In Defense of Proper Functionalism: Cognitive Science Takes on Swampman

Synthese 193 (9):2987–3001 (2016)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
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, or are not aimed at truth. In this paper, we draw lessons from cognitive science in order to develop a novel argument for the conclusion that the Swampman objection fails against proper functionalist theories of warrant. Our argument not only shows that the underlying, central intuition motivating Swampman-like scenarios is false but also motivates proper function as a necessary condition for warrant, thereby lending support to the claim that any theory of knowledge that lacks a proper function requirement is false.
Reprint years
2016
ISBN(s)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
BOYIDO
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-04-23
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Knowing One's Own Mind.Davidson, Donald
Epistemic Entitlement.Graham, Peter J.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2015-09-22

Total views
400 ( #10,550 of 48,949 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
55 ( #11,773 of 48,949 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.