The Evidence Thesis is the intuitively plausible principle that in order to know that p one must base her belief that p on adequate evidence. Despite the plausibility of this principle, Andrew Moon (2012) has recently argued that the principle is false. Moon’s argument consists of presenting what he takes to be a clear instance of knowledge and arguing that the subject in the case does not have this knowledge on the basis of any evidence. I argue that (...)Moon’s example fails to be a genuine counterexample to the Evidence Thesis. (shrink)
In my paper ‘Three Forms of Internalism and the New Evil Demon Problem,’ I argued that the new evil demon problem, long considered to be one of the biggest obstacles for externalism, is also a problem for virtually all internalists. In (McCain 2014a) and in his recent book (McCain 2014b), Kevin McCain provides a challenging and thought provoking reasons for thinking that many internalists do not have any such problem. In this paper, I’ll provide some replies to McCain. Of (...) note, I’ll show that a Frankfurt-style counterfactual intervener, who commonly appears in the free will literature, can also serve as a new evil demon in the epistemology literature. (shrink)
Kevin McCain’s Evidentialism and Epistemic Justification is the most thorough defense of evidentialism to date. In this work, McCain proposes insightful new theses to fill in underdeveloped parts of evidentialism. One of these new theses is an explanationist account of evidential fit that appeals to dispositional properties. We argue that this explanationist account faces counterexamples, and that, more generally, explanationists should not understand evidential fit in terms of dispositional properties.
The New Evil Demon Problem is often seen as a serious objection to externalist theories of justification. In fact, some internalists think it is a decisive counterexample to externalism. Recently, Moon has argued that internalists face their own New Evil Demon Problem. According to Moon, it is possible for a demon to remove one’s unaccessed mental states while leaving the justificatory status of her accessed mental states unaffected. Since this is contrary to the claims of many forms of (...) internalism, Moon maintains that his New Evil Demon Problem for Internalism shows that internalists face a problem that is just as troubling as the original NEDP. I argue that moderate internalists have nothing to fear from Moon’s demon. (shrink)
We argue that uncomputability and classical scepticism are both re ections of inductive underdetermination, so that Church's thesis and Hume's problem ought to receive equal emphasis in a balanced approach to the philosophy of induction. As an illustration of such an approach, we investigate how uncomputable the predictions of a hypothesis can be if the hypothesis is to be reliably investigated by a computable scienti c method.
Discussion of J. Kevin O’Regan’s “Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell: Understanding the Feel of Consciousness” Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-20 DOI 10.1007/s13164-012-0090-7 Authors J. Kevin O’Regan, Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, CNRS - Université Paris Descartes, Centre Biomédical des Saints Pères, 45 rue des Sts Pères, 75270 Paris cedex 06, France Ned Block, Departments of Philosophy, Psychology and Center for Neural Science, New York University, 5 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, USA Journal Review of (...) Philosophy and Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158. (shrink)
This book is a tribute to Kevin Kelly, who has been one of the most influential British theologians for a number of decades. On its own merits, however, it is groundbreaking collection of essays on key themes, issues and concepts in contemporary moral theology and Christian ethics. The focus is on perspectives to inform moral debate and discernment in the future. The main themes covered are shown in the list of contents below. Several of the of the contributors are (...) from the United States, three others live and work in Continental Europe and the rest are from various parts of the British Isles. Many of the authors are among the best known in their fields on both sides of the Atlantic. (shrink)
Philosophical logicians proposing theories of rational belief revision have had little to say about whether their proposals assist or impede the agent's ability to reliably arrive at the truth as his beliefs change through time. On the other hand, reliability is the central concern of formal learning theory. In this paper we investigate the belief revision theory of Alchourron, Gardenfors and Makinson from a learning theoretic point of view.
This paper explores evolutionary debunking arguments as they arise in metaethics against moral realism and in philosophy of religion against naturalism. Both literatures have independently grappled with the question of which beliefs one may use to respond to a potential defeater. In this paper, I show how the literature on the argument against naturalism can help clarify and bring progress to the literature on moral realism with respect to this question. Of note, it will become clear that the objection that (...) the moral realist begs the question, when appealing to the truth of some of her moral beliefs, is unsuccessful. (shrink)
Discontented people might talk of corruption in the Commons, closeness in the Commons and the necessity of reforming the Commons, said Mr. Spenlow solemnly, in conclusion; but when the price of wheat per bushel had been the highest, the Commons had been the busiest; and a man might lay his hand upon his heart, and say this to the whole world, – ‘Touch the Commons, and down comes the country!’.
