The area is already vast and growing so quickly that a volume such as this cannot do justice to all the creativity and insights generated by feminist philosophical inquiry. This anthology provides but a sample of many of the central areas to which feminist philosophers have made contributions that have advanced the field. It also includes feminist work in relatively new areas of philosophy, such as medical ethics Lindemann , moral epistemology Walker , the philosophy of race Zack , lesbian philosophy Calhoun , postcolonial philosophy Schutte , and philosophy of dis- ability Silvers.
The essays collected here are not, however, intended to be merely summaries of these fields over the decades. First, however, it is important to note that the topic of gender and the relation between gender and justice are not new to philosophy. Gender in Canonical Philosophical Writings Writings about women by philosophers such as Aristotle, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche for example, were arguably not motivated toward justice for women, as Mill or Wollstonecraft were Plato is a more complicated figure as what he has to say about women in the Republic and in the Laws are arguably at odds with one another.
Assertions about women and the proper or natural gender relations are sometimes included as asides. Often these claims were not well developed or carefully argued or developed through a consideration of contrary points of view. In this they mirrored and did not challenge the accepted opinions of their day.
There are specific femi- nist philosophical writings, such as those of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz —95 5 in the seventeenth century, Mary Wollstonecraft —97 in the eighteenth century, John Stuart Mill —73 and Charlotte Perkins Gilman — in the nineteenth century, and of course there are the influential writings of Simone de Beauvoir, in the mid-twentieth century. It is noteworthy that many of those men- tioned are frequently not included within lists of philosophers.
Nonetheless, these writers were to have a profound effect on contemporary feminist philosophers, for whom the content of their works is decidedly central. The Emergence of Contemporary Feminist Philosophy A significant amount of feminist philosophy might fairly be characterized as an application of philosophical methods and approaches to feminist concerns. Some argue, for example, that feminist philosophy, with its doubled focus on theory and practice, will find its strongest resources in pragmatism see Sullivan, in this volume.
Others argue that poststructuralist approaches to con- ceptualizing identity and the self can best address the issue of differences among women see Lorraine, in this volume. If one is tempted by such examples to characterize feminist philosophy as the application of neutral philosophical means which are untouched by feminist aims to feminist topics of concern, this may be motivated by the desire to show that feminism affects only the choice of questions. On such a view, the answers to these questions are pursued with detachment and impartiality and have the same objec- tivity as any other philosophical investigation.
Yet such a view does not adequately characterize feminist philosophy as a whole, nor, arguably, any field of inquiry within philosophy. This is because method and subject matter cannot really be made as distinct as this characterization presupposes: certain questions at times give birth to new methods. And new methods in turn, will highlight some ques- tions, obscure others, and render still others unintelligible.
There are questions that only arise once a new methodology has been introduced. We have seen such a process operative in metaphysics. Philosophy has only recently developed modal approaches as a way to adjudicate between competing intuitions about thought experiments. These modal considerations about possible worlds have themselves yielded new questions, such as questions about the nature of possibility.
This last reflexive turn highlights a feature of philosophy that has helped to shape the emer- gence, nature, and trajectory of feminist philosophy. For what is new in the more recent period of feminist work in philosophy is a greater self-consciousness about precisely the relationship between feminism and philosophy, and a questioning of philosophy itself as understood through the canonical works.
Earlier feminists had to develop arguments to show that women have the requisite capacities for self-governance, for rational thought, for the pursuit of knowledge, etc. Then as women slowly have come to be accepted as equals, the persistent absence of women in the canon of philosophy puts the onus on phi- losophers, rather than on women, to explain themselves.
Why were the writings of so many female philosophers systematically excluded? Why were the writings on women by so many of the great male philosophers so obviously riddled by distorted logic and personal bias? But at the same time she gives birth to a new philosophical approach. Frye examines the meaning of these terms, giving them the coher- ence and intelligibility necessary before we can evaluate whether they refer to real phenomena. But in considering the meanings of these terms she makes reference to the concrete experiences of a group, namely women, rather than experiences that are presumed to be universal.
Like J. Austin, she appeals to usage in the general language to establish meaning but her experience is not abstracted from its particularity in gender and culture. Implicit in her modification of conceptual analysis is, therefore, a critique of the putative universality of philosophical claims and the putative neutrality of philosophical methods. In the title essay of the book, Frye argues that those who possess power also possess the means to define their own reality, a reality that excludes the experiences and sometimes even the exis- tence of those who make their own lives possible.
Women, she remarks in one essay, are the stagehands behind the world stage in which both the actors and the audience are men. And it is for women philosophers to expose the errors of philosophy itself. The process of exposing such errors has yielded important feminist investiga- tions into standard issues of philosophy, but they are considered now in a new light. For example, the nature of rationality is explored with reference to the gendering of reason as masculine and the emotions as feminine; the mind—body problem is revisited with reference to the idea that we are first and foremost embodied and thus dependent beings; accepted notions of justice are criticized for their reliance on an understanding of human relations based on models of inter- actions between men; and so forth.
Reflexive Critique within Philosophy In all of this work just described, it is clear that feminist philosophy has a particu- larly strong reflexive engagement with philosophy as a field. Much of femi- nist philosophy naturally raises such metaphilosophical questions in regard to how deeply androcentrism is integrated into the philosophical enterprise itself.
