The Blackwell Guide to Epistemology by Ernest Sosa, John Greco

By Ernest Sosa, John Greco

Written through a global meeting of major philosophers, this quantity contains seventeen newly-commissioned full-length survey articles at the valuable subject matters of epistemology.

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The Blackwell Guide to Epistemology

Written through a global meeting of prime philosophers, this quantity contains seventeen newly-commissioned full-length survey articles at the imperative themes of epistemology.

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In the first three sections of the essay Pollock discusses the proper subject matter for epistemology and defends a particular methodology for constructing epistemic theories. " Answers to this question can be formulated at different levels of generality. At the highest level, theories like foundationalism and coherentism try to describe the broad structure of cognition. At a lower level, epistemology tries to work out theories of particular cognitive procedures, such as inductive reasoning, memory, and perception.

On this view we are aware of something mental, but it is one's mental states rather than mental particulars that have the perceived qualities. Alston argues that only direct realism combines two important elements in its understanding of perceptual experience: it holds (a) that experience is a direct awareness of objects, and (b) that such objects are physical objects in the environment. " For this reason, only direct realism makes it intuitively obvious how experience can justify perceptual beliefs.

After these preliminaries Westphal's essay can be divided into two main sections: an investigation into some central themes of Heidegger's epistemology, and then a shorter treatment of later developments in Gadamer and Derrida. An important theme in Heidegger's epistemology is that of the hermeneutic circle. This was originally an idea about the interpretation of texts: one comes to a text with a sense of the whole, but this must be revised in light of specific readings. The relationship between understanding the whole and understanding specifics is circular in that each is a function of the other.

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