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PDF Introduction to Philosophy: Epistemology

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The book's editors, each with expertise in the area of ​​the book they edited, did the bulk of the work for the books. Finally, after the books are published, myself and the book editors will work to spread the word about them and encourage adoption.

Trace the development of epistemology as it gradually expanded beyond its traditional boundaries through several major "twists" or shifts, each establishing an important new branch of the field. Barnett addresses the what-is-it question, beginning with Plato's view that knowledge is a "justified, true belief" (to put it in modern standard terms).

I borrow the suggestion of a “value turn” in epistemology from Riggs (2008), which I extend here to other significant developments in epistemology. In what way is the shift from the traditional to the expanded definition of epistemology "subtle".



Still others began to use "justification" so that it is by definition a requirement for knowledge—anything that distinguishes true belief from knowledge (making it equivalent to warranted). The Raft and the Pyramid: Coherence versus Foundations in the Theory of Knowledge. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5: 3–25.

Figure 1 – The Traditional Analysis
Figure 1 – The Traditional Analysis


Externalists say that their theories are well suited to account for the truth that guides the justification (ie, the connection that the justification is supposed to provide between a person and their belief that a proposition is true). For reliable processes, then, whether a person's belief is justified depends on contingent factors external to the person's mind.

Figure 1 – The Foundational Structure of Beliefs
Figure 1 – The Foundational Structure of Beliefs


Rationalists admire the certainty and clarity of knowledge provided by reasoning and argue that this method should also be used to gain knowledge about the world. The evidence of the senses should be in accordance with the truths of reason, but it is not a prerequisite for the acquisition of these truths. The next question is whether a posteriori knowledge alone gives us adequate knowledge of the world.

A weakness of the empiricist's tabula rasa theory can be exposed if we can show that not all our ideas are derived from corresponding impressions. 4 Because intuition is separate from the evidence of the senses, the truths it unfolds may be known a priori. Kant speaks of factual synthetic truths: the predicate term is neither contained in nor the meaning of the subject term.

Use as many terms as possible from the glossary below (but feel free to use any other terms that appear in the chapter, especially those in bold). Rules for the direction of the mind.” In The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, translated by John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, and Dugald Murdoch, 7–77.


They are, philosophically speaking, external objects, objects that exist in the external world (the world outside our mind). Box 2 in Chapter 1 presents a skeptical challenge motivated by the “lottery problem”. The second chapter discusses two reasons for skepticism about epistemic justification (the view that we lack justification in some important area) – the first is based on René Descartes' “evil demon hypothesis”; the second is based on. Looking at the baby elephant standing next to the dog, Amy can say, "The baby elephant is big."

But if she were to say "The baby elephant is big" again while standing next to an adult elephant, she would be wrong. If Amy is at the zoo and her friend says, "The baby elephant is small," pointing to both the baby and adult elephants, her friend is saying something true. Once the friend shifts the focus of the conversation to the adult elephant, it would be stupid of Amy to say again, "The baby elephant is big."

The conversation has changed what it takes to count the sentence "Elephant dad is big". as true, and given the difference, later claims that "The baby elephant is big" will be false, even though such earlier claims were true. In that case, we can rightly ignore the possibility that our city and the rest of the outside world are merely the figment of a long, perfectly coherent dream.



3 Although Pritchard (2014) defends reliabilism and T-monism, he makes the useful methodological point that writers on both sides of the debate are sometimes guilty of confusing “epistemic value” (associated with truth or other epistemic goals) with “ the value of the epistemic" (the instrumental value of having true beliefs, knowledge, or understanding for realizing our moral or practical ends). Pritchard (2014) finds a crucial ambiguity in the use of the term "epistemic value." He believes that it should be limited to. 9 Differences in these issues help to explain why debate about the ethics of belief often involves competing models of the relationship between epistemic, ethical and pragmatic value.

The view also values ​​the holistic and trait-dependent reasoning associated with our deepest or "worldview" beliefs - the many different types of evidence and the many contextual factors, including upbringing or early educational influences. This leads directly to our next topic, but the ethics of faith remains a subject of lively debate, so I conclude our discussion of it with a table describing the main issues and arguments between Cliffordian moral evidence and proponents of a more permissive ethics of faith , as James presented them in his famous 1896 article "The Will to Believe". James was primarily intended to refute Clifford's principle, which seemed to require agnosticism (the withholding or suspension of judgment) in a wide variety of cases, and to exclude virtuous beliefs, including belief in a broad, philosophical stated. Cassam defines vice epistemology as “the philosophical study of the nature, identity, and epistemological significance of intellectual vices.

