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Functions, Warrant, History

In Abrol Fairweather & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue. Cambridge University Press. pp. 15-35 (2014)

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  1. System Reliabilism and Basic Beliefs: Defeasible, Undefeated and Likely to Be True.Spyridon Orestis Palermos - forthcoming - Synthese 199 (3-4):6733-6759.
    To avoid the problem of regress, externalists have put forward defeaters-based accounts of justification. The paper argues that existing proposals face two serious concerns: They fail to accommodate related counterexamples such as Norman the clairvoyant, and, more worryingly, they fail to explain how one can be epistemically responsible in holding basic beliefs—i.e., they fail to explain how basic beliefs can avoid being arbitrary from the agent’s point of view. To solve both of these problems, a new, externalist, defeaters-based account of (...)
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  • Experience and Reasoning: Challenging the a Priori/a Posteriori Distinction.Daniele Sgaravatti - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1127-1148.
    Williamson and others have recently argued against the significance of the a priori/a posteriori distinction. My aim in this paper is to explain, defend, and expand upon one of these arguments. In the first section, I develop in some detail a line of argument sketched in Williamson. In the second section, I consider two replies to Williamson and show that they miss the structure of the challenge, as I understand it. The problem for defenders of the distinction is to find (...)
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  • Swampman: A Dilemma for Proper Functionalism.Jeffrey Tolly - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 7):1725-1750.
    Proper functionalism claims that a belief has epistemic warrant only if it’s formed according to the subject’s truth-aimed cognitive design plan. The most popular putative counter-examples to proper functionalism all involve agents who form beliefs in seemingly warrant-enabling ways that don’t appear to proceed according to any sort of design. The Swampman case is arguably the most famous scenario of this sort. However, some proper functionalists accept that subjects like Swampman have warrant, opting instead to adopt a non-standard account of (...)
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  • Assertion: A Function First Account.Christoph9 Kelp - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):411-442.
    This paper aims to develop a novel account of the normativity of assertion. Its core thesis is that assertion has an etiological epistemic function, viz. to generate knowledge in hearers. In conjunction with a general account of etiological functions and their normative import, it is argued that an assertion is epistemically good if and only if it has the disposition to generate knowledge in hearers. In addition, reason is provided to believe that it makes sense to regulate the practice of (...)
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  • Internalism and Entitlement to Rules and Methods.Joshua Schechter - 2020 - In Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen & Peter J. Graham (eds.), Epistemic Entitlement. Oxford University Press.
    In our thought, we employ rules of inference and belief-forming methods more generally. For instance, we (plausibly) employ deductive rules such as Modus Ponens, ampliative rules such as Inference to the Best Explanation, and perceptual methods that tell us to believe what perceptually appears to be the case. What explains our entitlement to employ these rules and methods? This chapter considers the motivations for broadly internalist answers to this question. It considers three such motivations—one based on simple cases, one based (...)
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  • No Luck in the Distance: A Reply to Freitag.Fernando Broncano-Berrocal - 2016 - Theoria 82 (1):89-100.
    In a recent article in this journal, Wolfgang Freitag argues that Gettier-style cases that are based on the notion of “distant” epistemic luck cannot be ruled out as cases of knowledge by modal conditions such as safety or sensitivity. I argue that safety and sensitivity can be easily fixed and that Freitag provides no convincing reason for the existence of “distant” epistemic luck.
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  • Knowledge‐First Functionalism.Mona Simion - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):254-267.
    This paper has two aims. The first is critical: I identify a set of normative desiderata for accounts of justified belief and I argue that prominent knowledge first views have difficulties meeting them. Second, I argue that my preferred account, knowledge first functionalism, is preferable to its extant competitors on normative grounds. This account takes epistemically justified belief to be belief generated by properly functioning cognitive processes that have generating knowledge as their epistemic function.
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  • In Defense of Proper Functionalism: Cognitive Science Takes on Swampman.Kenny Boyce & Andrew Moon - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9):2987–3001.
    According to proper functionalist theories of warrant, a belief is warranted only if it is formed by cognitive faculties that are properly functioning according to a good, truth-aimed design plan, one that is often thought to be specified either by intentional design or by natural selection. A formidable challenge to proper functionalist theories is the Swampman objection, according to which there are scenarios involving creatures who have warranted beliefs but whose cognitive faculties are not properly functioning, or are poorly designed, (...)
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  • How to Use Cognitive Faculties You Never Knew You Had.Andrew Moon - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):251-275.
    Norman forms the belief that the president is in New York by way of a clairvoyance faculty he doesn’t know he has. Many agree that his belief is unjustified but disagree about why it is unjustified. I argue that the lack of justification cannot be explained by a higher-level evidence requirement on justification, but it can be explained by a no-defeater requirement. I then explain how you can use cognitive faculties you don’t know you have. Lastly, I use lessons from (...)
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  • The Problem with Trusting Unfamiliar Faculties: Accessibilism Defended.Jonathan Egeland - 2020 - Logos and Episteme: An International Journal of Epistemology 11 (4):447-471.
    According to accessibilism, there is an accessibility condition on justification. More specifically, accessibilism claims that facts about justification are a priori accessible, where a priori is used in the traditional sense that a condition is a priori just in case it doesn't depend on any of the sense modalities. The most prominent argument for accessibilism draws on BonJour and Lehrer's unfamiliar faculty scenarios. Recently, however, several objections have been raised against it. In this article, I defend the argument against three (...)
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  • Moral Assertion.Christoph Kelp - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3-4):639-649.
    In this paper, I introduce a puzzle about moral assertion and defend a solution that centrally features the claim that the normativity of moral assertion centrally features moral understanding.
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  • Internalism and the Nature of Justification.Jonathan Egeland Harouny - 2020 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    There are many important dimensions of epistemic evaluation, one of which is justification. We don’t just evaluate beliefs for truth, reliability, accuracy, and knowledge, but also for justification. However, in the epistemological literature, there is much disagreement about the nature of justification and how it should be understood. One of the controversies that has separated the contemporary epistemological discourse into two opposing camps has to do with the internalism-externalism distinction. Whereas internalists defend certain core assumptions about justification from the pre-Gettier (...)
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  • The Function of Perception.Peter J. Graham - 2014 - In Abrol Fairweather (ed.), Virtue Scientia: Bridges between Virtue Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Synthese Library. pp. 13-31.
    What is the biological function of perception? I hold perception, especially visual perception in humans, has the biological function of accurately representing the environment. Tyler Burge argues this cannot be so in Origins of Objectivity (Oxford, 2010), for accuracy is a semantical relationship and not, as such, a practical matter. Burge also provides a supporting example. I rebut the argument and the example. Accuracy is sometimes also a practical matter if accuracy partly explains how perception contributes to survival and reproduction.
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  • Why is Warrant Normative?Peter J. Graham - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):110-128.
    Having an etiological function to F is sufficient to have a competence to F. Having an etiological function to reliably F is sufficient to have a reliable competence, a competence to reliably F. Epistemic warrant consists in the normal functioning of the belief-forming process when the process has forming true beliefs reliably as an etiological function. Epistemic warrant requires reliable competence. Warrant divides into two grades. The first consists in normal functioning, when the process has forming true beliefs reliably as (...)
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  • Perception, History and Benefit.Mona3 Simion - 2016 - Episteme 13 (1):61-76.
    In recent literature, several authors attempt to naturalize epistemic normativity by employing an etiological account of functions. The thought is that epistemic entitlement consists in the normal functioning of our belief-acquisition systems, where the latter acquire the function to reliably deliver true beliefs through a history of biological benefit.
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