Results for 'Conspiracy Theories'

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  1. The Applied Epistemology of Conspiracy Theories: An Overview.M. R. X. Dentith & Brian L. Keeley - 2018 - In David Coady & James Chase (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Applied Epistemology. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 284-294.
    An overview of the current epistemic literature concerning conspiracy theories, as well as indications for future research avenues on the topic.
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  2. Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom Revisited.Charles Pigden - forthcoming - In Olli Loukola (ed.), Secrets and Conspiracies. Rodopi.
    Conspiracy theories should be neither believed nor investigated - that is the conventional wisdom. I argue that it is sometimes permissible both to investigate and to believe. Hence this is a dispute in the ethics of belief. I defend epistemic ‘oughts’ that apply in the first instance to belief-forming strategies that are partly under our control. I argue that the policy of systematically doubting or disbelieving conspiracy theories would be both a political disaster and the epistemic (...)
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  3. Conspiracy Theories and the Conventional Wisdom.Charles Pigden - 2007 - Episteme 4 (2):219-232.
    Abstract Conspiracy theories should be neither believed nor investigated - that is the conventional wisdom. I argue that it is sometimes permissible both to investigate and to believe. Hence this is a dispute in the ethics of belief. I defend epistemic “oughts” that apply in the first instance to belief-forming strategies that are partly under our control. But the beliefforming strategy of not believing conspiracy theories would be a political disaster and the epistemic equivalent of selfmutilation. (...)
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  4. Popper Revisited, or What is Wrong with Conspiracy Theories?Charles Pigden - 1995 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (1):3-34.
    Conpiracy theories are widely deemed to be superstitious. Yet history appears to be littered with conspiracies successful and otherwise. (For this reason, "cock-up" theories cannot in general replace conspiracy theories, since in many cases the cock-ups are simply failed conspiracies.) Why then is it silly to suppose that historical events are sometimes due to conspiracy? The only argument available to this author is drawn from the work of the late Sir Karl Popper, who criticizes what (...)
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  5. Conspiracy Theories and Their Investigator(S).R. X. Dentith Matthew - 2017 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 6 (4):4-11.
    A reply to Patrick Stokes' 'Reluctance and Suspicion'—itself a reply to an early piece by myself replying to Stokes—in which I clarify what it is I intend when talking about how we should investigate conspiracy theories.
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  6. Review: Cass R. Sunstein. Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas. 304 Pp. Simon & Schuster, 2014. [REVIEW]Ori Freiman - 2016 - Spontaneous Generations 8 (1):100-104.
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  7. In Defence of Conspiracy Theories.Matthew Dentith - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Auckland
    The purpose of this doctoral project is to explore the epistemic issues surrounding the concept of the conspiracy theory and to advance the analysis and evaluation of the conspiracy theory as a mode of explanation. The candidate is interested in the circumstances under which inferring to the truth or likeliness of a given conspiracy theory is, or is not, warranted.
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  8. Treating Conspiracy Theories Seriously: A Reply to Basham on Dentith.Matthew R. X. Dentith - 2016 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5 (9):1-5.
    A response to Lee Basham's 'The Need for Accountable Witnesses: A Reply to Dentith'.
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  9. Conspiracy Theories on the Basis of the Evidence.Matthew Dentith - 2017 - Synthese:1-19.
    Conspiracy theories are often portrayed as unwarranted beliefs, typically supported by suspicious kinds of evidence. Yet contemporary work in Philosophy argues provisional belief in conspiracy theories is at the very least understandable---because conspiracies occur---and that if we take an evidential approach, judging individual conspiracy theories on their particular merits, belief in such theories turns out to be warranted in a range of cases. -/- Drawing on this work, I examine the kinds of evidence (...)
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  10. Expertise and Conspiracy Theories.M. R. X. Dentith - 2018 - Social Epistemology 32 (3):196-208.
    Judging the warrant of conspiracy theories can be difficult, and often we rely upon what the experts tell us when it comes to assessing whether particular conspiracy theories ought to be believed. However, whereas there are recognised experts in the sciences, I argue that only are is no such associated expertise when it comes to the things we call `conspiracy theories,' but that the conspiracy theorist has good reason to be suspicious of the (...)
