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Must we know what we say?

Philosophical Review 114 (2):227-251 (2005)

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  1. Publishing Without (Some) Belief.Will Fleisher - forthcoming - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • The Creative Interpreter: Content Relativism and Assertion.Herman Cappelen - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):23 - 46.
    Philosophers of language and linguists tend to think of the interpreter as an essentially non-creative participant in the communicative process. There’s no room, in traditional theories, for the view that correctness of interpretation depends in some essential way on the interpreter. As a result, there’s no room for the possibility that while P is the correct interpretation of an utterance, u, for one interpreter, P* is the correct interpretation of that utterance for another interpreter. Recently, a number of theorists have, (...)
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  • Against Assertion.Herman Cappelen - 2011 - In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    The view defended in this paper - I call it the No-Assertion view - rejects the assumption that it is theoretically useful to single out a subset of sayings as assertions: (v) Sayings are governed by variable norms, come with variable commitments and have variable causes and effects. What philosophers have tried to capture by the term 'assertion' is largely a philosophers' invention. It fails to pick out an act-type that we engage in and it is not a category we (...)
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  • The Duty to Object.Jennifer Lackey - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (1):35-60.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Must, Knowledge, and (in)Directness.Daniel Lassiter - 2016 - Natural Language Semantics 24 (2):117-163.
    This paper presents corpus and experimental data that problematize the traditional analysis of must as a strong necessity modal, as recently revived and defended by von Fintel and Gillies :351–383, 2010). I provide naturalistic examples showing that must p can be used alongside an explicit denial of knowledge of p or certainty in p, and that it can be conjoined with an expression indicating that p is not certain or that not-p is possible. I also report the results of an (...)
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  • Testimonial Entitlement, Norms of Assertion and Privacy.Philip J. Nickel - 2013 - Episteme 10 (2):207-217.
    According to assurance views of testimonial justification, in virtue of the act of testifying a speaker provides an assurance of the truth of what she asserts to the addressee. This assurance provides a special justificatory force and a distinctive normative status to the addressee. It is thought to explain certain asymmetries between addressees and other unintended hearers (bystanders and eavesdroppers), such as the phenomenon that the addressee has a right to blame the speaker for conveying a falsehood but unintended hearers (...)
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  • Being in a Position to Know is the Norm of Assertion.Christopher Willard‐Kyle - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):328-352.
    This paper defends a new norm of assertion: Assert that p only if you are in a position to know that p. We test the norm by judging its performance in explaining three phenomena that appear jointly inexplicable at first: Moorean paradoxes, lottery propositions, and selfless assertions. The norm succeeds by tethering unassertability to unknowability while untethering belief from assertion. The PtK‐norm foregrounds the public nature of assertion as a practice that can be other‐regarding, allowing asserters to act in the (...)
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  • Two Claims About Epistemic Propriety.E. J. Coffman - 2011 - Synthese 181 (3):471-488.
    This paper has two main parts. In the first part, I argue that prominent moves in two related current debates in epistemology—viz., the debates over classical invariantism and the knowledge first movement—depend on one or the other of two claims about epistemic propriety: (1) Impropriety due to lack of a particular epistemic feature suffices for epistemic impropriety; and (2) Having justification to believe P suffices for having warrant to assert P. In the second part, I present and defend novel arguments (...)
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  • Epistemology and the Law: Why There is No Epistemic Mileage in Legal Cases.Marvin Backes - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2759-2778.
    The primary aim of this paper is to defend the Lockean View—the view that a belief is epistemically justified iff it is highly probable—against a new family of objections. According to these objections, broadly speaking, the Lockean View ought to be abandoned because it is incompatible with, or difficult to square with, our judgments surrounding certain legal cases. I distinguish and explore three different versions of these objections—The Conviction Argument, the Argument from Assertion and Practical Reasoning, and the Comparative Probabilities (...)
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  • Knowledge, Certainty, and Assertion.John Turri - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (2):293-299.
    Researchers have debated whether knowledge or certainty is a better candidate for the norm of assertion. Should you make an assertion only if you know it's true? Or should you make an assertion only if you're certain it's true? If either knowledge or certainty is a better candidate, then this will likely have detectable behavioral consequences. I report an experiment that tests for relevant behavioral consequences. The results support the view that assertability is more closely linked to knowledge than to (...)
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  • Knowledge and Assertion in “Gettier” Cases.John Turri - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (5):759-775.
