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LU / Philosophy / PHIL 201 / the motivation behind externalism is:

the motivation behind externalism is:

the motivation behind externalism is:


School: Liberty University
Department: Philosophy
Course: Philosophy and Contemporary Issues
Professor: Mark foreman
Term: Fall 2016
Cost: 50
Description: PHIL 201 STUDY G UIDE : M ODULES 7–8 The most discussed and debated issue in modern epistemology concerns the question of “justification,” which asks: What counts as legitimate/adequate support or evidence for a belief? This is probably the most challenging area of the course and may take more than a single reading to grasp the material
Uploaded: 07/01/2017
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PHIL 201 STUDY GUIDE: MODULES 7–8 The most discussed and debated issue in modern epistemology concerns the question of  “justification,” which asks: What counts as legitimate/adequate support or evidence for a belief?  This is probably the most challenging area of the course and may take more than a single reading to grasp the material.  Recommended order of study: A. View and take notes on the presentation, “An Overview of Issues in Contemporary  Justification – Part 1.” ∙ What are 3 characteristics of a person’s noetic structure? The structure of one's system of beliefs -How are our beliefs related together? 1. Includes the sum total of everything that a person believes -All false as well as true beliefs -Even beliefs we are not currently thinking about -Person centered: what is important to me might not be important to you 2. Recognizes differing degrees of certainty firmness, and convictions 3. CHARACTERIZED BY HOW BELIEFS ARE RELATED TOGETHER ∙ Most of the “foundationalism” material is also in the reading but this presentation  may provide some clarity for you. Each of us hold some ideas basically or immediately while we hold other ideas non basically or non-immediately? ∙ Explain coherentism and the 3 problems with it.  -All beliefs fall into one category -No beliefs are more foundational then any others -Doxastic Assumption: What justifies a belief is that it coheres with other beliefs -While there is no basic beliefs, some believe that there are beliefs that are more central B. View and take notes on the presentation, “An Overview of Issues in Contemporary  Justification – Part 2.” ∙ What is the motivation that drives internalism? We have an epistemic obligation to form beliefs responsibily and this obligations  can only be filled id we can justify our beliefs   High accessibility requirements: not only should we have good reasons  to hold a particular belief but we should know what those reasons  are ∙ What is the motivation behind externalism?  This accords with our basic intuitions concerning most of our beliefs Page 1 of 7PHIL 201 ∙ How does externalism answer the question of quality control? Fact of reliability is what makes them justfied ∙ How does this presentation suggest bringing internalism and externalism together? o Need to acknowledge two points:   There are some beliefs that we are warranted in holding which we  do not deem to be able to justify: memories and sense are reliable   We have an epistemic duty to withhold some beliefs without  significant evidence: discovery for cancer, life on other planets.  o Both internalism and externalism are necessary o Externalism can incorporate internalism (but not vice versa) ∙ Make sure you understand the following terms and concepts: High Accessibility Requirements Abduction Concurrence Warrant Rapprochement

The most discussed and debated issue in modern epistemology concerns the question of “justification,” which asks: What counts as legitimate/adequate support or evidence for a belief?