One place to raise the question about androcentrism concerns the presumption that philosophy should deal only with universal non-contingent matters. Differ- ences in the bodies of persons, or their different social conditions have been seen as contingent factors in light of the preeminent importance of a shared human capac- ity to reason. It is the presumed universality of what is essential to being that has permitted western philosophy to hold that valid answers to its inquiries are valid universally. Questions about the nature of the good or the true, the beautiful, the just, etc.
A careful look at historical texts reveals the occasional reference to women that betrays the presumed universality of the conclusions about generic Man. The puta- tive universality of much of philosophy has been revealed to have a limited scope, one which is confined to men and then, only to some men. This raises a serious question about whether or not the putative universality of philosophical claims should simply be extended to women, or whether those claims are in reality irre- ducibly and irrevocably particular, in which case philosophy needs to reconsider its attachment to universalistic arguments.
This insularity was pierced in the s and s when philosophers entered debates on the permissibility or impermis- sibility of abortion. The literature on abortion by philosophers now fills volumes. Even this relatively conservative application of philosophical analysis to concerns important to women challenges any assumption that philosophy is a discipline whose boundaries are fixed and stable, or that philosophy is only about questions that know no gender or other distinctions among humans. And yet much of the philosophical literature on this gendered issue focuses on the status of the non- gendered fetus and on the rights and duties of genderless persons, not on the specific burdens and responsibilities a pregnancy imposes on women.
Might men and women view, and reason, about abortion differently? Being pregnant is a unique experience of being a singular individual who, at the same time, incorporates another entirely dependent being. In their pursuit of answers to such questions, feminist philosophers have had little motivation to follow the regulatory customs of philosophy, which have separated analytic from Continental approaches, and which have segregated the domains of value inquiry from ontological inquiry as well as from epistemological inquiry.
We must accept the possibility that feminist philosophy will put pressure on philosophy itself, will expand its current boundaries, challenge unquestioned assumptions, and invent new methods.
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Many other fields recently developed within philosophy have had similar stretching effects. Consider the impact of naturalized epistemology on epistemology, or the influence of moral psychology on moral philosophy, or the sway of philosophical work in cognitive science on the philosophy of mind. There is no consensus about the proper effects of these new fields on existing problematics, but there have certainly been some dramatic proposals.
So too in feminist philosophy. Reflexive Critique within Feminist Philosophy Just as philosophy needs to examine and reconsider its assumptions and methods in the face of feminist scrutiny, so feminist philosophy must itself be open to reflex- ive critique and its challenges. How feminist philosophy defines itself, its subject matter, and its methods needs to be open to self-scrutiny, no less than philosophy itself must be. Many feminist philosophers have recognized that we ourselves must take care to avoid generating false universalisms.
As Zack argues forcefully in this volume, we must diligently examine our own starting points and privileges. Otherwise they may be blind to the ways we fashion our reality and our philosophy around our limited experience if not our interests. Feminist philosophy must remain self-aware that, as it purports to speak on behalf of women in the male-dominated world of phi- losophy, it does not occlude the experiences of those women who have not been sufficiently privileged to have a philosophical training.
At the same time, many of the advances of feminist scholarship have opened possibilities for considering various forms of embodiment and social situation. Still we must ask when, if ever, does feminist philosophy speak for all women? If it ought not to presume to speak for all women, what is feminist about it? Feminist Philosophy as a Research Program How then are we to define feminist philosophy in a way that is at once inclusive and critical?
But defining the field in this way would also risk dogmatism insofar as there is not much agree- ment on either the nature of the problem or the solution to whatever problems are identified. On the other hand, if we refuse to define feminist philosophy at all, how can we demarcate the field? We suggest that feminist philosophy can be characterized as a research program or area of inquiry within philosophy that consists of a set of questions rather than commitments.
In this way it is analogous to nearly every other research area within the discipline. Like other areas, feminist philosophy sets out to pursue inquiry about a specific area, but it remains open to the conceptualization of that area, its relation to other areas, even to its very existence. Epistemology pursues inquiry into knowledge, but there is no consensus over how to define knowledge, and many epistemologists have been busily deflating truth which one might think is the object of knowledge.
Yet most epistemologists believe philosophers can contribute to an understanding of what knowledge is or is not. Some argue that justice is unattainable but can act only as an ideal, and postmodernists argue that the claim that justice has been reached, even about the most local event, is to invite injustice! Thus, research areas within philosophy do share some very minimal con- cerns or aims but they leave open the way those concerns and aims are pursued, conceptualized, and defined.
And it is also possible, and not infrequent, that a major participant within a research area declares the whole project bankrupt. Feminist philosophy has followed a similar trajectory. Minimally, feminist phi- losophers might be said to be those concerned with questions concerning gender. We also suggest that feminist philosophy is very broadly concerned with issues of justice for women — that is why it is feminist and not feminine. This suggests that it is an area of philosophy that has a political agenda.
That it might have such an agenda is, in many philosophical circles, suspect. How can philosophical investi- gation be rigorous and objective if it has a political mission? It otherwise embraces a wide variety of positions concerning the nature of justice as well as the nature of gender, and in this regard is no more prone to adopting any one political stance as a favored position than does any other area of philosophy that concerns itself with justice and matters of value. The disagreement within the field of feminist philosophy is as much a sign of philosophical vigor as it is of unsettled philosophical questions.
