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Coliva, Annalisa, , . Moore and Wittgenstein: Scepticism, Certainty, and Common Sense
2010, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
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Publisher’s Note: Does scepticism threaten our common sense picture of the world? Does it really undermine our deep-rooted certainties? This book offers an answer to these questions through a comparative study of the epistemological work of two key figures in the history of analytic philosophy: G. E. Moore and Ludwig Wittgenstein. While historically accurate and engaging with scholarly work in this area, the book also puts forward novel interpretations of their works and brings out their relevance to present-day debates both in epistemology and philosophy of language.

Comment: This book is a useful and sustained examination of a variety of themes in Wittgenstein's On Certainty, the very late compilation of remarks inspired by G.E. Moore's engagement with scepticism and idealism in "A Defence of Common Sense," "Proof of an External World" and a few other papers. Among the topics considered are the strategies of Moore's arguments, ordinary and philosophical uses of language, differing interpretations of Moore, externalism, internalism and contextualism, Wittgenstein's objections to Moore, meaning and use, language games, Cartesian and Humean sceptical arguments, the epistemic and semantic status of so-called "hinge" propositions, epistemic relativism, and a comparison of Wittgenstein's and Moore's views with those of subsequent philosophers. It thus constitutes a very good reading or even central text for a course on Moore's epistemology, Wittgenstein's epistemology and external world skepticism.

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Collins, Patricia Hill, , . Transforming the inner circle: Dorothy Smith’s challenge to sociological theory
1992, Sociological Theory 10 (1):73-80.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: “Women have been largely excluded from the work of producing the forms of thought and the images and symbols in which thought is expressed and ordered,” suggests sociologist Dorothy E. Smith. “We can imagine women’s exclusion organized by the formation of a circle among men who attend to and treat as significant only what men say.” In this male discourse, “what men were doing was relevant to men, was written by men about men for men . . . this is how a tradition is formed” (Smith 1987, p. 18). Smith’s perspective aptly describes the outer circle that delineates sociology from other equally male-centered disciplines, but it also characterizes the important inner circle of sociological theory lying at the center of the field.

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Dalmiya, Vrinda, , . Knowing People
2001, In Matthias Steup (ed.), Knowledge, Truth, and Duty: Essays on Epistemic Justification, Responsibility, and Virtue. Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Wayne Riggs

Abstract: Makes a case for redirecting epistemology by basing it on a virtue approach and the method of care. According to virtue epistemology, what confers epistemic value are properties of the epistemic subject: his or her epistemic character, belief?forming habits, and cognitive dispositions. The method of care is a complex, interactive process of acquiring justified beliefs or knowledge, a process that integrates the subject into a social and ethical context. Starting out with a discussion of knowledge of other minds, the writer moves on to an examination of the role the knowing self plays within the kind of epistemology she wishes to advocate. One important element of that kind of epistemology is epistemic responsibility, understood not as epistemic duty fulfillment but instead as the endeavor to cultivate and reinforce attitudes that are deemed admirable in the epistemic community.

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Dalmiya, Vrinda, , . Why should a knower care?
2002, Hypatia 17(1): 34--52.
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Abstract: This paper argues that the concept of care is significant not only for ethics, but for epistemology as well. After elucidating caring as a five-step dyadic relation, I go on to show its epistemic significance within the general framework of virtue epistemology as developed by Ernest Sosa, Alvin Goldman, and Linda Zagzebski. The notions of “care-knowing” and “care-based epistemology” emerge from construing caring (respectively) as a reliabilist and responsibilist virtue.

Comment: This text is best used in epistemology classes when discussing virtue reliablist and responsibilist approaches, and epistemic success in general. It will also be useful in philosophy of science classes: Dalmiya argues for radical changes in our approach to scientific research, including a redefinition of the epistemic and moral constraints which guide it.

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Dang, Haixin, , . Do Collaborators in Science Need to Agree?
2019, Philosophy of Science 86, 1029-1040
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Abstract: I argue that collaborators do not need to reach broad agreement over the justification of a consensus claim. This is because maintaining a diversity of justifiers within a scientific collaboration has important epistemic value. I develop a view of collective justification that depends on the diversity of epistemic perspectives present in a group. I argue that a group can be collectively justified in asserting that P as long as the disagreement among collaborators over the reasons for P is itself justified. In conclusion, I make a case for multimethod collaborative research and work through an example in the social sciences.

