In the remainder of this article, we will disarm an important motivation for epistemic contextualism and interest-relative invariantism. We will accomplish this by presenting a stringent test of whether there is a stakes effect on ordinary knowledge ascription. Having shown that, even on a stringent way of testing, stakes fail to impact ordinary knowledge ascription, we will conclude that we should take another look at classical invariantism. Here is how we will proceed. Section 1 lays out some limitations of previous (...) research on stakes. Section 2 presents our study and concludes that there is little evidence for a substantial stakes effect. Section 3 responds to objections. The conclusion clears the way for classical invariantism. (shrink)
ABSTRACTEcumenical Alethic Pluralism is a novel kind of alethic pluralism. It is ecumenical in that it widens the scope of alethic pluralism by allowing for a normatively deflated truth property alongside a variety of normatively robust truth properties. We establish EAP by showing how Wright’s Inflationary Arguments fail in the domain of taste, once a relativist treatment of the metaphysics and epistemology of that domain is endorsed. EAP is highly significant to current debates on the nature of truth insofar as (...) it involves a reconfiguration of the dialectic between deflationists and pluralists. (shrink)
Philosophers have long debated whether, if determinism is true, we should hold people morally responsible for their actions since in a deterministic universe, people are arguably not the ultimate source of their actions nor could they have done otherwise if initial conditions and the laws of nature are held fixed. To reveal how non-philosophers ordinarily reason about the conditions for free will, we conducted a cross-cultural and cross-linguistic survey (N = 5,268) spanning twenty countries and sixteen languages. Overall, participants tended (...) to ascribe moral responsibility whether the perpetrator lacked sourcehood or alternate possibilities. However, for American, European, and Middle Eastern participants, being the ultimate source of one’s actions promoted perceptions of free will and control as well as ascriptions of blame and punishment. By contrast, being the source of one’s actions was not particularly salient to Asian participants. Finally, across cultures, participants exhibiting greater cognitive reflection were more likely to view free will as incompatible with causal determinism. We discuss these findings in light of documented cultural differences in the tendency toward dispositional versus situational attributions. (shrink)
This article examines whether people share the Gettier intuition (viz. that someone who has a true justified belief that p may nonetheless fail to know that p) in 24 sites, located in 23 countries (counting Hong Kong as a distinct country) and across 17 languages. We also consider the possible influence of gender and personality on this intuition with a very large sample size. Finally, we examine whether the Gettier intuition varies across people as a function of their disposition to (...) engage in “reflective” thinking. (shrink)
Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all since the case has an obvious solution. To assess these proposals, we conducted a cross-cultural study involving nearly 3,000 people across twenty-two countries, speaking eighteen (...) different languages. Our results speak against the proposal that there is no puzzle at all and against the proposal that there is a puzzle but one that has no solution. Our results suggest that there are two criteria—“continuity of form” and “continuity of matter”— that constitute our concept of persistence and these two criteria receive different weightings in settling matters concerning persistence. (shrink)
Since at least Hume and Kant, philosophers working on the nature of aesthetic judgment have generally agreed that common sense does not treat aesthetic judgments in the same way as typical expressions of subjective preferences—rather, it endows them with intersubjective validity, the property of being right or wrong regardless of disagreement. Moreover, this apparent intersubjective validity has been taken to constitute one of the main explananda for philosophical accounts of aesthetic judgment. But is it really the case that most people (...) spontaneously treat aesthetic judgments as having intersubjective validity? In this paper, we report the results of a cross‐cultural study with over 2,000 respondents spanning 19 countries. Despite significant geographical variations, these results suggest that most people do not treat their own aesthetic judgments as having intersubjective validity. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for theories of aesthetic judgment and the purpose of aesthetics in general. (shrink)