In the eyes of many, liberalism requires the aggressive secularization of social institutions, especially public media and public schools. The unfortunate result is that many Americans have become alienated from the liberal tradition because they believe it threatens their most sacred forms of life. This was not always the case: in American history, the relation between liberalism and religion has often been one of mutual respect and support. In Liberal Politics and Public Faith: Beyond Separation , Kevin Vallier attempts (...) to reestablish mutual respect by developing a liberal political theory that avoids the standard liberal hostility to religious voices in public life. He claims that the dominant form of academic liberalism, public reason liberalism, is far friendlier to religious influences in public life than either its proponents or detractors suppose. The best interpretation of public reason, convergence liberalism, rejects the much-derided "privatization" of religious belief, instead viewing religious contributions to politics as a resource for liberal political institutions. Many books reject privatization, Liberal Politics and Public Faith: Beyond Separation is unique in doing so on liberal grounds. (shrink)
In developing a new theory of political and moral community, J. Donald Moon takes questions of cultural pluralism and difference more seriously than do many other liberal thinkers of our era: Moon is willing to confront the problem of how ...
Evidentialism is a popular theory of epistemic justification, yet, as early proponents of the theory Earl Conee and Richard Feldman admit, there are many elements that must be developed before Evidentialism can provide a full account of epistemic justification, or well-founded belief. It is the aim of this book to provide the details that are lacking; here McCain moves past Evidentialism as a mere schema by putting forward and defending a full-fledged theory of epistemic justification. In this book McCain offers (...) novel approaches to several elements of well-founded belief. Key among these are an original account of what it takes to have information as evidence, an account of epistemic support in terms of explanation, and a causal account of the basing relation that is far superior to previous accounts. The result is a fully developed Evidentialist account of well-founded belief. (shrink)
Neuroeconomics is the newest of the economic sciences with a focus on how the embodied human brain interacts with its institutional and social environment to make economic decisions. This paper presents an overview of neuroeconomics methods and reviews a number of results in this emerging field of study.
First published in 2001, Causality in Macroeconomics addresses the long-standing problems of causality while taking macroeconomics seriously. The practical concerns of the macroeconomist and abstract concerns of the philosopher inform each other. Grounded in pragmatic realism, the book rejects the popular idea that macroeconomics requires microfoundations, and argues that the macroeconomy is a set of structures that are best analyzed causally. Ideas originally due to Herbert Simon and the Cowles Commission are refined and generalized to non-linear systems, particularly to the (...) non-linear systems with cross-equation restrictions that are ubiquitous in modern macroeconomic models with rational expectations. These ideas help to clarify philosophical as well as economic issues. The structural approach to causality is then used to evaluate more familiar approaches to causality due to Granger, LeRoy and Glymour, Spirtes, Scheines and Kelly, as well as vector autoregressions, the Lucas critique, and the exogeneity concepts of Engle, Hendry and Richard. (shrink)
The Twin Earth thought experiment invites us to consider a liquid that has all of the superficial properties associated with water (clear, potable, etc.) but has entirely different deeper causal properties (composed of “XYZ” rather than of H2O). Debates about natural kind concepts have sought to accommodate an apparent fact about ordinary people's judgments: Intuitively, the Twin Earth liquid is not water. We present results showing that people do not have this intuition. Instead, people tend to judge that there is (...) a sense in which the liquid is not water but also a sense in which it is water. (shrink)
Kevin Scharp proposes an original theory of the nature and logic of truth on which truth is an inconsistent concept that should be replaced for certain theoretical purposes. He argues that truth is best understood as an inconsistent concept, and proposes a detailed theory of inconsistent concepts that can be applied to the case of truth. Truth also happens to be a useful concept, but its inconsistency inhibits its utility; as such, it should be replaced with consistent concepts that (...) can do truth's job without giving rise to paradoxes. To this end, Scharp offers a pair of replacements, which he dubs ascending truth and descending truth, along with an axiomatic theory of them and a new kind of possible-worlds semantics for this theory. He goes to develop Davidson's idea that truth is best understood as the core of a measurement system for rational phenomena, and offers a semantic theory that treats truth predicates as assessment-sensitive and solves the problems posed by the liar and other paradoxes. (shrink)