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  11. Are Conspiracy Theories a Force for the Good?Daniel Cohnitz - 2018 - The Philosophers' Magazine 80:52-57.
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  12. Conspiracy Theories and Evidential Self-Insulation.M. Giulia Napolitano - forthcoming - In Sven Bernecker, Amy Flowerree & Thomas Grundmann (eds.), The Epistemology of Fake News.
    What are conspiracy theories? And what, if anything, is epistemically wrong with them? I offer an account on which conspiracy theories are a unique way of holding a belief in a conspiracy. Specifically, I take conspiracy theories to be self-insulating beliefs in conspiracies. On this view, conspiracy theorists have their conspiratorial beliefs in a way that is immune to revision by counter-evidence. I argue that conspiracy theories are always irrational. Although (...)
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  13. The Philosophy of Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously. [REVIEW]Ori Freiman - 2019 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 8 (9):51-61.
    During the last few decades, the proliferation of interest in conspiracy theories became a widespread phenomenon in our culture, and also in academia. In this piece, I review a new book on the topic of conspiracy theory theory (that is-the theory of conspiracy theories) Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously, edited by M R. X. Dentith. To contextualize the review, I first turn to the '90s, to see what sparked current interest in conspiracy (...) within the field of analytic philosophy. I then critically asses the current limitations of social epistemology, as a field. Among other things, I show how accepted assumptions in social epistemology cause cross-disciplinary disagreements with other social sciences, present the dilemma of trivializing whistle-blowers, and discuss few neglected roles technologies play in belief formation. (shrink)
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  14. Critical Citizens or Paranoid Nutcases: On the Epistemology of Conspiracy Theories.Daniel Cohnitz - 2017 - Utrecht: Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit Geesteswetenschappen.
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  15. When Inferring to a Conspiracy Might Be the Best Explanation.Matthew R. X. Dentith - 2016 - Social Epistemology 30 (5-6):572-591.
    Conspiracy theories are typically thought to be examples of irrational beliefs, and thus unlikely to be warranted. However, recent work in Philosophy has challenged the claim that belief in conspiracy theories is irrational, showing that in a range of cases, belief in conspiracy theories is warranted. However, it is still often said that conspiracy theories are unlikely relative to non-conspiratorial explanations which account for the same phenomena. However, such arguments turn out to (...)
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  16.  31
    A Conspiracy of Theories.Steve Brewer - 2016 - Philosophy Now 114:57-58.
    A dialogue in which Freya argues that conspiracy theories are illogical, but Orin is not so sure!
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  17. Complots of Mischief.Charles Pigden - 2006 - In David Coady (ed.), Conspiracy Theories: The Philosophical Debate. Ashgate. pp. 139-166.
    In Part 1, I contend (using Coriolanus as my mouthpiece) that Keeley and Clarke have failed to show that there is anything intellectually suspect about conspiracy theories per se. Conspiracy theorists need not commit the ‘fundamental attribution error’ there is no reason to suppose that all or most conspiracy theories constitute the cores of degenerating research programs, nor does situationism - a dubious doctrine in itself - lend any support to a systematic skepticism about (...) theories. In Part 2. I argue (in propria persona) that the idea that there is something suspect about conspiracy theories is one of the most dangerous and idiotic superstitions to disgrace our political culture. (shrink)
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  18. I'm Not a Conspiracy Theorist, But...Matthew R. X. Dentith - 2015 - Fortean Times (324):36-39.
    Typical analyses of belief in conspiracy theories have it that identifying as a conspiracy theorist is irrational. However, given that we know conspiracies occur, and theories about said conspiracies can be warranted, should we really be scared of the locution 'I'm a conspiracy theorist...'?
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  19. Relevance and Risk: How the Relevant Alternatives Framework Models the Epistemology of Risk.Georgi Gardiner - forthcoming - Synthese:1-31.