    Assertion is fundamental to our lives as social and cognitive beings. By asserting we share knowledge, coordinate behavior, and advance collective inquiry. Accordingly, assertion is of considerable interest to cognitive scientists, social scientists, and philosophers. This paper advances our understanding of the norm of assertion. Prior evidence suggests that knowledge is the norm of assertion, a view known as “the knowledge account.” In its strongest form, the knowledge account says that knowledge is both necessary and sufficient for assertability: you should (...)
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  • In What Sense is Knowledge the Norm of Assertion?Pascal Engel - 2008 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 77 (1):45-59.
    The knowledge account of assertion (KAA) is the view that assertion is governed by the norm that the speaker should know what s/he asserts. It is not the purpose of this article to examine all the criticisms nor to try to give a full defence of KAA, but only to defend it against the charge of being normatively incorrect. It has been objected that assertion is governed by other norms than knowledge, or by no norm at all. It seems to (...)
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  • Evidence of Factive Norms of Belief and Decision.John Turri - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):4009-4030.
    According to factive accounts of the norm of belief and decision-making, you should not believe or base decisions on a falsehood. Even when the evidence misleadingly suggests that a false proposition is true, you should not believe it or base decisions on it. Critics claim that factive accounts are counterintuitive and badly mischaracterize our ordinary practice of evaluating beliefs and decisions. This paper reports four experiments that rigorously test the critic’s accusations and the viability of factive accounts. The results undermine (...)
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  • Epistemological Aspects of Hope.Matthew A. Benton - 2019 - In Claudia Blöser & Titus Stahl (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Hope. London: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 135-151.
    Hope is an attitude with a distinctive epistemological dimension: it is incompatible with knowledge. This chapter examines hope as it relates to knowledge but also to probability and inductive considerations. Such epistemic constraints can make hope either impossible, or, when hope remains possible, they affect how one’s epistemic situation can make hope rational rather than irrational. Such issues are especially relevant to when hopefulness may permissibly figure in practical deliberation over a course of action. So I consider cases of second-order (...)
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  • Knowledge and Suberogatory Assertion.John Turri - 2013 - Philosophical Studies (3):1-11.
    I accomplish two things in this paper. First I expose some important limitations of the contemporary literature on the norms of assertion and in the process illuminate a host of new directions and forms that an account of assertional norms might take. Second I leverage those insights to suggest a new account of the relationship between knowledge and assertion, which arguably outperforms the standard knowledge account.
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  • Belief Through Thick and Thin.Wesley Buckwalter, David Rose & John Turri - 2015 - Noûs 49 (4):748-775.
    We distinguish between two categories of belief—thin belief and thick belief—and provide evidence that they approximate genuinely distinct categories within folk psychology. We use the distinction to make informative predictions about how laypeople view the relationship between knowledge and belief. More specifically, we show that if the distinction is genuine, then we can make sense of otherwise extremely puzzling recent experimental findings on the entailment thesis (i.e. the widely held philosophical thesis that knowledge entails belief). We also suggest that the (...)
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  • The Express Knowledge Account of Assertion.John Turri - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):37-45.
    Many philosophers favour the simple knowledge account of assertion, which says you may assert something only if you know it. The simple account is true but importantly incomplete. I defend a more informative thesis, namely, that you may assert something only if your assertion expresses knowledge. I call this 'the express knowledge account of assertion', which I argue better handles a wider range of cases while at the same time explaining the simple knowledge account's appeal. §1 introduces some new data (...)
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  • Relativism, Faultlessness and Parity.Ferrari Filippo - 2016 - Argumenta 3.
    Some philosophers, like Mark Richard and Paul Boghossian, have argued against relativism that it cannot account for the possibility of faultless disagreement. However, I will contend that the objections they moved against relativism do not target its ability to account for the possibility of faultless disagreement per se. Ra- ther, they should be taken to challenge its capacity to account for another element of our folk conception of disagreement in certain areas of discourse—what Cris- pin Wright has dubbed parity. What (...)
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  • How to Be an Anti-Reductionist.Mona Simion & Christoph Kelp - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2849-2866.
    One popular view in recent years takes the source of testimonial entitlement to reside in the intrinsically social character of testimonial exchanges. This paper looks at two extant incarnations of this view, what we dub ‘weak’ and ‘modest’ social anti-reductionism, and questions the rationales behind their central claims. Furthermore, we put forth an alternative, strong social anti-reductionist account, and show how it does better than the competition on both theoretical and empirical grounds.