In this paper, I present and defend a novel account of doubt. In Part 1, I make some preliminary observations about the nature of doubt. In Part 2, I introduce a new puzzle about the relationship between three psychological states: doubt, belief, and confidence. I present this puzzle because my account of doubt emerges as a possible solution to it. Lastly, in Part 3, I elaborate on and defend my account of doubt. Roughly, one has doubt if and only if (...) one believes one might be wrong; I argue that this is superior to the account that says that one has doubt if and only if one has less than the highest degree of confidence. (shrink)
We argue that the analysis of cognitive attitudes should play a central role in developing more sophisticated accounts of the proper roles for values in science. First, we show that the major recent efforts to delineate appropriate roles for values in science would be strengthened by making clearer distinctions among cognitive attitudes. Next, we turn to a specific example and argue that a more careful account of the distinction between the attitudes of belief and acceptance can contribute to a better (...) understanding of the proper roles for values in a case study from paleoanthropology. (shrink)
Philosophers commonly say that beliefs come in degrees. Drawing from the literature, I make precise three arguments for this claim: an argument from degrees of confidence, an argument from degrees of firmness, and an argument from natural language. I show that they all fail. I also advance three arguments that beliefs do not come in degrees: an argument from natural language, an argument from intuition, and an argument from the metaphysics of degrees. On the basis of these arguments, I conclude (...) that beliefs do not come in degrees. (shrink)
This book asks whether evolution can help us to understand human behaviour and explores diverse evolutionary methods and arguments. It provides a short, readable introduction to the science behind the works of Dawkins, Dennett, Wilson and Pinker. It is widely used in undergraduate courses around the world.
J. S. Mill's role as a transitional figure between classical and egalitarian liberalism can be partly explained by developments in his often unappreciated economic views. Specifically, I argue that Mill's separation of economic production and distribution had an important effect on his political theory. Mill made two distinctions between economic production and the distribution of wealth. I argue that these separations helped lead Mill to abandon the wages-fund doctrine and adopt a more favorable view of organized labor. I also show (...) how Mill's developments impacted later philosophers, economists, and historians. Understanding the relationship between Mill's political theory and economic theory does not only matter for Mill scholarship, however. Contemporary philosophers often ignore the economic views of their predecessors. I argue that paying insufficient attention to historical political philosophers' economic ideas obscures significant motivations for their political views. (shrink)
Recent work has argued that belief is weak: the level of rational credence required for belief is relatively low. That literature has contrasted belief with assertion, arguing that the latter requires an epistemic state much stronger than (weak) belief—perhaps knowledge or even certainty. We argue that this is wrong: assertion is just as weak as belief. We first present a variety of new arguments for this claim, and then show that the standard arguments for stronger norms are not convincing. Finally, (...) we sketch an alternative picture on which the fundamental norm of assertion is to say what you believe, but both belief and assertion are weak. To help make sense of this, we propose that both belief and assertion involve navigating a tradeoff between accuracy and informativity: it can makes sense to believe or say something you only have weak evidence for, so long as it’s sufficiently informative. (shrink)
Disorder and suffering are increasing significantly in our society. Violent crime, unemployment, escape through drug-taking are all on the increase. It is apparent, also, that much of this disorder and suffering, and the anxiety it fosters, is rooted in science and its technological off-spring. The un-employment produced by a micro-technology is only one small example. It is also apparent that one of the principal foundation stones for the scientific enterprise was Christianity.
The latest attempt by a determined, well-resourced lobby to introduce a law to permit assisted suicide/euthanasia in the UK was announced 15 May 2013 in the House of Lords. There are many dangerous facets to their arguments, not least of which is the rôle they cast for doctors in this debate. Rush Rhees' remarks on the topic display a depth that is lacking in the current debate in the public square, which needs to be lifted from its current low level. (...) I try to show inter alia why the question of who is ‘qualified to speak’ in this deep moral dilemma is important ; why resistance is vital against a law, which must be general, permitting assisted suicide/euthanasia ; how one group of people judging another group of people as candidates for elimination, is based on the false notion that a disabled life is ‘not worth living’; that so many of the deep moral questions raised by assisted suicide/euthanasia are not even considered in the contemporary impoverished public debate. (shrink)
Gordon Kaufman is a theologian who wrestles with essential theological issues. In a recent amplification of his position, An Essay on Theological Method , 1 he makes an honest attempt to describe the method by which a self-critical theologian might work. This paper sets out a critique of the method Kaufman proposes and from that delineates a path which theologians might choose to follow.