It is true that to give such a minimal characterization of feminist philosophy as we have will result in including a very wide variety of views and concerns. Still there are some ways of doing philosophy that are excluded. Thus, to char- acterize feminist philosophy as a research area or sub-field that pursues questions related to gender justice is to give it no more, or less, political unity than that which exists in political philosophy or ethics or other sub-fields.
And it also avoids a dogmatism that would shield political values or commitments from analysis. Feminist Philosophy as Transformative As a research program, feminist philosophy then has the potential not only to add to the list of traditional philosophical questions, but also to transform philosophy itself by introducing new approaches to traditional questions.
This transformative effect of feminist philosophy is more developed in some areas than in others. Two of the most advanced areas are ethics and epistemology, and the insights gleaned have both influenced and in some cases been drawn from the sub-areas of the respective fields.
They have also been influential on and influenced by related areas. Represented in this volume is the area of ethics, for example, but also bioethics, moral psychology, and the related area of political philosophy. We will consider first the case of ethics and then epistemology. If any area of philosophy is amenable to exposing the false universalizing of tra- ditional western philosophy it is in one that discusses the nature of how we should conduct our lives and organize our social world.
For it is clear that in everyday life, men and women have traditionally occupied two separate worlds. The moral psychology that arises in these dif- ferent contexts is marked as well and plays an important role in the way in which moral concepts are undertood in overarching theories as well as in applied areas such as bioethics see Walker and Lindemann, this volume.
Much of ethical theory joins political philosophy in taking the public space largely occupied by adult men as its sphere of inquiry and so it appears that ethical issues arise only among equal and independent adults see Hirschmann, this volume. Feminist philosophers have argued convincingly that concerns reflected in the ethical theories developed by men rarely speak to ethical realities that women confront. The development of an ethics of care has been the consequence of consider- ations such as these. But the virtues and conceptions of self, ethical decision-making, and goals of ethical deliberation dis- cerned in the practice of caring for dependents appear to be of importance beyond the confines of the domestic sphere in which they play their major role.
A care ethics postulates the importance of a concept of self that is always in-relationship, a self with somewhat permeable ego boundaries that sees itself connected to others. Care ethics reveals the limits of rational deduction as a method of ethical delib- eration, and emphasizes the role of empathy, of responsiveness, and attunement to the other. Values and conceptions such as these have importance outside the domestic sphere, for example in health care, welfare policies, social organization, peace poli- tics, and global concerns.
In expanding our understanding of the ethical to include the concept of care which has a wide applicability in human affairs, care ethics has a transformative potential in both political and ethical theory. Feminist epistemology began with questions coming from the sciences and the social sciences, about why, and how, women had been excluded from the sciences and how the many blatantly biased theories about women produced in both the natural and social sciences had achieved credence.
This led feminist epistemologists to the more general question of why, and how, have women all over the world been epis- temically disauthorized as knowers. Was this disauthorization justified? If not, what theories of justification provided an alibi for this general disauthorization? Therefore, feminist epis- temologists have argued that contextual values — that is, values beyond the usual list of parsimony, breadth, and simplicity to include such social values as democracy and egalitarianism — are useful guides of inquiry, not biases to be left behind, and that the epistemic effects of various value commitments can be judged and compared.
One of the critical debates this has in turn engendered among feminist epistemologists and feminist philosophers of science is whether empiricism needs to be abandoned, or whether it can be reformed, a topic discussed by Potter in this volume. While we have limited our discussion to feminist ethics and epistemology, we find similar transformations in other sub-disciplines.
And the reach of feminism in philosophy has also impacted areas such as pragmatism, phenomenology, criti- cal theory, postmodernism, race theory and postcolonial studies, among others. New fields have also been spawned including the metaphysics of sex and gender, and lesbian philosophy, areas in which the fundamental terms of sex and gender have been questioned, as well as the nature of oppression or injustice that requires a response see Calhoun, this volume.
These include an emphasis on relationality, on the social context of life and thought, on the use of personal narrative, and a breakdown of rigid borders between rationality and the emotions. Thus, in epistemology feminists have emphasized the importance of testimony and of epistemic communities see Code , and in ethics feminists have emphasized family obligations and validated emotional attachments see Fried- man and Bolte, and Walker.
The epistemic themes are prominent in the ethical concerns as well. As Hilde Lindemann points out, the question of what counts as epistemic legitimacy and who has epistemic authority has a profound impact on the care provided by the medical profession. Similarly, feminist philosophers of science and epistemologists have taken the role of our emotional and relational lives into consideration when discussing the production and reception of knowledge.
Feminist philosophers have then pointed to the broad impact a relational under- standing of the self and subjectivity can have on philosophical matters. This revised understanding of subjectivity and connectedness has underscored the relevance of narrative accounts of the self and of social identity that portray the self as necessar- ily emerging out of dialogical contexts beyond the borders of any sub-discipline. Any one of these emphases is not unique to feminist philosophy.
Take for instance, the use of first-person experiences: other philosophers use first-person experiences to jog our intuitions or concretize a type of problem. For feminists, however, the importance of using first-person examples comes from more than the need for illustration but from a different understanding of how philosophy is con- nected, and responsible, to everyday life and to the silenced experiences of women.
We suggest that it is these common threads — of relationality, of the importance of experience, and of a kind of pragmatic connection to the everyday — that have helped the field of feminist philosophy to cross borders that have long character- ized, and limited, philosophy, borders such as the analytic and Continental divide in philosophy and disciplinary borders within and beyond philosophy. In expanding the scope, method, and vision of philosophy, in allowing for a permeability of disciplinary boundaries, and in the active engagement of reflexive critique, the work of feminist philosophers has begun to overhaul our understand- ing of philosophy, even as it remains undeniably philosophical.
