The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction

The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction

The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction

The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction

Synopsis

Chapter 1: Epistemology: A First Look 1. Why Study Knowledge? 2. Some Doubts about Knowledge 3. Traditional Definition of Knowledge 4. Knowledge and Experience 5. Intuitions and Theory Chapter 2: Explaining Knowledge 1. The Scope of Epistemology 2. The Concept of Knowledge 3. Epistemology, Naturalism, and Pragmatism 4. Value in Epistemology Chapter 3: Belief 1. Belief and Representational States 2. Belief and Belief-Ascription 3. Are Beliefs Transparent? 4. Belief and Theoretical Ideals 5. Eliminativism and Prediction Chapter 4: Truth 1. Relativism 2. Truth and Correspondence 3. Truth and Coherence 4. Truth and Pragmatic Value 5. Kinds and Notions of Truth Chapter 5: Jusitification and Beyond 1. Justifications, Truth and Defeat 2. Inferential Justification and the Regress Problem 3. Supplementing Justification: The Gettier Problem Chapter 6: Sources of Knowledge 1. Rationalism, Empiricism, and Innatissm 2. Empiricism, Positivism, and Underdetermination 3. Intuitions and First-Person Reports 4. Memory 5. Theoretical Unification 6. Testimony and Social Dependence Chapter 7: Rationality 1. Preliminary Distinctions 2. Rational Inference: Normative and Descriptive 3. Consistency and Wayward Beliefs 4. Rationality and Decision Under Uncertainty 5. Integrative Considerations about Rationality Chapter 8: Skepticism 1. Some Species of Skepticism 2. Some Skeptical Arguments 3. A Reply from Common Sense 4. Skepticism, Naturalism, and Broad Explanation Chapter 9: Epistemology and Explanation 1. Origins of Contemporary Epistemology 2. Ultimate Epistemological Authority 3. Explanation and Knowledge References For Further Reading Glossary Index

Excerpt

This book offers a thematic introduction to the theory of knowledge, or epistemology. The book is decidedly not an historical introduction to the field, even though it makes frequent reference to historical figures in epistemology. Instead, it concentrates on substantive developments in the twentieth century, treating the most prominent representative themes in contemporary theory of knowledge.

Quite naturally, philosophers are often swept up in the detailed disputes and subtle arguments of their fields. In this respect, at least, epistemologists follow suit. Many introductory books thus begin with the best of intentions, but nonetheless end up incomprehensible to students altogether new to the field. We have tried to resist the philosophical temptation to inessential detail and subtlety with what has amounted at times to Spartan self-denial. If a few unstinting specialists lack appreciation for an introductory treatment, perhaps their students' responses will compensate.

This book is uniformly a joint effort, even though written by three philosophers with different epistemologies and different . . .

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