In Truth and Objectivity, Crispin Wright argues that because truth is a distinctively normative property, it cannot be as metaphysically insubstantive as deflationists claim.1 This argument has been taken, together with the scope problem,2 as one of the main motivations for alethic pluralism.3 We offer a reconstruction of Wright’s Inflationary Argument (henceforth IA) aimed at highlighting what are the steps required to establish its inflationary conclusion. We argue that if a certain metaphysical and epistemological view of a given subject matter (...) is accepted, a local counterexample to IA can be constructed. We focus on the domain of basic taste and we develop two variants of a subjectivist and relativist metaphysics and epistemology that seems palatable in that domain. Although we undertake no commitment to this being the right metaphysical cum epistemological package for basic taste, we contend that if the metaphysics and the epistemology of basic taste are understood along these lines, they call for a truth property whose nature is not distinctively normative—contra what IA predicts. This result shows that the success of IA requires certain substantial metaphysical and epistemological principles and that, consequently, a proper assessment of IA cannot avoid taking a stance on the metaphysics and the epistemology of the domain where it is claimed to be successful. Although we conjecture that IA might succeed in other domains, in this paper we don’t take a stand on this issue. We conclude by briefly discussing the significance of this result for the debate on alethic pluralism. (shrink)
In Truth and Objectivity, Crispin Wright argues that because truth is a distinctively normative property, it cannot be as metaphysically insubstantive as deflationists claim. We offer a reconstruction of Wright’s Inflationary Argument that highlights the steps required to establish its inflationary conclusion. We argue that if a certain metaphysical and epistemological view of a given subject matter is accepted, a local counterexample to the Inflationary Argument can be constructed. As a case study we focus on the domain of basic taste. (...) We develop two variants of a subjectivist and relativist metaphysics and epistemology that seem palatable in that domain and we show that the Inflationary Argument doesn’t go through in the domain of basic taste thus construed. We conclude by briefly discussing the significance of this result for the debate on alethic pluralism. (shrink)
Vagueness is a familiar but deeply puzzling aspect of the relation between language and the world. It is highly controversial what the nature of vagueness is -- a feature of the way we represent reality in language, or rather a feature of reality itself? May even relations like identity or parthood be affected by vagueness? Sorites arguments suggest that vague terms are either inconsistent or have a sharp boundary. The account we give of such paradoxes plays a pivotal role for (...) our understanding of natural languages. If our reasoning involves any vague concepts, is it safe from contradiction? Do vague concepts really lack any sharp boundary? If not, why are we reluctant to accept the existence of any sharp boundary for them? And what rules of inference can we validly apply, if we reason in vague terms? Cuts and Clouds presents the latest work towards a clearer understanding of these old puzzles about the nature and logic of vagueness. The collection offers a stimulating series of original essays on these and related issues by some of the world's leading experts. (shrink)
According to the form of logical pluralism elaborated by Beall and Restall there is more than one relation of logical consequence. Since they take the relation of logical consequence to reside at the very heart of a logical system, different relations of logical consequence yield different logics. In this paper, we are especially interested in understanding what are the consequences of endorsing Beall and Restall’s version of logical pluralism vis-à-vis the normative guidance that logic is taken to provide to reasoners. (...) In particular, the aim of this paper is threefold. First, in Sections 2 and 3, we offer an exegesis of Beall and Restall’s logical pluralism as a thesis of semantic indeterminacy of our concept of logical consequence – i.e. understood as indeterminacy logical pluralism. Second, in Sections 4 and 5, we elaborate and critically scrutinize three models of semantic indeterminacy that we think are fit to capture Beall and Restall’s indeterminacy logical pluralism. Third, in Section 6, following Beall and Restall’s assumption that the notion of logical consequence has normative significance for deductive reasoning, we raise a series of normative problems for indeterminacy logical pluralism. The overall conclusion that we aim to establish is that Beall and Restall’s indeterminate logical pluralism cannot offer an adequate account of the normative guidance that logic is taken to provide us with in ordinary contexts of reasoning. (shrink)
In this paper, I offer a pluralistic framework for disagreement and I develop a strategy to account for the varieties of disagreement on the basis of the varieties of the truth across different domains of discourse. Truth-pluralism is thus sufficient for delivering pluralism about disagreement—that is, diaphonic pluralism.
