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FA-57352-13
Challenges and Prospects for the Idea of "Reasons First" in Epistemology
Mark Schroeder, University of Southern California

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FA-57352-13

What Makes Reasons Sufficient? (Article)
Title: What Makes Reasons Sufficient?
Author: Mark Schroeder
Abstract: This paper addresses the question: ‘what makes reasons sufficient?’ and offers an answer which characterizes the sufficiency of reasons in terms of their relative weight. I call this conception sufficiency as balance. The paper starts by introducing some of the reasons why sufficiency has seemed difficult to understand, particularly in epistemology, and some circumstantial evidence that this has contributed to more general problems in the epistemological literature. It then introduces the positive account of sufficiency as balance, and explains how this captures sufficiency in both the practical and epistemic domains. Finally, the paper shows how once we understand the nature of sufficiency, it is easy to predict the full variety of ways in which reasons – both for action and for belief – can be defeated.
Year: 2015
Primary URL: http://apq.press.illinois.edu/52/2/schroeder.html
Primary URL Description: Journal page.
Secondary URL: http://markschroeder.net/s/Schroeder_Sufficient.pdf
Secondary URL Description: Pre-publication draft on author's homepage.
Access Model: Subscription only
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: American Philosophical Quarterly
Publisher: University of Illinois Press

In Defense of the Kantian Account of Knowledge: Reply to Whiting (Article)
Title: In Defense of the Kantian Account of Knowledge: Reply to Whiting
Author: Mark Schroeder
Abstract: In Schroeder [2015], I defended the view that knowledge can be successfully analyzed as belief for reasons that are both subjectively and objectively sufficient. Since this is Kant’s characterization of knowledge in the first Critique, let us call this the Kantian Account. My aim in that paper was to argue that the Kantian Account provides a simple and attractive way of making good on the idea that knowledge involves a kind of match between subjective and objective factors – the right sort of match to explain why knowledge is prime, why it has a distinctive kind of explanatory power, along the lines defended by Williamson [2000], and why it exhibits the phenomenon that I call defeater pairing, on which, very roughly, objective conditions that defeat knowledge come paired with subjective counterparts. The Kantian Account, I argued, provides a way of making sense of these things without getting into either of the two major sources of trouble that have traditionally plagued similarly motivated analyses of knowledge: the conditional fallacy and the defeater dialectic. Daniel Whiting [2015] argues, in this journal, that I have overstated my case. More specifically, he argues that the Kantian Account founders on one of the most classic cases in the Gettierological literature, fake barns. In this paper I’ll rehearse the problem of fake barns as faced by the Kantian Account. We’ll see that this problem requires a certain view about the nature of basic perceptual reasons. Hence, I’ll argue that by adopting an alternative account of basic perceptual reasons, the Kantian Account can evade Whiting’s objection, and I’ll argue that this alternative account is independently better motivated. The moral will be that though Whiting is right to press his objection to the treatment of fake barns in my earlier paper, the Kantian Account itself can escape unscathed.
Year: 2015
Primary URL: http://logos-and-episteme.acadiasi.ro/in-defense-of-the-kantian-account-of-knowledge-reply-to-whiting-pages-371-382/
Primary URL Description: Journal webpage.
Secondary URL: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/55505fc8e4b032b4451e4a90/t/55ca368ee4b080aed53c4a57/1439315598977/Schroeder_Reply_to-Whiting.pdf
Secondary URL Description: Pre-publication draft on author's homepage.
Access Model: Open access
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Logos and Episteme
Publisher: Logos and Episteme

Knowledge Based on Seeing (Article)
Title: Knowledge Based on Seeing
Author: Mark Schroeder
Abstract: In his wide-ranging and ambitious Epistemological Disjunctivism, Duncan Pritchard outlines and defends what he calls the “holy grail” of epistemology – a view that aims to combine the virtues of both internalist and externalist approaches in epistemology, and which claims to offer a novel, robust, and “satisfying” response to the problem of radical skepticism. The only problem with this view, Pritchard notes, is that it “occupies a region of logical space in epistemology that many hold is simply unavailable”. According to Pritchard’s diagnosis, there are three chief prima facie problems for his brand of epistemological disjunctivism that have seemed to make it unavailable, and his defense is constituted by replies to these three problems, in addition to an elaboration of its virtues. But unfortunately for the search for epistemology’s holy grail, in this paper I will show that Pritchard’s responses to two of the three problems facing his preferred form of epistemological disjunctivism are in tension.
Year: 2016
Primary URL: http://logos-and-episteme.acadiasi.ro/knowledge-based-on-seeing-pages-101-107/
Primary URL Description: Journal webpage.
Access Model: Open access
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Logos and Episteme
Publisher: Logos and Episteme

