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The Limitations of the Open Mind

Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press (2018)

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  1. Utilitarianism.John Stuart Mill - 1863 - Cleveland: Cambridge University Press.
    Reissued here in its corrected second edition of 1864, this essay by John Stuart Mill argues for a utilitarian theory of morality. Originally printed as a series of three articles in Fraser's Magazine in 1861, the work sought to refine the 'greatest happiness' principle that had been championed by Jeremy Bentham, defending it from common criticisms, and offering a justification of its validity. Following Bentham, Mill holds that actions can be judged as right or wrong depending on whether they promote (...)
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  • Meditations on First Philosophy.René Descartes - 1984 [1641] - Caravan Books.
    I have always considered that the two questions respecting God and the Soul were the chief of those that ought to be demonstrated by philosophical rather than ...
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  • The Foundations of Arithmetic: A Logico-Mathematical Enquiry Into the Concept of Number.Gottlob Frege - 1950 - New York, NY, USA: Northwestern University Press.
    § i. After deserting for a time the old Euclidean standards of rigour, mathematics is now returning to them, and even making efforts to go beyond them. ...
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  • Can We Do Without Pragmatic Encroachment.Brian Weatherson - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):417–443.
    I consider the problem of how to derive what an agent believes from their credence function and utility function. I argue the best solution of this problem is pragmatic, i.e. it is sensitive to the kinds of choices actually facing the agent. I further argue that this explains why our notion of justified belief appears to be pragmatic, as is argued e.g. by Fantl and McGrath. The notion of epistemic justification is not really a pragmatic notion, but it is being (...)
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  • A Defense of Stable Invariantism.Baron Reed - 2010 - Noûs 44 (2):224-244.
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  • Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing.Miranda Fricker - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Fricker shows that virtue epistemology provides a general epistemological idiom in which these issues can be forcefully discussed.
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  • Moral Disagreement and Moral Expertise.Sarah McGrath - 2008 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 3:87-108.
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  • Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
    This book continues and revises the ideas of justice as fairness that John Rawls presented in _A Theory of Justice_ but changes its philosophical interpretation in a fundamental way. That previous work assumed what Rawls calls a "well-ordered society," one that is stable and relatively homogenous in its basic moral beliefs and in which there is broad agreement about what constitutes the good life. Yet in modern democratic society a plurality of incompatible and irreconcilable doctrines--religious, philosophical, and moral--coexist within the (...)
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  • Taking Rights Seriously.Ronald Dworkin (ed.) - 1977 - Duckworth.
    This is the first publication of these ideas in book form. 'It is a rare treat--important, original philosophy that is also a pleasure to read.
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  • Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.
    Recent authors have drawn attention to a new kind of defeating evidence commonly referred to as higher-order evidence. Such evidence works by inducing doubts that one’s doxastic state is the result of a flawed process – for instance, a process brought about by a reason-distorting drug. I argue that accommodating defeat by higher-order evidence requires a two-tiered theory of justification, and that the phenomenon gives rise to a puzzle. The puzzle is that at least in some situations involving higher-order defeaters (...)
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  • Epistemological Puzzles About Disagreement.Richard Feldman - 2006 - In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), Epistemology Futures. Oxford University Press. pp. 216-236.
    My conclusion will be that, more often than we might have thought, suspension of judgment is the epistemically proper attitude. It follows that in such cases we lack reasonable belief and so, at least on standard conceptions, knowledge. This is a kind of contingent real-world skepticism that has not received the attention it deserves. I hope that this paper will help to bring this issue to life.
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  • Disagreement, Question-Begging and Epistemic Self-Criticism.David Christensen - 2011 - Philosophers' Imprint 11.
    Responding rationally to the information that others disagree with one’s beliefs requires assessing the epistemic credentials of the opposing beliefs. Conciliatory accounts of disagreement flow in part from holding that these assessments must be independent from one’s own initial reasoning on the disputed matter. I argue that this claim, properly understood, does not have the untoward consequences some have worried about. Moreover, some of the difficulties it does engender must be faced by many less conciliatory accounts of disagreement.
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  • Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
    How should one react when one has a belief, but knows that other people—who have roughly the same evidence as one has, and seem roughly as likely to react to it correctly—disagree? This paper argues that the disagreement of other competent inquirers often requires one to be much less confident in one’s opinions than one would otherwise be.
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  • The Rise of Informal Logic: Essays on Argumentation, Critical Thinking, Reasoning, and Politics.Ralph Henry Johnson - 1996 - Newport, VA, USA: Vale Press.
