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This volume is the first sustained examination of epistemic situationism: the clash between virtue epistemology and the situationist hypothesis inspired by research in empirical psychology. Situationism began as a challenge to the psychology of character traits, targeting ethical theories that presuppose a trait psychology. Psychological research suggests that (often trivial) environmental variables have greater explanatory power than character traits. Epistemology pursues questions about the nature of knowledge. While there are internal differences within virtue epistemology between responsibilists and reliabilists, they all analyze knowledge in terms of epistemic virtues and vices. However, despite promising normative results, virtue epistemology appears to assume the same character-based psychology as virtue ethics does. Until recently, virtue epistemology and situationism were separate literatures, but philosophers have begun to examine the apparent incompatibility between situationist psychology and virtue epistemology. Much of the psychological research that raises questions about the empirical adequacy of the moral psychology of virtue ethics also appears to raise doubts about the empirical adequacy of the epistemic psychology assumed by virtue epistemology. Responsibilist virtue epistemology appears particularly vulnerable because epistemic virtues like open mindedness, conscientiousness and intellectual courage are traits of intellectual character, but reliabilist virtue epistemology appeals to the psychology of cognitive skills, abilities, and competences that may be similarly vulnerable. The essays in this volume take up this new problem of epistemic situationism from multiple points of view - some sceptical or revisionary, others conservative.
Performance-based epistemology conceives the normativity involved in epistemic evaluation as a special case of a pattern of evaluation that can be applied to any domain where there are agents that carry out performances with an aim. For example, it conceives believing and judging as types of performances with an epistemic aim that are carried out by persons. Evaluating beliefs epistemically becomes then a task with essentially the same structure that evaluating athletic, culinary or any other sort of performance; in all cases the performance in question is evaluated in terms of how it relates to certain relevant competences and abilities of the subject that carries it out. In this way, performance-based epistemology locates epistemic evaluation within a general normative pattern that spreads across many different human activities and disciplines. This volume presents new essays by leading epistemologists who discuss key issues concerning the foundations and applications of this approach to epistemology. The essays in Part I examine some foundational issues in the conceptual framework. They address questions central to the debate, including the compatibility of apt success with some forms of luck; the connection between aptness and a safety condition for knowledge; the fallibility of perceptual recognitional abilities; actual-world reliabilism and reliabilism about epistemic justification; the nature of the agency required to make a cognitive success truly one's own; the basic conceptual framework of performance-based epistemology. Part II explores Sosa's epistemology of a priori intuition; internalist objections to Sosa's views on second-order knowledge; the roles that epistemic agency is meant to play in performance-based epistemology; the value that second-order reflection may have; epistemic incompetence; and the problem of epistemic circularity and criticises Sosa's alternative solution.
Much of what we know is acquired by taking things on the word of other people whom we trust and treat as authorities concerning what to believe. But what exactly is it to take someone's word for something? What is it to treat another as an authority concerning what to believe, and what is it to then trust this person for the truth? In Testimony, Trust, and Authority, Benjamin McMyler argues that philosophers have failed to appreciate the nature and significance of our epistemic dependence on the word of others. What others tell us is the case-their testimony, as philosophers use the term-provides us with a reason for belief that is fundamentally unlike the kind of reason for belief provided by other kinds of impersonal evidence. Unlike a footprint in the snow or a bloody knife left at the scene of a crime, a speaker's testimony provides an audience with what McMyler calls a second-personal reason for belief, a reason for belief that serves to parcel out epistemic responsibility for the belief interpersonally between speaker and audience. Testimony, Trust, and Authority is the most developed articulation and defense of an interpersonal theory of the epistemology of testimony yet to appear. It explains how this position relates to the historical development of philosophical questions about testimony, draws out what is at stake between this position and other competing positions in the contemporary epistemological literature on testimony, highlights and clarifies what is so controversial about this position, and shows how this position connects to broader philosophical issues concerning trust, the second person, and the role of authority in both theoretical and practical rationality. It will be of interest not only to specialists in epistemology but to anyone interested in the nature and significance of human sociality.
What factors determine whether a person’s beliefs are epistemically rational? Many traditional accounts contend that those factors lie in the beliefs themselves. For example, a belief can fit with one’s evidence, it can originate in reliable (or otherwise virtuous) processes, or it can cohere with other beliefs (some of which may be self-justifying). In this provocative book, Franz-Peter Griesmaier presents a new picture of epistemic rationality, emphasizing the role of the agent rather than the belief. The rationality of an agent’s beliefs ultimately depends on her epistemic sophistication, which is manifest in the stringency of her standards, in the skill she has in accessing and evaluating evidence, and in the wisdom she displays in choosing contextually appropriate standards. To be epistemically rational means, in this view, that one has discharged one’s epistemic duties by using the contextually proper standards for finding and evaluating the available evidence during the process of belief formation.