The debate over justified EP sometimes rests on the interpretation of findings in psychology, which are often claimed to suggest intractable human irrationality, biases, and problematic heuristics (i.e., the shortcuts by which we make quick, usually subconscious, automatic judgments). ). Limiting the scope of belief ethics: Haack's alternative to Clifford and James. Journal of the American Academy of Religion.


The grade is reserved for beliefs that cannot possibly be true, often because they are analytically false (self-contradictory)—for example, "The number is even and odd." This framework can make sense for statements like "I'm sure I set the alarm" and "There's a chance I'll get this job" (perhaps after a bad interview). This is based on the fact that one side of the coin has heads (the desired outcome) out of two possible outcomes of a single toss. The denominator of this ratio is the size of the reference class (the set of all relevant possible outcomes).

In the case of cards, the reference class consists of all possible combinations in the game of poker. In a tiered framework, inconsistencies arise when the probabilities you assign to beliefs do not follow the laws of probability (along with the laws of logic). Reducing your faith in the safety of air travel to this extent would be irrational because the evidence is not strong enough.

The choice between a heliocentric or geocentric model of the universe shows how the "scraper" plays out in a scientific context. WITHDRAWN: Ileal lymphoid nodular hyperplasia, nonspecific colitis and pervasive developmental disorder in children.” The Lancet.

Table 1 – Racetrack’s Betting Information
Table 1 – Racetrack’s Betting Information


For a discussion of the role of inference in the best explanation in epistemic justification, see chapter 2 of this volume by Todd R. It is surprising that only in the last twenty years have philosophers become particularly interested in the epistemological significance of disagreement. For a discussion of the potential skeptical force of mere potential (rather than actual) disagreement, see Carey (2011).

It will not be enough that we are sometimes justified in maintaining our original point of view in the face of disagreement. It seems that all an opponent of settlement has to do to "win" the argument is to continue to maintain their position. Knowing about peer disagreement should make us less confident about the accuracy of our initial judgment—it should put some degree of "skeptical pressure" on our beliefs.

How does an "epistemic peer" differ from a "peer" in the ordinary sense of the term. Liberal Fundamentalism and Its Rivals.” In The Epistemology of Testimony, edited by Jennifer Lackey and Ernest Sosa, 93–115.

Figure 1 – The Müller-Lyer Illusion by Fibonacci via  Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Figure 1 – The Müller-Lyer Illusion by Fibonacci via Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY-SA 3.0


  • monism

This is not to say that there are no universal truths - just that we humans cannot perceive them with the "view from nowhere", that perspective we often describe as "objective". Akira Kurosawa's film Rashomon (1950) critically explored this multiplicity of truths; sometimes this general phenomenon is described as the "Rashomon effect". For buildings, clothes, furniture and many other things, designers assume a certain type of body (and mind) as "normal". The standard template reinforces "one size fits all". In Hamraie's article, they analyze how he maintains it.

As Nardal wrote, "Black women living alone in the metropolis," who were "less favored than their male compatriots," most quickly achieved what Nardal described as the "awakening of race consciousness." Narayan highlighted the uneasiness of the permanent outsider, the lack of roots or the lack of a space to feel fully relaxed and "at home". 4 As Narayan wrote, "The decision to critically inhabit two contexts, while it may lead to an 'epistemic advantage,' is likely to exact a certain price." Medina discussed a knower's responsibility to correct their ignorance: "Collective ignorance may not be of one's choice," it may be inherited or normalized in one's upbringing, but that is no excuse.

A receiver of knowledge may "reduce" or "deflate" the credibility he assigns to a knower (or source of knowledge) based on the recipient's unfair social biases. Ch'ixinakax Utxiwa: A Reflection on the Practices and Discourses of Decolonization." South Atlantic Quarterly. A mental representation, including individual concepts (such as the concepts "fire" and "hot") and the thoughts constructed from them ( as "the fire is hot").

Typically written as P(H|E) in Bayes' theorem, it is the result of conditioning a hypothesis H on an incoming piece of evidence E, read as "the probability of the hypothesis given the evidence".

Hình ảnh

Figure 1 – The Traditional Analysis
2009, 98a). 6  Table 1 shows how this translates into modern parlance.
Figure 2 – The Doxastic Spectrum
Figure 1 – The Foundational Structure of Beliefs

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