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This chapter explores epistemic naturalism and some claims associated with it. We examine the replacement thesis, the continuity thesis, and the Darwinian argument. We examine the views of Quine, Kornblith, Maffie, and Goldman.
This chapter examines the problem of epistemic circularity. Can one use a source of belief, F, to support or justify the belief that F is a reliable source of true belief? We examine the views of Alson and Sosa concerning epistemic circularity.
This chapter examines reliabilist theories of justification and Sosa's virtue epistemology. We look at the new evil demon problem and the problem of unknown reliability. We examine Sosa's virtue and his distinctions between accurate, adroit, and apt belief.
In this chapter, we examine some views about a priori justification. We consider, for example, whether a priori justification must be indefeasible. Is a priori justification confined to those propositions that are analytic? What is it for a proposition to be analytic?
In this chapter we look at two important topics in social epistemology: testimony and disagreement. What is necessary for testimony to be a source of justification or knowledge? Can testimony be a basic source of justification? We also consider three views concerning the appropriate stance in the face of disagreement with one's epistemic peers: the Equal Weight View, the Steadfast View, and the Total Evidence View.
We examine some main arguments for skepticism. We consider in detail the argument from ignorance and various replies, including the relevant alternatives reply, the contextualist reply, the Moorean reply, and the inference to the best explanation reply.
The common-sense tradition holds that among the things we know are various facts about the external world and some epistemic facts – for example, that we know there are other people, that people know their names, and that we know that they know their names. This chapter makes two claims. First, that the common-sense tradition should include among the things known various common-sense moral claims as well as various particular moral claims that are no less evident. Second, that these moral claims are more reasonable to believe than any philosophical view that implies either that they are false or that we do not know them. In short, it suggests that the common-sense philosopher should treat some moral claims as having the same weight as some epistemic claims and claims about the external world. The last three sections consider some philosophical objections to this view. These include the objections that no evaluative claims are true or false, that we cannot know particular moral claims without knowing some general moral criterion, and that the appeal to our moral intuitions is illegitimate in philosophical inquiry.
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.