Ideas of Keith Lehrer, by Theme

[American, b.1936, Formerly University of Rochester. Husband of Adrienne Lehrer. Professor at the University of Arizona, and at Graz.]

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1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 4. Later European Philosophy / b. Seventeenth century philosophy
Most philosophers start with reality and then examine knowledge; Descartes put the study of knowledge first
     Full Idea: Some philosophers (e.g Plato) begin with an account of reality, and then appended an account of how we can know it, ..but Descartes turned the tables, insisting that we must first decide what we can know.
     From: Keith Lehrer (Theory of Knowledge (2nd edn) [2000], I p.2)
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 4. Conceptual Analysis
You cannot demand an analysis of a concept without knowing the purpose of the analysis
     Full Idea: An analysis is always relative to some objective. It makes no sense to simply demand an analysis of goodness, knowledge, beauty or truth, without some indication of the purpose of the analysis.
     From: Keith Lehrer (Theory of Knowledge (2nd edn) [2000], I p.7)
     A reaction: Your dismantling of a car will go better if you know what a car is for, but you can still take it apart in ignorance.
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 5. Coherentism / a. Coherence as justification
Justification is coherence with a background system; if irrefutable, it is knowledge
     Full Idea: Justification is coherence with a background system which, when irrefutable, converts to knowledge.
     From: Keith Lehrer (Consciousness,Represn, and Knowledge [2006])
     A reaction: A problem (as the theory stands here) would be whether you have to be aware that the coherence is irrefutable, which would seem to require a pretty powerful intellect. If one needn't be aware of the irrefutability, how does it help my justification?
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 5. Generalisation by mind
Generalization seems to be more fundamental to minds than spotting similarities
     Full Idea: There is a level of generalization we share with other animals in the responses to objects that suggest that generalization is a more fundamental operation of the mind than the observation of similarities.
     From: Keith Lehrer (Consciousness,Represn, and Knowledge [2006])
     A reaction: He derives this from Reid (1785) - Lehrer's hero - who argued against Hume that we couldn't spot similarities if we hadn't already generalized to produce the 'respect' of the similarity. Interesting. I think Reid must be right.
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 1. Introspection
All conscious states can be immediately known when attention is directed to them
     Full Idea: I am inclined to think that all conscious states can be immediately known when attention is directed to them.
     From: Keith Lehrer (Consciousness,Represn, and Knowledge [2006])
     A reaction: This strikes me as a very helpful suggestion, for eliminating lots of problem cases for introspective knowledge which have been triumphally paraded in recent times. It might, though, be tautological, if it is actually a definition of 'conscious states'.