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Skepticism, Fallibilism, and Rational Evaluation

In Christos Kyriacou & Kevin Wallbridge (eds.), Skeptical Invariantism Reconsidered (forthcoming)

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  1. Live Skeptical Hypotheses.Bryan Frances - 2008 - In John Greco (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. Oxford University Press. pp. 225-245.
    Those of us who take skepticism seriously typically have two relevant beliefs: (a) it’s plausible (even if false) that in order to know that I have hands I have to be able to epistemically neutralize, to some significant degree, some skeptical hypotheses, such as the brain-in-a-vat (BIV) one; and (b) it’s also plausible (even if false) that I can’t so neutralize those hypotheses. There is no reason for us to also think (c) that the BIV hypothesis, for instance, is plausible (...)
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  • How to Think About Fallibilism.Baron Reed - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 107 (2):143-157.
    Almost every contemporary theory of knowledge is a version of fallibilism, yet an adequate statement of fallibilism has not yet been provided. Standard definitions cannot account for fallibilistic knowledge of necessary truths. I consider and reject several attempts to resolve this difficulty before arguing that a belief is an instance of fallibilistic knowledge when it could have failed to be knowledge. This is a fully general account of fallibilism that applies to knowledge of necessary truths. Moreover, it reveals, not only (...)
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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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  • Irrelevant Influences.Katia Vavova - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:134-152.
    We often hear such casual accusations: you just believe that because you are a liberal, a Christian, an American, a woman… When such charges are made they are meant to sting—not just emotionally, but epistemically. But should they? It can be disturbing to learn that one's beliefs reflect the influence of such irrelevant factors. The pervasiveness of such influence has led some to worry that we are not justified in many of our beliefs. That same pervasiveness has led others to (...)
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  • The Contextualist Evasion of Epistemology.Hilary Kornblith - 2000 - Noûs 34 (s1):24 - 32.
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  • Contextualism and the Real Nature of Academic Skepticism.Peter D. Klein - 2000 - Philosophical Issues 10 (1):108-116.
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  • The Contextualist Evasion of Epistemology.Hilary Kornblith - 2000 - Philosophical Issues 10 (1):24-32.
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  • The Myth of Knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):57-83.
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  • Fallibilism.Baron Reed - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (9):585-596.
    Although recent epistemology has been marked by several prominent disagreements – e.g., between foundationalists and coherentists, internalists and externalists – there has been widespread agreement that some form of fallibilism must be correct. According to a rough formulation of this view, it is possible for a subject to have knowledge even in cases where the justification or grounding for the knowledge is compatible with the subject’s being mistaken. In this paper, I examine the motivation for fallibilism before providing a fully (...)
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  • The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism.Barry Stroud - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
    This book raises questions about the nature of philosophy by examining the source and significance of one central philosophical problem: how can we know anything about the world around us? Stroud discusses and criticizes the views of such philosophers as Descartes, Kant, J.L. Austin, G.E. Moore, R. Carnap, W.V. Quine, and others.
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  • Scepticism Comes Alive.Bryan Frances - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
    In epistemology the nagging voice of the sceptic has always been present, whispering that 'You can't know that you have hands, or just about anything else, because for all you know your whole life is a dream.' Philosophers have recently devised ingenious ways to argue against and silence this voice, but Bryan Frances now presents a highly original argument template for generating new kinds of radical scepticism, ones that hold even if all the clever anti-sceptical fixes defeat the traditional sceptic. (...)
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  • Why We Cannot Rely on Ourselves for Epistemic Improvement.Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij - 2013 - Philosophical Issues 23 (1):276-296.
    There is something very appealing about the idea that we are epistemic agents. One reason—if not the main reason—is that, while we are undoubtedly fallible creatures, us being epistemic agents that do things means that it might just be within our power to improve and thereby do better. One important way in which we would want to improve is in relation to our well-established tendency for cognitive bias. Still, the proper role of epistemic agency in us avoiding or correcting for (...)
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  • A Refutation of Cartesian Fallibilism.Ram Neta - 2011 - Noûs 45 (4):658-695.