    The epistemology of risk examines how risks bear on epistemic properties. A common framework for examining the epistemology of risk holds that strength of evidential support is best modelled as numerical probability given the available evidence. In this essay I develop and motivate a rival ‘relevant alternatives’ framework for theorising about the epistemology of risk. I describe three loci for thinking about the epistemology of risk. The first locus concerns consequences of relying on a belief for action, where those consequences (...)
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  20. Social Science's Conspiracy Theory Panic: Now They Want to Cure Everyone.Lee Basham & Matthew Dentith - 2016 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5 (10):12-19.
    A response to a declaration in 'Le Monde', 'Luttons efficacement contre les théories du complot' by Gérald Bronner, Véronique Campion-Vincent, Sylvain Delouvée, Sebastian Dieguez, Karen Douglas, Nicolas Gauvrit, Anthony Lantian, and Pascal Wagner-Egger, published on June the 6th, 2016.
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  21. Clearing Up Some Conceptual Confusions About Conspiracy Theory Theorising.Matthew R. X. Dentith & Martin Orr - 2017 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 6 (1):9-16.
    A reply to Gérald Bronner, Véronique Campion-Vincent, Sylvain Delouvée, Sebastian Dieguez, Nicolas Gauvrit, Anthony Lantian, and Pascal Wagner-Egger's piece, '“They” Respond: Comments on Basham et al.’s “Social Science’s Conspiracy-Theory Panic: Now They Want to Cure Everyone”.
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  22. The Problem of Conspiracism.Matthew R. X. Dentith - 2018 - Argumenta 3 (2):327-343.
    Belief in conspiracy theories is typically considered irrational, and as a consequence of this, conspiracy theorists––those who dare believe some conspiracy theory––have been charged with a variety of epistemic or psychological failings. Yet recent philosophical work has challenged the view that belief in conspiracy theories should be considered as typically irrational. By performing an intra-group analysis of those people we call “conspiracy theorists”, we find that the problematic traits commonly ascribed to the general (...)
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  23.  56
    Facing Epistemic Authorities: Where Democratic Ideals and Critical Thinking Mislead Cognition.Thomas Grundmann - forthcoming - In Sven Bernecker, Amy Floweree & Thomas Grundmann (eds.), The Epistemology of Fake News. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Disrespect for the truth, the rise of conspiracy thinking, and a pervasive distrust in experts are widespread features of the post-truth condition in current politics and public opinion. Among the many good explanations of these phenomena there is one that is only rarely discussed: that something is wrong with our deeply entrenched intellectual standards of (i) using our own critical thinking without any restriction and (ii) respecting the judgment of every rational agent as epistemically relevant. In this paper, I (...)
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  24. Have You Heard? The Rumour as Reliable.Matthew Dentith - 2013 - In Greg Dalziel (ed.), Rumour and Communication in Asia in the Internet Age. Routledge. pp. 46-61.
    Drawing on work by philosophers CAJ Coady and David Coady on the epistemology of rumours, I develop a theory which exploits the distinction between rumouring and rumour-mongering for the purpose of explaining why we should treat rumours as a species of justified belief. -/- Whilst it is true that rumour-mongering, the act of passing on a rumour maliciously, presents a pathology of the normally reliable transmission of rumours, I will argue that rumours themselves have a generally reliable transmission process, that (...)
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  25. Secrecy and Conspiracy.Matthew R. X. Dentith & Martin Orr - 2017 - Episteme 15 (4):433-450.
    In the literature on conspiracy theories, the least contentious part of the academic discourse would appear to be what we mean by a “conspiracy”: a secretive plot between two or more people toward some end. Yet what, exactly, is the connection between something being a conspiracy and it being secret? Is it possible to conspire without also engaging in secretive behavior? To dissect the role of secrecy in con- spiracies – and thus contribute to the larger (...)
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  26. The Iniquity of the Conspiracy Inquirers.M. R. X. Dentith - 2019 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 8 (8):1-11.
    A reply to “Why ‘Healthy Conspiracy Theories’ Are (Oxy)morons” by Pascal Wagner-Egger, Gérald Bronner, Sylvain Delouvée, Sebastian Dieguez and Nicolas Gauvrit.