Is Knowledge Normative? (Article)
Title: Is Knowledge Normative?
Author: Mark Schroeder
Abstract: Epistemology is, at least in part, a normative discipline. Epistemologists are concerned not simply with what people believe, how confident they are, or the conditions under which they believe it or are so confident. They are also – and more interestingly – concerned with what people should believe, how confident they should be, and the conditions under which they should believe it and be so confident. But epistemology is, paradigmatically, the study of knowledge. Is knowledge itself a normative concept? Or is it merely normatively important? This question, I believe, is of fundamental importance for the appropriate methodology in the theory of knowledge, for it tells us whether the theory of knowledge is a special case of normative inquiry more generally, or whether we can instead study knowledge without needing to pay attention to how our answers fit in with the study of normative properties and relations. At any rate, it is the question that will interest me in this paper. I will attempt to make it more precise as we go along.
Year: 2015
Primary URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/phis.12050/abstract
Primary URL Description: Journal webpage.
Secondary URL: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/55505fc8e4b032b4451e4a90/t/55ca3603e4b0de52cfbb36a5/1439315459923/Schroeder_Is_Knowledge_Normative.pdf
Secondary URL Description: Pre-publication draft on author's homepage.
Access Model: Subscription only
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Philosophical Issues
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell

Knowledge is Not the Most General Factive Stative Attitude (Article)
Title: Knowledge is Not the Most General Factive Stative Attitude
Author: Mark Schroeder
Abstract: This paper argues against Timothy Williamson's view that knowledge is the most general factive stative attitude.
Year: 2015
Primary URL: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/55505fc8e4b032b4451e4a90/t/55ca36f6e4b0423ff5ac5e96/1439315702607/Schroeder_Factive_Stative_Attitudes.pdf
Primary URL Description: Author' webpage.
Format: Other
Publisher: self-published

Factivity and Basic Perceptual Reasons (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Factivity and Basic Perceptual Reasons
Author: Mark Schroeder
Abstract: This paper explores the problem of how perceptual experiences could be a particularly privileged source of evidence about the external world. It argues that the pervasive assumption that perceptual evidence must consist in truths is responsible for setting a dilemma between the familiar choices of 20th-century epistemology - skepticism, coherentism, rationalism, and pure externalism - and epistemological disjunctivism. We can get a better view, with the advantages of disjunctivism but without its costs, if we allow that subjective evidence can consist in falsehoods. But not every way of doing so can succeed, because we must also correctly account for the defeasibility of perceptual evidence. I explore and defend a new account of basic perceptual evidence that makes good on this promise.
Date: 11/10/2015
Conference Name: Southern California Epistemology Workshop

Factivity and Basic Perceptual Reasons (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Factivity and Basic Perceptual Reasons
Abstract: This paper explores the problem of how perceptual experiences could be a particularly privileged source of evidence about the external world. It argues that the pervasive assumption that perceptual evidence must consist in truths is responsible for setting a dilemma between the familiar choices of 20th-century epistemology - skepticism, coherentism, rationalism, and pure externalism - and epistemological disjunctivism. We can get a better view, with the advantages of disjunctivism but without its costs, if we allow that subjective evidence can consist in falsehoods. But not every way of doing so can succeed, because we must also correctly account for the defeasibility of perceptual evidence. I explore and defend a new account of basic perceptual evidence that makes good on this promise.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Date: 9/8/2015
Location: University of Southampton

