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Problems for Dogmatism

Philosophical Studies 131 (3):525-557 (2006)

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  1. Davies on Easy Knowledge.Mark McBride - 2014 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 4 (1):1-20.
    Stewart Cohen considers a case where his son wants a red table for his room. Cohen and his son go to the furniture store. Cohen’s son is concerned that the table his father is considering purchasing, which appears red, may in fact be white with red lights shining on it. Cohen responds with the following reasoning: The table looks red. The table is red. If the table is red, then it is not white with red lights shining on it. The (...)
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  • How to Be a Bayesian Dogmatist.Brian T. Miller - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):766-780.
    ABSTRACTRational agents have consistent beliefs. Bayesianism is a theory of consistency for partial belief states. Rational agents also respond appropriately to experience. Dogmatism is a theory of how to respond appropriately to experience. Hence, Dogmatism and Bayesianism are theories of two very different aspects of rationality. It's surprising, then, that in recent years it has become common to claim that Dogmatism and Bayesianism are jointly inconsistent: how can two independently consistent theories with distinct subject matter be jointly inconsistent? In this (...)
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  • Internalism, Externalism, and Epistemic Source Circularity.Ian David MacMillan - unknown
    The dissertation examines the nature and epistemic implications of epistemic source circularity. An argument exhibits this type of circularity when at least one of the premises is produced by a belief source the conclusion says is legitimate, e.g. a track record argument for the legitimacy of sense perception that uses premises produced by sense perception. In chapter one I examine this and several other types of circularity, identifying relevant similarities and differences between them. In chapter two I discuss the differences (...)
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  • Phenomenal Conservatism.Luca Moretti - 2015 - Analysis 75 (2):296-309.
    I review recent work on Phenomenal Conservatism, the position introduced by Michael Huemer according to which if it seems that P to a subject S, in the absence of defeaters S has thereby some degree of justification for believing P.
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  • Dogmatism, Probability, and Logical Uncertainty.David Jehle & Brian Weatherson - 2012 - In Greg Restall & Gillian Kay Russell (eds.), New Waves in Philosophical Logic. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 95--111.
    Many epistemologists hold that an agent can come to justifiably believe that p is true by seeing that it appears that p is true, without having any antecedent reason to believe that visual impressions are generally reliable. Certain reliabilists think this, at least if the agent’s vision is generally reliable. And it is a central tenet of dogmatism (as described by Pryor (2000) and Pryor (2004)) that this is possible. Against these positions it has been argued (e.g. by Cohen (2005) (...)
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  • Induction and Supposition.Brian Weatherson - 2012 - The Reasoner 6:78-80.
    Applying good inductive rules inside the scope of suppositions leads to implausible results. I argue it is a mistake to think that inductive rules of inference behave anything like 'inference rules' in natural deduction systems. And this implies that it isn't always true that good arguments can be run 'off-line' to gain a priori knowledge of conditional conclusions.
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  • The Bayesian and the Dogmatist.Brian Weatherson - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt2):169-185.
    Dogmatism is sometimes thought to be incompatible with Bayesian models of rational learning. I show that the best model for updating imprecise credences is compatible with dogmatism.
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  • Confirmation, Transitivity, and Moore: The Screening-Off Approach.William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji - 2013 - Philosophical Studies (3):1-21.
    It is well known that the probabilistic relation of confirmation is not transitive in that even if E confirms H1 and H1 confirms H2, E may not confirm H2. In this paper we distinguish four senses of confirmation and examine additional conditions under which confirmation in different senses becomes transitive. We conduct this examination both in the general case where H1 confirms H2 and in the special case where H1 also logically entails H2. Based on these analyses, we argue that (...)
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  • Gupta’s Gambit.Selim Berker - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (1):17-39.
    After summarizing the essential details of Anil Gupta’s account of perceptual justification in his book _Empiricism and Experience_, I argue for three claims: (1) Gupta’s proposal is closer to rationalism than advertised; (2) there is a major lacuna in Gupta’s account of how convergence in light of experience yields absolute entitlements to form beliefs; and (3) Gupta has not adequately explained how ordinary courses of experience can lead to convergence on a commonsense view of the world.
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  • Justified Belief: Knowledge First-Style.Christoph Kelp - unknown
    Recent knowledge first epistemology features a number of different accounts of justified belief, including a knowledge first reductionism according to which to believe justifiably is to know Sutton, Littlejohn, Williamson, a knowledge first version of accessibilism Millar and a knowledge first version of mentalism Bird. This paper offers a knowledge first version of virtue epistemology and argues that it is preferable to its knowledge first epistemological rivals: only knowledge first virtue epistemology manages to steer clear of a number of problems (...)