Explaining the connection, if any, between simplicity and truth is among the deepest problems facing the philosophy of science, statistics, and machine learning. Say that an efficient truth finding method minimizes worst case costs en route to converging to the true answer to a theory choice problem. Let the costs considered include the number of times a false answer is selected, the number of times opinion is reversed, and the times at which the reversals occur. It is demonstrated that (1) (...) always choosing the simplest theory compatible with experience, and (2) hanging onto it while it remains simplest, is both necessary and sufficient for efficiency. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon University, Baker Hall 135, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890; e-mail: [email protected] (shrink)
Natural theology's name can be misleading, for it sounds like what is being done is a kind of theology, not philosophy. But natural theology is better understood to be primarily philosophical rather than theological for it is, most generally, the ...
English summary: This volume reflects on the importance of two Austrian philosophers, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Edmund Husserl, and the Austro-German philosophy they inspired. French text. French description: La philosophie contemporaine doit beaucoup à deux philosophes autrichiens--Edmund Husserl et Ludwig Wittgenstein. Les problèmes philosophiques que ce dernier a mis au centre de la philosophie analytique sont souvent des problèmes nouveaux par rapport aux questions soulevées par les pères de cette tradition, Frege, Moore, Russell et Ramsey. Ils étaient pourtant au centre des (...) traditions, autrichiennes puis austro-allemandes, qui remontent à Bolzano et à Brentano : la psychologie descriptive des élèves de Brentano, la phénoménologie de Husserl et de ses premiers élèves et les différentes écoles de la psychologie de la Gestalt. Ces problèmes appartiennent à la philosophie de l'esprit et du langage : qu'est-ce que vouloir dire quelque chose, vouloir, vouloir faire, éprouver, compter sur une certitude primitive? Y-a-t-il des objets psychologiques ou mentaux privés? « Je » désignet- il? Quel rapport y a-t-il entre le non-sens, la signification et les règles? Entre les règles et les signaux qui nous guident et les symboles qui représentent? Les mentalismes, platonismes et essentialismes qui caractérisent souvent la philosophie austro-allemande tranchent avec le rejet systématique de tels « ismes » chez Wittgenstein. Il est cependant manifeste que ce dernier, comme ses prédécesseurs et contemporains austro-allemands, met la description de l'esprit et du langage au coeur de ses réflexions. D'où la question à laquelle répond cet ouvrage : les descriptions de Wittgenstein sont-elles meilleures que celles données par les héritiers de Bolzano et de Brentano? (shrink)
There is growing interest in understanding and eliciting division of labor within groups of scientists. This paper illustrates the need for this division of labor through a historical example, and a formal model is presented to better analyze situations of this type. Analysis of this model reveals that a division of labor can be maintained in two different ways: by limiting information or by endowing the scientists with extreme beliefs. If both features are present however, cognitive diversity is maintained indefinitely, (...) and as a result agents fail to converge to the truth. Beyond the mechanisms for creating diversity suggested here, this shows that the real epistemic goal is not diversity but transient diversity. (shrink)
A familiar puzzle about self-deception concerns how self-deception is possible in light of the paradoxes generated by a plausible way of defining it. A less familiar puzzle concerns how a certain type of self-deception—being self-deceived about one's own intentional mental state—is possible in light of a plausible way of understanding the nature of self-knowledge. According to this understanding, we ordinarily do not infer our mental states from evidence, but then it's puzzling how this sort of self-deception could occur given that (...) self-deception arises from the mistreatment of evidence. This article argues that to accommodate this kind of self-deception we should accept that sometimes ordinary self-knowledge is inferential, but that this idea needn’t be so unappealing. In particular, by showing that such inferential self-knowledge can be both ‘transparent’ and ‘direct’, the article argues that it need not imply having an abnormal, ‘alienated’ relation to the mental state. (shrink)
_Philosophy and the Study of Religions: A Manifesto_ advocates a radical transformation of the discipline from its current, narrow focus on questions of God, to a fully global form of critical reflection on religions in all their variety and dimensions. Opens the discipline of philosophy of religion to the religious diversity that characterizes the world today Builds bridges between philosophy of religion and the other interpretative and explanatory approaches in the field of religious studies Provides a manifesto for a global (...) approach to the subject that is a practice-centred rather than a belief-centred activity Gives attention to reflexive critical studies of 'religion' as socially constructed and historically located. (shrink)
