Epistemic Value

Monday, March 22, 2010

CFP: The Problem of the Criterion

Call for Papers: ‘The Problem of the Criterion’
Special Issue of Philosophical Papers
Guest Editor: Mark Nelson (Westmont College)

The problem of the criterion is one of the most ancient and enduring questions of philosophical methodology. Attributed to Agrippa, the dialellus or ‘wheel’ became a staple of skeptical arguments from Sextus to Montaigne, but it was perhaps given its best-known formulation by R.M. Chisholm:

To know whether things really are as they seem to be, we must have a procedure for distinguishing appearances that are true from appearances that are false. But to know whether our procedure is a good procedure, we have to know whether it really succeeds in distinguishing appearances that are true from appearances that are false. And we cannot know whether it does really succeed unless we already know which appearances are true and which ones are false. And so we are caught in a circle. [‘The Problem of the Criterion’, 1982]

This problem admits of several interpretations, resists easy solution, and lurks at the bottom of philosophical reflection on knowledge and method in any topic, yet it has received only one book-length treatment in Anglophone philosophy in the last fifty years, Robert Amico’s The Problem of the Criterion (1993).

Possible topics for discussion include:
- The problem of the criterion in ancient, modern (Montaigne, Hume, Reid, Hegel), or 20th C epistemology (Moore, Wittgenstein)
- The problem of the criterion as an interpretation or form of skepticism
- The relevance of the problem of the criterion to various kinds of knowledge, e.g., moral, religious, aesthetic, of other minds
- Substantive and methodological commitments in philosophy
- Basic knowledge and the problem of the criterion
- Intuitionism and the problem of the criterion
- Philosophical disagreement and the problem of the criterion
- The problem of the criterion and the method of reflective equilibrium
- The problem of the criterion and the foundationalism/coherentism dichotomy

The deadline for receipt of submission is 30 June 2011. This special edition of Philosophical Papers, which will contain both invited and submitted papers, will appear in November of 2011. Authors are encouraged to submit manuscripts electronically, prepared as a PDF or Word document attachment, and emailed to philosophical.papers@ru.ac.za. Authors should include their full name, affiliation, and address for email correspondence with their submission. Further enquiries can be addressed to Mark Nelson (manelson@westmont.edu) or Ward Jones, Editor, Philosophical Papers (w.jones@ru.ac.za).


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Epistemology Conference in Brazil

I've just received this from Stephen Hetherington:

Brazil in June will host some marvellous epistemology. Epistemology: The Third Brazil Conference will be in Porto Alegre, at PUCRS, from the 9th to the 11th of June. Claudio de Almeida (PUCRS) and I are the conference's co-organisers. And we are honoured to announce that at present these are the conference's speakers:

Jonathan Adler (Brooklyn College, CUNY)

Heather Battaly (CSU, Fullerton)

Anthony Brueckner (UCSB)

David Christensen (Brown)

Stewart Cohen (Arizona)

Claudio de Almeida (PUCRS)

Paulo Faria (UFRGS)

Richard Fumerton (Iowa)

Alvin Goldman (Rutgers)

Vincent Hendricks (Copenhagen)

Stephen Hetherington (UNSW)

Peter Klein (Rutgers)

Saul Kripke (CUNY)

Jennifer Lackey (Northwestern)

William Lycan (UNC, Chapel Hill)

Baron Reed (Northwestern)

Ernest Sosa (Rutgers)

For more details on the conference, please feel free to contact the conference manager, Rogel de Oliveira at epistemology2010@yahoo.com.br.

If you are thinking of attending, note that you'll probably need a visa. Consult the website of your closest Brazilian embassy or consulate.