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  • The Test of Truth: An Experimental Investigation of the Norm of Assertion.John Turri - 2013 - Cognition 129 (2):279-291.
    Assertion is fundamental to our lives as social and cognitive beings. Philosophers have recently built an impressive case that the norm of assertion is factive. That is, you should make an assertion only if it is true. Thus far the case for a factive norm of assertion been based on observational data. This paper adds experimental evidence in favor of a factive norm from six studies. In these studies, an assertion’s truth value dramatically affects whether people think it should be (...)
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  • Knowledge and Suberogatory Assertion.John Turri - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):557-567.
    I accomplish two things in this paper. First I expose some important limitations of the contemporary literature on the norms of assertion and in the process illuminate a host of new directions and forms that an account of assertional norms might take. Second I leverage those insights to suggest a new account of the relationship between knowledge and assertion, which arguably outperforms the standard knowledge account.
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  • Prompting Challenges.John Turri - 2010 - Analysis 70 (3):456-462.
    I consider a serious objection to the knowledge account of assertion and develop a response. In the process I introduce important new data on prompting assertion, which all theorists working in the area should take note of.
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  • The Point of Assertion is to Transmit Knowledge.John Turri - 2016 - Analysis 76 (2):130-136.
    Recent work in philosophy and cognitive science shows that knowledge is the norm of our social practice of assertion, in the sense that an assertion should express knowledge. But why should an assertion express knowledge? I hypothesize that an assertion should express knowledge because the point of assertion is to transmit knowledge. I present evidence supporting this hypothesis.
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  • Knowledge Guaranteed.John Turri - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):602-612.
    What is the relationship between saying ‘I know that Q’ and guaranteeing that Q? John Austin, Roderick Chisholm and Wilfrid Sellars all agreed that there is some important connection, but disagreed over what exactly it was. In this paper I discuss each of their accounts and present a new one of my own. Drawing on speech-act theory and recent research on the epistemic norms of speech acts, I suggest that the relationship is this: by saying ‘I know that Q’, you (...)
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  • Irksome Assertions.Rachel McKinnon & John Turri - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):123-128.
    The Knowledge Account of Assertion (KAA) says that knowledge is the norm of assertion: you may assert a proposition only if you know that it’s true. The primary support for KAA is an explanatory inference from a broad range of linguistic data. The more data that KAA well explains, the stronger the case for it, and the more difficult it is for the competition to keep pace. In this paper we critically assess a purported new linguistic datum, which, it has (...)
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  • Excuse Validation: A Study in Rule-Breaking.John Turri & Peter Blouw - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):615-634.
    Can judging that an agent blamelessly broke a rule lead us to claim, paradoxically, that no rule was broken at all? Surprisingly, it can. Across seven experiments, we document and explain the phenomenon of excuse validation. We found when an agent blamelessly breaks a rule, it significantly distorts people’s description of the agent’s conduct. Roughly half of people deny that a rule was broken. The results suggest that people engage in excuse validation in order to avoid indirectly blaming others for (...)
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  • Contingent A Priori Knowledge.John Turri - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):327-344.
    I argue that you can have a priori knowledge of propositions that neither are nor appear necessarily true. You can know a priori contingent propositions that you recognize as such. This overturns a standard view in contemporary epistemology and the traditional view of the a priori, which restrict a priori knowledge to necessary truths, or at least to truths that appear necessary.
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  • Language Without Information Exchange.Jessica Keiser - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    This paper attempts to revive a once-lively program in the philosophy of language—that of reducing linguistic phenomena to facts about mental states and actions. I argue that recent skepticism toward this project is generated by features of traditional implementations of the project, rather than the project itself. A picture of language as essentially a mechanism for cooperative information exchange attracted theorists to metasemantic accounts grounding language use in illocutionary action (roughly, using an utterance to elicit a propositional attitude). When this (...)
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  • Dynamics, Brandom-Style.Bernhard Nickel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):333-354.
    Abstract This paper discusses the semantic theory presented in Robert Brandom’s Making It Explicit . I argue that it is best understood as a special version of dynamic semantics, so that these semantics by themselves offer an interesting theoretical alternative to more standard truth-conditional theories. This reorientation also has implications for more foundational issues. I argue that it gives us the resources for a renewed argument for the normativity of meaning. The paper ends by critically assessing the view in both (...)
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  • Assertion and Grounding: A Theory of Assertion for Constructive Type Theory.Maria Schaar - 2011 - Synthese 183 (2):187-210.