The essays in this volume cover only a portion of this transformative literature. But we hope that they will be sufficiently provocative to make the reader want to explore further and stimulating enough to invite more voices into this vibrant conversation. Parshley London: Penguin, John T. Goldthwait Berkeley: University of California Press, , p. Thomson London: Penguin Books, , p. Scholars have found scores of earlier women philosophers.
Many of these women corresponded with major male figures about detailed philosophical issues. And in the early modern period, more than fifty of the women published on a wide range of philosophical topics: morals and the passions, natural philosophy, metaphysics, rational theology, epistemology, phi- losophy of education, ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics. There is no question but that there has been a flurry of scholarly activity on this topic. We now have the groundbreaking A History of Women Philosophers, in four volumes, completed under the general editorship of Mary Ellen Waithe.
The primary source materials are finally becoming available in modern editions — many of which are suitable for classroom use. In particular, I have in mind the editions that Broadview Press has released and will publish, e. And books on a wide range of topics related to women philosophers have also been published. Given the number of women who published high-quality philosophy in the early modern period, the range of the topics they treated, the recognition they received in the journals of the period, and the interest shown in reprinting and translating their work, the virtual absence of these women in nineteenth- and twentieth-century histories of philosophy has become a source of puzzlement.
I should also add that historians of philosophy from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries often did recognize the accomplishments of the women philosopher: in the seventeenth century, Gilles Menages, Jean de La Forge and Marguerite Buffet produced doxographies of women philosophers; and one of the most widely read histories of philosophy, that by Thomas Stanley, contains a discussion of twenty-four women philosophers from the ancient world. No woman is anywhere described as a significant, original con- tributor to early modern philosophy.
Take, for example, the case of Marie de Gournay. Despite this, Gournay remains a much-neglected figure in general histories of philosophy. In the remainder of this chapter, I will focus on Gournay, and I will examine the methodological challenges, and the interpretive and evaluative problems that face a historian who is trying to justify the inclusion of a woman in the history of early modern philosophy.
There is certainly exciting work being done currently, by historians of feminist philosophy, which is uncovering foreshadowings of contemporary feminist issues and arguments in the work of newly rediscovered female philosophers of the past. But for all that, I think that we need to be careful in utilizing the method of rational reconstruction.
For while it can give us philosophical forebears, it frequently does so at the price of distorting the views of past philosophers. It attempts to fit the complex reason- ing of the past, which only partly and haphazardly overlaps with current interests, into a contemporary mold. In short, Astell was not a liberal political theoretician, but a High- Church, Tory conservative who upheld the divine right of kings in the polis and the sanctity of marriage in the private sphere.
Similarly, I think that to rationally reconstruct Gournay as providing arguments in support of the thesis of the intel- lectual and moral equality of men and women is to distort her views, by failing to attend to the historical setting in which her text is located. Marie de Gournay Paris, — is best known for her editorial work on the first, complete edition of the Essays of her mentor Montaigne, and for the preface to that work in which she defends it against contemporary criticisms. But Gournay continues to be a much-neglected figure in the history of philosophy, in part, because in the scant literature on her there has been considerable debate about the philosophical significance of this text.
In this way, I hope to provide a detailed example of the kind of work that needs to continue, if we are to make the case for the inclusion of women in our histories of philosophy. On the other hand, there is another tradition, which is at its high point from the fif- teenth to seventeenth centuries. It is the confluence of these two traditions that gives rise to the genre known as the Querelle des femmes, or Quarrel About Women. The texts typically discuss the same set of historical facts and personages, and they gloss the same Biblical passages.
Critics have found the reasoning presented in this genre to be, at best, less than convincing, since imprecise generalizations about society, anatomy, and psychol- ogy, as well as facile comparisons with nature, are typically relied upon. In fact, the reasoning is sometimes so far-fetched and the Biblical glosses so unlikely, that the Querelle has sometimes been described as a genre written more to amuse than to persuade readers. And Castiglione, in his Il Cortegiano [The Book of the Courtier] , certainly includes both attacks on and defenses of women with as much of an eye to the construction of a witty dialogue as to convincing the readers of the pro- woman arguments with which he seems to side.
Scholars have no evidence that Gournay read Christine de Pisan or any of the other French female contributors to the Querelle. On the other hand, two of the main influences on Gournay, as I will show in what follows, are Agrippa and Castiglione. Let us place these glorious wit- nesses right at the start and reserve God and the holy Church Fathers for further on, like a treasure. And for each example of a wise and virtuous woman she can provide, her opponents will proffer examples of women lacking in the moral and intellectual virtues. Gournay appears to claim that she will prove her thesis by appeal to divine authority, as witnessed by the Early Fathers of the Church and as seen by the great pagan philosophers — albeit through a glass darkly.
From this description of her method, one might surmise that the text will not include any arguments, or any mention of exemplary women. In fact, this is not the case. She often twisted even these to better suit her purpose. Even though she must have been aware that she quoted many of her authorities out of context, she persisted in using this outmoded exegetical technique. The scope of Pyrrho- nean doubt — the range of propositions about which the skeptic suspends judgment — and related issues about how wide the scope could be, before it would be unclear how the skeptic could live, have recently come in for lively discussion.