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  • On Treating Oneself and Others as Thermometers.Roger White - 2009 - Episteme 6 (3):233-250.
    I treat you as a thermometer when I use your belief states as more or less reliable indicators of the facts. Should I treat myself in a parallel way? Should I think of the outputs of my faculties and yours as like the readings of two thermometers the way a third party would? I explore some of the difficulties in answering these questions. If I am to treat myself as well as others as thermometers in this way, it would appear (...)
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  • Counterfactual Philosophers.Nathan Ballantyne - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):368-387.
    I argue that reflection on philosophers who could have been working among us but aren’t can lead us to give up our philosophical beliefs.
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  • Disagreements in Moral Intution as Defeaters.Andreas Mogensen - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):282-302.
    People may disagree about moral issues because they have fundamentally different intuitions. I argue that we ought to suspend judgement in such cases. Since we trust our own moral intuitions without positive evidence of their reliability, we must necessarily extend this trust to the moral intuitions of others: a fundamental self-other asymmetry in moral epistemology is untenable. This ensures that disagreements in moral intuition are defeating. In addition, I argue that brute conflicts in moral intuition require suspension of judgement only (...)
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  • The Externalist’s Guide to Fishing for Compliments.Bernhard Salow - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):691-728.
    Suppose you’d like to believe that p, whether or not it’s true. What can you do to help? A natural initial thought is that you could engage in Intentionally Biased Inquiry : you could look into whether p, but do so in a way that you expect to predominantly yield evidence in favour of p. This paper hopes to do two things. The first is to argue that this initial thought is mistaken: intentionally biased inquiry is impossible. The second is (...)
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  • Mediated Confirmation.Tomoji Shogenji - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3):847-874.
    ABSTRACT This article aims to achieve two things: to identify the conditions for transitivity in probabilistic support in various settings, and to uncover the components and structure of the mediated probabilistic relation. It is shown that when the probabilistic relation between the two propositions, x and z, is mediated by multiple layers of partitions of propositions, the impact x has on z consists of the purely indirect impact, the purely bypass impact, and the mixed impact. It is also shown that (...)
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  • The Problem of the Problem of Induction.Roger White - 2015 - Episteme 12 (2):275-290.
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  • Basic Reasons and First Philosophy: A Coherentist View of Reasons.Ted Poston - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):75-93.
    This paper develops and defends a coherentist account of reasons. I develop three core ideas for this defense: a distinction between basic reasons and noninferential justification, the plausibility of the neglected argument against first philosophy, and an emergent account of reasons. These three ideas form the backbone for a credible coherentist view of reasons. I work toward this account by formulating and explaining the basic reasons dilemma. This dilemma reveals a wavering attitude that coherentists have had toward basic reasons. More (...)
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  • On the Epistemic Significance of Evidence You Should Have Had.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2016 - Episteme 13 (4):449-470.
    Elsewhere I and others have argued that evidence one should have had can bear on the justification of one's belief, in the form of defeating one's justification. In this paper, I am interested in knowing how evidence one should have had (on the one hand) and one's higher-order evidence (on the other) interact in determinations of the justification of belief. In doing so I aim to address two types of scenario that previous discussions have left open. In one type of (...)
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  • In Defence of Dogmatism.Luca Moretti - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):261-282.
    According to Jim Pryor’s dogmatism, when you have an experience with content p, you often have prima facie justification for believing p that doesn’t rest on your independent justification for believing any proposition. Although dogmatism has an intuitive appeal and seems to have an antisceptical bite, it has been targeted by various objections. This paper principally aims to answer the objections by Roger White according to which dogmatism is inconsistent with the Bayesian account of how evidence affects our rational credences. (...)
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  • Deception and Evidence.Nicholas Silins - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):375–404.
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  • Subjunctive Credences and Semantic Humility.Sarah Moss - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):251-278.
    This paper argues that several leading theories of subjunctive conditionals are incompatible with ordinary intuitions about what credences we ought to have in subjunctive conditionals. In short, our theory of subjunctives should intuitively display semantic humility, i.e. our semantic theory should deliver the truth conditions of sentences without pronouncing on whether those conditions actually obtain. In addition to describing intuitions about subjunctive conditionals, I argue that we can derive these ordinary intuitions from justified premises, and I answer a possible worry (...)