    According to a doctrine that I call “Cartesianism”, knowledge – at least the sort of knowledge that inquirers possess – requires having a reason for belief that is reflectively accessible as such. I show that Cartesianism, in conjunction with some plausible and widely accepted principles, entails the negation of a popular version of Fallibilism. I then defend the resulting Cartesian Infallibilist position against popular objections. My conclusion is that if Cartesianism is true, then Descartes was right about this much: for (...)
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  • The Emperor's New 'Knows'.Kent Bach - 2005 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford University Press. pp. 51--89.
    When I examine contextualism there is much that I can doubt. I can doubt whether it is a cogent theory that I examining, and not a cleverly stated piece of whacks. I can doubt whether there is any real theory there at all. Perhaps what I took to be a theory was really some reflections; perhaps I am even the victim of some cognitive hallucination. One thing however I cannot doubt: that there exists a widely read pitch of a round (...)
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  • Contextualism and Skepticism.Richard Feldman - 1999 - Noûs 33 (s13):91-114.
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  • Contextualism and Skepticism.Richard Feldman - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13:91-114.
    In the good old days, a large part of the debate about skepticism focused on the quality of the reasons we have for believing propositions of various types. Skeptics about knowledge in a given domain argued that our reasons for believing propositions in that domain were not good enough to give us knowledge; opponents of skepticism argued that they were. The different conclusions drawn by skeptics and non-skeptics could come either from differences in their views about the standards or conditions (...)
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  • Distrusting Reason.Hilary Kornblith - 1999 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 23 (1):181–196.
    The activity of reason-giving plays an important role in our intellectual lives. Some philosophers, however, have expressed a deep distrust of this activity. This chapter examines the grounds for such distrust and argues that it deserves a far more serious hearing than it is typically given. There are important cases in which the very activity of reason giving should be called into question, but the kinds of challenges to reason giving which are most concerning are, it is argued, ones which (...)
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  • Fallibilism.Stephen Hetherington - 2005 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Fallibilism is the epistemological thesis that no belief (theory, view, thesis, and so on) can ever be rationally supported or justified in a conclusive way. Always, there remains a possible doubt as to the truth of the belief. Fallibilism applies that assessment even to science’s best-entrenched claims and to people’s best-loved commonsense views. Some epistemologists have taken fallibilism to imply skepticism, according to which none of those claims or views are ever well justified or knowledge. In fact, though, it is (...)
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  • A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1911 - Dent.
    'These new Oxford University Press editions have been meticulously collated from various exatant versions. Each text has an excellent introduction including an overview of Hume's thought and an account of his life and times. Even the difficult, and rarely commented-on, chapters on space and time are elucidated. There are also useful notes on the text and glossary. These scholarly new editions are ideally adapted for a whole range of readers, from beginners to experts.' -Jane O'Grady, Catholic Herald, 4/8/00. One of (...)
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  • Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism.Peter Unger - 1975 - Oxford University Press.
    In these challenging pages, Unger argues for the extreme skeptical view that, not only can nothing ever be known, but no one can ever have any reason at all for anything. A consequence of this is that we cannot ever have any emotions about anything: no one can ever be happy or sad about anything. Finally, in this reduction to absurdity of virtually all our supposed thought, he argues that no one can ever believe, or even say, that anything is (...)
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  • The Enigma of Reason.Dan Sperber & Hugo Mercier (eds.) - 2017 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
    Reason, we are told, is what makes us human, the source of our knowledge and wisdom. If reason is so useful, why didn't it also evolve in other animals? If reason is that reliable, why do we produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense? In their groundbreaking account of the evolution and workings of reason, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber set out to solve this double enigma. Reason, they argue with a compelling mix of real-life and experimental evidence, is not geared (...)
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  • Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart.Gerd Gigerenzer, Peter M. Todd & A. B. C. Research Group - 1999 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press USA.
    Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart invites readers to embark on a new journey into a land of rationality that differs from the familiar territory of cognitive science and economics. Traditional views of rationality tend to see decision makers as possessing superhuman powers of reason, limitless knowledge, and all of eternity in which to ponder choices. To understand decisions in the real world, we need a different, more psychologically plausible notion of rationality, and this book provides it. It is about (...)
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  • Knowing Our Limits.Nathan Ballantyne - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Changing our minds isn't easy. Even when we recognize our views are disputed by intelligent and informed people, we rarely doubt our rightness. Why is this so? How can we become more open-minded, putting ourselves in a better position to tolerate conflict, advance collective inquiry, and learn from differing perspectives in a complex world? -/- Nathan Ballantyne defends the indispensable role of epistemology in tackling these issues. For early modern philosophers, the point of reflecting on inquiry was to understand how (...)
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  • A Solution to Knowledge’s Threshold Problem.Michael Hannon - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):607-629.
    This paper is about the ‘threshold problem’ for knowledge, namely, how do we determine what fixes the level of justification required for knowledge in a non-arbitrary way? One popular strategy for solving this problem is impurism, which is the view that the required level of justification is partly fixed by one’s practical reasoning situation. However, this strategy has been the target of several recent objections. My goal is to propose a new version of impurism that solves the threshold problem without (...)
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  • A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40).David Hume - 1978 - Oxford University Press.
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  • Scepticism: A Very Short Introduction.Duncan Pritchard - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    This book explores the nature of scepticism, asking when it is legitimate, for example as the driver of new ideas, and when it is problematic. It also tackles how scepticism is related to contemporary social and political phenomena, such as fake news, and examines a radical form of scepticism which maintains that knowledge is impossible.
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  • After Certainty: A History of Our Epistemic Ideals and Illusions.Robert Pasnau - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    After Certainty offers a reconstruction of the history of epistemology, understood as a series of changing expectations about the cognitive ideal that we might hope to achieve in this world. Pasnau ranges widely over philosophy from Aristotle to the 17th century, and examines in some detail the rise of science as an autonomous discipline.
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  • A Critical Introduction to Skepticism.Allan Hazlett - 2014 - Bloomsbury Academic.
    Skepticism remains a central and defining issue in epistemology, and in the wider tradition of Western philosophy. To better understand the contemporary position of this important philosophical subject, Allan Hazlett introduces a range of topics, including: -/- • Ancient skepticism • skeptical arguments in the work of Hume and Descartes • Cartesian skepticism in contemporary epistemology • anti-skeptical strategies, including Mooreanism, nonclosure, and contextualism • additional varieties of skepticism • the practical consequences of Cartesian skepticism -/- Presenting a comprehensive survey (...)
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  • Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
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  • Instrumental Rationality.John Brunero & Niko Kolodny - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Solving the Skeptical Problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - In Keith DeRose & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Skepticism: A Contemporary Reader. Oup Usa.
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  • Elusive Knowledge.David Lewis - 1999 - In Keith DeRose & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Skepticism: A Contemporary Reader. Oup Usa.
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  • Elusive Knowledge.David Lewis - 2000 - In Sven Bernecker & Fred I. Dretske (eds.), Knowledge: Readings in Contemporary Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
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  • Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious.Timothy D. Wilson - 2002 - Harvard University Press.
    This is not your psychoanalyst's unconscious.
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  • Rationality Redeemed?: Further Dialogues on an Educational Ideal.Harvey Siegel - 1997 - Routedge.
    In Educating Reason, Harvey Siegel presented the case regarding rationality and critical thinking as fundamental education ideals. In Rationality Redeemed? , a collection of essays written since that time, he develops this view, responds to major criticisms raised against it, and engages those critics in dialogue. In developing his ideas and responding to critics, Siegel addresses main currents in contemporary thought, including feminism, postmodernism and multiculturalism.
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  • Telling More Than We Can Know: Verbal Reports on Mental Processes.Richard E. Nisbett & Timothy D. Wilson~ - 1977 - Psychological Review 84 (3):231-59.
