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Can Faith Ever Be Rational?

An NPR discussion by Tania Lombrozo motivated by the work of Lara Buchak, her paper available here.

My concern in this paper is the relationship between faith and rationality. I seek to develop a unified account of statements of faith concerning mundane matters and those concerning religious faith. To do so, I consider the sense in which faith requires going beyond the evidence, and argue that faith requires terminating the search for further evidence. Having established this, I turn to the question of whether it can still be rational to have faith; arguing that, contrary to common assumptions, there need be no conflict between faith and rationality. We shall see that whether faith can be practically rational depends both on whether there are extrinsic costs associated with postponing the decision to have faith and the extent to which potential counter evidence would be conclusive.

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EPISTEME 10:3

See here.

GETTIERIZED KNOBE EFFECTS James R. Beebe and Joseph Shea

A RELIABILISM BUILT ON COGNITIVE CONVERGENCE: AN EMPIRICALLY GROUNDED SOLUTION TO THE GENERALITY PROBLEM Martin L. Jönsson

A NEW PROSPECT FOR EPISTEMIC AGGREGATION Daniel Berntson and Yoaav Isaacs

PHOTOGRAPHICALLY BASED KNOWLEDGE Dan Cavedon-Taylor

EXPLANATIONIST EVIDENTIALISM Kevin McCain

IS FOUNDATIONAL A PRIORI JUSTIFICATION INDISPENSABLE? Ted Poston

LEARNING TO SIGNAL WITH PROBE AND ADJUST – CORRIGENDUM Brian Skyrms

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EPISTEME: 10 most cited articles

Group Knowledge and Group Rationality: A Judgment Aggregation Perspective

Christian List

Volume 2 / Issue 01 / June 2005, pp 25 – 38

Collective Epistemology

Margaret Gilbert

Volume 1 / Issue 02 / October 2004, pp 95 – 107

Group Knowledge Versus Group Rationality: Two Approaches to Social Epistemology

Alvin I. Goldman

Volume 1 / Issue 01 / June 2004, pp 11 – 22

Is Trust an Epistemological Notion?

Gloria Origgi

Volume 1 / Issue 01 / June 2004, pp 61 – 72

Minding One’s Cognitive Systems: When Does a Group of Minds Constitute a Single Cognitive Unit?

Robert Rupert

Volume 1 / Issue 03 / February 2005, pp 177 – 188

The Epistemic Features of Group Belief

Kay Mathiesen

Volume 2 / Issue 03 / October 2006, pp 161 – 175

Epistemic Systems

Roger Koppl

Volume 2 / Issue 02 / June 2006, pp 91 – 106

What’s the Point of “Knowledge” Anyway?

Christoph Kelp

Volume 8 / Issue 01 / February 2011, pp 53 – 66

The Basis of Epistemic Trust: Reliable Testimony or Reliable Sources?

Melissa A. Koenig and Paul L. Harris

Volume 4 / Issue 03 / October 2007, pp 264 – 284

Raimo Tuomela

Volume 1 / Issue 02 / October 2004, pp 109 – 127

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EPISTEME 9.4 now available

This marks the first year we have published on a quarterly cycle and compared with most journals, we are up to date with no backlog: contents and abstracts

EVIDENCE AND INTUITION
Yuri Cath

Many philosophers accept a view – what I will call the intuition picture – according to which intuitions are crucial evidence in philosophy. Recently, Williamson (2004, 2007: ch. 1) has argued that such views are best abandoned because they lead to a psychologistic conception of philosophical evidence that encourages scepticism about the armchair judgements relied upon in philosophy. In this paper I respond to this criticism by showing how the intuition picture can be formulated in such a way that: (i) it is consistent with a wide range of views about not only philosophical evidence but also the nature of evidence in general, including Williamson’s famous view that E = K; (ii) it can maintain the central claims about the nature and role of intuitions in philosophy made by proponents of the intuition picture; (iii) it does not collapse into Williamson’s own deflationary view of the nature and role of intuitions in philosophy; and (iv) it does not lead to scepticism.

REGULARITY REFORMULATED
Weng Hong Tang

This paper focuses on the view that rationality requires that our credences be regular. I go through different formulations of the requirement, and show that they face several problems. I then formulate a version of the requirement that solves most of, if not all, these problems. I conclude by showing that an argument thought to support the requirement as traditionally formulated actually does not; if anything, the argument, slightly modified, supports my version of the requirement.

