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Assertion is the central vehicle for the sharing of knowledge. Whether knowledge is shared successfully often depends on the quality of assertions: good assertions lead to successful knowledge sharing, while bad ones don't. In Sharing Knowledge, Christoph Kelp and Mona Simion investigate the relation between knowledge sharing and assertion, and develop an account of what it is to assert well. More specifically, they argue that the function of assertion is to share knowledge with others. It is this function that supports a central norm of assertion according to which a good assertion is one that has the disposition to generate knowledge in others. The book uses this functionalist approach to motivate further norms of assertion on both the speaker and the hearer side and investigates ramifications of this view for other questions about assertion.
Reading and textual interpretation are ordinary human activities, performed inside as well as outside academia, but precisely how they function as unique sources of knowledge is not well understood. In this book, René van Woudenberg explores the nature of reading and how it is distinct from perception and (attending to) testimony, which are two widely acknowledged knowledge sources. After distinguishing seven accounts of interpretation, van Woudenberg discusses the question of whether all reading inevitably involves interpretation, and shows that although reading and interpretation often go together, they are distinct activities. He goes on to argue that both reading and interpretation can be paths to realistically conceived truth, and explains the conditions under which we are justified in believing that they do indeed lead us to the truth. Along the way, he offers clear and novel analyses of reading, meaning, interpretation, and interpretative knowledge.
In this book, Andy Mueller examines the ways in which epistemic and practical rationality are intertwined. In the first part, he presents an overview of the contemporary debates about epistemic norms for practical reasoning, and defends the thesis that epistemic rationality can make one practically irrational. Mueller proposes a contextualist account of epistemic norms for practical reasoning and introduces novel epistemic norms pertaining to ends and hope. In the second part Mueller considers current approaches to pragmatic encroachment in epistemology, ultimately arguing in favor of a new principle-based argument for pragmatic encroachment. While the book defends tenets of the knowledge-first programme, one of its main conclusions is thoroughly pragmatist: in an important sense, the practical has primacy over the epistemic.
It is commonly assumed that we conceive of the past and the future as symmetrical. In this book, Fabrizio Cariani develops a new theory of future-directed discourse and thought that shows that our linguistic and philosophical conceptions of the past and future are, in fact, fundamentally different. Future thought and talk, Cariani suggests, are best understood in terms of a systematic analogy with counterfactual thought and talk, and are not just mirror images of the past. Cariani makes this case by developing detailed formal semantic theories as well as by advancing less technical views about the nature of future-directed judgment and prediction. His book addresses in a thought-provoking way several important debates in contemporary philosophy, and his synthesis of parallel threads of research will benefit scholars in the philosophy of language, metaphysics, epistemology, linguistics and cognitive science.
What are the metaphysical commitments which best 'make sense' of our scientific practice (rather than our scientific theories)? In this book, Andreas Hüttemann provides a minimal metaphysics for scientific practice, i.e. a metaphysics that refrains from postulating any structure that is explanatorily irrelevant. Hüttemann closely analyses paradigmatic aspects of scientific practice, such as prediction, explanation and manipulation, to consider the questions whether and (if so) what metaphysical presuppositions best account for these practices. He looks at the role which scientific generalisation (laws of nature) play in predicting, testing, and explaining the behaviour of systems. He also develops a theory of causation in terms of quasi-inertial processes and interfering factors, and he proposes an account of reductive practices that makes minimal metaphysical assumptions. His book will be valuable for scholars and advanced students working in both philosophy of science and metaphysics.
Negative actions, like intentional omissions or refrainments, seem to be genuine actions. The standard metaphysical theories of action are event-based: they treat actions as events of a special kind. However, it seems that many (and perhaps all) negative actions are not events, but absences thereof. This is the first book-length treatment of the problem of negative action. It surveys the recent literature, and shows how the problem is rooted in interconnected issues in metaphysics, the philosophy of action, and the philosophy of language. In particular, it connects competing views of the ontology of negative actions to competing views of the semantics of 'negative action sentences', and develops unique ontological and semantic theories to solve the problem. It provides a comprehensive picture of the nature of negative actions, our thought and talk about them, and their place in a theory of action.
We talk and think about our beliefs both in a categorical (yes/no) and in a graded way. How do the two kinds of belief hang together? The most straightforward answer is that we believe something categorically if we believe it to a high enough degree. But this seemingly obvious, near-platitudinous claim is known to give rise to a paradox commonly known as the 'lottery paradox' – at least when it is coupled with some further seeming near-platitudes about belief. How to resolve that paradox has been a matter of intense philosophical debate for over fifty years. This volume offers a collection of newly commissioned essays on the subject, all of which provide compelling reasons for rethinking many of the fundamentals of the debate.