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  • Do Perceptions Justify Beliefs? The Argument From "Looks" Talk.Christopher Gauker - 2018 - In Johan Gersel, Rasmus Thybo Jensen, M. Thaning & S. Overgaard (eds.), In Light of Experience: Essays on Reason and Perception. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 141-160.
    Why should we believe that perceptions justify beliefs? One argument starts with the premise that sentences of the form “a looks F” may be used to justify conclusions of the form “a is F”. I will argue that this argument for the claim that perceptions justify beliefs founders on the following dilemma: Either “a looks F” does not report the content of a perception or, if it does, then it does not justify the conclusion “a is F”.
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  • Inquiry And The Transmission Of Knowledge.Christoph Kelp - unknown
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  • Intentionalism, Defeasibility, and Justification.Kathrin Glüer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1007-1030.
    According to intentionalism, perceptual experience is a mental state with representational content. When it comes to the epistemology of perception, it is only natural for the intentionalist to hold that the justificatory role of experience is at least in part a function of its content. In this paper, I argue that standard versions of intentionalism trying to hold on to this natural principle face what I call the “defeasibility problem”. This problem arises from the combination of standard intentionalism with further (...)
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  • Justified Belief: Knowledge First‐Style.Christoph Kelp - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (3):79-100.
    Recent knowledge first epistemology features a number of different accounts of justified belief, including a knowledge first reductionism according to which to believe justifiably is to know Sutton (), Littlejohn, Williamson, a knowledge first version of accessibilism Millar () and a knowledge first version of mentalism Bird (). This paper offers a knowledge first version of virtue epistemology and argues that it is preferable to its knowledge first epistemological rivals: only knowledge first virtue epistemology manages to steer clear of a (...)
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  • Equivalence, Reliability, and Convergence: Replies to McDowell, Peacocke, and Neta. [REVIEW]Anil Gupta - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):490-508.
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  • The Ordinary Language Argument Against Skepticism—Pragmatized.Sinan Dogramaci - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):879-896.
    I develop a new version of the ordinary language response to skepticism. My version is based on premises about the practical functions served by our epistemic words. I end by exploring how my argument against skepticism is interestingly non-circular and philosophically valuable.
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  • Accuracy and Ur-Prior Conditionalization.Nilanjan Das - 2019 - Review of Symbolic Logic 12 (1):62-96.
    Recently, several epistemologists have defended an attractive principle of epistemic rationality, which we shall call Ur-Prior Conditionalization. In this essay, I ask whether we can justify this principle by appealing to the epistemic goal of accuracy. I argue that any such accuracy-based argument will be in tension with Evidence Externalism, i.e., the view that agent's evidence may entail non-trivial propositions about the external world. This is because any such argument will crucially require the assumption that, independently of all empirical evidence, (...)
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  • Silins’s Liberalism.Matthew Kotzen - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (1):61-68.
    Nico Silins has proposed and defended a form of Liberalism about perception that, he thinks, is a good compromise between the Dogmatism of Jim Pryor and others, and the Conservatism of Roger White, Crispin Wright, and others. In particular, Silins argues that his theory can explain why having justification to believe the negation of skeptical hypotheses is a necessary condition for having justification to believe ordinary propositions, even though (contra the Conservative) the latter is not had in virtue of the (...)
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  • Inductive Knowledge.Andrew Bacon - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper formulates some paradoxes of inductive knowledge. Two responses in particular are explored: According to the first sort of theory, one is able to know in advance that certain observations will not be made unless a law exists. According to the other, this sort of knowledge is not available until after the observations have been made. Certain natural assumptions, such as the idea that the observations are just as informative as each other, the idea that they are independent, and (...)
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  • Inferential Seemings and the Problem of Reflective Awareness.Luca Moretti - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):253-271.
    Phenomenal conservatism (PC) is the internalist view that non-inferential justification rests on appearances. PC’s advocates have recently argued that seemings are also required to explain inferential justification. The most general and developed view to this effect is Huemer (2016)’s theory of inferential seemings (ToIS). Moretti (2018) has shown that PC is affected by the problem of reflective awareness, which makes PC open to sceptical challenges. In this paper I argue that ToIS is afflicted by a version of the same problem (...)
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  • Holistic Conditionalization and Underminable Perceptual Learning.Brian T. Miller - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Seeing a red hat can (i) increase my credence in the hat is red, and (ii) introduce a negative dependence between that proposition and po- tential undermining defeaters such as the light is red. The rigidity of Jeffrey Conditionalization makes this awkward, as rigidity preserves inde- pendence. The picture is less awkward given ‘Holistic Conditionalization’, or so it is claimed. I defend Jeffrey Conditionalization’s consistency with underminable perceptual learning and its superiority to Holistic Conditionalization, arguing that the latter is merely (...)