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Page 2 of 7PHIL 201 C. Read and take notes on How Do We Know?, chapter 7, “Do We Need Justification?”  ∙ Explain what it means for a belief to be justified. For a belief to be justified it must have evidence or reason to be believed in. This is  an epistemological question relating to the rationality of our beliefs. ( pg 95) ∙ Explain the distinction between a belief being justified and a belief being true. Justification does not address whether or not a belief is true . A belief can be  justified and still be untrue. It merely counts the belief as being rational and  justified when it is supported by evidence and good reason. ( pg 96-97) ∙ What is internal about internalism? Why is it called that? Because it claims that people have internal mental access to the evidence or  arguments that support their beliefs. Internal introspection ( pg. 97) ∙ According to internalism, if a person does not have good reason for what he/she  believes, does that mean the belief is not true? It doesn’t mean that it is not true, it means that it is not justified ( pg. 99) ∙ Does internalism claim one must be consciously aware of one’s reasons in order to  be justified for a belief? Yes ( pg. 99) ∙ Explain Clifford’s brand of Evidentialism. “It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon sufficient  evidence.” ( pg. 99) ∙ What is the problem with Clifford’s version of Evidentialism? His statement implies that one must be certain before one can be justified. ( pg. 100) ∙ What is the problem with the statement “It is wrong always, everywhere and for  anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence?” It is self-defeating, as it does not have sufficient evidence to support it ( pg. 100) ∙ Why has internalism been so dominant? Internalism forces us to evaluate our beliefs and be reasonable about what we affirm. (  pg. 100) ∙ What is external about externalism? Why is it called that? The reasons and evidence may very well lie outside of the believers mind or be external  to the believers cognitive grasp. ( pg. 101) ∙ Explain why it is difficult to justify the reliability of our memories. We don’t know that our memories are reliable, but we have no reason to question it.  Unless you can give me areason (defeater) for questioning my memory, I can depend on  it. ( pg. 101) ∙ How does an externalist handle the question of the reliability of our memories? They would challenge the internalist to come up with some means for testing to see if our memories are reliable. They would say I am not obligated to justify that my memories are reliable. Just because  I do not have justification in evidence does not mean that I am irrational in holding that  my memories are reliable and int he absence of "defeaters" I am warranted in holding to  my memories as reliable. (pg. 101) ∙ According to reliabilism, do I need to know that my cognitive processes are  functioning reliably to be warranted in holding a belief? Page 3 of 7PHIL 201 Yes. The cognitive process in forming the beliefs must have functioned reliably. (pg.  102) ∙ What is the major criticism internalism raises against externalism? Lack of any sense of responsibility toward one's epistemic duties. (pg. 103) ∙ What is the major criticism externalism raises against internalism? That we do not normally form our beliefs by going through some sort of extended  process of internally reflecting on reasons and evidence. Externalists would argue that  many of our beliefs cannot be justified in the traditional sense of the word. (pg. 103) ∙ What is Plantinga’s modest foundationalists/externalists warrant for believing in  God? He suggests that it is reasonable for persons to believe in God without having evidences  and arguments to justify their beliefs through "senses divinitatis" or "sense of God" which perceives God directly, therefore is a basic belief. (pg. 107) ∙ Compare the internalist and externalist justification for belief in God. Internalist - must support their belief with reasons, but because you don't know why (at  the moment) you believe doesn't make it untrue Externalist - not necessary to have reasons to believe in God unless a defeater is given.  Doesn't mean that person is irrational, but warranted unless a defeater is given. (pg. 101) ∙ Explain the balanced approach to resolving the conflict between externalism and  internalism suggested in this reading. It is normal and acceptable that people might initially accept something as true even if  they currently do not possess good reasons or evidence. With the big questions in life, we  should pursue good reasons. (pg. 112) ∙ Make sure you fully understand the following terms and concepts: Justification Internalism Epistemic Deontology Evidentialism Externalism Defeater Reliabilism Cognitive Process  Reformed Epistemology Sensus Divinitas

∙ What are 3 characteristics of a person’s noetic structure?