    Taking Per Martin-Löf’s constructive type theory as a starting-point a theory of assertion is developed, which is able to account for the epistemic aspects of the speech act of assertion, and in which it is shown that assertion is not a wide genus. From a constructivist point of view, one is entitled to assert, for example, that a proposition A is true, only if one has constructed a proof object a for A in an act of demonstration. One thereby has (...)
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  • Testimonial Contractarianism: A Knowledge‐First Social Epistemology.Mona Simion - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  • Knowledge and Assertion.Jessica Brown - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):549-566.
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  • Criticism and Blame in Action and Assertion.Christoph Kelp & Mona Simion - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (2):76-93.
    In this paper, we develop a general normative framework for criticisability, blamelessness and blameworthiness in action. We then turn to the debate on norms of assertion. We show that an application of this framework enables champions of the so-called knowledge rule of assertion to offer a theoretically motivated response to a number of putative counterexamples in terms of blamelessness. Finally, we argue that, on closer inspection, the putative counterexamples serve to confirm the knowledge rule and disconfirm rival views.
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  • The Standing To Blame, or Why Moral Disapproval Is What It Is.Stefan Riedener - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (1-2):183-210.
    Intuitively, we lack the standing to blame others in light of moral norms that we ourselves don't take seriously: if Adam is unrepentantly aggressive, say, he lacks the standing to blame Celia for her aggressiveness. But why does blame have this feature? Existing proposals try to explain this by reference to specific principles of normative ethics – e.g. to rule‐consequentialist considerations, to the wrongness of hypocritical blame, or principles of rights‐forfeiture based on this wrongness. In this paper, I suggest a (...)
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  • The Mill-Frege Theory of Proper Names.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2018 - Mind 127 (508):1107-1168.
    This paper argues for a version of metalinguistic descriptivism, the Mill-Frege view, comparing it to a currently popular alternative, predicativism. The Mill-Frege view combines tenets of Fregean views with features of the theory of direct reference. According to it, proper names have metalinguistic senses, known by competent speakers on the basis of their competence, which figure in ancillary presuppositions. In support of the view the paper argues that the name-bearing relation—which predicativists cite to account for the properties that they take (...)
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  • Is Justification Knowledge?B. J. C. Madison - 2010 - Journal of Philosophical Research 35:173-191.
    Analytic epistemologists agree that, whatever else is true of epistemic justification, it is distinct from knowledge. However, if recent work by Jonathan Sutton is correct, this view is deeply mistaken, for according to Sutton justification is knowledge. That is, a subject is justified in believing that p iff he knows that p. Sutton further claims that there is no concept of epistemic justification distinct from knowledge. Since knowledge is factive, a consequence of Sutton’s view is that there are no false (...)
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  • Is Justification Knowledge?B. J. C. Madison - 2010 - Journal of Philosophical Research 35:173-191.
    Analytic epistemologists agree that, whatever else is true of epistemic justification, it is distinct from knowledge. However, if recent work by Jonathan Sutton is correct, this view is deeply mistaken, for according to Sutton justification is knowledge. That is, a subject is justified in believing that p iff he knows that p. Sutton further claims that there is no concept of epistemic justification distinct from knowledge. Since knowledge is factive, a consequence of Sutton’s view is that thereare no false justified (...)
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  • Norms of Assertion.Jennifer Lackey - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):594–626.
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  • Assertion and its Social Significance: An Introduction.Bianca Cepollaro, Paolo Labinaz & Neri Marsili - 2019 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio 13 (1):1-18.
    This paper offers a brief survey of the philosophical literature on assertion, presenting each contribution to the RIFL special issue "Assertion and its social significance" within the context of the contemporary debate in which it intervenes. The discussion is organised into three thematic sections. The first one concerns the nature of assertion and its relation with assertoric commitment – the distinctive responsibility that the speaker undertakes in virtue of making a statement. The second section considers the epistemic significance of assertion, (...)
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  • The Knowledge Norm of Blaming.Christoph Kelp - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):256-261.
    This paper argues that the standard evidence for the knowledge norm of assertion can be extended to provide evidence for a corresponding knowledge norm of blame.
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  • A New Argument Against Compatibilism.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2013 - Analysis (1):ant095.
    If one’s solution to the free will problem is in terms of real causal powers of agents then one ought to be an incompatibilist. Some premises are contentious but the following new argument for incompatibilism is advanced: 1. If causal determinism is true, all events are necessitated2. If all events are necessitated, then there are no powers3. Free will consists in the exercise of an agent’s powersTherefore, if causal determinism is true, there is no free will; which is to say (...)
