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Sullivan, Shannon (ed.), , Tuana, Nancy (ed.). Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance
2007, State Univ of New York Pr.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Publisher’s Note: Leading scholars explore how different forms of ignorance are produced and sustained, and the role they play in knowledge practices.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Taylor, Kenneth A., , . How not to refute eliminative materialism
1994, Philosophical Psychology 7 (1):101-125 (1994)
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Added by: Nick Novelli, Contributed by:

Abstract: This paper examines and rejects some purported refutations of eliminative materialism in the philosophy of mind: a quasi-transcendental argument due to Jackson and Pettit (1990) to the effect that folk psychology is “peculiarly unlikely” to be radically revised or eliminated in light of the developments of cognitive science and neuroscience; and (b) certain straight-out transcendental arguments to the effect that eliminativism is somehow incoherent (Baker, 1987; Boghossian, 1990). It begins by clarifying the exact topology of the dialectical space in which debates between eliminativist and anti-eliminativist ought to be framed. I claim that both proponents and opponents of eliminativism have been insufficiently attentive to the range of dialectical possibilities. Consequently, the debate has not, in fact, been framed within the correct dialectical setting. I then go onto to show how inattentiveness to the range of dialectical possibilities undermines both transcendental and quasi-transcendental arguments against eliminativism. In particular, I argue that the quasi-transcendentalist overestimates the degree to which folk psychology can be insulated from the advance of neuroscience and cognitive science just in virtue of being a functional theory. I argue further that transcendental arguments are fallacious and do not succeed against even the strongest possible form of eliminativism. Finally, I argue that that transcendental arguments are irrelevant. Even if such arguments do succeed against a certain’very strong form of eliminativism, they remain complete non-starters against certain weaker forms of eliminativism. And I argue that if any of these weaker forms is true, folk psychology is in trouble enough to vindicate Paul Ckurchland’s claim that our common sense psychological framework is “a radically false and misleading conception of the causes of human behavior and the nature of cognitive activity”.

Comment: Offers interesting refutations to arguments against eliminative materialism. Could be useful in motivating interest in eliminative materialism by demonstrating that it has not been decisively refuted, or as part of an in-depth examination of the view in a course on that subject.

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Yaneva, Dominika, , . What is Science? Methodological Pitfalls Underlying the Empirical Exploration of Scientific Knowledge
2007, Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37(2): 333 - 353.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez, Contributed by:

Abstract: The validity of three premises, set as foundational pillars of modern sociological approach to science, is contested, namely: (i) the postulate, stating that science is devoid of whatever generis specifical; (ii) it is liable to the usual empirical study; (iii) the practicing scientist’s self-reflexive judgements must be disbelieved and rejected. Contrariwise, the ignored so far quaint nature of knowledge, escaping even from the elementary empirical treating – discernment and observation – is revealed and demonstrated. This peculiar nature requires, accordingly, a specific meta-cognitive dealing for positing it as ’empirical object’, unfortunately missed still by the Strong Programme. The inadequate approach adopted led to a substitution of ‘scientific’ for common knowledge. The tacit thus far alternative, setting the foundations of meta-science, is suggested.

Comment: Valuable article for both philosophy of science and epistemology courses. Could be used as further reading for postgraduates who want to research topics such as the relation between science and meta-science.

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Zagzebski, Linda, , . Epistemic Value Monism
2004, Greco, John (ed.), Ernest Sosa and His Criticis. Oxford: Blackwell. 190-198
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Added by: Jie Gao, Contributed by:

Introduction: Where does the state of knowledge get its value? Virtually everyone agrees that it comes partly from the value of the truth that is thereby acquired, but most philosophers also agree that knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief. If so, what is the source of the extra value that knowledge has? Curiously, several well-known contemporary epistemic theories have trouble answering this question. In particular, I have argued that reliabilism is unable to explain where knowledge gets its value. I call this the value problem. Sosa addresses the value problem in a recent paper, moving his theory in a more Aristotelian direction. In this chapter I will review the moves Sosa makes to solve the problem and will suggest a simpler approach that I believe does justice to all his desiderata.

Comment: In this paper, Zagzebski examines Sosa's solution to the value problem against reliabilism according to which a reliable process or faculty is good only because of the good of its product. It is a good material for teaching on epistemic value at either lower or upper level undergraduate courses.

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Zagzebski, Linda, , . The Search for the Source of the Epistemic Good
2003, Metaphilosophy 34(1-2): 12-28.
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Added by: Jie Gao, Contributed by: Wayne Riggs

Abstract: Knowledge has almost always been treated as good, better than mere true belief, but it is remarkably difficult to explain what it is about knowledge that makes it better. I call this “the value problem.” I have previously argued that most forms of reliabilism cannot handle the value problem. In this article I argue that the value problem is more general than a problem for reliabilism, infecting a host of different theories, including some that are internalist. An additional problem is that not all instances of true belief seem to be good on balance, so even if a given instance of knowing p is better than merely truly believing p, not all instances of knowing will be good enough to explain why knowledge has received so much attention in the history of philosophy. The article aims to answer two questions: What makes knowingp better than merely truly believing p? The answer involves an exploration of the connection between believing and the agency of the knower. Knowing is an act in which the knower gets credit for achieving truth. What makes some instances of knowing good enough to make the investigation of knowledge worthy of so much attention? The answer involves the connection between the good of believing truths of certain kinds and a good life. In the best kinds of knowing, the knower not only gets credit for getting the truth but also gets credit for getting a desirable truth. The kind of value that makes knowledge a fitting object of extensive philosophical inquiry is not independent of moral value and the wider values of a good life.

Comment: This paper nicely elucidates different respects of the value problem about knowledge and enriches the debate by bringing multiple resources and perspectives into consideration, such as the agency of the knower and the wider value of good life. It is good for teachings on epistemic values in an epistemology course at either an advanced or introductory level.

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Zagzebski, Linda Trinkaus, , . Recovering Understanding
2001, In M. Steup (ed.), Knowledge, Truth, and Duty: Essays on Epistemic Justification, Responsibility, and Virtue. Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Wayne Riggs

Abstract: Proposes an analysis of the concept of understanding. Finds three important, relevant strands of thought in the works of Plato and Aristotle, among which the most important one is that understanding involves representing the world nonpropositionally, e.g. through visualization or diagrams. Taking this to be the defining characteristic, proposes that understanding is a state of comprehending nonpropositional structures of reality, such as automobiles, pieces of music or art, the character of a person, or a causal nexus. Argues that virtue epistemology is better suited than traditional epistemology to help us develop a successful analysis of understanding thus conceived. For unlike the theories from which it departs, virtue epistemology takes the objects of valuable epistemic states to consist of both propositional and nonpropositional objects.

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