Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Jonathan Kvanvig, James Van Cleve and Mary Wollstonecraft

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3 ideas

11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 1. Knowledge
Epistemology does not just concern knowledge; all aspects of cognitive activity are involved [Kvanvig]
     Full Idea: Epistemology is not just knowledge. There is enquiring, reasoning, changes of view, beliefs, assumptions, presuppositions, hypotheses, true beliefs, making sense, adequacy, understanding, wisdom, responsible enquiry, and so on.
     From: Jonathan Kvanvig (Truth is not the Primary Epistemic Goal [2005], 'What')
     A reaction: [abridged] Stop! I give in. His topic is whether truth is central to epistemology. Rivals seem to be knowledge-first, belief-first, and justification-first. I'm inclined to take justification as the central issue. Does it matter?
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 2. Understanding
Understanding is seeing coherent relationships in the relevant information [Kvanvig]
     Full Idea: What is distinctive about understanding (after truth is satisfied) is the internal seeing or appreciating of explanatory and other coherence-inducing relationships in a body of information that is crucial for understanding.
     From: Jonathan Kvanvig (The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding [2003], 198), quoted by Anand Vaidya - Understanding and Essence 'Distinction'
     A reaction: For me this ticks exactly the right boxes. Coherent explanations are what we want. The hardest part is the ensure their truth. Kvanvig claims this is internal, so we can understand even if, Gettier-style, our external connections are lucky.
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 5. Aiming at Truth
Making sense of things, or finding a good theory, are non-truth-related cognitive successes [Kvanvig]
     Full Idea: There are cognitive successes that are not obviously truth related, such as the concepts of making sense of the course of experience, and having found an empirically adequate theory.
     From: Jonathan Kvanvig (Truth is not the Primary Epistemic Goal [2005], 'Epistemic')
     A reaction: He is claiming that truth is not the main aim of epistemology. He quotes Marian David for the rival view. Personally I doubt whether the concepts of 'making sense' or 'empirical adequacy' can be explicated without mentioning truth.