In the course of defending this view, Griesmaier discusses a wide variety of topics from the perspective of a unifying framework. These topics include the possibility of lucky justification, the importance of error avoidance, the problem of simplicity, various forms of evidentialism, doxastic voluntarism, epistemic deontologism, the question of belief’s aim, contextualism, and the connections between his account and formal models of justification and knowledge, such as epistemic and justification logics.
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 for a reconception that takes reflective equilibrium as the standard of rational acceptability. A system of thought is in reflective equilibrium when its components are reasonable in light of one another, and the account they comprise is reasonable in light of our antecedent convictions about the subject it concerns.

Many epistemologists now concede that certainty is a chimerical goal. But they continue to accept the traditional conception of epistemology's problematic. Elgin suggests that in abandoning the quest for certainty we gain opportunities for a broader epistemological purview--one that comprehends the arts and does justice to the sciences. She contends that metaphor, fiction, emotion, and exemplification often advance understanding in science as well as in art. The range of epistemology is broader and more variegated than is usually recognized. Tenable systems of thought are neither absolute nor arbitrary. Although they afford no guarantees, they are good in the way of belief.

We know facts, but we also know how to do things. To know a fact is to know that a proposition is true. But does knowing how to ride a bike amount to knowledge of propositions? This is a challenging question and one that deeply divides the contemporary landscape. A Critical Introduction to Knowledge-How introduces, outlines, and critically evaluates various contemporary debates surrounding the nature of knowledge-how. Carter and Poston show that situating the debate over the nature of knowledge-how in other epistemological debates provides new ways to make progress. In particular, Carter and Poston explore the question of what knowledge-how involves, and how it might come apart from propositional knowledge, by engaging with key epistemological topics including epistemic luck, knowledge of language, epistemic value, virtue epistemology and social epistemology. New frontiers for research on knowledge-how are also explored relating to the internalism - externalism debate as well as embodied and extended knowledge.

A Critical Introduction to Knowledge-How provides an accessible introduction to the main arguments in this important and thriving debate suited for undergraduates and postgraduates in philosophy and related areas. A strength of the book is its methodology which places a premium on placing the debates over knowledge-how in a broader conversation over the nature of knowledge. This book also offers an opinionated discussion of various lines of argument which will be of interest to professional philosophers as well.
It is convenient to divide the theory of knowledge into three sets of problems: 1. the nature of knowledge, certainty and related notions, 2. the nature and validi ty of the sources of knowledge, and 3. answers to skeptical arguments. The first set includes questions such as: What is it to know that something is the case? Does knowledge imply certainty? If not, how do they differ? What are the con ditions of knowledge? What is it to be justified in accepting something? The sec ond deals with the ways in which knowledge can be acquired. Traditional sources have included sources of premisses such as perception, memory, in trospection, innateness, revelation, testimony, and methods for drawing conclu sions such as induction and deduction, among others. Under this heading, philosophers have asked: Does innateness provide knowledge? Under what con ditions are beliefs from perception, testimony and memory justified? When does induction yield justified belief? Can induction itself be justified? Debates in this area have sometimes led philosophers to question sources (e. g. , revela tion, innateness) but usually the aim has been to clarify and increase our understanding of the notion of knowledge. The third class includes the peren nial puzzles taught to beginning students: the existence of other minds, the problem of the external world (along with questions about idealism and phenomenalism), and more general skeptical problems such as the problem of the criterion. These sets of questions are related.
Epistemology or theory of knowledge has always been one of the most important -if not the most important -field of philosophy. New arguments are constantly brought to bear on old views, new variants are marshalled to revive ancient stands, new concepts and distinctions increase the sophistication of epistemogical theories. There are a great many excellent textbooks, monographs as well as anthologies consisting of articles in epistemology. Similarly, there are useful philosophical dictionaries which contain a great number of relatively short entries, and general philosophical handbooks which also touch epistemological issues. This volume of 27 essays grew out from the interest to see a handbook which is devoted entirely to the historical roots and systematic development of theory of knowledge. It is not intended to compete but to supplement the already existing literature. It aims at giving both beginners and more advanced students as well as professionals in epistemology and other areas of philosophy an overview of the central problems and solutions of epistemology. The essays are self-contained and stil often rather extensive discussions of the chosen aspects of knowledge. The contributions presuppose very little familiarity with previous literature and only a few of them require the mastery of even elementary logical notation. This, we hope, makes the volume also accessible to the philosophically interested wider audience. The contributors were asked to provide substantial, up-to-date, self-contained and balanced surveys of the various subareas and more specific topics of epistemology, with reference to literature.
An exploration of what we can know about what we don't know: why ignorance is more than simply a lack of knowledge.