In this way, the skeptic can live her life in accordance with the appearances, while escaping from the vanity of dogmatizing about the true natures of things. On the other hand, as we will see shortly, the early Fathers of the Church and the pagan philosophers will only play the skeptical role of putting us in a position to see the futility of reason in attempting to access the thesis of equality. I will argue that the arguments are not justifications for her thesis of equality. They are, rather, skeptical arguments meant to show the vanity of reason. The Skeptical Challenge of Nurture to the Argument from Nature Women surely achieve a high degree of excellence less often than men do, but it is a marvel that the lack of good instruction, and even the abundance of bad speech and teaching, does not make matters worse by keeping them from achieving excellence at all.
Is there a greater difference between men and women than among women them- selves, depending on the education they have had, depending on whether they were reared in the city or in a village, or depending on their National origin?
FINAL del PREMIO NACIONAL DE COMPOSICIÓN ORQUESTAL
For, nurture is so important that even a single branch of culture, that is to say, social inter- action, which French and English women have abundant opportunities to engage in, while Italian women have none, is such that the latter are, by and large, far surpassed by the former. For, in nature the Italian air is more subtle and suitable for refining the mind, as is clear in the case of their men when compared with Frenchmen and Englishmen.
In her first main argument, Gournay attempts to raise skeptical doubts in the minds of her interlocutors about whether what they hold to be due to nature is not instead due to custom, environment, or education. Here is the argument: 1 Italian men display an intellectual superiority to Frenchmen and Englishmen.
But Gournay wonders whether those who reason in this way might not accept the following: 3 But French and English women are given abundant opportunities to engage in social interaction, while most Italian women are given virtually none. Given that this reasoning is possible, Gournay has skeptical worries about the jus- tification for the following thesis: The gap between the displays of intelligence of members of different nationalities is irremediable.
Given that this reasoning is possible, Gournay has skeptical worries about the jus- tification for the following thesis: The gap between the displays of intelligence of members of different genders is irremediable. She challenges her interlocutors to show why education and other cultural experiences could not help to narrow the gap between the intellectual rankings of men and women.
But Gournay has fashioned an original form of the nature vs. As such, it avoids the specious and patently false claims that some of the earlier nature vs. Physical force is such a low virtue that while men surpass women in this respect, animals far surpass men in the same respect. And if this same Latin Historiographer teaches us that where force reigns, equity, probity and modesty itself are the attributes of the conqueror, will we be surprised to see that competence and the virtues in general are those of our men, thus depriving women of them? The view — that physical force or strength is a lowly virtue, and as such cannot justify the subordination of women to men — was not an uncommon one in the Querelle literature.
For example, Castiglione notes that if one argues that man is more perfect than woman because man is more robust, more quick and agile, and more able to endure toil, I say that this is an argument of very little validity since among men themselves those who possess these qualities more than others are not more highly regarded on that account; and even in warfare, when for the most part the work to be done demands exertion and strength, the strongest are not the most highly esteemed. Is it not that very thing that we call reason or understanding? But that would be the strategy of a dogma- tist: someone who attempts to prove the falsity of a claim by means of argument.
Her aim is the production of an equipol- lent argument for each of the arguments of the dogmatists. But as for herself, a skeptic about philosophical theories — about what we can know on the basis of reason about the true natures of things that lie beyond appearances — Gournay assents to no view.
She holds no position about which quality or qualities the possession of which would justify one creature in dominating another. Reason does not reach this far; it cannot uncover metaphysical or scientific truths about the nature of things, nor can it uncover moral truths. The unique form and differentia of this animal, consists only in the human soul. And if we are permitted to jest in passing, the little joke that teaches us will not be inappropriate: nothing resembles a male cat on the window ledge more than a female cat.
Man and woman are one to such a degree that if man is more than woman, then woman is more than man. Man was created male and female, the Scriptures say, reckoning the two as only one. That, then, is the opinion of this powerful pillar and venerable witness of the Church. Concerning this point, it is timely to remember that certain ancient quibblers went so far with their foolish arrogance as to contest that the female sex, as opposed to the male sex, is made in the image of God, which image they must have taken to be in the beard, according to my understanding.
Therefore, as woman is an individual of the human species, it is clear that every individual is not an image of God. Teaching of the schools, which the opponents hold. View of St Basil and traditional view of the Catholic Church. By 1 and 4. Traditional view of the Catholic Church. By 4 and 6. And this is to deny that women are human. After all, the opponent had aimed at showing that not all members of the human species are an image of God. As it turns out, an anonymous treatise was published in entitled, Dispu- tatio nova contra mulieres, qua probatur eas homines non esse [A New Disputation against Women, in which it is proved that they are not human beings].
Among those who responded to it were Simon Gedik, a Lutheran theo- logian, the jurist J. Wolff, and the feminist nun Arcangela Tarabotti. But it would simply have been further grist for her mill — further evidence of the vanity of human reason. Independently of faith, and the authority and tradition of the Church, we struggle to find something that we can know beyond the appearances. But there are equipollent argu- ments for the negations of these claims.
And Castiglione may be attempting to show why Aristotle would not have put it forward. Her point would be that for every reading of Aristotle as holding the natural inferiority of women, an equipollent argument can be adduced to show that he rejects this view. She does not attempt to prove that these interpretations are correct; she does not even assent to the theoretical claims in the arguments. Nor need she. If her interpreta- tions of the authorities give her interlocutors reason to doubt their original views, her skeptical arguments have done their job.
