Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An Epistemic Standard

I'm looking for feedback on the plausibility of a MINIMAL epistemic standard:

MES: My belief that b counts as knowledge/epistemically justified only if its being the case that b factors into some possible explanation of my belief.

I don't think it matters whether we talk about knowledge or epistemic justification, though I'm open to disagreement on this point. Also, I think the relevant kind of possibility is nomological, but I have to think about it more.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Does 'Has Reason' Imply 'Can'?

I'm in the process of reading through Mark Schroeder's latest (fascinating) book, Slaves of the Passions. Therein, he makes the following argument about Brett, who is in a position where he can only satisfy one of two conflicting desires:

". . . there simply can't be a reason for Brett to do everything that promotes his desires. His very situation shows that it is impossible for him to do everything that promotes his desires. So on a generalization of the principle that 'ought' implies 'can', we simply shouldn't accept that there is a reason for Brett to do this." (53)

What I'm curious about here is this generalization of 'ought' implies 'can'. Do we need to think that the generalization holds, that 'has reason' also implies 'can'? I will make a few preliminary remarks about my thoughts so far, and then I'd like to see what people think.

CFP: Princeton Graduate Conference in Political Theory

Graduate Conference in Political Theory
Princeton University
April 17-18, 2009

The Committee for the Graduate Conference in Political Theory at Princeton University welcomes papers concerning any period, methodological approach, and/or topic in political theory, political philosophy, and/or the history of political thought. Approximately eight papers will be accepted.

Each session, led by a discussant from Princeton, will be focused exclusively on one paper and will feature an extensive question and answer period with Princeton faculty and students. Papers will be pre-circulated among conference participants.

The keynote address, "Utopophobia," will be given by David Estlund (Professor of Philosophy, Brown University).

Submissions are due via the submission form on the conference website by January 31, 2009. Please limit your paper submission to 7500 words and format it for blind review (the text should include your paper's title but be free of other personal and institutional information). Papers will be refereed on a blind basis by current graduate students in the Department of Politics at Princeton. Acceptance notices will be sent in February 28, 2009.

Assistance for invited participants' transportation, lodging and meal expenses is available from the committee, which acknowledges the generous support of the Democracy and Human Values Project, University Center for Human Values, Department of History, Department of Classics, and Department of Politics at Princeton University.

All papers should be submitted through the online form. Submissions by email or snail mail will not be accepted.

Questions and comments can be directed to: polthry@princeton.edu

For more information, please visit the conference website at: https://politicaltheory.princeton.edu/

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

I just want to wish all our bloggers and readers a happy and healthy 2009.