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  • Mediated Confirmation.Tomoji Shogenji - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv053.
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  • How To Be Conservative: A Partial Defense of Epistemic Conservatism.Paul Silva - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):501-514.
    Conservatism about perceptual justification tells us that we cannot have perceptual justification to believe p unless we also have justification to believe that perceptual experiences are reliable. There are many ways to maintain this thesis, ways that have not been sufficiently appreciated. Most of these ways lead to at least one of two problems. The first is an over-intellectualization problem, whereas the second problem concerns the satisfaction of the epistemic basing requirement on justified belief. I argue that there is at (...)
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  • Pollock on Probability in Epistemology. [REVIEW]Branden Fitelson - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (3):455 - 465.
    In Thinking and Acting John Pollock offers some criticisms of Bayesian epistemology, and he defends an alternative understanding of the role of probability in epistemology. Here, I defend the Bayesian against some of Pollock's criticisms, and I discuss a potential problem for Pollock's alternative account.
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  • What's the Matter with Epistemic Circularity?David James Barnett - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):177-205.
    If the reliability of a source of testimony is open to question, it seems epistemically illegitimate to verify the source’s reliability by appealing to that source’s own testimony. Is this because it is illegitimate to trust a questionable source’s testimony on any matter whatsoever? Or is there a distinctive problem with appealing to the source’s testimony on the matter of that source’s own reliability? After distinguishing between two kinds of epistemically illegitimate circularity—bootstrapping and self-verification—I argue for a qualified version of (...)
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  • Epistemological Disjunctivism and Easy Knowledge.Joshua Stuchlik - 2015 - Synthese 192 (8):2647-2665.
    Stewart Cohen argues that basic knowledge is problematic, as it implies that subjects can acquire knowledge or justified beliefs about certain matters in ways that are supposedly too easy. Cohen raises two versions of the problem of easy knowledge, one involving the principle of closure and the other track-record style bootstrapping reasoning. In this paper I confront the problem of easy knowledge from the perspective of epistemological disjunctivism about perception. I argue that disjunctivism can do a better job than dogmatism (...)
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  • Bootstrap and Rollback: Generalizing Epistemic Circularity.Jesper Kallestrup - 2012 - Synthese 189 (2):395-413.
    Reliabilists accept the possibility of basic knowledge—knowledge that p in virtue of the reliability of some belief-producing process r without antecedent knowledge that r is reliable. Cohen (Philos Phenomenol Res 65:309–329, 2002 , Philos Phenomenol Res 70:417–430, 2005 ) and Vogel (J Philos 97:602–623, 2000 , J Philos 105:518–539, 2008 ) have argued that one can bootstrap knowledge that r is reliable from basic knowledge. This paper provides a diagnosis of epistemic bootstrapping, and then shows that recent attempts at embracing (...)
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  • Why Open-Minded People Should Endorse Dogmatism.Chris Tucker - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):529-545.
    Open-minded people should endorse dogmatism because of its explanatory power. Dogmatism holds that, in the absence of defeaters, a seeming that P necessarily provides non-inferential justification for P. I show that dogmatism provides an intuitive explanation of four issues concerning non-inferential justification. It is particularly impressive that dogmatism can explain these issues because prominent epistemologists have argued that it can’t address at least two of them. Prominent epistemologists also object that dogmatism is absurdly permissive because it allows a seeming to (...)
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  • Against the Perceptual Model of Utterance Comprehension.Brendan Balcerak Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):387-405.
    What accounts for the capacity of ordinary speakers to comprehend utterances of their language? The phenomenology of hearing speech in one’s own language makes it tempting to many epistemologists to look to perception for an answer to this question. That is, just as a visual experience as of a red square is often taken to give the perceiver immediate justification for believing that there is a red square in front of her, perhaps an auditory experience as of the speaker asserting (...)
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  • The Dogmatists and Wright on Moore’s “Proof”.Mark McBride - 2012 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (1):1-20.
    Suppose one has a visual experience as of having hands, and then reasons as follows: I have hands, If I have hands an external world exists; An external world exists. Suppose one’s visual experience gives one defeasible perceptual warrant, or justification, to believe – that is, one’s experience makes it epistemically appropriate to believe . And suppose one comes to believe on the basis of this visual experience. The conditional premise is knowable a priori. And can be established by modus (...)
