwilling to identify the sources of influence on their behaviors or opinions. (shrink)
Brian C. Ribeiro’s _Sextus, Montaigne, Hume: Pyrrhonizers_ invites us to view the Pyrrhonist tradition as involving all those who share a commitment to the activity of Pyrrhonizing and develops fresh, provocative readings of Sextus, Montaigne, and Hume as radical Pyrrhonizing skeptics.
This paper begins with the opposition common to almost all discussions of the nation and nationalism: that between the cultural and the civic nation. Behind this opposition, however, one can detect a certain "complicity" between the two conceptions. And in order to understand the nature of this complicity, the paper proposes to re-examine the origins of the modern nation during the French Revolution. The first nation, it is argued, was conceived in strictly contractual terms; and yet within only a few (...) years the revolutionaries began stumbling towards a more cultural understanding of the nation, which served to complement its contractual definition. This turn to a more cultural discourse must be understood as responding to three rather pressing problems faced by an exclusively contractual conception. First there is the need to find a stable anchorage for the nation in space and time. Second are the difficulties posed by a purely voluntarist conception of national citizenship. Third, and above all, there are the seemingly uncontrollable conflicts borne by the identification of the nation with its political "constitution," and with the revolutionary regime said to embody that constitution. In this perspective, the emergence of a more cultural discourse must be seen as an attempt to stabilize the post-revolutionary regime by depoliticizing the "idea" of the nation. As such, this discourse's emergence is inseparable from "the discovery" of society separate from the instance of democratic, political institutions. The nation, then, has two discourses because it has a dual nature, both political and social. The paper concludes with a reflection on the hyphen in the term "nation-state," as indicating the need to bring society and polity together, but also to keep them apart. (shrink)
On an optimistic version of realist moral epistemology, a significant range of ordinary moral beliefs, construed in realist terms, constitute knowledge—or at least some weaker positive epistemic status, such as epistemic justification. The “debunking challenge” to this view grants prima facie justification but claims that it is “debunked” (i.e., defeated), yielding the final verdict that moral beliefs are ultima facie unjustified. Notable candidate “debunkers” (i.e., defeaters) include the so-called “evolutionary debunking arguments,” the “Benacerraf-Field Challenge,” and persistent moral disagreement among epistemic (...) peers. Such defeaters are best treated as higher-order evidence—viz., evidence contesting the merits of the first-order evidence on which moral beliefs are based. This chapter first develops a theory of higher-order defeat in general, which it then applies to debunking in particular. The result: the challenge fails entirely on epistemic grounds—regardless of whether or not its empirical and metaphysical presuppositions are correct. An advantage of this purely epistemic defense over alternative strategies is that the former extends even to laypersons who themselves lack the expertise necessary to formulate an adequate response. However, this leaves open the prospects for non-epistemological interpretations of debunking (e.g., moral or ontological). The chapter therefore concludes with brief suggestions in that direction. (shrink)
BackgroundCodes of conduct mainly focus on research misconduct that takes the form of fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. However, at the aggregate level, lesser forms of research misbehavior may be more important due to their much higher prevalence. Little is known about what the most frequent research misbehaviors are and what their impact is if they occur.MethodsA survey was conducted among 1353 attendees of international research integrity conferences. They were asked to score 60 research misbehaviors according to their views on and (...) perceptions of the frequency of occurrence, preventability, impact on truth, and impact on trust between scientists on 5-point scales. We expressed the aggregate level impact as the product of frequency scores and truth, trust and preventability scores, respectively. We ranked misbehaviors based on mean scores. Additionally, relevant demographic and professional background information was collected from participants.ResultsResponse was 17% of those who were sent the invitational email and 33% of those who opened it. The rankings suggest that selective reporting, selective citing, and flaws in quality assurance and mentoring are viewed as the major problems of modern research. The “deadly sins” of fabrication and falsification ranked highest on the impact on truth but low to moderate on aggregate level impact on truth, due to their low estimated frequency. Plagiarism is thought to be common but to have little impact on truth although it ranked high on aggregate level impact on trust.ConclusionsWe designed a comprehensive list of 60 major and minor research misbehaviors. Our respondents were much more concerned over sloppy science than about scientific fraud. In the fostering of responsible conduct of research, we recommend to develop interventions that actively discourage the high ranking misbehaviors from our study. (shrink)
This concise and penetrating analysis introduces students to the life and thought of one of the giants of twentieth-century French intellectual life. Portraying Raymond Aron as a great defender of reason, moderation, and political sobriety in an era dominated by ideological fervor and philosophical fashion, Brian Anderson demonstrates the centrality of political reason to Aron's philosophy of history, his critique of ideological thinking, his meditations on the perennial problems of peace and war, and the nature of conservative liberalism.
