Charles Cote-Bouchard (KCL postgraduate student working in epistemology and metaethics) just received word that his paper, ‘Can the Aim of Belief Ground Epistemic Normativity?’ has been accepted for publication by Philosophical Studies. Congratulations to Charles on this fantastic achievement. Interested readers can find an early draft of the paper here.
According to a tradition that stretches back for literally a few decades there is a traditional analysis of knowledge. On this analysis, knowledge is justified, true belief. This view is sometimes attributed to Plato (because of some remarks in Plato’s Theaetetus) but it was thought to be decisively refuted by Gettier in his famous 1963 paper. Some of us might have doubts about the force of these examples, but let’s set these doubts aside for the time being. There is an interesting historical question that hasn’t received sufficient attention in the literature: was the traditional view part of the philosophical tradition? The view had few defenders, if any, after the reception of Gettier’s article, but what about the philosophical tradition stretching back from June 1963 to Plato?
Julien Dutant argues that philosophers did not accept the (so-called) traditional analysis of knowledge that was Gettier’s target. This is just a legend or myth passed along by epistemologists who don’t take sufficient care to check the historical texts. In place of the bad, old view, Dutant offers a new story of what philosophers traditionally took knowledge to be:
The New Story goes as follows. There is a traditional conception of knowledge but it is not the Justified True Belief analysis Gettier attacked. On the traditional view, knowledge consists in having a belief that bears a discernible mark of truth. A mark of truth is a truth-entailing property: a property that only true beliefs can have. It is discernible if one can always tell that a belief has it, that is, a sufficiently attentive subject believes that a belief has it if and only if it has it. Requiring a mark of truth makes the view infallibilist. Requiring it to be discernible makes the view internalist. I call the view Classical Infallibilism.
Read the whole thing, as they say. You can get an early view here.
On the 18th of February 2016, the Department of Philosophy at King’s College London will host a graduate conference on the topics of rationality and irrationality.
The conference will feature talks from graduate students working in epistemology, the philosophy action and the philosophy of psychology; respondents from KCL faculty members; and Prof Neil Levy as keynote speaker. Details of the schedule can be found here.
In Semester Two 2015-16 we are launching the King’s History of Philosophy Seminar, which will meet regularly through the academic year at King’s College London.
The Seminar aims to promote discussion of methods and approaches to the History of Philosophy as well as of thinkers and topics within the tradition.
Meetings take place on Fridays. All welcome.
February 19th, 2016, 11am-1pm:
Prof. Sarah Hutton (University of York)
Author of British Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century (Oxford University Press, 2015)
Small Committee Room, King’s College London
March 18th, 2016, 3-5pm:
Dr James Harris (University of St Andrews)
Author of Hume: An Intellectual Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and editor of Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Vol. I: Morals, Politics, Art, Religion (Oxford University Press, 2015)
Room 508, Department of Philosophy, King’s College London
May 27th, 2016, 11am-1pm:
Dr Christopher Brooke (University of Cambridge)
Author of Philosophic Pride: Stoicism and Political Thought from Lipsius to Rousseau (Princeton University Press, 2012)
Small Committee Room, King’s College London
Titles of talks will be announced closer to the date.
These seminars are organised by John Callanan and Clare Carlisle. Please email email@example.com with any enquiries.
Sarah Fine’s collection (co-edited with Lea Ypi), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership, is now available through Oxford University Press. This book brings together twelve original papers on migration from leading international figures (including, of course, our very own Sarah Fine). Interested readers can learn more about the collection and get a look at its introduction here.