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This Life Martin Hagglund E-bok. How To Randall Munroe Inbunden. What If? Ladda ned. Spara som favorit. Skickas inom vardagar. Mark Wilson presents a highly original and broad-ranging investigation of the way we get to grips with the world conceptually, and the way that philosophical problems commonly arise from this. Words such as colour, shape, solidity exemplify the commonplace conceptual tools we employ to describe and order the world around us. Many view this thesis as imposing substantive constraints upon theories of linguistic meaning.


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In this paper, I shall not consider that view; instead, I shall address the prior issue of whether or not one should accept Normativism. Aesthetic testimony is not a source of knowledge; it is not even a source of rational belief. This chapter outlines a novel argument for this view, one which serves also to explain it.

That argument appeals to four principles connecting rationality and reasons, reasons and values, belief and affects, and beliefs … Read more Aesthetic testimony is not a source of knowledge; it is not even a source of rational belief. That argument appeals to four principles connecting rationality and reasons, reasons and values, belief and affects, and beliefs about reasons and beliefs about value. The chapter motivates and defends each principle in turn, though the main aim is to show how together they cast doubt on the possibility of second-hand aesthetic knowledge.

This is a survey of recent debates concerning the normativity of belief. We explain what the thesis that belief is normative involves, consider arguments for and against that thesis, and explore its bearing on debates in metaethics.

Wandering Significance: an Essay on Conceptual Behaviour. – Mark Wilson

What is a normative reason for acting? In this paper, I introduce and defend a novel answer to this question. The starting-point is the view that reasons are right-makers. By exploring difficulties facing it, I arrive at an alternative, according to which reasons are evidence of respects in which it is right to perform an act, for example, that it keeps a promise. This is similar to the proposal that reasons for a person to act are evidence that she ought to do so; however, as I explain, it diff… Read more What is a normative reason for acting? This is similar to the proposal that reasons for a person to act are evidence that she ought to do so; however, as I explain, it differs from that proposal in two significant ways.

As a result, I argue, the evidence-based account of reasons I advance shares the advantages of its predecessor while avoiding many of the difficulties facing it. That truth provides the standard for believing appears to be a platitude, one which dovetails with the idea that in some sense belief aims only at the truth.

In recent years, however, an increasing number of prominent philosophers have suggested that knowledge provides the standard for believing, and so that belief aims only at knowledge. In this paper, I examine the considerations which have been put forward in support of this suggestion, considerations relating to lottery beliefs, Moorean beli… Read more That truth provides the standard for believing appears to be a platitude, one which dovetails with the idea that in some sense belief aims only at the truth. In this paper, I examine the considerations which have been put forward in support of this suggestion, considerations relating to lottery beliefs, Moorean beliefs, the criticism and defence of belief, and the value of knowledge.

I argue that those considerations do not give us reason to give up the truth view in favour of the knowledge view and, moreover, that reflection on those considerations gives us some reason to reject the knowledge view. Thus, I conclude, we can continue to the take the apparent platitude at face value. Call the view that it is possible to acquire aesthetic knowledge via testimony, optimism, and its denial, pessimism.

In this paper, I offer a novel argument for pessimism.

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It works by turning attention away from the basis of the relevant belief, namely, testimony, and toward what that belief in turn provides a basis for, namely, other attitudes. In short, I argue that an aesthetic belief acquired via testimony cannot provide a rational basis for further attitudes, such as admiration, and that th… Read more Call the view that it is possible to acquire aesthetic knowledge via testimony, optimism, and its denial, pessimism.

In short, I argue that an aesthetic belief acquired via testimony cannot provide a rational basis for further attitudes, such as admiration, and that the best explanation for this is that the relevant belief is not itself rational. If a belief is not rational, it is not knowledge.


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So, optimism is false. After addressing a number of objections to the argument, I consider briefly its bearing on the debate concerning thick evaluative concepts. While the aim is to argue that pessimism holds, not to explain why it holds, I provide an indication in closing of what that explanation might be.

2018.11.12

Is there such a thing as a language? In William Irwin ed. A paper aimed primarily at a non-academic audience in which I suggest that Lewis Carroll's Alice novels can be viewed, in part, as exploring two competing conceptions of language, conceptions that the philosopher Donald Davidson critically examines. According to the Institutional View, language is a system of rules regulating the use of words and words have the meanings that they do in virtue of those rules.

According to the Invention View, what words mean is rather a matter of how the speaker i… Read more A paper aimed primarily at a non-academic audience in which I suggest that Lewis Carroll's Alice novels can be viewed, in part, as exploring two competing conceptions of language, conceptions that the philosopher Donald Davidson critically examines.

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According to the Invention View, what words mean is rather a matter of how the speaker intends those words to be understood by her audience in contexts of communication. Davidson is a well-known advocate of the Invention View. I argue that the Alice novels, perhaps surprisingly, suggest reasons to favour instead the Institutional View. Knowledge seems to be a good thing, or at least better than epistemic states that fall short of it, such as true belief. Understanding too seems to be a good thing, perhaps better even than knowledge.

In a number of recent publications, Duncan Pritchard tries to account for the value of understanding by claiming that understanding is a cognitive achievement and that achievements in general are valuable. In this paper, I argue that coming to understand something need not be an achievement, and so… Read more Knowledge seems to be a good thing, or at least better than epistemic states that fall short of it, such as true belief.

In this paper, I argue that coming to understand something need not be an achievement, and so Pritchard's explanation of understanding's value fails. Next, I point out that Pritchard's is just one of many attempts to account for the value of an epistemic state — whether it be understanding, knowledge, or whatever — by appeal to the notion of achievement or, more generally, the notion of success because of ability.

Tentatively, I offer reasons to be sceptical about the prospects of any such account. Understanding Virtue Epistemology Epistemic Value. Does belief only aim at the truth? It is common to hear talk of the aim of belief and to find philosophers appealing to that aim for numerous explanatory purposes.

Works by Mark Wilson

What belief 's aim explains depends, of course, on what that aim is. Many hold that it is somehow related to truth, but there are various ways in which one might specify belief 's aim using the notion of truth. In this article, by considering whether they can account for belief 's standard of correctness and the epistemic norms governing belief, I argue against certain… Read more It is common to hear talk of the aim of belief and to find philosophers appealing to that aim for numerous explanatory purposes.

In this article, by considering whether they can account for belief 's standard of correctness and the epistemic norms governing belief, I argue against certain prominent specifications of belief 's aim given in terms of truth, and advance a neglected alternative. Epistemic Value Epistemological States and Properties.

Many equate the meaning of a linguistic expression with its use. This paper investigates prominent objections to the equivalence claim and argues that they are unsuccessful. Once one suitably distinguishes the kind of use to be identified with meaning, the two do not diverge. Nonetheless, I stress, this does not count against the equivalence claim.

Moreover, one should not assume that the circul… Read more Many equate the meaning of a linguistic expression with its use. Moreover, one should not assume that the circularity on this occasion is vicious. Use Theories of Meaning.

Semantic generalists and semantic particularists disagree over the role of rules or principles in linguistic competence and in the determination of linguistic meaning, and hence over the importance of the notions of a rule or of a principle in philosophical accounts of language.