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  • Religious Experience and the Probability of Theism: Comments on Swinburne.Christoph Jäger - 2017 - Religious Studies 53 (3):353-370.
    I discuss Richard Swinburne’s account of religious experience in his probabilistic case for theism. I argue, pace Swinburne, that even if cosmological considerations render theism not too improbable, religious experience does not render it more probable than not.
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  • Does Doxastic Justification Have a Basing Requirement?Paul Silva Jr - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (2):1-17.
    The distinction between propositional and doxastic justification is the distinction between having justification to believe P (= propositional justification) versus having a justified belief in P (= doxastic justification). The focus of this paper is on doxastic justification and on what conditions are necessary for having it. In particular, I challenge the basing demand on doxastic justification, i.e., the idea that one can have a doxastically justified belief only if one’s belief is based on an epistemically appropriate reason. This demand (...)
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  • Respecting All the Evidence.Paulina Sliwa & Sophie Horowitz - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2835-2858.
    Plausibly, you should believe what your total evidence supports. But cases of misleading higher-order evidence—evidence about what your evidence supports—present a challenge to this thought. In such cases, taking both first-order and higher-order evidence at face value leads to a seemingly irrational incoherence between one’s first-order and higher-order attitudes: you will believe P, but also believe that your evidence doesn’t support P. To avoid sanctioning tension between epistemic levels, some authors have abandoned the thought that both first-order and higher-order evidence (...)
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  • Contextualism and Counter-Closure.Federico Luzzi - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (1):187-199.
    I argue that DeRose's attributor contextualism cannot straightforwardly preserve the widespread view that, when a subject believes q solely on the basis of competent deduction from p, knowledge of q requires knowledge of p. I present a novel challenge to the compatibility of this widespread view with DeRose's contextualism, then argue that the tension can be resolved in only one of two ways: if DeRose rejects the widespread view or if DeRose accepts the existence of a range of contextualism-specific Gettier-style (...)
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  • Perceptual Justification and Warrant by Default.Chris Tucker - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87: 445-63 87 (3):445-63.
    As I use the term, ‘entitlement’ is any warrant one has by default—i.e. without acquiring it. Some philosophers not only affirm the existence of entitlement, but also give it a crucial role in the justification of our perceptual beliefs. These philosophers affirm the Entitlement Thesis: An essential part of what makes our perceptual beliefs justified is our entitlement to the proposition that I am not a brain-in-a-vat. Crispin Wright, Stewart Cohen, and Roger White are among those who endorse this controversial (...)
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  • Thought Experiments, Intuitions and Philosophical Evidence.Jessica Brown - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (4):493-516.
    What is the nature of the evidence provided by thought experiments in philosophy? For instance, what evidence is provided by the Gettier thought experiment against the JTB theory of knowledge? According to one view, it provides as evidence only a certain psychological proposition, e.g. that it seems to one that the subject in the Gettier case lacks knowledge. On an alternative, nonpsychological view, the Gettier thought experiment provides as evidence the nonpsychological proposition that the subject in the Gettier case lacks (...)
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  • Contextualism About Evidential Support.Jessica Anne Brown - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):329-354.
    In this paper, I examine a contextualist thesis that has been little discussed in comparison with contextualism about knowledge, namely contextualism about evidential support. This seems surprising since, prima facie, evidential support statements seem shifty in a way parallel to knowledge ascriptions. I examine but reject the suggestion that contrastivism about evidential support is motivated by arguments analogous to those used to motivate contrastivism about knowledge including sceptical closure arguments, the nature of inquiry, the existence of explicitly contrastive evidential support (...)
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  • The Evil Demon Inside.Nicholas Silins - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper examines how new evil demon problems could arise for our access to the internal world of our own minds. I start by arguing that the internalist/externalist debate in epistemology has been widely misconstrued---we need to reconfigure the debate in order to see how it can arise about our access to the internal world. I then argue for the coherence of scenarios of radical deception about our own minds, and I use them to defend a properly formulated internalist view (...)
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  • Moore's Proof And Martin Davies's Epistemic Projects.Annalisa Coliva - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):101-116.
    In the recent literature on Moore's Proof of an external world, it has emerged that different diagnoses of the argument's failure are prima facie defensible. As a result, there is a sense that the appropriateness of the different verdicts on it may depend on variation in the kinds of context in which the argument is taken to be a move, with different characteristic aims. In this spirit, Martin Davies has recently explored the use of the argument within two different epistemic (...)
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