In this book, we interpret post-truth as a multifaceted phenomenon which involves fake news, emotion-driven rhetoric (vs fact-driven discussion), credulism in the social-media, conspiracy theories and scientific denialism. We develop three models intended to represent the multifaceted nature of post-truth in terms of deviated forms of enquiry – which we label “post-enquiries”. The first form of post-enquiry posits the existence of alternative facts; the second prioritizes emotions over facts; the third limits the scope of the norms of enquiry. We elaborate (...) on the third model in relation to scientific denialism and we apply it to analyse the case of flat-earthism. (shrink)
In the paper we argue that truth-relativism is potentially hostage to a problem of exhibiting witnesses of its own truth. The problem for the relativist stems from acceptance of a trumping principle according to which there is a dependency between ascriptions of truth of an utterance and ascriptions of truth to other ascriptions of truth of that utterance. We argue that such a dependency indeed holds in the case of future contingents and the case of epistemic modals and that, consequently, (...) the relativist about these domains cannot exhibit witnesses to his relativism. In the appendix we provide some results on the relation between trumping and multi-order relativism. (shrink)
This opening piece of the special issue ‘Perspectives on Post-Truth’ aims to accomplish three tasks. First, and foremost, it highlights the issue’s distinctive feature, namely its variegated approach to post-truth. The leading idea in assembling it has been to draw on different methodologies, theoretical approaches, and competences, in order to gain a fine-grained understanding of the post-truth condition and to develop an effective toolkit to address the most pressing challenges it poses to our societies. The underlying conviction is that a (...) variegated approach is required by the multifaceted nature of the post-truth condition. The curious reader willing to venture through the issue will thus be exposed to different perspectives on post-truth: some pieces address it from a traditional epistemological perspective, others explore post-truth from the perspective of social epistemology, and still others adopt a semiotic perspective. In light of this multiplicity of perspectives, the second task of this piece has been to provide a brief thematic overview of the key issues and perspectives in order to illustrate the overall narrative of the project. The third and final task has been to give a detailed synopsis of each contribution so that the reader will know precisely what to expect from it. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate whether and to what extent scientists (e.g. inquirers such as epidemiologists or virologists) can have rational and fruitful disagreement with what we call post-enquirers (e.g. conspiratorial anti-vaxxers) on topics of scientific relevance such as the safety and efficacy of vaccines. In order to accomplish this aim, we will rely and expand on the epistemological framework developed in detail in Ferrari & Moruzzi (2021) to study the underlying normative profile of enquiry and post-enquiry. We take it (...) that our analysis provides an effective explanation of why standard argumentative strategies such as fact-checking and debunking cannot work in the context of disagreement between scientists and denialists unless they are coupled with a discussion of the values that are endorsed by the scientific community. (shrink)
This Introduction to the special issue on “Skepticism and Justification” provides a background to the nine articles collected here and a detailed summary of each, which highlights their interconnections and relevance to the debate at the heart of the issue.
The volume honours Eva Picardi – her philosophical views and interests, as well as her teaching – collecting eighteen essays, some by former students of hers, some by colleagues with whom she discussed and interacted. The themes of the volume encompass topics ranging from foundational and historical issues in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of logic and mathematics, as well as issues related to the recent debates on rationality, naturalism and the contextual aspects of meaning. The volume is (...) split into three sections: one on Gottlob Frege’s work – in philosophy of language and logic –, taking into account also its historical dimension; one on Donald’s Davidson’s work; and one on the contextualism-literalism dispute about meaning and on naturalist research programmes such as Chomsky’s. (shrink)
Disagreement plays an important role in several philosophical debates, with intuitions about ordinary or exotic cases of agreement and disagreement being invoked to support or undermine competing semantic, epistemological and metaphysical views. In this paper we discuss cases of interworld doxastic disagreement, that is to say, cases of doxastic disagreement supposedly obtaining between individuals inhabiting different possible worlds, in particular between an individual inhabiting the actual world and his/her counterpart in another possible world. We draw a distinction between propositional and (...) attitudinal disagreement, bring it to bear on the issue of the conditions of this kind of disagreement, and raise some metaphysical and epistemological worries about the claim that an individual inhabiting the actual world can disagree with an attitude or a speech act of his/her own counterpart, or of another individual, in a different possible world. (shrink)
The main thesis of this paper is that science denialism brings about an aberrant form of enquiry in which the epistemic norms governing scientific enquiry are deviated in significant ways. Science denialism doesn’t involve just a rejection of a scientific theory; it also deeply challenges the practice, common within scientific enquiry, of continuously and, to a certain extent, impartially testing research methods, theories, and evidential sources with the aim of improving the accuracy of our theories. We will offer an in-depth (...) analysis of the epistemic mechanisms underpinning the normative aberration brought about by science denialism. More specifically, we will develop a fine-grained framework to model a variety of normative deviances that may take place in enquiry. By analysing two case studies, we will argue that fake news contributes significantly to shape the epistemic norms operating within science denialism. They in fact play two pivotal roles: first, they are used to cast discredit on a variety of (institutional) sources of evidence in relation to a certain set of phenomena (e.g. whether vaccines are safe for our health); second, they also play a part in building the alternative explanation of the targeted phenomena. (shrink)
In this chapter I develop a version of Evans’ challenge for MacFarlane’s assessment-sensitive relativism. The argument is meant to show that, contrary to MacFarlane’s intentions, the correctness of an assertion is a relative matter if the area of discourse has an assessment-sensitive semantics. Thus MacFarlane’s truth-relativism is an inherently unstable doctrine for it is unclear how we should behave in order to achieve the goal of an assertion.
In this paper I argue against John MacFarlane’s radical relativist semantics. By developing an argument of Ross & Schroeder I claim that belief in this relativist theory is incompatible with being a rational agent that acts in accordance with the norms of assertion and retraction. My conclusion is therefore that MacFarlane's semantics is committed to postulating that competent speakers are ignorant of the very theory that provides a – putative – correct account of their linguistic behaviour.