We can also see why Rowan is wrong to think that Gournay should have abandoned her method of constructing unjustifiably selective interpretations of authoritative texts. As a skeptic, it is open to Gournay to make use of any and everything that might help her to produce equipollent arguments to match those of her interlocutors. Here she does not merely rehearse isolated examples of extraordinary women, as was common in the Querelle tradition, she notes how throughout Scripture God made both men and women prophets, judges, teachers, leaders, and victors.
But what about being a priest and administering the sacraments, or being the head of the family? It is in interpreting these passages, and in considering whether they assume the natural inferiority of woman, that Gournay is led to her final argument. Would this not be to declare man more precious and exalted than these things and consequently to commit the most griev- ous blasphemy? Here is the argument: 1 Woman is not worthy of the status and privileges that God has bestowed upon man. Thesis of the dogmatists 2 Woman is worthy of the highest privileges that God bestows on anyone: she is made in His image, and is awarded the Eucharist, the Redemption, and the beatific vision.
A truth of faith, revealed in Scripture 3 Therefore, the status and privileges that God has bestowed upon man are more exalted than the highest privileges that God bestows on anyone. A truth of faith, revealed in Scripture 5 Therefore, the status and privileges that God has bestowed upon man are more exalted than the highest privileges that God bestows on anyone, and it is not the case that the status and privileges that God has bestowed upon man are more exalted than the highest privileges that God bestows on anyone.
But the premises, 2 and 4 , are articles of faith; they cannot be rejected. A dogmatist might con- clude this reductio in the following way: 6 The above argument is valid. In true skeptical style, however, Gournay resists dogmatically drawing a con- clusion. I have argued that her method is rooted in Pyrrhonean skepticsm, albeit of the Renaissance stripe.
And I have attempted to reconstruct her main arguments in accordance with a Pyrrhonean fideistic method. In fact, to my knowledge this is the first early modern philosophical text published by a woman. To be sure, her Catholic fideism is philosophically problematic. Briefly, here is why. Seller Inventory n. More information about this seller Contact this seller.
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Seller Inventory B Book Description Blackwell Pub, Condition: Brand New. In Stock. Stich; Ted A. This sort of question, in fact, has recently taken center stage in epistemology. Accordingly, the second part of the volume is devoted to questions of this kind. Internalism and Externalism As we have seen, internalists in epistemology take the view that epistemic justification is a function of factors that are relevantly "internal" to the knowing subject.
For example, a common internalist position is that justification depends on having grounds that are easily available to the knower's perspective. Internalism is often tied to the view that epistemic evaluation is deontological, or duty-centered. The idea is that doing one's duty has to do with doing what is right from one's own perspective. Since internalists think that episremic status has to do with doing one's cognitive duty, they reason that justification must be a function of what is easily available to that perspective.
Externalists see problems with this set of views, and accordingly try to argue for a different account of epistemic evaluation. Sosa begins his essay on the internalismexternalism controversy with a review of what he calls "Descartes's Paradox. The reasoning is roughly as follows. To know that something is so, one must be able to rule out every possibility that one knows to be incompatible with one's knowing the thing in question. For example, to know that the animal in the distance is a husky, one must be able to rule out the possibility that it is a wolf. This principle seems to accurately reflect our working concept of knowledge.
Notice, however, that it is a possibility that Descartes is dreaming, and that he does not actually perceive that he is, say, sitting by the fire. We can understand this possibility as a normal dream, as in one's sleep, or we can understand it more radically, as in Descartes's hypothesis of a powerful deceiving demon. Either way, the prospects for knowing that one is not dreaming seem slim, since it would seem that any attempt to know such a thing must already presuppose that one is not dreaming.
It follows from this line of reasoning that Descartes does not know that he is sitting by the fire, and could not know anything on the basis of sensory experience compatible with his dreaming. In the next section of the essay Sosa identifies what he takes to be an internalist assumption in the argument: that one can know through perception only if one knows that one is not dreaming.
Externalists, he points out, would reject such an assumption, thereby enabling them to avoid Descartes's skeptical argument. This is because on an externalist view, one knows via perception so long as one's faculties of perception are in fact working well. One need not know that one's faculties are working well, or alternatively, that one is not dreaming rather than perceiving. This prompts the following question: What motivation is there for accepting the internalist assumption in question? Sosa goes on to identify two versions of internalism that would motivate the assumption, and to consider the relationship between them.
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Cartesian internalism is the thesis that justification requires proper thinking, and that proper thinking is a function of things purely internal to the mind of the subject. Chisholmian internalism is the thesis that one can find out, merely by reflection, what one is justified in believing. If either of these theses were true then this would motivate the assumption of the skeptical argument above; i. Next Sosa suggests a relationship between the two forms of internalism. Chisholmian internalism follows from Cartesian internalism, but only if we add two assumptions: that what is internal to one's mind is always accessible merely by reflection, and that the way in which such internal factors give rise to justification is always accessible just by reflection.
Without these two assumptions, Sosa argues, it would not follow from Cartesian internalism that we can always tell by reflection whether our beliefs are justified. This prompts a second question: Why should we think that these latest assumptions are true?