    We are pleased to release this edition of Ralph Johnson’s The Rise of Informal Logic as Volume 2 in the series Windsor Studies in Argumentation. This edition is a reprint of the previous Vale Press edition with some typographical errors and other minor mistakes corrected. The prime motive for gathering Ralph H. Johnson’s essays under one cover is their clear articulation of the goals, concerns and problems of the discipline of informal logic. To my knowledge all of the published articles, (...)
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  • Commitment in Dialogue: Basic Concepts of Interpersonal Reasoning.Douglas Neil Walton & Erik C. W. Krabbe - 1995 - Albany, NY, USA: State University of New York Press.
    Develops a logical analysis of dialogue in which two or more parties attempt to advance their own interests. It includes a classification of the major types of dialogues and a discussion of several important informal fallacies.
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  • Knowledge and Lotteries.John P. Hawthorn - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Knowledge and Lotteries is organized around an epistemological puzzle: in many cases, we seem consistently inclined to deny that we know a certain class of propositions, while crediting ourselves with knowledge of propositions that imply them. In its starkest form, the puzzle is this: we do not think we know that a given lottery ticket will be a loser, yet we normally count ourselves as knowing all sorts of ordinary things that entail that its holder will not suddenly acquire a (...)
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  • Thought.Gilbert H. Harman - 1973 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.
    Thoughts and other mental states are defined by their role in a functional system. Since it is easier to determine when we have knowledge than when reasoning has occurred, Gilbert Harman attempts to answer the latter question by seeing what assumptions about reasoning would best account for when we have knowledge and when not. He describes induction as inference to the best explanation, or more precisely as a modification of beliefs that seeks to minimize change and maximize explanatory coherence. Originally (...)
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  • Knowledge in an Uncertain World.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Introduction -- Fallibilism -- Contextualism -- Knowledge and reasons -- Justification -- Belief -- The value and importance of knowledge -- Infallibilism or pragmatic encroachment? -- Appendix I: Conflicts with bayesian decision theory? -- Appendix II: Does KJ entail infallibilism?
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  • Debate Dynamics: How Controversy Improves Our Beliefs.Gregor Betz - 2012 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    By means of multi-agent simulations, it investigates the truth and consensus-conduciveness of controversial debates. The book brings together research in formal epistemology and argumentation theory.
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  • Evidence, Pragmatics, and Justification.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (1):67-94.
    Evidentialism is the thesis that epistemic justification for belief supervenes on evidential support. However, we claim there are cases in which, even though two subjects have the same evidential support for a proposition, only one of them is justified. What make the difference are pragmatic factors, factors having to do with our cares and concerns. Our argument against evidentialism is not based on intuitions about particular cases. Rather, we aim to provide a theoretical basis for rejecting evidentialism by defending a (...)
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  • The Last Word.Simon Blackburn & Thomas Nagel - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):653.
    Like all of Nagel's work, this is a book with a message: an apparently clear, simple message, forcefully presented and repeated. The message is that there is a limit to the extent to which we can "get outside" fundamental forms of thought, including logical, mathematical, scientific, and ethical thought. "Getting outside" means taking up a biological or psychological or sociological or economic or political view of ourselves as thinkers. It also inclines many people to talk of the contingency or subjectivity (...)
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  • The Republic. Plato & Benjamin Jowett - 1894 - Courier Dover Publications.
    A model for the ideal state includes discussion of the nature and application of justice, the role of the philosopher in society, the goals of education, and the effects of art upon character.
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  • The Foundations of Arithmetic. A Logico-Mathematical Enquiry Into the Concept of Number. [REVIEW]E. N. - 1951 - Journal of Philosophy 48 (10):342.
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  • Manipulative Actions: A Conceptual and Moral Analysis.Robert Noggle - 1996 - American Philosophical Quarterly 33 (1):43 - 55.
    Manipulative actions come in a bewildering variety of forms: direct and indirect deception, playing on emotions, tempting, inciting, and so on. It is not obvious what feature all these actions share in virtue of which they are all of the same kind and in virtue of which they are all morally wrong. This article argues that all manipulative actions are cases in which the manipulator attempts to lead the victim astray by trying to get her to have emotions, beliefs, or (...)
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  • Intention and Weakness of Will.Richard Holton - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (5):241.
    Philosophical orthodoxy identifies weakness of will with akrasia: the weak willed person is someone who intentionally acts against their better judgement. It is argued that this is a mistake. Weakness of will consists in a quite different failing, namely an over-ready revision of one's intentions. Building on the work of Bratman, an account of such over-ready revision is given. A number of examples are then adduced showing how weakness of will, so understood, differs from akrasia.
