Epistemological Disjunctivism

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Oxford University Press, 2014 - Philosophy - 182 pages
Duncan Pritchard offers an original defence of epistemological disjunctivism. This is an account of perceptual knowledge which contends that such knowledge is paradigmatically constituted by a true belief that enjoys rational support which is both factive and reflectively accessible to the agent. In particular, in a case of paradigmatic perceptual knowledge that p, the subject's rational support for believing that p is that she sees that p, where this rational support is both reflectively accessible and factive (i.e., it entails p). Such an account of perceptual knowledge poses a radical challenge to contemporary epistemology, since by the lights of standard views in epistemology this proposal is simply incoherent. Pritchard's aim in Epistemological Disjunctivism is to show that this proposal is theoretically viable (i.e., that it does not succumb to the problems that it appears to face), and also to demonstrate that this is an account of perceptual knowledge which we would want to endorse if it were available on account of its tremendous theoretical potential. In particular, he argues that epistemological disjunctivism offers a way through the impasse between epistemic externalism and internalism, and also provides the foundation for a distinctive response to the problem of radical scepticism.

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About the author (2014)

Duncan Pritchard is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. His main research area is epistemology, and he has published widely in this field, including the books Epistemic Luck (Oxford University Press, 2005) and The Nature and Value of Knowledge (with A. Haddock & A. Millar, Oxford University Press, 2010). He is editor-in-chief of the journals Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy (Oxford University Press) and (with D. Machuca) International Journal for the Study of Skepticism (Brill). In 2007 he was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize. In 2011 he was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2013 he delivered the annual Soochow Lectures in Philosophy in Taiwan, which will be published by Princeton University Press as Epistemic Angst: Radical Scepticism and the Groundlessness of Our Believing.

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