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  27. In Defence of Particularism: A Reply to Stokes.Matthew R. X. Dentith - 2016 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5 (11):27-33.
    A reply to Patrick Stokes' “Between Generalism and Particularism About Conspiracy Theory".
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  28. Technologically scaffolded atypical cognition: The case of YouTube’s recommender system.Mark Alfano, Amir Ebrahimi Fard, J. Adam Carter, Peter Clutton & Colin Klein - 2020 - Synthese:1-24.
    YouTube has been implicated in the transformation of users into extremists and conspiracy theorists. The alleged mechanism for this radicalizing process is YouTube’s recommender system, which is optimized to amplify and promote clips that users are likely to watch through to the end. YouTube optimizes for watch-through for economic reasons: people who watch a video through to the end are likely to then watch the next recommended video as well, which means that more advertisements can be served to them. (...)
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  29.  37
    Naar een emancipatie van de complottheorie.Massimiliano Simons - 2017 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 3 (79):473-497.
    This article argues that pseudoscience lacks an adequate philosophical analysis. Using conspiracy theories as a case study, it is claimed that such an analysis needs to go beyond a mere epistemological approach. In the first part, it is shown that the existing philosophical literature shares the assumption that conspiracy theories are primarily deficient scientific hypotheses. This claim is contested, because such an approach can only understand what conspiracy theories fail to be, but not what (...)
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  30. Shit Happens.Pete Mandik - 2007 - Episteme 4 (2):205-218.
    Abstract In this paper I embrace what Brian Keeley calls in “Of Conspiracy Theories” the absurdist horn of the dilemma for philosophers who criticize such theories. I thus defend the view that there is indeed something deeply epistemically wrong with conspiracy theorizing. My complaint is that conspiracy theories apply intentional explanations to situations that give rise to special problems concerning the elimination of competing intentional explanations.
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  31.  45
    The Parallax View: The Military Origins of Holography.Sean F. Johnston - 2009 - In Jens Schröter & Stefan Rieger (eds.), Das Holografische Wissen. Dortmund, Germany: Diaphanes. pp. 33-57.
    The title of this piece is meant to evoke at least three sources. The first – and perhaps the only obvious one – concerns the ability of holograms to display parallax, a shifting of visual viewpoint that allows a three-dimensional image to reveal background objects behind those in the foreground. This parallax view is a unique feature of holograms as visual media. A second allusion is to the American film The Parallax View (1974, director A. J. Pakula), a rather paranoid (...)
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  32. Self, Belonging, and Conscious Experience: A Critique of Subjectivity Theories of Consciousness.Timothy Lane - 2015 - In Rocco Gennaro (ed.), Disturbed consciousness: New essays on psychopathology and theories of consciousness. MIT Press. pp. 103-140.
    Subjectivity theories of consciousness take self-reference, somehow construed, as essential to having conscious experience. These theories differ with respect to how many levels they posit and to whether self-reference is conscious or not. But all treat self-referencing as a process that transpires at the personal level, rather than at the subpersonal level, the level of mechanism. -/- Working with conceptual resources afforded by pre-existing theories of consciousness that take self-reference to be essential, several attempts have been made (...)
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  33. Theories Are Not Partially Ordered.Thomas William Barrett & Hans Halvorson - manuscript
    This paper presents a simple example of first-order theories T1 and T2 such that i) T1 can be embedded in T2 and vice versa, ii) T1 posits all of the structure of T2 and vice versa, but iii) T1 and T2 are not equivalent. This shows that theories lack both the Cantor-Bernstein and co-Cantor-Bernstein properties and are neither partially ordered by the relation 'is embeddable in' nor by 'posits all of the structure of'. In addition, these results clarify (...)
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  34. Electromagnetic-Field Theories of Mind.Mostyn W. Jones - 2013 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (11-12):124-149.
