Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Myles F. Burnyeat, Benjamin Franklin and Hamid Vahid

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12 ideas

11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 1. Knowledge
Maybe there is plain 'animal' knowledge, and clearly justified 'reflective' knowledge [Vahid]
     Full Idea: There is a distinction between 'animal knowledge' (which requires only apt belief), and 'reflective knowledge' (requiring both apt and justified belief).
     From: Hamid Vahid (Externalism/Internalism [2011], 5)
     A reaction: [He cites Sosa 1991] My inclination (Idea 19711) was to think of knowledge as a continuum (possibly with a contextual component), and this distinction doesn't change my view, though it makes the point.
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 1. Justification / a. Justification issues
Epistemic is normally marked out from moral or pragmatic justifications by its truth-goal [Vahid]
     Full Idea: It is widely believed that epistemic justification is distinct from other species of justification such as moral or pragmatic justification in that it is intended to serve the so-called 'truth-goal'.
     From: Hamid Vahid (Externalism/Internalism [2011], 1)
     A reaction: Kvanvig explicitly argues against this view. He broadens the aims, but it strikes me that other aims are all intertwined with truth in some way, so I find this idea quite plausible.
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 3. Internal or External / a. Pro-internalism
Strong access internalism needs actual awareness; weak versions need possibility of access [Vahid]
     Full Idea: A strong form of 'access internalism' is when an agent is required to be actually aware of the conditions that constitute justification; a weaker version loosens the accessibility condition, requiring only the ability to access the justification.
     From: Hamid Vahid (Externalism/Internalism [2011], 2 B)
     A reaction: The super strong version implies that you probably only know one thing at a time, so it must be nonsense. The weaker version has grey areas. I remember roughly the justification, but not the details. The justification is in my diary. Etc.
Maybe we need access to our justification, and also to know why it justifies [Vahid]
     Full Idea: Access internalism may also have a truth-conducive conception of justification, where one should not only know what one's reasons are, but also why one's beliefs are probable on one's reasons.
     From: Hamid Vahid (Externalism/Internalism [2011], 2 B)
     A reaction: [he cites Bonjour 1985] Sounds reasonable. It would seem odd if you had clear access to the reason, but didn't understand it, because you had just learned it by rote.
'Mentalist' internalism seems to miss the main point, if it might not involve an agent's access [Vahid]
     Full Idea: Since mentalism remains neutral on whether mental states need be accessible to an agent does not seem to do justice to the intuitions that drive paradigm internalist positions.
     From: Hamid Vahid (Externalism/Internalism [2011], 2 A)
     A reaction: The rival view is 'access internalism', which implies that you can act on and take responsibility for your knowledge, because you are aware of its grounding. If animals know things, that might fit the mentalist picture better.
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 3. Internal or External / b. Pro-externalism
Internalism in epistemology over-emphasises deliberation about beliefs [Vahid]
     Full Idea: The internalist approach in epistemology seems to suggest an over-inellectualized and deliberative picture of our belief-forming activities.
     From: Hamid Vahid (Externalism/Internalism [2011], 2.2 B)
     A reaction: This strikes me as confused. The question is not how do I arrive at my beliefs but what justifies my believing them, and what justifies the beliefs in themselves? My head is full of daft beliefs produced by TV advertising.
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 1. External Justification
Externalism may imply that identical mental states might go with different justifications [Vahid]
     Full Idea: According to the 'mentalist' version of internalism, an externalist is someone who maintains that two people can be in the same present mental states while one has a justified belief and the other does not.
     From: Hamid Vahid (Externalism/Internalism [2011], 2 A)
     A reaction: It seems an unlikely coincidence, that we have identical mental states, but your is (say) reliably created but mine isn't. Nevertheless this does seem to be an implication of externalism, though not a definition of it.
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 4. Tracking the Facts
With a counterfactual account of the causal theory, we get knowledge as tracking or sensitive to truth [Vahid]
     Full Idea: The causal theory of justification was soon replaced by Nozick's construal of knowledge as counterfactually sensitive to its truth value (that is, it tracks truth). A counterfactual theory of causation connects this to the causal theory.
     From: Hamid Vahid (Externalism/Internalism [2011], 3)
     A reaction: This is presented as an externalist theory, close to the causal theory (and prior to the reliability theory). But how could you be 'sensitive' to a changing truth if the justification was all external? Externally supported beliefs seem ossified.
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 10. Anti External Justification
Externalism makes the acquisition of knowledge too easy? [Vahid]
     Full Idea: Internalists say that externalism is inadequate because it makes the obtaining of knowledge and justified beliefs too easy
     From: Hamid Vahid (Externalism/Internalism [2011], 4)
     A reaction: This looks like a key issue in epistemology. Do children and animals have lots of knowledge, which they soak up unthinkingly, or do only thinking adults really 'know' things? Why not have degrees of knowledge?
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / b. Intellectualism
Intellectualism is an excessive emphasis on reasoning in moral philosophy [Burnyeat]
     Full Idea: Intellectualism, a one-sided preoccupation with reason and reasoning, is a perennial failing in moral philosophy.
     From: Myles F. Burnyeat (Aristotle on Learning to be Good [1980], p.70)
     A reaction: But Kant's reply would be that while there is much more to moral behaviour, the only part which matters in morality is the reasoning part. And Socrates' view (ignorance is evil) is not obviously wrong.
23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 8. Contract Strategies
Punctuality and justice in dealings are excellent for raising a man in the world [Franklin]
     Full Idea: After industry and frugality, nothing contributes more to raising a young man in the world than punctuality and justice in all his dealings.
     From: Benjamin Franklin (Advice to a Young Tradesman [1748], p.87-), quoted by Max Weber - The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism 2
     A reaction: A perfect illustration of the self-interest that drives morality in the social contract view.
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 11. Capitalism
Time is money, is money, ..and money breeds more money [Franklin]
     Full Idea: Remember that time is money, …and that credit is money, …and that money can beget money.
     From: Benjamin Franklin (Advice to a Young Tradesman [1748], p.87-), quoted by Max Weber - The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism 2
     A reaction: [snippets] A wonderful quotation rescued by Max Weber, showing that Franklin understood capitalism with crystal clarity, before it had even barely begun