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  • Moral Deference, Moral Assertion, and Pragmatics.Max Lewis - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):5-22.
    In this paper, I offer a novel defense of moderate pessimism about moral deference, i.e., the view that we have pro tanto reason to avoid moral deference. I argue that moral deference fails to give us the epistemic credentials to satisfy plausible norms of moral assertion. I then argue that moral assertions made solely on the basis of deferential moral beliefs violate a plausible epistemic and moral norm against withholding information that one knows, has evidence, or ought to believe will (...)
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  • Norms of Assertion: The Quantity and Quality of Epistemic Support.J. Adam Carter & Emma C. Gordon - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (4):615-635.
    We show that the contemporary debate surrounding the question “What is the norm of assertion?” presupposes what we call the quantitative view, i.e. the view that this question is best answered by determining how much epistemic support is required to warrant assertion. We consider what Jennifer Lackey ( 2010 ) has called cases of isolated second-hand knowledge and show—beyond what Lackey has suggested herself—that these cases are best understood as ones where a certain type of understanding , rather than knowledge, (...)
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  • Publishing Without Belief.Alexandra Plakias - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):638-646.
    Is there anything wrong with publishing philosophical work which one does not believe? I argue that there is not: the practice isn’t intrinsically wrong, nor is there a compelling consequentialist argument against it. Therefore, the philosophical community should neither proscribe nor sanction it. The paper proceeds as follows. First, I’ll clarify and motivate the problem, using both hypothetical examples and a recent real-world case. Next, I’ll look at arguments that there is something wrong with PWB, and show that none is (...)
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  • Knowledge and Other Norms for Assertion, Action, and Belief: A Teleological Account.Neil Mehta - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):681-705.
    Here I advance a unified account of the structure of the epistemic normativity of assertion, action, and belief. According to my Teleological Account, all of these are epistemically successful just in case they fulfill the primary aim of knowledgeability, an aim which in turn generates a host of secondary epistemic norms. The central features of the Teleological Account are these: it is compact in its reliance on a single central explanatory posit, knowledge-centered in its insistence that knowledge sets the fundamental (...)
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  • One Kind of Asking.Dennis Whitcomb - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266).
    This paper extends several themes from recent work on norms of assertion. It does as much by applying those themes to the speech act of asking. In particular, it argues for the view that there is a species of asking which is governed by a certain norm, a norm to the effect that one should ask a question only if one doesn’t know its answer.
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  • Clifford and the Common Epistemic Norm.Robin McKenna - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (3):245-258.
    This paper develops a “Cliffordian” argument for a common epistemic norm governing belief, action, and assertion. The idea is that beliefs are the sorts of things that lead to actions and assertions. What each of us believes influences what we act on and assert, and in turn influences what those around us believe, act on, and assert. Belief, action, and assertion should be held to a common epistemic norm because, otherwise, this system will become contaminated. The paper finishes by drawing (...)
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  • Re-Enchanting Realism in Debate with Kyle Stanford.Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1):201-224.
    In this article, against the background of a notion of ‘assembled’ truth, the evolutionary progressiveness of a theory is suggested as novel and promising explanation for the success of science. A new version of realism in science, referred to as ‘naturalised realism’ is outlined. Naturalised realism is ‘fallibilist’ in the unique sense that it captures and mimics the self-corrective core of scientific knowledge and its progress. It is argued that naturalised realism disarms Kyle Stanford’s anti-realist ‘new induction’ threats by showing (...)
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  • Repositioning Realism.Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem - 2015 - Philosophia Scientae 19:85-98.
    Naturalised realism’ is presented as a version of realism which is more compatible with the history of science than convergent or explanationist forms of realism. The account is unpacked according to four theses: 1) Whether realism is warranted with regards to a particular theory depends on the kind and quality of evidence available for that theory; 2) Reference is about causal interaction with the world; 3) Most of science happens somewhere in between instrumentalism and scientific realism on a continuum of (...)
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  • On Justifications and Excuses.B. Madison - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4551-4562.
    The New Evil Demon problem has been hotly debated since the case was introduced in the early 1980’s (e.g. Lehrer and Cohen 1983; Cohen 1984), and there seems to be recent increased interest in the topic. In a forthcoming collection of papers on the New Evil Demon problem (Dutant and Dorsch, forthcoming), at least two of the papers, both by prominent epistemologists, attempt to resist the problem by appealing to the distinction between justification and excuses. My primary aim here is (...)
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