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  • The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
    Consider the skeptic about the external world. Let’s straightaway concede to such a skeptic that perception gives us no conclusive or certain knowledge about our surroundings. Our perceptual justification for beliefs about our surroundings is always defeasible—there are always possible improvements in our epistemic state which would no longer support those beliefs. Let’s also concede to the skeptic that it’s metaphysically possible for us to have all the experiences we’re now having while all those experiences are false. Some philosophers dispute (...)
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  • Knowledge, Practical Interests, and Rising Tides.Stephen R. Grimm - 2015 - In John Greco & David Henderson (eds.), Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    Defenders of pragmatic encroachment in epistemology (or what I call practicalism) need to address two main problems. First, the view seems to imply, absurdly, that knowledge can come and go quite easily—in particular, that it might come and go along with our variable practical interests. We can call this the stability problem. Second, there seems to be no fully satisfying way of explaining whose practical interests matter. We can call this the “whose stakes?” problem. I argue that both problems can (...)
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  • Can Religious Arguments "Persuade"?Jennifer Faust - 2008 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 63 (1-3):71-86.
    In his famous essay "The Ethics of Belief," William K. Clifford claimed "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." ). One might claim that a corollary to Clifford's Law is that it is wrong, always, everywhere, and for anyone, to withhold belief when faced with sufficient evidence. Seeming to operate on this principle, many religious philosophers—from St. Anselm to Alvin Plantinga—have claimed that non-believers are psychologically or cognitively deficient if they refuse to believe (...)
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  • Confucian Ritual as Body Language of Self, Society, and Spirit.Mary I. Bockover - 2012 - Sophia 51 (2):177-194.
    This article explains how li 禮 or ‘ritual propriety’ is the ‘body language’ of ren 仁 or the authentic expression of our humanity. Li and ren are interdependent aspects of a larger creative human way (rendao 仁道) that can be conceptually distinguished as follows: li refers to the ritualized social form of appropriate conduct and ren to the more general, authentically human spirit this expresses. Li is the social instrument for self-cultivation and the vehicle of harmonious human interaction. More, li (...)
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  • Following the Argument Where It Leads.Thomas Kelly - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):105-124.
    Throughout the history of western philosophy, the Socratic injunction to ‘follow the argument where it leads’ has exerted a powerful attraction. But what is it, exactly, to follow the argument where it leads? I explore this intellectual ideal and offer a modest proposal as to how we should understand it. On my proposal, following the argument where it leaves involves a kind of modalized reasonableness. I then consider the relationship between the ideal and common sense or ‘Moorean’ responses to revisionary (...)
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  • Evidentialism and Pragmatic Constraints on Outright Belief.Dorit Ganson - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (3):441 - 458.
    Evidentialism is the view that facts about whether or not an agent is justified in having a particular belief are entirely determined by facts about the agent’s evidence; the agent’s practical needs and interests are irrelevant. I examine an array of arguments against evidentialism (by Jeremy Fantl, Matthew McGrath, David Owens, and others), and demonstrate how their force is affected when we take into account the relation between degrees of belief and outright belief. Once we are sensitive to one of (...)
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  • On Conditionals.Dorothy Edgington - 1995 - Mind 104 (414):235-329.
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  • Socratic Open-Mindedness.William Hare - 2009 - Paideusis: Journal of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society 18 (1):5-16.
    A philosophical conception of open-minded inquiry first emerges in western philosophy in the work of Socrates. This paper develops an interpretation of Socratic open-mindedness drawing primarily on Socratic ideas about the requirements of serious argument, and the nature of human wisdom. This account is defended against a number of objections which mistakenly interpret Socrates as defending, teaching, or inducing skepticism, and neglecting the value of expert wisdom. The ongoing significance of Socratic open-mindedness as an ideal of inquiry is brought out (...)
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  • Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
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  • Giving Dualism its Due.William G. Lycan - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):551-563.
    Despite the current resurgence of modest forms of mind?body dualism, traditional Cartesian immaterial-substance dualism has few, if any, defenders. This paper argues that no convincing case has been made against substance dualism, and that standard objections to it can be credibly answered.
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  • The Inquiring Mind: On Intellectual Virtues and Virtue Epistemology.Jason Baehr - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    This book is the first systematic treatment of 'responsibilist' or character-based virtue epistemology, an approach to epistemology that focuses on intellectual ...
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  • A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive.John Stuart Mill - 1843 - University of Toronto Press.
    Ethics and jurisprudence are liable to the remark in common with logic. Almost every writer having taken a different view of some of the particulars which ...
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  • Considered Judgment.Catherine Z. Elgin - 1999 - Princeton University Press.