'if AI is outside your field, or you know something of the subject and would like to know more then Artificial Intelligence: The Basics is a brilliant primer.' - Nick Smith, Engineering and Technology Magazine November 2011 Artificial Intelligence: The Basics is a concise and cutting-edge introduction to the fast moving world of AI. The author Kevin Warwick, a pioneer in the field, examines issues of what it means to be man or machine and looks at advances in robotics (...) which have blurred the boundaries. Topics covered include: how intelligence can be defined whether machines can 'think' sensory input in machine systems the nature of consciousness the controversial culturing of human neurons. Exploring issues at the heart of the subject, this book is suitable for anyone interested in AI, and provides an illuminating and accessible introduction to this fascinating subject. (shrink)
This book is presumably a collection of essays delivered at a conference, though it's hard to say. There is no cover description and the editors' introduction, where this information might have been found, is missing from the volume (at least from my copy) in spite of being listed in the table of contents. A curious editorial slip. In fact, from an editorial perspective this book is a disaster. Not only is the format reminiscent of those camera ready volumes that jammed (...) our libraries in the late Eighties, when word processors began to spread and people started using them to produce entire books without knowing how to handle line spacing and hyphenation -- not to mention orphans and widows, footnotes, tabs, apostrophes, etc. There are also lots of typos, English infelicities, punctuation disorders. Obviously nobody checked the page proofs. There are even formulas that were not properly converted from the original files and have been printed with the infamous boxes in place of the logical symbols. Publishing academic books in analytic philosophy is becoming increasingly difficult and not every publisher can afford serious copy editing. But charging 74 euros for such a poorly manufactured item is appalling. (shrink)
Matthew McGrath has recently challenged all theories that allow for immediate perceptual justification. This challenge comes by way of arguing for what he calls the “Looks View” of visual justification, which entails that our visual beliefs that are allegedly immediately justified are in fact mediately justified based on our independent beliefs about the looks of things. This paper shows that McGrath’s arguments are unsound or, at the very least, that they do not cause genuine concern for the species of dogmatism (...) called “Phenomenal Explanationism”, recently introduced and defended by Kevin McCain and Luca Moretti. (shrink)
Kevin M. Graham argues that political philosophy cannot fully understand race-related injustice without shifting its focus away from distributive inequities between whites and nonwhites and toward white supremacy, the unfair power relationships that allow whites to dominate and oppress nonwhites. Graham's analysis of the racial politics of police violence and public education in Omaha, Nebraska, vividly illustrates why the pursuit of racial justice in the United States must move beyond redistribution.
Although short, Espen Dahl has written a book that truly delivers on its title: it clearly, concisely, and powerfully shows Cavell’s frequent and deep links to and engagements with religion and religious themes and with Continental philosophy. While both of these strands have been explored piecemeal by scholars, Dahl’s innovation consists in the detail with which he can engage these themes and the position he is able to carve out. That position is one that sees Cavell’s thought “as essentially (...) open to theology or religion more generally” . Dahl is the first—as far I know—to extensively pursue all of Cavell’s major themes in this context. This is quite an accomplishment, and something for which he ought to be commended. Dahl has also written a highly accessible book on Cavell, and yet one which in no way “waters down” or dilutes Cavell’s thinking. There ought to be more books of this kind on .. (shrink)
Some fundamental aspects of the lived body only become evident when it breaks down through illness, weakness or pain. From a phenomenological point of view, various breakdowns are worth analyzing for their own sake, and discussing them also opens up overlooked dimensions of our bodily constitution. This book brings together different approaches that shed light on the phenomenology of the lived body—its normality and abnormality, health and sickness, its activity as well as its passivity. The contributors integrate phenomenological insights with (...) discussions about bodily brokenness in philosophy, theology, medical science and literary theory. Phenomenology of the Broken Body demonstrates how the broken body sheds fresh light on the nuances of embodied experience in ordinary life and ultimately questions phenomenology’s preunderstanding of the body. (shrink)