This book articulates and defends Fregean realism, a theory of properties based on Frege's insight that properties are not objects, but rather the satisfaction conditions of predicates. Robert Trueman argues that this approach is the key not only to dissolving a host of longstanding metaphysical puzzles, such as Bradley's Regress and the Problem of Universals, but also to understanding the relationship between states of affairs, propositions, and the truth conditions of sentences. Fregean realism, Trueman suggests, ultimately leads to a version of the identity theory of truth, the theory that true propositions are identical to obtaining states of affairs. In other words, the identity theory collapses the gap between mind and world. This book will be of interest to anyone working in logic, metaphysics, the philosophy of language or the philosophy of mind.
Now revised and containing three new chapters, this book provides a clear and accessible introduction to epistemology, or the theory of knowledge. It discusses some of the main theories of justification, including foundationalism, coherentism, reliabilism, and virtue epistemology. Other topics include the Gettier problem, internalism and externalism, skepticism, the problem of epistemic circularity, a priori knowledge, naturalized epistemology, and the epistemic significance of testimony and disagreement. Intended primarily for students taking their first classes in epistemology, this lucid and well-written text will provide an excellent introduction to anyone interested in knowing more about this important area of philosophy.
Common-sense philosophy is important because it maintains that we can know many things about the world, about ourselves, about morality, and even about things of a metaphysical nature. The tenets of common-sense philosophy, while in some sense obvious and unsurprising, give rise to powerful arguments that can shed light on fundamental philosophical issues, including the perennial problem of scepticism and the emerging challenge of scientism. This Companion offers an exploration of common-sense philosophy in its many forms, tracing its development as a concept and considering the roles it has been assigned to play throughout the history of philosophy. Containing fifteen newly commissioned chapters from leading experts in the history of philosophy, epistemology, the philosophy of science, moral philosophy and metaphysics, the volume will be an essential guide for students and scholars hoping to gain a greater understanding of the value and enduring appeal of common-sense philosophy.
How do we transmit or distribute knowledge, as distinct from generating or producing it? In this book John Greco examines the interpersonal relations and social structures which enable and inhibit the sharing of knowledge within and across epistemic communities. Drawing on resources from moral theory, the philosophy of language, action theory and the cognitive sciences, he considers the role of interpersonal trust in transmitting knowledge, and argues that sharing knowledge involves a kind of shared agency similar to giving a gift or passing a ball. He also explains why transmitting knowledge is easy in some social contexts, such as those involving friendship or caregiving, but impossible in contexts characterized by suspicion and competition rather than by trust and cooperation. His book explores phenomena that have been undertheorized by traditional epistemology, and throws new light on existing problems in social epistemology and the epistemology of testimony.
Virtue epistemology is one of the most flourishing research programmes in contemporary epistemology. Its defining thesis is that properties of agents and groups are the primary focus of epistemic theorising. Within virtue epistemology two key strands can be distinguished: virtue reliabilism, which focuses on agent properties that are strongly truth-conducive, such as perceptual and inferential abilities of agents; and virtue responsibilism, which focuses on intellectual virtues in the sense of character traits of agents, such as open-mindedness and intellectual courage. This volume brings together ten new essays on virtue epistemology, with contributions to both of its key strands, written by leading authors in the field. It will advance the state of the art and provide readers with a valuable overview of what virtue epistemology has achieved.
If mediatization has surprisingly revealed the secret life of inert matter and the 'face of things', the flipside of this has been the petrification of living organisms, an invasion of stone bodies in a state of suspended animation. Within a contemporary imaginary pervaded by new forms of animism, the paradigm of death looms large in many areas of artistic experimentation, pushing the modern body towards mineral modes of being which revive ancient myths of flesh-made-stone and the issue of the monument. Scholars in media, visual culture and the arts propose studies of bodies of stone, from actors simulating statues to the transmutation of the filmic body into a fossil; from the real treatment of the cadaver as a mineral living object to the rediscovery of materials such as wax; from the quest for a thermal" equivalence between stone and flesh to the transformation of the biomedical body into a living monument."