    Philosophy long sought to set knowledge on a firm foundation, through derivation of indubitable truths by infallible rules. For want of such truths and rules, the enterprise foundered. Nevertheless, foundationalism's heirs continue their forbears' quest, seeking security against epistemic misfortune, while their detractors typically espouse unbridled coherentism or facile relativism. Maintaining that neither stance is tenable, Catherine Elgin devises a via media between the absolute and the arbitrary, reconceiving the nature, goals, and methods of epistemology. In Considered Judgment, she argues (...)
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  • The Design Argument.Elliott Sober - 2019 - Cambridge University Press.
    This Element analyzes the various forms that design arguments for the existence of God can take, but the main focus is on two such arguments. The first concerns the complex adaptive features that organisms have. Creationists who advance this argument contend that evolution by natural selection cannot be the right explanation. The second design argument - the argument from fine-tuning - begins with the fact that life could not exist in our universe if the constants found in the laws of (...)
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  • Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism.Michael Huemer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.
    I defend the principle of Phenomenal Conservatism, on which appearances of all kinds generate at least some justification for belief. I argue that there is no reason for privileging introspection or intuition over perceptual experience as a source of justified belief; that those who deny Phenomenal Conservatism are in a self-defeating position, in that their view cannot be both true and justified; and that thedemand for a metajustification for Phenomenal Conservatism either is an easily met demand, or is an unfair (...)
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  • Politics and Manipulation.Claudia Mills - 1995 - Social Theory and Practice 21 (1):97-112.
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  • Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].
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  • On Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology.Matthew McGrath - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3):558-589.
    We argue, contrary to epistemological orthodoxy, that knowledge is not purely epistemic -- that knowledge is not simply a matter of truth-related factors (evidence, reliability, etc.). We do this by arguing for a pragmatic condition on knowledge, KA: if a subject knows that p, then she is rational to act as if p. KA, together with fallibilism, entails that knowledge is not purely epistemic. We support KA by appealing tothe role of knowledge-citations in defending and criticizing actions, and by giving (...)
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  • On the Relationship Between Propositional and Doxastic Justification.John Turri - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (2):312-326.
    I argue against the orthodox view of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification. The view under criticism is: if p is propositionally justified for S in virtue of S's having reason R, and S believes p on the basis of R, then S's belief that p is doxastically justified. I then propose and evaluate alternative accounts of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification, and conclude that we should explain propositional justification in terms of doxastic justification. If correct, this (...)
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  • Higher Order Evidence.David Christensen - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):185-215.
    Sometimes we get evidence of our own epistemic malfunction. This can come from finding out we’re fatigued, or have been drugged, or that other competent and well-informed thinkers disagree with our beliefs. This sort of evidence seems to seems to behave differently from ordinary evidence about the world. In particular, getting such evidence can put agents in a position where the most rational response involves violating some epistemic ideal.
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  • Is It Good to Be Open-Minded?William Hare - 2003 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (1):73-87.
    Although open-mindedness is still widely regarded as an intellectual virtue and an aim of education, it is also commonly held that this attitude carries with it certain implications that ultimately threaten serious inquiry. In particular, open-mindedness is often thought (i) to encourage credulity, (ii) to discourage the formation of definite views, and (iii) to detract from the tenacious pursuit of an idea. These confusions turn up in the work of reputable philosophers and it is important to address them if cynicism (...)
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  • The Free Speech Argument Against Pornography.Caroline West - 2003 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):391 - 422.
    It is widely held that free speech is a distinctive and privileged social kind. But what is free speech? In particular, is there any unified phenomenon that is both free speech and which is worthy of the special value traditionally attached to free speech? We argue that a descendent of the classic Millian justification of free speech is in fact a justification of a more general social condition; and, via an argument that 'free speech' names whatever natural social kind is (...)
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  • Decision Theory as Philosophy.Mark Kaplan - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    Is Bayesian decision theory a panacea for many of the problems in epistemology and the philosophy of science, or is it philosophical snake-oil? For years a debate had been waged amongst specialists regarding the import and legitimacy of this body of theory. Mark Kaplan had written the first accessible and non-technical book to address this controversy. Introducing a new variant on Bayesian decision theory the author offers a compelling case that, while no panacea, decision theory does in fact have the (...)
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  • Manifest Rationality: A Pragmatic Theory of Argument.Ralph H. Johnson - 2000 - Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.
    He further argues that it is necessary to rethink traditional conceptions of argument, and to find a position that avoids the limitations of both the highly abstract approach of formal logic and the highly contextualized approaches of rhetoric and communication theory.".
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  • What is Justified Belief?Alvin Goldman - 1979 - In George Pappas (ed.), Justification and Knowledge. Boston: D. Reidel. pp. 1-25.
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