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De Cruz, Helen, , . The Enduring Appeal of Natural Theological Arguments
2014, Philosophy Compass 9/2: 145-153.
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Abstract: Natural theology is the branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to gain knowledge of God through non-revealed sources. In a narrower sense, natural theology is the discipline that presents rational arguments for the existence of God. Given that these arguments rarely directly persuade those who are not convinced by their conclusions, why do they enjoy an enduring appeal? This article examines two reasons for the continuing popularity of natural theological arguments: (i) they appeal to intuitions that humans robustly hold and that emerge early in cognitive development; (ii) they serve an argumen- tative function by presenting particular religious views as live options. I conclude with observations on the role of natural theology in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion.

Comment: This would be useful in a course on philosophy or religion, metaphysics (where arguments for and against the existence of God are being considered), epistemology or religious epistemology. The paper is clear and non-technical. It does not provide arguments for or against the existence of God but considers the debate as a whole. It may then be useful for scene-setting, or for placing previously considered arguments in their context.

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Dotson, Kristie, , . A Cautionary Tale: On Limiting Epistemic Oppression
2012, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 33 (1):24-47.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: In this paper, first and foremost, I aim to issue a caution. Specifically, I caution that when addressing and identifying forms of epistemic oppression one needs to endeavor not to perpetuate epistemic oppression. Epistemic oppression, here, refers to epistemic exclusions afforded positions and communities that produce de? ciencies in social knowledge. An epistemic exclusion, in this analysis, is an infringement on the epistemic agency of knowers that reduces her or his ability to participate in a given epistemic community.2 Epistemic agency will concern the ability to utilize persuasively shared epistemic resources within a given epistemic community in order to participate in knowledge production and, if required, the revision of those same resources.3 A compromise to epistemic agency, when unwarranted, damages not only individual knowers but also the state of social knowledge and shared epistemic resources.

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Dotson, Kristie, , . Accumulating Epistemic Power
2018, Philosophical Topics 46 (1):129-154.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: On December 3, 2014, in a piece entitled ‘White America’s Scary Delusion: Why Its Sense of Black Humanity Is So Skewed,’ Brittney Cooper criticizes attempts to deem Black rage at state-sanctioned violence against Black people ‘unreasonable.’ In this paper, I outline a problem with epistemology that Cooper highlights in order to explore whether beliefs can wrong. My overall claim is there are difficult-to-defeat arguments concerning the ‘legitimacy’ of police slayings against Black people that are indicative of problems with epistemology because of the epistemic power they accumulate toward resilient oblivion, which can have the effect of normalizing oppressive conditions. That is to say, if one takes the value of lessening oppression as a key feature of normative, epistemological conduct, then it can generate demands on epistemological orientations that, in turn, generate wrongs for beliefs and, more specifically, beliefs as wrongs.

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Dotson, Kristie, , . Conceptualizing Epistemic Oppression
2014, Social Epistemology 28 (2):115-138.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: Epistemic oppression refers to persistent epistemic exclusion that hinders one’s contribution to knowledge production. The tendency to shy away from using the term ‘epistemic oppression’ may follow from an assumption that epistemic forms of oppression are generally reducible to social and political forms of oppression. While I agree that many exclusions that compromise one’s ability to contribute to the production of knowledge can be reducible to social and political forms of oppression, there still exists distinctly irreducible forms of epistemic oppression. In this paper, I claim that a major point of distinction between reducible and irreducible epistemic oppression is the major source of difficulty one faces in addressing each kind of oppression, i.e. epistemic power or features of epistemological systems. Distinguishing between reducible and irreducible forms of epistemic oppression can offer a better understanding of what is at stake in deploying the term and when such deployment is apt.

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Dotson, Kristie, , . How is this Paper Philosophy?
2013, Comparative Philosophy 3 (1):3-29.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: This paper answers a call made by Anita Allen to genuinely assess whether the field of philosophy has the capacity to sustain the work of diverse peoples. By identifying a pervasive culture of justification within professional philosophy, I gesture to the ways professional philosophy is not an attractive working environment for many diverse practitioners. As a result of the downsides of the culture of justification that pervades professional philosophy, I advocate that the discipline of professional philosophy be cast according to a culture of praxis. Finally, I provide a comparative exercise using Graham Priest’s definition of philosophy and Audre Lorde’s observations of the limitations of philosophical theorizing to show how these two disparate accounts can be understood as philosophical engagement with a shift to a culture of praxis perspective.