The theory of truthmaking has long aroused skepticism from philosophers who believe it to be tangled up in contentious ontological commitments and unnecessary theoretical baggage. In this book, Jamin Asay shows why that suspicion is unfounded. Challenging the current orthodoxy that truthmaking's fundamental purpose is to be a tool for explaining why truths are true, Asay revives the conception of truthmaking as fundamentally an exercise in ontology: a means for coordinating one's beliefs about what is true and one's ontological commitments. He goes on to show how truthmaking connects to analyticity, truth, and realism, and how it contributes to debates over nominalism, presentism, mathematical objects, and fictional characters. His book is the most comprehensive exploration to date into what truthmaking is and how it contributes to metaphysical debates across philosophy, and will interest a wide range of readers in metaphysics and beyond.
The media technologies that surround and suffuse our everyday life profoundly affect our relation to reality. Philosophers since Plato and Aristotle have sought to understand the complex influence of apparently simple tools of expression on our understanding and experience of the world, time, space, materiality and energy. The Digital Image and Reality takes up this crucial philosophical task for our digital era. This rich yet accessible work argues that when new visual technologies arrive to represent and simulate reality, they give rise to nothing less than a radically different sensual image of the world. Through engaging with post-cinematic content and the new digital formats in which it appears, Strutt uncovers and explores how digital image-making is integral to emergent modes of metaphysical reflection - to speculative futurism, optimistic nihilism, and ethical plasticity. Ultimately, he prompts the reader to ask whether the impact of digital image processes might go even beyond our subjective consciousness of reality, towards the synthesis of objective actuality itself.
Early modern art features a remarkable fascination with ornament, both as decorative device and compositional strategy, across artistic media and genres. Interestingly, the inventive, elegant manifestations of ornament in the art of the period often include layers of disquieting paradoxes, creating tensions - monstrosities even - that manifest themselves in a variety of ways. In some cases, dichotomies (between order and chaos, artificiality and nature, rational logic and imaginative creativity, etc.) may emerge. Elsewhere, a sense of agitation undermines structures of statuesque control or erupts into wild, unruly displays of constant genesis. The monstrosity of ornament is brought into play through strategies of hybridity and metamorphosis, or by the handling of scale, proportion, and space in ambiguous and discomforting ways that break with the laws of physical reality. An interest in strange exaggeration and curious artifice allows for such colossal ornamental attitude to thrive within early modern art.
According to the received view in epistemology, inferential knowledge from non-knowledge is impossible - that is, in order for a subject to know the conclusion of their inference, they must know the essential premises from which that conclusion is drawn. In this book, Federico Luzzi critically examines this view, arguing that it is less plausible than intuition suggests and that it can be abandoned without substantial cost. In a discussion that ranges across inference, testimony and memory he analyses the full range of challenges to the view, connecting them to epistemological cases that support those challenges. He then proposes a defeater-based framework which allows the phenomenon of knowledge from non-knowledge across these three epistemic areas to be better understood. His book will be of interest to a wide range of readers in epistemology.
What happens when we have second thoughts about the epistemic standing of our beliefs, when we stop to check on beliefs which we have already formed or hypotheses which we have under consideration? In the essays collected in this volume, Hilary Kornblith considers this and other questions about self-knowledge and the nature of human reason. The essays draw extensively on work in social psychology to illuminate traditional epistemological issues: in contrast with traditional Cartesian approaches to these issues, Kornblith engages with empirically motivated skeptical problems, and shows how they may be constructively addressed in practical and theoretical terms. As well as bringing together ten previously published essays, the volume contains two entirely new pieces that engage with ideas of self and rational nature. Kornblith's approach lays the foundations for further development in epistemology that will benefit from advances in our understanding of human psychology.
Knowledge closure is the claim that, if an agent S knows P, recognizes that P implies Q, and believes Q because it is implied by P, then S knows Q. Closure is a pivotal epistemological principle that is widely endorsed by contemporary epistemologists. Against Knowledge Closure is the first book-length treatment of the issue and the most sustained argument for closure failure to date. Unlike most prior arguments for closure failure, Marc Alspector-Kelly's critique of closure does not presuppose any particular epistemological theory; his argument is, instead, intuitively compelling and applicable to a wide variety of epistemological views. His discussion ranges over much of the epistemological landscape, including skepticism, warrant, transmission and transmission failure, fallibilism, sensitivity, safety, evidentialism, reliabilism, contextualism, entitlement, circularity and bootstrapping, justification, and justification closure. As a result, the volume will be of interest to any epistemologist or student of epistemology and related subjects.