The standard positive/normative divide fails to capture the way economists use ‘optimal’ taxation models. This paper argues that the better way to understand public economics is through a three-part division between positive, normative, and instrumental models. An instrumental model is about means and ends. Once this additional dimension is acknowledged, one can see that ‘optimal’ taxation models are closely connected to what are generally seen as purely positive models. I argue that economists have been using similar standards to assess ‘optimal’ (...) taxation models as they use to assess positive models. Recent advances in optimal taxation theory have embraced the positive aspects of models, even about social welfare functions, something that is generally classified as a normative. (shrink)
Documenting capacity assessments and identifying substitute decisionmakers in healthcare facilities is ethically required for optimal patient care. Lack of such documentation has the potential to generate confusion and contention among patients, their family members, and members of the healthcare team. An overview of our research at the Ottawa Hospital and issues that influence the consistency of documentation in the Canadian context are presented here, as well as ideas for the mitigation of these issues and ways to encourage better documentation.
ABSTRACT Marcel Gauchet spoke of the “eclipse of the political” during the neo-liberal era, but with the rise of populism he is now forced to speak of a “revenge of the political”. As the eclipse was discussed in terms of a new era of individualization, understood as the culmination of the “disenchantment of the world”, one has a right to ask what is the place of individualization in the era of the political’s revenge, particularly as, in the face of Covid (...) 19, the refusal to wear masks is couched in terms of the defense of individual liberties? In what is an immanent critique of Gauchet’s claims, individualization is considered under four rubrics: abstract individualization vs. concrete socialization; the dilemmas of recognition; rejection of alterity; and the loss of the sense of the social. The paper concludes that the “revenge” should be understood as a revenge of an “anti-political” politics. (shrink)
Social scientists have expended substantial effort to identify group patterns of deviant behavior. Yet beyond the ill-conceived treatment of sexual minorities as inherently deviant, they have rarely considered how gendered sexual identities shape participation in deviance. We argue for the utility of centering theories of gender and sexuality in intersectional deviance research. We demonstrate how this intentional focus on gender and sexuality provides important empirical insights while avoiding past pitfalls of stigmatizing sexual minorities. Drawing on theories of hegemonic masculinity, emphasized (...) femininity, and minority stress together with criminological general strain theory, we demonstrate how societal expectations and constraints generate strains among GSI groups that may lead to distinctly patterned deviance, using the case of prescription drug misuse during sex. We employ thematic analysis of 120 in-depth interviews with people who misuse prescription drugs, stratified by GSI. We identify six themes highlighting distinct pathways from strain to misuse during sex for different GSI groups: intimacy management, achieving sexual freedom, regulating sexual mood, performance confidence, increased sense of control, and managing sexual identity conflict. In this article, we demonstrate the empirical and theoretical importance of centering gender and sexuality in deviance research and provide a roadmap for theoretical integration. (shrink)
A concise open-access textbook intended for an undergraduate audience, which brings together essential selections from Gandhi on nonviolence with supplementary materials, including: a preface; boxes providing examples, historical notes, extended explanations, and related philosophical work; overviews of post-Gandhian developments in nonviolence; diagrams, tables, and photos; discussion questions; reading and viewing suggestions; and a glossary.
