Epistemology: An Anthology
Ernest Sosa, Matthew McGrath
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New and thoroughly updated, Epistemology: An Anthology continues to represent the most comprehensive and authoritative collection of canonical readings in the theory of knowledge.
- Concentrates on the central topics of the field, such as skepticism and the Pyrrhonian problematic, the definition of knowledge, and the structure of epistemic justification
- Offers coverage of more specific topics, such as foundationalism vs coherentism, and virtue epistemology
- Presents wholly new sections on 'Testimony, Memory, and Perception' and 'The Value of Knowledge'
- Features modified sections on 'The Structure of Knowledge and Justification', 'The Non-Epistemic in Epistemology', and 'The Nature of the Epistemic'
- Includes many of the most important contributions made in recent decades by several outstanding authors
evident is. For in this explanation what is evident to S is identified with what S is rationally justified in believing. But it now seems plain that for x to be evident to S, two conditions must be satisfied: (i) that S be rationally justified in believing x, and (ii) that S be in a position to know whether x is true. And we must also take note of the relativity of knowledge to an epistemic community. Let us therefore replace (A) with the following: (B) S knows (from the Kpoint of view) thatp iff
justified ought to be rejected as readily as a view that has the consequence that all contingent propositions are justified. 49 Ernest Sosa, "The Raft and the Pyramid;' Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Section 5. 50 Post claims in The Faces of Existence that his new formulation of the reductio argument meets the objection by Sosa (see his fn. 21, p. 91). As I construe Sosa's objection, namely that more is required for a belief to have a justification than the mere existence of a series of beliefs
thereby know that it is so. That still seems to me undeniable, but it is not the same as Descartes's assumption that one must know that one is not dreaming if one is to know something about the world. The undeniable truth says only that you lack knowledge if you are dreaming; Descartes says that you lack knowledge if you don't know that you are not dreaming. Only with the stronger assumption can his sceptical conclusion be reached. Is that assumption true? In so far as we find Descartes's
classification is knife-edged, I do want to say that "knowledge of the external world" is quite clearly essentially theoretical. There is no commonsense, pre-theoretical practice that this way of classifying beliefs rationalizes: its sole function is to make possible a certain form of theoretical inquiry, the assessment of knowledge of the world as such. As we have seen, this classification cuts across all familiar subjectmatter divisions and, in addition, presuppos~s the autonomy of
quoted from Anthony Kenny (ed.), Descartes: PhilosophicalLetters (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1981), p. 87. Ludwig Wittgenstein, On Certainty (Oxford: Blackwell, 1969), p. 250; hereafter OC. Ibid., p. 125. Failure to appreciate this point is what vitiates Marie McGinn's intuitive reconstruction of the case for scepticism. ~C, p. 53. For a succinct defence of contextualism, see David B. Annis, ''A Contextualist Theory of Epistemic Justification;' American Philosophical Quarterly