Philosophical Papers https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp <p><em>Philosophical Papers</em> is a generalist journal of philosophy edited in the Department of Philosophy at Rhodes University. The journal appears three times a year; the November issue of every year is topic-based and guest-edited.</p><p>The journal is published by Routledge (Taylor &amp; Francis). Information regarding submissions, subscriptions, and calls for papers, can be found on the Routledge website: <a href="http://www.informaworld.com/rppa" target="_blank">www.informaworld.com/rppa</a></p> en-US philosophical.papers@ru.ac.za (Ms Lindsay Kelland) philosophical.papers@ru.ac.za (Editor) Fri, 07 Nov 2008 09:06:32 +0000 OJS 3.1.2.4 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Introduction: A Thicker Epistemology? https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29607 <br><br>The distinction between thick and thin concepts has been a central part of recent discussion in metaethics. Whilst there is a debate regarding how best to characterise the distinction, it is commonly accepted that ethical theorising traditionally focuses on the thin, leading some to contend that moving from considering thin to thick concepts leads to a very different, and preferable, conception of ethics. Not only does a similar distinction between thick and thin concepts suggest itself within epistemology, traditional discussion within epistemology also seems to focus on the thin in a similar manner. The question of a possible parallel beckons: Is there a comparable distinction between thick and thin epistemic concepts? Would a move from thin to thick lead to an alternative and/or preferable epistemology?<br><br><i>Philosophical Papers</i> Vol. 37 (3) 2008: pp. 337-343 B Kotzee, J Wanderer Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29607 The Genealogy of Epistemic Virtue Concepts https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29599 <br><br>This paper examines the treatment of thick ethical concepts in Williams's work in order to evaluate the consistency of his treatment of ethical and epistemic concepts and to assess whether the idea of a thick concept can be extended from ethics to epistemology. A virtue epistemology is described modeled on a cognitivist virtue ethics. Williams's genealogy of the virtues surrounding propositional knowledge (the virtues of ‘truthfulness') is critically evaluated. It is concluded that this genealogy is an important contribution to the project of virtue epistemology. Thick concepts must not only feature in the account but will sustain more of the marks of objectivity than their ethical counterparts. This is so even on Williams's demanding assumptions.<br><br><i> Philosophical Papers</i> Vol. 37 (3) 2008: pp. 345-369 A Thomas Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29599 Fri, 07 Nov 2008 09:06:32 +0000 Trustworthiness https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29600 <br><br>I argue that trustworthiness is an epistemic desideratum. It does not reduce to justified or reliable true belief, but figures in the reason why justified or reliable true beliefs are often valuable. Such beliefs can be precarious. If a belief's being justified requires that the evidence be just as we take it to be, then if we are off even by a little, the belief is unwarranted. Similarly for reliability. Although it satisfies the definition of knowledge, such a belief is not trustworthy. We ought not use it as a basis for inference or action and ought not give others to believe it. The trustworthiness of a belief, I urge, depends on its being backed by reasons—considerations that other members of the appropriate epistemic community cannot reasonably reject. Trustworthiness is intersubjective. It both depends on and contributes to the evolving cognitive values of an epistemic community.<br><br><i> Philosophical Papers</i> Vol. 37 (3) 2008: pp. 371-387 CZ Elgin Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29600 Fri, 07 Nov 2008 09:06:32 +0000 Slim Epistemology with a Thick Skin https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29601 <br><br>The distinction between ‘thick' and ‘thin' value concepts, and its importance to ethical theory, has been an active topic in recent meta-ethics. This paper defends three claims regarding the parallel issue about thick and thin epistemic concepts. (1) Analogy with ethics offers no straightforward way to establish a good, clear distinction between thick and thin epistemic concepts. (2) Assuming there is such a distinction, there are no semantic grounds for assigning thick epistemic concepts priority over the thin. (3) Nor does the structure of substantive epistemological theory establish that thick epistemic concepts enjoy systematic theoretical priority over the thin. In sum, a good case has yet to be made for any radical theoretical turn to thicker epistemology.