Ideas of Laurence Bonjour, by Theme

[American, b.1943, Professor at the University of Washington, at Seattle.]

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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 1. Philosophy
Philosophy is a priori if it is anything
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 3. Pure Reason
Perceiving necessary connections is the essence of reasoning
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 6. Coherence
Coherence can't be validated by appeal to coherence
For any given area, there seem to be a huge number of possible coherent systems of beliefs
5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 4. Paradoxes in Logic / e. The Lottery paradox
The Lottery Paradox says each ticket is likely to lose, so there probably won't be a winner
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 1. Possibility
The concept of possibility is prior to that of necessity
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 1. Knowledge
The concept of knowledge is so confused that it is best avoided
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 2. Self-Evidence
It is hard to give the concept of 'self-evident' a clear and defensible characterization
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 8. Adverbial Theory
The adverbial account will still be needed when a mind apprehends its sense-data
12. Knowledge Sources / C. Rationalism / 1. Rationalism
Our rules of thought can only be judged by pure rational insight
Moderate rationalists believe in fallible a priori justification
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / a. Foundationalism
Externalist theories of knowledge are one species of foundationalism
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / b. Basic beliefs
The big problem for foundationalism is to explain how basic beliefs are possible
Conscious states have built-in awareness of content, so we know if a conceptual description of it is correct
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / d. Rational foundations
A priori justification requires understanding but no experience
You can't explain away a priori justification as analyticity, and you can't totally give it up
A priori justification can vary in degree
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / e. Pro-foundations
The main argument for foundationalism is that all other theories involve a regress leading to scepticism
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / f. Foundationalism critique
The induction problem blocks any attempted proof of physical statements
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 5. Coherentism / c. Coherentism critique
Coherentists must give a reason why coherent justification is likely to lead to the truth
My incoherent beliefs about art should not undermine my very coherent beliefs about physics
Coherence seems to justify empirical beliefs about externals when there is no external input
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 1. External Justification
Extreme externalism says no more justification is required than the truth of the belief
Externalist theories of justification don't require believers to have reasons for their beliefs
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 3. Reliabilism / a. Reliable knowledge
Reliabilists disagree over whether some further requirement is needed to produce knowledge
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 3. Reliabilism / b. Anti-reliabilism
External reliability is not enough, if the internal state of the believer is known to be irrational
If the reliable facts producing a belief are unknown to me, my belief is not rational or responsible
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 10. Anti External Justification
Even if there is no obvious irrationality, it may be irrational to base knowledge entirely on external criteria
Externalism means we have no reason to believe, which is strong scepticism
14. Science / C. Induction / 2. Aims of Induction
Induction must go beyond the evidence, in order to explain why the evidence occurred
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / f. Higher-order thought
If neither the first-level nor the second-level is itself conscious, there seems to be no consciousness present
18. Thought / C. Content / 1. Content
All thought represents either properties or indexicals
19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / b. Indeterminate translation
Indeterminacy of translation is actually indeterminacy of meaning and belief