Introduction to Philosophy: Epistemology engages first-time philosophy readers on a guided tour through the core concepts, questions, methods, arguments, and theories of epistemology—the branch of philosophy devoted to the study of knowledge. After a brief overview of the field, the book progresses systematically while placing central ideas and thinkers in historical and contemporary context. The chapters cover the analysis of knowledge, the nature of epistemic justification, rationalism vs. empiricism, skepticism, the value of knowledge, the ethics of belief, Bayesian epistemology, social (...) epistemology, and feminist epistemologies. Along the way, instructors and students will encounter a wealth of additional resources and tools: chapter learning outcomes, key terms, images of philosophers and related art, useful diagrams and tables, boxes containing excerpts and other supplementary material, questions for reflection, suggestions for further reading, and a glossary. For an undergraduate survey epistemology course, Introduction to Philosophy: Epistemology is ideal when used as a main text paired with primary sources and scholarly articles. For an introductory philosophy course, select book chapters are best used in combination with chapters from other books in the Introduction to Philosophy open textbook series (edited by Christina Hendricks). (shrink)
The Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SORC) is a validated tool to facilitate promotion of research integrity and research best practices. This work uses the SORC to assess shared and individual perceptions of the research climate in universities and academic departments and relate these perceptions to desirable and undesirable research practices. An anonymous web- and mail-based survey was administered to randomly selected biomedical and social science faculty and postdoctoral fellows in the United States. Respondents reported their perceptions of the research (...) climates at their universities and primary departments, and the frequency with which they engaged in desirable and undesirable research practices. More positive individual perceptions of the research climate in one’s university or department were associated with higher likelihoods of desirable, and lower likelihoods of undesirable, research practices. Shared perceptions of the research climate tended to be similarly predictive of both desirable and undesirable research practices as individuals’ deviations from these shared perceptions. Study results supported the central prediction that more positive SORC-measured perceptions of the research climate were associated with more positive reports of research practices. There were differences with respect to whether shared or individual climate perceptions were related to desirable or undesirable practices but the general pattern of results provide empirical evidence that the SORC is predictive of self-reported research behavior. (shrink)
This article examines Claude Lefort's writings in order to think about the ‘social’, understood as separate from the political, and in its separation, as a strictly modern ‘phenomenon’. Prior to the modern democratic revolution, the collective order was presented through the representation of power, itself identified with both law and knowledge, and referred to a transcendent source. At a first moment, the modern democratic revolution, under the sign of the general will, renders power immanent. At a second moment, it separates (...) power from law and, above all, knowledge, such that three domains emerge, each with its own logic, its own notion of representation, its own divisions. The ‘social’, in a sense, arises between these two moments. At one level, it appears as an event in, and in consequence an object of, knowledge, once knowledge need no longer be, primarily, a knowledge of power or law, that is the enunciation of the principles by which the latter establish the order, coherence and sense of the world. At another level the ‘social’ emerges as a response to the difficulties presented by a strictly political representation of societal order–difficulties in no small part due to the revolutionaries’ inability to countenance the separation between the three domains. In this regard the ‘social’ appears as a presupposition that serves to stabilize an inherently conflictual political order. It is, however, an ‘empty’ presupposition, without determinate content, and therefore also a source of uncertainty. While this emptiness proves a stimulus for the construction of new savoirs, it also accounts for the fragility of all discourses that would speak in its name (social science, social theory, sociology). The article concludes with a few words about the ‘death of the social’. (shrink)
Hans Küng’s influence on the church and its theology in the 20th-century theology has been immense. It has also not been without controversy, from his role at Vatican II to the loss of his teaching licence and his often-combative relationship with Benedict XVI. In 2021 Hans Küng died at the age of 93. This article offers an autoethnographic response to his work experienced over roughly two decades, from my early days as a theology student, struggles with Church authority, to personal (...) illness. Küng’s work provided a reference point for many of the challenges faced in ‘being a Christian’. The first part of the article establishes an autoethnographic methodological approach, leading to the exploration of four key texts from Küng, highlighting their general value while also noting their connection to my own theological journey. By examining Küng’s work in connection with my own life, I hope to make an argument for the continued relevance of his core ideas, while also introducing his life and work more broadly to those unfamiliar with Küng and his contribution.Contribution: This article offers key insights into the theology and relevance of Hans Küng’s work from an autoethnographic perspective. It engages with some of the key texts in Küng’s oeuvre, with the goal of personal and societal changes in mind. It has been written in light of Küng’s recent death in 2021. (shrink)
Tudor historians of Henry VIII's reign strove both to define the great political theological controversies of the day and to shape the future understanding of past events. This essay considers how Roman Catholic accounts of the life and martyrdom of Sir Thomas More, including those by Nicholas Harpsfield and Thomas Stapleton, shaped subsequent Protestant works of fiction, written during the 1590s. The essay explores, in particular, the collaborative play, Sir Thomas More, by Anthony Munday and revised by Shakespeare and others; (...) and Sir John Harington's references to More and Bishop John Fisher in the preface to his translation of Orlando Furioso and his extensive anecdotal remarks about More's scatological witticisms in his satirical tract, The Metamorphosis of Ajax. Such fictional works presage both the hesitant trend towards ecumenism and the imagined reunion of Christendom of the subsequent Jacobean reign, and the later emergence of the transnational secular public sphere, which transpired during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. (shrink)