    Neuroscience investigates how neuronal processing circuits work, but it has problems explaining experiences this way. For example, it hasn’t explained how colour and shape circuits bind together in visual processing, nor why colours and other qualia are experienced so differently yet processed by circuits so similarly, nor how to get from processing circuits to pictorial images spread across inner space. Some theorists turn from these circuits to their electromagnetic fields to deal with such difficulties concerning the mind’s qualia, unity, privacy, (...)
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  35.  66
    A Euthyphro Dilemma for Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.Daniel Stoljar - forthcoming - In Gabriel Rabin (ed.), Grounding and Consciousness.
    Abstract: According to a higher-order theory of consciousness, you are in a conscious (psychological) state if and only if you are conscious of being in that state. This paper develops and discusses a Euthyphro dilemma for theories of this sort; that is, a dilemma which asks whether the state is conscious because you are conscious of being in it, or, alternatively, whether you are conscious of being in it because it is conscious. I focus on two different versions of (...)
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  36. Reliable Misrepresentation and Tracking Theories of Mental Representation.Angela Mendelovici - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):421-443.
    It is a live possibility that certain of our experiences reliably misrepresent the world around us. I argue that tracking theories of mental representation have difficulty allowing for this possibility, and that this is a major consideration against them.
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  37. Naturalizing Intentionality: Tracking Theories Versus Phenomenal Intentionality Theories.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):325-337.
    This paper compares tracking and phenomenal intentionality theories of intentionality with respect to the issue of naturalism. Tracking theories explicitly aim to naturalize intentionality, while phenomenal intentionality theories generally do not. It might seem that considerations of naturalism count in favor of tracking theories. We survey key considerations relevant to this claim, including some motivations for and objections to the two kinds of theories. We conclude by suggesting that naturalistic considerations may in fact support phenomenal (...)
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  38. What Matters and How It Matters: A Choice-Theoretic Representation of Moral Theories.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (4):421-479.
    We present a new “reason-based” approach to the formal representation of moral theories, drawing on recent decision-theoretic work. We show that any moral theory within a very large class can be represented in terms of two parameters: a specification of which properties of the objects of moral choice matter in any given context, and a specification of how these properties matter. Reason-based representations provide a very general taxonomy of moral theories, as differences among theories can be attributed (...)
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  39. On Ambitious Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.Joseph Gottlieb - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (3):421-441.
    ABSTRACTAmbitious Higher-order theories of consciousness – Higher-order theories that purport to give an account of phenomenal consciousness – face a well-known objection from the possibility of ra...
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  40. The Missing-Desires Objection to Hybrid Theories of Well-Being.William Lauinger - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):270-295.
    Many philosophers have claimed that we might do well to adopt a hybrid theory of well-being: a theory that incorporates both an objective-value constraint and a pro-attitude constraint. Hybrid theories are attractive for two main reasons. First, unlike desire theories of well-being, hybrid theories need not worry about the problem of defective desires. This is so because, unlike desire theories, hybrid theories place an objective-value constraint on well-being. Second, unlike objectivist theories of well-being, hybrid (...)
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  41. Rethinking Expressive Theories of Punishment: Why Denunciation is a Better Bet Than Communication or Pure Expression.Bill Wringe - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):681-708.
    Many philosophers hold that punishment has an expressive dimension. Advocates of expressive theories have different views about what makes punishment expressive, what kinds of mental states and what kinds of claims are, or legitimately can be expressed in punishment, and to what kind of audience or recipients, if any, punishment might express whatever it expresses. I shall argue that in order to assess the plausibility of an expressivist approach to justifying punishment we need to pay careful attention to whether (...)
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  42. Unconscious Pleasures and Attitudinal Theories of Pleasure.Chris Heathwood - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (2):219-227.
    This paper responds to a new objection, due to Ben Bramble, against attitudinal theories of sensory pleasure and pain: the objection from unconscious pleasures and pains. According to the objection, attitudinal theories are unable to accommodate the fact that sometimes we experience pleasures and pains of which we are, at the time, unaware. In response, I distinguish two kinds of unawareness and argue that the subjects in the examples that support the objection are unaware of their sensations in (...)
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  43. Relative Blindsight Arises From a Criterion Confound in Metacontrast Masking: Implications for Theories of Consciousness.Ali Jannati & Vincent Di Lollo - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (1):307-314.
