Ideas of Jonathan Dancy, by Theme

[British, fl. 1985, At Keel University, then Professor at Reading University.]

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3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 3. Correspondence Truth critique
The correspondence theory also has the problem that two sets of propositions might fit the facts equally well
3. Truth / D. Coherence Truth / 1. Coherence Truth
Rescher says that if coherence requires mutual entailment, this leads to massive logical redundancy
If one theory is held to be true, all the other theories appear false, because they can't be added to the true one
As coherence expands its interrelations become steadily tighter, culminating only in necessary truth
3. Truth / D. Coherence Truth / 2. Coherence Truth Critique
Even with a tight account of coherence, there is always the possibility of more than one set of coherent propositions
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 1. Realism
Realism says that most perceived objects exist, and have some of their perceived properties
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 3. A Posteriori Necessary
For Quine the only way to know a necessity is empirically
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 1. Certainty
A pupil who lacks confidence may clearly know something but not be certain of it
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 4. Fallibilism
If senses are fallible, then being open to correction is an epistemological virtue
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 1. Perceptual Realism / a. Na´ve realism
Na´ve direct realists hold that objects retain all of their properties when unperceived
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 1. Perceptual Realism / b. Direct realism
Scientific direct realism says we know some properties of objects directly
Maybe we are forced from direct into indirect realism by the need to explain perceptual error
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 1. Perceptual Realism / c. Representative realism
Internal realism holds that we perceive physical objects via mental objects
Indirect realism depends on introspection, the time-lag, illusions, and neuroscience
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism
Phenomenalism includes possible experiences, but idealism only refers to actual experiences
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism
Eliminative idealists say there are no objects; reductive idealists say objects exist as complex experiences
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 4. Solipsism
Extreme solipsism only concerns current experience, but it might include past and future
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 5. A Priori Synthetic
Knowing that a cow is not a horse seems to be a synthetic a priori truth
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 1. Perception
Perception is either direct realism, indirect realism, or phenomenalism
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / e. Primary/secondary critique
We can't grasp the separation of quality types, or what a primary-quality world would be like
For direct realists the secondary and primary qualities seem equally direct
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / a. Sense-data theory
We can be looking at distant stars which no longer actually exist
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / b. Nature of sense-data
It is not clear from the nature of sense data whether we should accept them as facts
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 7. Causal Perception
Appearances don't guarantee reality, unless the appearance is actually caused by the reality
Perceptual beliefs may be directly caused, but generalisations can't be
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 5. Empiricism Critique
It is unclear how identity, equality, perfection, God, power and cause derive from experience
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 3. Memory
I can remember plans about the future, and images aren't essential (2+3=5)
Phenomenalism about memory denies the past, or reduces it to present experience
If perception and memory are indirect, then two things stand between mind and reality
Memories aren't directly about the past, because time-lags and illusions suggest representation
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 2. Justification Challenges / a. Agrippa's trilemma
Foundations are justified by non-beliefs, or circularly, or they need no justification
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 3. Internal or External / a. Pro-internalism
For internalists we must actually know that the fact caused the belief
Internalists tend to favour coherent justification, but not the coherence theory of truth
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / a. Foundationalism
Foundationalism requires inferential and non-inferential justification
Foundationalist must accept not only the basic beliefs, but also rules of inference for further progress
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / b. Basic beliefs
If basic beliefs can be false, falsehood in non-basic beliefs might by a symptom
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / f. Foundationalism critique
Beliefs can only be infallible by having almost no content
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 5. Coherentism / a. Coherence as justification
Idealists must be coherentists, but coherentists needn't be idealists
For coherentists justification and truth are not radically different things
Coherentism gives a possible justification of induction, and opposes scepticism
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 5. Coherentism / b. Pro-coherentism
If it is empirical propositions which have to be coherent, this eliminates coherent fiction
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 1. External Justification
Externalism could even make belief unnecessary (e.g. in animals)
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 2. Causal Justification
How can a causal theory of justification show that all men die?
Causal theories don't allow for errors in justification
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 8. Social Justification
Coherentism moves us towards a more social, shared view of knowledge
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 6. Scepticism Critique
What is the point of arguing against knowledge, if being right undermines your own argument?
14. Science / C. Induction / 6. Bayes's Theorem
Probabilities can only be assessed relative to some evidence
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / d. Other minds by analogy
The argument from analogy rests on one instance alone
You can't separate mind and behaviour, as the analogy argument attempts
19. Language / B. Meaning / 3. Meaning as Verification
Logical positivism implies foundationalism, by dividing weak from strong verifications
Verificationism (the 'verification principle') is an earlier form of anti-realism
19. Language / B. Meaning / 9. Meaning Holism
If the meanings of sentences depend on other sentences, how did we learn language?
19. Language / G. Interpretation / 2. Indeterminacy
There is an indeterminacy in juggling apparent meanings against probable beliefs
19. Language / G. Interpretation / 3. Charity
Charity makes native beliefs largely true, and Humanity makes them similar to ours
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 1. Value / a. Nature of value
The base for values has grounds, catalysts and intensifiers
22. Metaethics / C. Sources of Ethics / 3. Intuitionism
Internalists say that moral intuitions are motivating; externalist say a desire is also needed
If there are intuited moral facts, why should we care about them?
Obviously judging an action as wrong gives us a reason not to do it
Moral facts are not perceived facts, but perceived reasons for judgements