<br><br><i> Philosophical Papers</i> Vol. 37 (3) 2008: pp. 389-412 P Väyrynen Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29601 Fri, 07 Nov 2008 09:06:32 +0000 Just the Right Thickness: A Defense of Second-Wave Virtue Epistemology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29602 <br><br>Do the central aims of epistemology, like those of moral philosophy, require that we designate some important place for those concepts located between the thin-normative and the non-normative? Put another way, does epistemology need ‘thick' evaluative concepts? There are inveterate traditions in analytic epistemology which, having legitimized a certain way of viewing the nature and scope of epistemology's subject matter, give this question a negative verdict; further, they have carried with them a tacit commitment to what we argue to be an epistemic analogue of the reductionistic centralist thesis that Bernard Williams in our view successfully challenged in ethics. In this essay, we challenge these traditional dogmas and in doing so align ourselves with what has been recently called the ‘Value Turn' in epistemology. From this perspective, we defend that, contrary to tradition, epistemology does need thick evaluative concepts. Further, the sort of theories that will be able to give thick evaluative concepts a deservedly central role in both belief and agent evaluation are those non-centralist projects that fall within what we call the second-wave of virtue epistemology. We recognize that, in breaking from centralism, there is a worry that a resulting anti-centralist theory will be reductionistic in the other direction— making the thick primary. We contend however that second-wave virtue epistemologies should be thought to provide the wave of the right thickness, and as such, constitute the most promising approaches within a field that has become increasingly more normative, diverse and expansive than was the traditional set of problems from which it emerged.<br><br><i> Philosophical Papers</i> Vol. 37 (3) 2008: pp. 413-434 G Axtell, JA Carter Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29602 Fri, 07 Nov 2008 09:06:32 +0000 Metaethics Meets Virtue Epistemology: Salvaging Disagreement about the Epistemically Thick https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29603 <br><br>Virtue ethics and virtue epistemology shift the focus of evaluation from thin concepts to thick ones. Simon Blackburn has argued that a shift to thick ethical concepts dooms us to talking past one another. I contend that virtue epistemologists can answer Blackburn's objection, thus salvaging genuine disagreement about the epistemically thick. Section I introduces the standard cognitivist and non-cognitivist analyses of thick concepts. Section II argues that thick epistemic concepts are subject to combinatorial vagueness. I contend that virtue epistemologists share vague concepts of intellectual virtue and openmindedness. Section III addresses Allan Gibbard's worry that appealing to vagueness exacerbates the problem. I conclude that for genuine disagreement to occur, the parties must (1) share vague concepts; and (2) agree on the goals of their conceptual analyses.<br><br><i> Philosophical Papers</i> Vol. 37 (3) 2008: pp. 435-454 H Battaly Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29603 Is ‘Education' a Thick Epistemic Concept? https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29604 <br><br>Is ‘education' a thick epistemic concept? The answer depends, of course, on the viability of the ‘thick/thin' distinction, as well as the degree to which education is an epistemic concept at all. I will concentrate mainly on the latter, and will argue that epistemological matters are central to education and our philosophical thinking about it; and that, insofar, education is indeed rightly thought of as an epistemic concept. In laying out education's epistemological dimensions, I hope to clarify the degree to which it makes sense to regard the concept as ‘thick'. I also discuss the relationship between philosophy of education and virtue epistemology and the sense in which being educated might itself be thought to be an epistemic virtue. Finally, I urge virtue epistemologists in particular and epistemologists generally to turn their attention to questions of education, to further both the philosophy of education and epistemology itself.<br><br><i> Philosophical Papers</i> Vol. 37 (3) 2008: pp. 455-469 H Siegel Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29604 Why W. K. Clifford was a Closet Pragmatist https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29605 <br><br>No Abstract<br><br><i> Philosophical Papers</i> Vol. 37 (3) 2008: pp. 471-489 V Mitova Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29605 Book Review: <i>Distributed Cognition and the Will</i> https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29606 <br><br><i>Distributed Cognition and the Will</i>, edited by Don Ross, David Spurrett, Harold Kincaid, and G. Lynn Stephens, Cambridge, MA.: The MIT Press, 2007. 369 pages.<br><br><i> Philosophical Papers</i> Vol. 37 (3) 2008: pp. 491-500 I Haji Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/pp/article/view/29606