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D. Read and take notes on How Do We Know?, chapter 10, “How Certain Can We Be?”  ∙ Why is common sense skepticism actually epistemically healthy? It eliminates unhealthy issues- ridiculous things. ∙ Explain the difference between a global and local skeptic. o Global skeptics are skeptical of all knowledge claims of any kind. o Local skeptics, by contrast, only question knowledge claims of a particular kind. (Pg.  149) ∙ Contrast and compare the different forms of skepticisms. o Methodological Skepticism—employs skepticism in its attempt to gain knowledge but  is not skeptical in its conclusions. Page 4 of 7PHIL 201 o Metaphysical Skepticism—In contrast to methodological skepticism, which applies  skepticism globally, this form of skepticism is local in that it focuses its criticisms on  only one kind of knowledge claim.  o Pyrrhonian Skepticism—Is the most radical form of skepticism. This view argues that  we do not have any knowledge or that we should suspend all judgement about our  knowledge due to various factors that make knowledge impossible. (Pg. 149-150) ∙ What kind of skeptic was Pyhrro of Ellis? o He was a global skeptic who was unwilling to accept any knowledge claim as true. (Pg. 150) ∙ Why did Sextus Empiricus adopt skepticism? o Skepticism was motivated out of desire for peace. His solution was to denounce all  knowledge claims. (Pg. 151) ∙ How did Descartes employ skepticism to arrive at certain knowledge? o Though not ultimately a skeptic himself. Descartes did employ systematic doubt about  all beliefs to identify those ideas which were undoubtable. Descartes illustrates  methodological skepticism. (Pg. 151) ∙ Explain Descartes’ evil demon hypothesis. It was in the realm of possibility that an evil demon exists which deceives us about all our perceptions and knowledge claims. If it is possible this demon exists, then it would seem  that we can be certain of nothing whatsoever. To overcome this concern, one must be  willing to explore the possibility to see if there is anything we can know for sure. (Pg.  152) ∙ What kind of skeptic was Hume? Local skeptic- Skeptics that only question knowledge claims of a particular kind  metaphysical claims (pg. 149) oSense knowledge is the only kind of knowledge there is; all we know is the phenomena  of our own experiences oRejected all metaphysical claims of knowledge that were not sensually experienced. ∙ Explain the process by which Hume denied the principle of causality. ∙ What did Kant’s skepticism cause him to deny that we could know on the basis of  pure reason? It is impossible to have knowledge of God and the metaphysical realm. Hebelieved  one could not justify belief in the existence of God on the basis ofpure reason. That  one could not justify belief on the basis of practical reason. (Pg. 154) ∙ On what basis did Kant believe we were justified in believing in God? Kant was convinced of the existence of absolute moral laws. He argued that God must  exist in order for such laws to make sense. One needs an absolute, good, all-powerful  being to gurantee good wins in the end. (pg 155) ∙ Explain 3 causes of skepticism. 1. Perceptual limitations- we think we see one thing to find out we were incorrect (pg.  155) 2. Reason can lead us astray—not sufficient(pg. 155-156) 3. Knowledge requires absolute certainty in order to be counted as knowledge and  because certainty has been so elusive, they suggest it is impossible to know anything for  sure. (pg. 156) Page 5 of 7PHIL 201 ∙ What is 1 benefit of philosophical skepticism? Remind us of the need for epistemic humility and reminds us to be careful about  overstating our case for the beliefs we hold. (pg. 157) ∙ Explain 4 problems with skepticism. 1. Self-defeating or impractical (pg. 157) 2. There are good reasons to think that we do have knowledge of the world. Our senses  can mislead, but they also give us good information most of the time. (pg 158) 3. Have raised important considerations about the possibility of having metaphysical  knowledge. (pg. 158) 4. Implies that knowledge requires absolute certainty. Sets the bar too high and is  unrealistic. (pg. 158-159) ∙ What are some reasons why certainty is so elusive? 1. Senses fail us 2. Lack of relevant data 3. We reason incorrectly 4. We are finite creatures trying to wrap our minds around complex things 5. Possible that our perspective on a given issues is unduly influenced by social factors.  (whether we are aware or not) (pg. 159) ∙ Is certainty necessary for knowledge? No. Should never be our goal. In most cases, we can attain great levels of confidence or  assurance about our beliefs, but NOT absolute certainty. Leads to ridiculous position that  we know nothing whatsoever. This does not mean that we cannot be certain about some  things. ∙ What causes the different variations of certainty? Degrees of certainly arise from the nature of the objects, entities or issues that we inquire  about. The nature of the thing in question largely determines how it can be known. (pg.  162) ∙ Make sure you can explain the following terms and concepts: Skepticism Common Sense Skepticism Global Skepticism Local Skepticism Mitigated Skepticism Unmitigated Skepticism Methodological Skepticism Metaphysical Skepticism Pyhrronian Skepticism Systematic Doubt Principle of Causality Epistemic Humility Logical/Absolute Certainty Probabilistic Certainty Sufficient Certainty Defeasibility

-How are our beliefs related together?

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E. View the presentation, “Naturalism.” It will give you the big picture in preparation for the  Lewis reading; which you will want to do afterwards. F. Read and take notes on Lewis, pages 303–334 in the softcover Signature edition (originally  chapters 1–5 of Lewis’ book Miracles). Here you will discover why this module/week is titled  “Naturalism and Knowledge.” Be sure you can explain the answers to these questions: Page 6 of 7PHIL 201 ∙ Why can, or can’t, experience alone tell us whether “miracles” are possible? Because experience is influenced by philosophical questions. If we believe in the  supernatural, we claim to see miracles; the oppositie holds true for the opposing view.  (Pg. 303) ∙ What is the meaning of naturalism? Believeing that nothing exists outside of nature. No compelte Naturalist believes in free  will. Democracy. It could admit that there is some God. This God would be part of the  framework though. They believe that there is a single total reality ∙ What is the meaning of supernaturalism? Believing there is a supernatural element which. Agrees with the naturalist that there  must be something which exists in its own right; some basic Fact whose existence would  be nonsensical to try explain because it is the starting point. Monarchy. One thing  exists on its own and has produced the framework of space and time and the procession  of systematically connected events which fill them ∙ How did Lewis use the term “dualism” specifically in this context? (it happens to  differ from the more common metaphysical usage of the term) Believe that God and Nature exist but are independent of each other (Pg. 327) ∙ What is the “cardinal difficulty” of naturalism, exactly? It needs to in principle be able to explain the Total System. (Pg. 311) ∙ What does it mean for reason to have an objective basis? ??? (Pg. 317) ∙ If reason did not exist, would it be possible to “know” anything? Unless human reasoning is valid no science can be true. (Pg. 313) ∙ How would morality be supported by naturalism? All moral judgements would be statements about the speaker’s feelings. (Pg. 332) Your notes on Lewis will help you prepare for the DB. This section of Lewis also serves as a  bridge from epistemology to the upcoming unit on metaphysics. Page 7 of 7
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