THREE FORMS OF INTERNALISM AND THE NEW EVIL DEMON PROBLEM
Andrew Moon

The new evil demon problem is often considered to be a serious obstacle for externalist theories of epistemic justification. In this paper, I aim to show that the new evil demon problem (‘NEDP’) also afflicts the two most prominent forms of internalism: moderate internalism and historical internalism. Since virtually all internalists accept at least one of these two forms, it follows that virtually all internalists face the NEDP. My secondary thesis is that many epistemologists – including both internalists and externalists – face a dilemma. The only form of internalism that is immune to the NEDP, strong internalism, is a very radical and revisionary view – a large number of epistemologists would have to significantly revise their views about justification in order to accept it. Hence, either epistemologists must accept a theory that is susceptible to the NEDP or accept a very radical and revisionary view.

JUSTIFICATION AS ‘WOULD-BE’ KNOWLEDGE
Aidan McGlynn

In light of the failure of attempts to analyse knowledge as a species of justified belief, a number of epistemologists have suggested that we should instead understand justification in terms of knowledge. This paper focuses on accounts of justification as a kind of ‘would-be’ knowledge. According to such accounts a belief is justified just in case any failure to know is due to uncooperative external circumstances. I argue against two recent accounts of this sort due to Alexander Bird and Martin Smith. A further aim is to defend a more traditional conception, according to which justification is a matter of sufficiently high evidential likelihood. In particular, I suggest that this conception of justification offers a plausible account of lottery cases: cases in which one believes a true proposition – for example that one’s lottery ticket will lose – on the basis of probabilistic evidence.

EVIDENCE OF EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONIAL REDUCTIONISM
William D. Rowley

An objection to reductionism in the epistemology of testimony that is often repeated but rarely defended in detail is that there is not enough positive evidence to provide the non-testimonial, positive reasons reductionism requires. Thus, on pain of testimonial skepticism, reductionism must be rejected. Call this argument the ‘Not Enough Evidence Objection’ (or ‘NEEO’). I will defend reductionism about testimonial evidence against the NEEO by arguing that we typically have non-testimonial positive reasons in the form of evidence about our testifier’s evidence. With a higher-level evidence principle borrowed from recent work on the epistemology of disagreement, I argue that, granting some plausible assumptions about conversational norms, the NEEO is unsound.

THE DANGERS OF USING SAFETY TO EXPLAIN TRANSMISSION FAILURE: A REPLY TO MARTIN SMITH
Chris Tucker

Many epistemologists hold that the Zebra Deduction (the animals are zebras, so they aren’t cleverly disguised mules) fails to transmit knowledge to its conclusion, but there is little agreement concerning why it has this defect. A natural idea is, roughly, that it fails to transmit because it fails to improve the safety of its conclusion. In his ‘Transmission Failure Explained’, Martin Smith defends a transmission principle which is supposed to underwrite this natural idea. There are two problems with Smith’s account. First, Smith’s argument for his transmission principle relies on a dubious premise (§1). Second, even if his transmission principle is true, Smith shows neither that it prevents the Zebra Deduction from transmitting knowledge to its conclusion, nor that it secures the natural idea (§2). I suspect that the failures of Smith’s account will be instructive for anyone who wants to connect transmission failure with a failure to enhance the safety, reliability or probability of one’s conclusion.

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Latest issue of EPISTEME still free

Volume 9 – Issue 03 – September 2012

HIGHER-ORDER EPISTEMIC ATTITUDES AND INTELLECTUAL HUMILITY

Allan Hazlett

RELIABILISM: HOLISTIC OR SIMPLE?

Jeffrey Dunn

GROUP AGENCY AND EPISTEMIC DEPENDENCY

Aaron Dewitt

CONSTRUCTIVIST AND ECOLOGICAL MODELING OF GROUP RATIONALITY

Gerald Gaus

EPISTEMOLOGY IN GROUP AGENCY: SIX OBJECTIONS IN SEARCH OF THE TRUTH

Fabrizio Cariani

HOW TO BE A REDUNDANT REALIST

Kurt L. Sylvan

THE NORMATIVE STANDING OF GROUP AGENTS

Rachael Briggs

EPISTEME SYMPOSIUM ON GROUP AGENCY: REPLIES TO GAUS, CARIANI, SYLVAN, AND BRIGGS

Christian List and Philip Pettit