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Dotson, Kristie, , . On the Costs of Socially Relevant Philosophy Papers: A Reflection
2019, Journal of Social Philosophy .
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Introduction: The noticeable uptake of the paper ‘How Is This Paper Philosophy?’ (Dotson 2012a) within professional philosophy has given me the occasion to reflect about the uptake of philosophy papers. This may shed light on producing socially relevant philosophy articles and their costs. The relative success of that paper is a huge surprise to me. What I mean by success is pretty straightforward and not particularly ambitious. I am counting success as whether one regularly runs into people who have read one’s paper and cite it as having had an impact on their considered or ambient positions on the paper’s content. That is, it has received some uptake in a populated domain of activity. What I take to be central to ques-tions of how an article becomes socially relevant are questions of uptake. Uptake, here, is understood broadly to refer to readership that takes one’s stated positions seriously enough to adopt (or be influenced by) them in part or in whole. What I have found is that many people in academic philosophy, for example, have read ‘How Is This Paper Philosophy?’ Some folks pay serious attention to it.

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Dotson, Kristie, , . Tracking Epistemic Violence, Tracking Practices of Silencing
2011, Hypatia 26 (2):236-257.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Naomi Beecroft, Emily Dyson

Abstract: Too often, identifying practices of silencing is a seemingly impossible exercise. Here I claim that attempting to give a conceptual reading of the epistemic violence present when silencing occurs can help distinguish the different ways members of oppressed groups are silenced with respect to testimony. I offer an account of epistemic violence as the failure, owing to pernicious ignorance, of hearers to meet the vulnerabilities of speakers in linguistic exchanges. Ultimately, I illustrate that by focusing on the ways in which hearers fail to meet speaker dependency in a linguistic exchange, efforts can be made to demarcate the different types of silencing people face when attempting to testify from oppressed positions in society.

Comment: This text provides an alternative framework to epistemic injustice and focuses on the positionality of black women. It encourages thought about (certain kinds of) ignorance as specific harms to others. This would suit an undergraduate class who were looking at race, gender, and/or applied epistemologies.

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Elgin, Catherine, , James Van Cleve. Can Belief be Justified through Coherence Alone?
2013, In: Steup, Matthias, Turri, John and Sosa, Ernest (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 244-273.
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Summary: Elgin and Van Cleve both answer the question in the title negatively. But whereas Van Cleve advocates a moderate version of foundationalism, Elgin defends a broadly coherentist view. According to her, justification is primarily a matter of explanatory coherence. The justification an individual belief enjoys is derived from the coherence of the overall system. In his essay, Van Cleve argues that, although coherence is indeed a source of justification, it cannot by itself render a belief completely justified. According to Van Cleve, no belief could be justified unless it were possible for some beliefs to acquire complete justification without receiving support from any other beliefs. In their respective responses, Elgin and Van Cleve continue the dispute, focusing on issues such as conjunction closure, corroboration by independent witnesses, empirical generalization, revisability, and the skeptical threat of being deluded.

Comment: The exchange of debate between Elgin and Van Cleve provides an instructive and accessible reading on coherentism and foundationalism of epistemic justification. It can be used either as a core text or further reading for teachings on epistemic justification in an epistemology course.

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Elgin, Catherine, , . Understanding and The Facts
2007, Philosophical Studies 132: 33-42.
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio, Contributed by:

Abstract: If understanding is factive, the propositions that express an understanding are true. I argue that a factive conception of understanding is unduly restrictive. It neither reflects our practices in ascribing understanding nor does justice to contemporary science. For science uses idealizations and models that do not to mirror the facts. Strictly speaking, they are false. By appeal to exemplification, I devise a more generous, flexible conception of understanding that accommodates science, reflects our practices, and shows a sufficient but not slavish sensitivity to the facts.

Comment: This paper could be used in an undergraduate or graduate course on epistemology, philosophy of science, or any area in which the nature of understanding is at issue. The paper is quite brief and not particularly technical. It makes a good case for a claim that initially sounds very counterintuitive, so can serve as a good prompt for a discussion.

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Elgin, Catherine Z., , . Considered Judgment
1996, Princeton University Press.
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio, Contributed by: Wayne Riggs

Publisher’s Note: 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.

Comment: In this book, the author puts forward an original epistemological approach, one which does not focus on seeking certainty, yet it takes reflective equilibrium as the standard for rationality. It could work as specilised reading or secondary reading for a postgraduate course in epistemology. It requires knowledge of the main topics in epistemology (e.g., on the debate between foundationalists vs coherentists).

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