As noted above, some philosophers have thought that internalism and a deontological conception of justification are closely related. Accordingly, in section three of his essay Sosa investigates whether the assumptions in question can be supported by a deontological, or duty-centered, understanding of epistemic justification. He concludes that they can be, but only by assuming Cartesian internalism as an independent premise. Therefore it is incorrect that, as some have thought, important kinds of internalism can be derived from a deontological conception of justification; one kind of internalism must be presupposed in order to derive the other.
Next Sosa moves to what is perhaps the main contention of his essay: that the deontological conception of justification, and therefore any internalism supported by it, is of limited value to epistemology. This is because this concept of justification fails to account for important aspects of epistemic excellence.
He makes his case by considering several pairs of beliefs, each member of which would count as justified in the deontological sense. Each pair of beliefs, Sosa contends, is such that they differ in other important dimensions of epistemic excellence. Therefore, a duty-centered concept of justification fails to capture important kinds of epistemic evaluation. For example, consider two beliefs that are psychologically indubitable, and therefore justified in the sense that it is no violation of duty to believe them.
But among indubitable beliefs, we want to distinguish those resulting from brainwashing and those resulting from sound mathematical intuition. Any important concept of epistemic justification must allow such a distinction. In the final section of the essay Sosa considers pairs of beliefs that are ostensibly from deductive inference, reliable testimony, memory, and rational intuition. These are used to demonstrate that beliefs of different kinds can be internally on a par, and yet differ in important aspects of epistemic excellence.
He concludes that, contra internalism, external factors such as the actual genesis of one's belief, including its social aetiology, can be relevant to its epistemic status. These results, Sosa concludes, leave it doubtful that there is any important sense of internalist justification. Suppose someone were to accept an externalist view of epistemic evaluation. This would be a strong motivation for accepting naturalism is epistemology. According to externalism, positive epistemic status is at least partly a function of factors that are not internal to the knower's own mind, and therefore not recognizable just by reflection.
Roughly, naturalism in epistemology is the view that epistemological questions can and must be answered by empirical means. Naturalism is. The essays by Hilary Kornblith and Richard Feldman explore the prospects for a naturalized epistemology. Kornblith argues that nothing short of a fully naturalized epistemology can adequately address epistemology's main questions. Feldman argues that the claims of methodological naturalism are exaggerated. While empirical investigation can be relevant to some of epistemology's questions, those that define the central concerns of the field can only be addressed by more traditional, nonempirical modes of analysis.
For Naturalized Epistemology Kornblith's essay is divided into three main sections. In the first he reviews the Cartesian conception of epistemology as ''first philosophy," arguing that it is concerned with three questions: 1 What is knowledge? In section two of the essay Kornblith presents a naturalistic alternative to the Cartesian approach, and argues that it is concerned with the same questions, although interpreted somewhat differently.
In the third section of the paper he argues for the superiority of the naturalistic approach. Kornblith argues that Descartes's foundationalism constitutes a unified theory that simultaneously answers the above three questions. Descartes proposes that a belief counts as knowledge if it is either foundational or appropriately derived from what is foundational. Moreover, a belief counts as foundational for Descartes only if it is inconceivable that it be mistaken. The criterion for appropriate derivation from such foundations is similar, requiring certainty of the highest grade.
This answer to the question "What is knowledge? Knowledge is possible, even in the light of skeptical challenges, if it can be derived from foundations that are immune from error. To achieve such knowledge we must first provide ourselves with adequate foundations, and then proceed from there by appropriate means of derivation. On Descartes' view, epistemology is conceived as "first philosophy. In the context of skeptical doubts concerning the possibility of error, we first need to develop standards of belief that will safeguard against these. Only then are we in a position to appropriately form other beliefs, according to whether they meet our newfound standards.
In this way epistemology must precede science, and in fact any empirical investigation whatsoever. The naturalized alternative to this approach is to make epistemology continuous with the empirical sciences. Rather than preceding or guaranteeing the sciences, epistemology is conceived as addressing questions which themselves are open to empirical investigation.
One way Kornblith makes the point is by arguing that epistemology ought to investigate the phenomenon of knowledge rather than our concept of knowledge. Just as our concept of aluminum may contain mistakes and be otherwise inadequate in capturing the nature of aluminum, our. But then epistemology should not proceed by conceptual analysis alone.
The alternative is to treat knowledge as a natural phenomenon, to be investigated by whatever means are available, including empirical means. It is perfectly appropriate, for example, to investigate the psychological, physiological, and social mechanisms that give rise to paradigm cases of knowledge. By such means we might identify what features are common to all cases of knowledge, and thereby develop a more adequate account of knowledge than would have been possible by non-empirical modes of analysis alone. Kornblith goes on to consider some naturalistic answers to the three questions above, although the questions take on somewhat different meanings within the context of the approach being advocated.
The latter two questions lose their connection to the project of answering the skeptic. They become questions about what cognitive and social mechanisms give rise to knowledge, and how we might improve upon these in order to better achieve our epistemic goals. In the final section of the essay Kornblith identifies what he believes is the central issue between naturalists and traditionalists. It is not whether empirical enquiry can have some relevance to some of epistemology's main questions; that much is uncontroversial.
The real issue is whether any such question lends itself to purely a priori non-empirical investigation. This issue ultimately rests on how we are to conceive the nature of epistemological inquiry, and specifically, how we are to interpret our three questions above. Traditionalists will want to interpret them in a Cartesian way, whereby empirical investigation is rendered inadmissible.