Factivity and Basic Perceptual Reasons (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Factivity and Basic Perceptual Reasons
Abstract: This paper explores the problem of how perceptual experiences could be a particularly privileged source of evidence about the external world. It argues that the pervasive assumption that perceptual evidence must consist in truths is responsible for setting a dilemma between the familiar choices of 20th-century epistemology - skepticism, coherentism, rationalism, and pure externalism - and epistemological disjunctivism. We can get a better view, with the advantages of disjunctivism but without its costs, if we allow that subjective evidence can consist in falsehoods. But not every way of doing so can succeed, because we must also correctly account for the defeasibility of perceptual evidence. I explore and defend a new account of basic perceptual evidence that makes good on this promise.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Date: 9/11/2015
Location: Institute for Philosophy, London

Factivity and Basic Perceptual Reasons (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Factivity and Basic Perceptual Reasons
Abstract: This paper explores the problem of how perceptual experiences could be a particularly privileged source of evidence about the external world. It argues that the pervasive assumption that perceptual evidence must consist in truths is responsible for setting a dilemma between the familiar choices of 20th-century epistemology - skepticism, coherentism, rationalism, and pure externalism - and epistemological disjunctivism. We can get a better view, with the advantages of disjunctivism but without its costs, if we allow that subjective evidence can consist in falsehoods. But not every way of doing so can succeed, because we must also correctly account for the defeasibility of perceptual evidence. I explore and defend a new account of basic perceptual evidence that makes good on this promise.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Date: 11/1/2015
Location: University of Pennsylvania

Epistemic Reasons and the Nature of Belief (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Epistemic Reasons and the Nature of Belief
Abstract: This paper explains why it would be attractive to conclude that there are epistemic reasons against belief that are not evidence, argues that if this is true, it should flow from a general account of the right kind and wrong kind of reasons for attitudes, and shows how two treatments of the nature of belief can account for epistemic reasons against belief that are not evidence.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Date: 10/24/2015
Location: Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru

Doxastic Wronging (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Doxastic Wronging
Abstract: This paper argues that it is possible to wrong someone by what you believe about them, and argues that one source of resistance to this idea is that it may put epistemic rationality into conflict with morality. After refining this objection, I show that it can be solved by allowing for epistemic reasons against belief that are not evidence.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Date: 10/25/2015
Location: Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru

A Common Subject for Ethics (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: A Common Subject for Ethics
Abstract: This paper argues that much of both normative ethics and metaethics are properly thought of as concerned with the problem of how there could be a single subject matter for ethics - a subject about which people with very different moral views have genuine knowledge, but are still in deep disagreements with one another.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Date: 3/7/15
Location: Texas Tech University

The Common Subject Problem for Ethics (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: The Common Subject Problem for Ethics
Abstract: This paper argues that much of both normative ethics and metaethics are properly thought of as concerned with the problem of how there could be a single subject matter for ethics - a subject about which people with very different moral views have genuine knowledge, but are still in deep disagreements with one another.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Date: 3/14/15
Location: California State University at Northridge

Evidence as Reasons (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Evidence as Reasons
Abstract: This paper marshals evidence that reasons and evidence have much in common, and compares Stephen Kearns and Daniel Star's theory of Reasons as Evidence to the competing hypothesis of Evidence as Reasons. I give both direct arguments against Kearns and Star and illustrate the direct virtues of Evidence as Reasons.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Date: 2/12/2015
Location: Northwestern University

Knowledge and Practical Stakes (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Knowledge and Practical Stakes
Abstract: This talk introduces the issue of pragmatic encroachment in epistemology, discusses how cases have been mis-used to try to test the plausibility of that thesis, and defends the thesis.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Date: 10/5/2014
Location: University of Southern California

Caring About Skepticism About Wrong-Kind Reasons (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Caring About Skepticism About Wrong-Kind Reasons
Abstract: This paper defends the importance of the wrong kind of reasons problem, for epistemology.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Date: 9/20/2014
Location: Humboldt University, Berlin

The Unity of Reasons (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: The Unity of Reasons
Abstract: This paper explores patterns in the competition and transmission of reasons for action and reasons for belief, in order to explore the question of which is prior.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Date: 11/5/2014
Location: Ohio State University

The Unity of Reasons (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: The Unity of Reasons
Abstract: This paper explores patterns in the competition and transmission of reasons for action and reasons for belief, in order to explore the question of which is prior.
Author: Mark Schroeder
Date: 11/12/2014
Location: Tulane University - Murphy Institute


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