    Reviews evidence which suggests that there may be little or no direct introspective access to higher order cognitive processes. Ss are sometimes unaware of the existence of a stimulus that importantly influenced a response, unaware of the existence of the response, and unaware that the stimulus has affected the response. It is proposed that when people attempt to report on their cognitive processes, that is, on the processes mediating the effects of a stimulus on a response, they do not do (...)
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  • Some Consequences of Four Incapacities.Charles S. Peirce - 1868 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 2 (3):140 - 157.
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  • The Pragmatic Dimension of Knowledge.Fred Dretske - 1981 - Philosophical Studies 40 (3):363--378.
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  • Contextualism, Externalism and Epistemic Standards.Michael Williams - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 103 (1):1 - 23.
    I want to discuss an approach to knowledge that I shall call simple conversational contextualism or SCC for short. Proponents of SCC think that it offers an illuminating account of both why scepti- cism is wrong and why arguments for scepticism are so intuitively appealing. I have my doubts.
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  • Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):105-116.
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  • How to Be a Fallibilist.Stewart Cohen - 1988 - Philosophical Perspectives 2:91-123.
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  • The New Organon.Francis Bacon - 2007 - In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.
    When the New Organon appeared in 1620, part of a six-part programme of scientific inquiry entitled 'The Great Renewal of Learning', Francis Bacon was at the high point of his political career, and his ambitious work was groundbreaking in its attempt to give formal philosophical shape to a new and rapidly emerging experimentally-based science. Bacon combines theoretical scientific epistemology with examples from applied science, examining phenomena as various as magnetism, gravity, and the ebb and flow of the tides, and anticipating (...)
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  • Some Consequences of Four Incapacities.Charles S. Peirce - 2011 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 12-36.
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  • Skepticism: Impractical, Therefore Implausible.Michael Hannon - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):143-158.
    The truth of skepticism would be depressing and impractical. Our beliefs would be groundless, we would know nothing (or almost nothing) about the world around us, and epistemic success would likely be impossible. But do these negative consequences have any bearing on the truth of skepticism? According to many scholars, they do not. The impractical consequences of skepticism are typically regarded as orthogonal to its truth. For this reason, pragmatic resolutions to skepticism are regularly dismissed. I will argue, however, that (...)
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  • The Fact of Unreasonable Pluralism.Aaron Ancell - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (4):410-428.
    Proponents of political liberalism standardly assume that the citizens of an ideal liberal society would be overwhelmingly reasonable. I argue that this assumption violates political liberalism's own constraints of realism—constraints that are necessary to frame the central problem that political liberalism aims to solve, that is, the problem of reasonable pluralism. To be consistent with these constraints, political liberalism must recognize that, as with reasonable pluralism, widespread support for unreasonable moral and political views is an inevitable feature of any liberal (...)
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  • A Neo-Pyrrhonian Response to the Disagreeing About Disagreement Argument.Diego E. Machuca - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1663-1680.
    An objection that has been raised to the conciliatory stance on the epistemic significance of peer disagreement known as the Equal Weight View is that it is self-defeating, self-undermining, or self-refuting. The proponent of that view claims that equal weight should be given to all the parties to a peer dispute. Hence, if one of his epistemic peers defends the opposite view, he is required to give equal weight to the two rival views, thereby undermining his confidence in the correctness (...)
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  • Scepticism and Implicit Bias.Jennifer Saul - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (37):243-263.
    Saul_Jennifer, Scepticism and Implicit Bias.
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  • Knowledge Claims and Context: Loose Use.Wayne A. Davis - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (3):395-438.
    There is abundant evidence of contextual variation in the use of “S knows p.” Contextualist theories explain this variation in terms of semantic hypotheses that refer to standards of justification determined by “practical” features of either the subject’s context (Hawthorne & Stanley) or the ascriber’s context (Lewis, Cohen, & DeRose). There is extensive linguistic counterevidence to both forms. I maintain that the contextual variation of knowledge claims is better explained by common pragmatic factors. I show here that one is variable (...)
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  • Certainty.Baron Reed - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism.Peter Unger - 1975 - Philosophy 50 (194):489-490.
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