lecture_15_2x2 - Announcements and Such One Song - Billy...

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Announcements and Such One Song — Billy Joel “Captain Jack,” from Piano Man Make sure you get your first essays back (GSIs) Second essay will be assigned on March 20th. The due date will actually be April 5 (more next week). Today: Part III of three parts on the Architecture of Knowledge ( very serious theoretical epistemology) Next time, we’ll move on to The Analysis of Knowledge (that’s a four -part series) I need to stop 10-15 minutes early today … (someone please remind me to do this!) Before we ask whether coherence can contribute to justification, we should concede that incoherence can defeat justification — even basic justification. E.g. , the incoherence of a perceptual belief with other firmly held beliefs may give one reason to believe that one is hallucinating . This could serve to defeat the (justified) perceptual belief. All this shows is that our justified beliefs — even those arising from foundational sources — are defeasible , and that incoherence can be a defeater . Rebutting defeater of p Gives reason to believe that p is false . Undercutting defeater of p Gives reason to doubt justificatory ground of p The Architecture of Knowledge III In the example above, the defeater may be (merely) undercutting . That is, it may only defeat the justificatory ground for the perceptual belief. In such a case, incoherence is not giving us reason to believe that p is false . As a result, this sort of example does not give us reason to think that coherence can provide reason to believe p is true . If E provides reason to believe p is false , then ~ E provides reason to believe that p is true . But, if E (sufficient incoherence of p with the rest of our beliefs) merely provides reason to doubt the reliability of the process generating our belief that p, this does not imply that ~ E (coherence) provides reason to believe that p is true . Can incoherence be a rebutting defeater? The Architecture of Knowledge III What these considerations show is that the justification of beliefs (even of epistemically basic beliefs) can negatively depend on in coherence. This does not imply that justification positively depends on coherence . Here’s Audi’s analogy: If my well is my source of water, I (positively) depend on it. The possibility that people could poison it does not make their non malevolence part of my source of water, or imply a ( positive ) dependence on them, such as I have on the rainfall. Moreover, it is the rainfall that explains both my having the water and its level. Foundationalists can concede that justification of
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lecture_15_2x2 - Announcements and Such One Song - Billy...

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