    Relative blindsight is said to occur when different levels of subjective awareness are obtained at equality of objective performance. Using metacontrast masking, Lau and Passingham reported relative blindsight in normal observers at the shorter of two stimulus-onset asynchronies between target and mask. Experiment 1 replicated the critical asymmetry in subjective awareness at equality of objective performance. We argue that this asymmetry cannot be regarded as evidence for relative blindsight because the observers’ responses were based on different attributes of the stimuli (...)
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  44. The Coherence of Evolutionary Theory with Its Neighboring Theories.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Acta Biotheoretica 67 (2):87-102.
    Evolutionary theory coheres with its neighboring theories, such as the theory of plate tectonics, molecular biology, electromagnetic theory, and the germ theory of disease. These neighboring theories were previously unconceived, but they were later conceived, and then they cohered with evolutionary theory. Since evolutionary theory has been strengthened by its several neighboring theories that were previously unconceived, it will be strengthened by infinitely many hitherto unconceived neighboring theories. This argument for evolutionary theory echoes the problem of (...)
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  45. Two Non-Counterexamples to Truth-Tracking Theories of Knowledge.Fred Adams & Murray Clarke - 2016 - Logos and Episteme 7 (1):67-73.
    In a recent paper, Tristan Haze offers two examples that, he claims, are counterexamples to Nozick's Theory of Knowledge. Haze claims his examples work against Nozick's theory understood as relativized to belief forming methods M. We believe that they fail to be counterexamples to Nozick's theory. Since he aims the examples at tracking theories generally, we will also explain why they are not counterexamples to Dretske's Conclusive Reasons Theory of Knowledge.
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  46. Meta-Incommensurability Between Theories of Meaning: Chemical Evidence.Nicholas W. Best - 2015 - Perspectives on Science 23 (3):361-378.
    Attempting to compare scientific theories requires a philosophical model of meaning. Yet different scientific theories have at times—particularly in early chemistry—pre-supposed disparate theories of meaning. When two theories of meaning are incommensurable, we must say that the scientific theories that rely upon them are meta-incommensurable. Meta- incommensurability is a more profound sceptical threat to science since, unlike first-order incommensurability, it implies complete incomparability.
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  47. Théories à processus duaux et théories de l’éducation : Le cas de l’enseignement de la pensée critique et de la logique.Guillaume Beaulac & Serge Robert - 2011 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 6 (1):63-77.
    Many theories about the teaching of logic and critical thinking take for granted that theoretical learning, the learning of formal rules for example, and its practical application are sufficient to master the tools taught and to take the habit of using them. However, this way of teaching is not efficient, a conclusion supported by much work in cognitive science. Approaching cognition evolutionarily with dual-process theories allows for an explanation of these insufficiencies and offers clues on how we could (...)
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  48.  68
    A Pluralist View on Theories.Marcoen J. T. F. Cabbolet - manuscript
    In philosophy of science, several views have been espoused on the meaning of the term 'theory'; among these are the syntactic view and the semantic view. But even after decades of debate, no consensus has been reached on an all-encompassing positively defined view on theories. Here we take that to mean that the outcome of the debate is that such an all-encompassing view is nonexisting. Correspondingly, the purpose of this paper is to present a pluralist view on theories: (...)
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  49. Hybrid Theories.Christopher Woodard - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 161-174.
    This chapter surveys hybrid theories of well-being. It also discusses some criticisms, and suggests some new directions that philosophical discussion of hybrid theories might take.
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  50. Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness and What-It-is-Like-Ness.Jonathan Farrell - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2743-2761.
    Ambitious higher-order theories of consciousness aim to account for conscious states when these are understood in terms of what-it-is-like-ness. This paper considers two arguments concerning this aim, and concludes that ambitious theories fail. The misrepresentation argument against HO theories aims to show that the possibility of radical misrepresentation—there being a HO state about a state the subject is not in—leads to a contradiction. In contrast, the awareness argument aims to bolster HO theories by showing that subjects (...)
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