Niceties aside, Reliabilism is the claim that a belief is justified or rational if and only if it has a reliable source. One way to arrive at a belief is by inferring it from others through the application of a rule of inference. Hence Reliabilism has the consequence that a belief arrived at by applying a given rule of inference is rational if and only if arriving at that belief by applying the rule is reliable. This consequence of Reliabilism I (...) will call the Reliabilist’s Thesis. (shrink)
Adherents of the epistemological position called internalism typically believe that the view they oppose, called externalism, is such a new and radical departure from the established way of seeing knowledge that its implications are uninteresting. Perhaps itis relatively novel, but the approach to knowledge with the greatest antiquity is the one that equates it withcertainty, and while this conception is amenable to the demands of the internalist, it is also a non-starter in the opinion of almost all contemporary epistemologists since (...) obviously it directly implies that we know nothing about the world. Perhaps skepticism is correct, but there are conceptions of knowledge at least as plausible as the certainty equation that do not obviously land us there. It is its promise along these lines that makes the so-called traditional conception of knowledge initially interesting. But contrary to popular belief, the traditional conception cannot be claimed by internalists if it is to have any chance at all in avoiding skepticism; to avoid skepticism, I shall argue, it has to have an externalist element.Moreover, each of the departures from the traditional view that appears in the Gettier literature is externalist as well, or at least all of the ones of which I am aware. The only genuine forms of internalism are those held by philosophers who draw a fairly sharp line between knowledge and justified belief, ignore the former, then offer an internalist account of the latter. This approach is very common and very plausible. But it is not as useful as is often thought; in particular, I shall suggest, it must succumb to a form of skepticism. (shrink)
Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better if we were immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Life, Death, and Meaning brings together key readings, primarily by English-speaking philosophers, on such 'big questions.'.
When the topic of international justice did arise, discussion rarely got beyond recommendations about how nations could avoid war, as well as suggestions about when a declaration of war was morally justifiable and what sorts of methods might be used in the course of a justifiable war the topics of so-called just-war theory. Such is no longer the case.To be sure, just-war theory is reaching greater states of sophistication,much of it focused around Michael Walzer's book Just and Unjust Wars.Excerpts from (...) Walzer's book appear here, in Part Two, along with a set of newly written chapters that deal with issues arising from the use of violence among nations. The topics of these chapters are foreign interventionism and states' rights, deterrence and the threat of nuclear reprisal, and terrorism.But issues of international justice other than just-war theory have been discussed by an an ever-increasing group of twentieth-century scholars. These issues deal with what might be called distributive justice, which concerns the distribution of the world's natural resources and the goods produced by laborers across the world, as well as the duties,rights, and liberties possessed by individuals. How such items ought to be distributed within nation-states has been discussed extensively by social and political philosophers. Only in recent years has any attention been paid to the proper distribution of goods internationally. The chapters in Part One all do so. With one exception, all of these chapters are written for this volume. The exception is an excerpt from Charles Beitz's book PoliticalTheory and International Relations, Part Three of which is reproduced here almost in its entirety. The other chapters in this part are devoted to the topics of justice and the distribution of the world's resources, the obligation to assist the needy, the responsibilities of international corporations, and justice and the global environment. (shrink)
Justice entitles everyone in the world, including future generations, to an equitable share of the benefits of the world's natural resources. I argue that even though both Rawls and his libertarian critics seem hostile to it, this resource equity principle, suitably clarified, is a major part of an adequate strict compliance theory of global justice whether or not we take a libertarian or a Rawlsian approach. I offer a defence of the resource equity principle from both points of view.