Ignorance is trending. Politicians boast, “I'm not a scientist.” Angry citizens object to a proposed state motto because it is in Latin, and “This is America, not Mexico or Latin America.” Lack of experience, not expertise, becomes a credential. Fake news and repeated falsehoods are accepted and shape firm belief. Ignorance about American government and history is so alarming that the ideal of an informed citizenry now seems quaint. Conspiracy theories and false knowledge thrive. This may be the Information Age, but we do not seem to be well informed. In this book, philosopher Daniel DeNicola explores ignorance—its abundance, its endurance, and its consequences.

DeNicola aims to understand ignorance, which seems at first paradoxical. How can the unknown become known—and still be unknown? But he argues that ignorance is more than a lack or a void, and that it has dynamic and complex interactions with knowledge. Taking a broadly philosophical approach, DeNicola examines many forms of ignorance, using the metaphors of ignorance as place, boundary, limit, and horizon. He treats willful ignorance and describes the culture in which ignorance becomes an ideological stance. He discusses the ethics of ignorance, including the right not to know, considers the supposed virtues of ignorance, and concludes that there are situations in which ignorance is morally good.

Ignorance is neither pure nor simple. It is both an accusation and a defense (“You are ignorant!” “Yes, but I didn't know!”). Its practical effects range from the inconsequential to the momentous. It is a scourge, but, DeNicola argues daringly, it may also be a refuge, a value, even an accompaniment to virtue.

What strength of evidence is required for knowledge? Ordinarily, we often claim to know something on the basis of evidence which doesn't guarantee its truth. For instance, one might claim to know that one sees a crow on the basis of visual experience even though having that experience does not guarantee that there is a crow (it might be a rook, or one might be dreaming). As a result, those wanting to avoid philosophical scepticism have standardly embraced "fallibilism": one can know a proposition on the basis of evidence that supports it even if the evidence doesn't guarantee its truth. Despite this, there's been a persistent temptation to endorse "infallibilism", according to which knowledge requires evidence that guarantees truth. For doesn't it sound contradictory to simultaneously claim to know and admit the possibility of error? Infallibilism is undergoing a contemporary renaissance. Furthermore, recent infallibilists make the surprising claim that they can avoid scepticism. Jessica Brown presents a fresh examination of the debate between these two positions. She argues that infallibilists can avoid scepticism only at the cost of problematic commitments concerning evidence and evidential support. Further, she argues that alleged objections to fallibilism are not compelling. She concludes that we should be fallibilists. In doing so, she discusses the nature of evidence, evidential support, justification, blamelessness, closure for knowledge, defeat, epistemic akrasia, practical reasoning, concessive knowledge attributions, and the threshold problem.
We ordinarily take it as obvious that we acquire knowledge of our world on the basis of sensory perception, and that such knowledge plays a central cognitive and practical role in our lives. Upon reflection, however, it is far from obvious what perception involves and how exactly it contributes to our knowledge. Indeed, skeptical arguments have led some to question whether we have any knowledge, or even rational or justified belief, regarding the world outside our minds.

Investigating the nature and scope of our perceptual knowledge and perceptually justified belief, A Critical Introduction to the Epistemology of Perception provides an accessible and engaging introduction to a flourishing area of philosophy. Before introducing and evaluating the main theories in the epistemology of perception, Ali Hasan sets the stage with a discussion of skepticism, realism, and idealism in early modern philosophy, theories of perceptual experience (sense-datum theory, adverbialism, intentionalism, and metaphysical disjunctivism), and central controversies in general epistemology. Hasan then surveys the main theories in the contemporary debate, including coherentism, abductivism, phenomenal conservatism or dogmatism, reliabilism, and epistemological disjunctivism, presenting the motivations and primary objections to each. Hasan also shows how to avoid confusing metaphysical issues with epistemological ones, and identifies interesting connections between the epistemology and metaphysics of perception.

For students in epistemology or the philosophy of perception looking to better understand the central questions, concepts, and debates shaping contemporary epistemology, A Critical Introduction to the Epistemology of Perception is essential reading.
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