Naturalists will want to interpret them in different ways, whereby empirical investigation is made essential. But how is this question of interpretation to be decided? Kornblith argues that there is no text to which we can refer, and no founding fathers to whom we can appeal. The question about interpretation is a question about what sorts of projects are interesting and fruitful. Accordingly, the case for naturalism rests largely on the fruitlessness of the Cartesian project, and on the better prospects for an empirical epistemology.
Against Naturalized Epistemology Feldman's essay responds critically to the position advocated by Kornblith. Feldman agrees that it is uncontroversial that empirical enquiry can have some relevance to some epistemological questions, especially if we define epistemology broadly. Like Kornblith, he thinks that the real issue is whether there are questions remaining which are properly investigated by nonempirical methods. He identifies three: a the analysis of important epistemic concepts like knowledge and justification; b the identification of epistemic principles stating sufficient conditions for justified belief; and c the response to arguments for skepticism.
Concerning the first, Feldman addresses the naturalist claim that scientific analysis of the phenomenon of knowledge is more useful than non-empirical analysis of the concept of knowledge. Here he insists on disanalogies between investigations. For one, what we want from an investigation of aluminum is an account of its physical constitution, and it would be absurd not to rely on empirical methods for this.
However, what drives our investigation of knowledge is a number of interesting conceptual puzzles, such as those concerning the conditions for justified belief, and those giving rise to difficult skeptical arguments. What is needed to address these is conceptual clarification of a traditional sort. Moreover, Feldman suggests, the naturalist's preference for reliabilist and causal accounts of knowledge is driven by just this sort of non-empirical analysis. For example, the definition of knowledge as true reliable belief is not accepted on the basis of empirical considerations, but because it is deemed to organize actual and possible cases in the fight way.
This mode of analysis, which arrives at a definition by considering how it handles actual and possible cases, is a paradigm case of non-empirical method. Another task of epistemology is to identify epistemic principles, or principles that state sufficient conditions for some kind of positive epistemic status. Feldman argues that there are two sorts of issue here.
One is the identification of general necessary truths that are supposed to explicate the nature of the property involved. The second is the identification of more restricted contingent truths, which are about how we actually satisfy, or fail to satisfy, the more general necessary principles. For example, the reliabilist about justification proposes that, necessarily, a belief is justified if it is formed by a reliable i.
This is a general epistemic principle. But the reliabilist could go on to specify which of our cognitive processes are actually reliable, and thereby identify more restricted principles explaining how we actually arrive at justified belief. Feldman's point is that only the latter task requires empirical investigation. In fact, it is a purely empirical matter once the more general principles have been identified. Identification of the more general principles, however, is to be accomplished by "armchair" epistemology. The above discussion can be applied to the final issue considered by Feldman; that of responding to skeptical arguments.
Typically a skeptical argument will have a premise stating necessary conditions for knowledge, together with a premise stating that we fail to satisfy those conditions. Challenging the latter requires empirical investigation, since it will be at least partly an empirical matter whether we do or do not satisfy certain conditions laid down by the first premise. But challenging the first premise requires non-empirical investigation of the traditional sort. Only this mode of analysis is appropriate for investigating the necessary and sufficient conditions of our epistemic concepts.
Feldman concludes that some of the traditional tasks of epistemology require or make use of empirical investigation of the sort associated with the natural sciences, but other central tasks do not. Contextualism As we have seen above, there are reasons for thinking that various features of context are relevant to whether a person has knowledge or justified belief. In the most general sense of the term, "contextualism" in epistemology. The essay by Keith DeRose explores contextualism in general and focuses on one version of the thesis.
Specifically, he defends the position that a conversational context affects the truth-conditions of knowledge attributions, and b this happens by raising or lowering the standards of knowledge that are relevant for making a particular attribution true or false. For example, suppose you are rushing an antidote to a dying poison victim and someone makes the claim that traffic is light on a particular route. Since you are in a situation where the person's being wrong would be disastrous, this makes the standards for knowledge very high.
You would not assert that the person knows unless the grounds for her claim are excellent. In another context the same person's being right about the very same claim can be much less important. Suppose I am merely trying to decide which way to go home at the end of the day and I am not in any hurry. In this case I will be much more liberal about saying that the person knows.
In this way, people who are ostensibly contradicting each other about whether someone knows can both be saying something true. If the conversational context of the first person sets higher standards than the conversational context of the second, then both can be right when one says "S does not know that P" and the other says "S does know that P. Specifically, skeptical arguments manipulate the conversational context so as to drive standards for knowledge unusually high. Having done so, the skeptic is correct when she says that we don't know what we ordinarily claim to know.
But conceding this to the skeptic turns out not to have general skeptical consequences. For in normal contexts i. There is, however, an important objection to contextualism.
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Namely, it has been charged that the contextualist confuses two related questions: a whether a sentence such as "S knows that P" is true; and b whether the sentence is properly asserted. What varies according to context, the objection goes, is the latter rather than the former. DeRose explains that this kind of objection to contextualism involves a common maneuver in philosophy, what he calls a "warranted assertability maneuver" or WAM.
In general, WAMs try to explain away unwanted intuitions about truth and falsity in terms of what it is proper and improper to assert. For example, suppose that you are looking for Frick and Frack and you ask if they are with me. I reply that Frick is. If both Frick and Frack are with me then my reply seems wrong somehow. If you find out later that Frack was with me, you might even accuse me of lying to you. On the other hand, if it is true that both are with me then it must be true that Frick is.
It is plausible to analyze this case by way of a WAM. Since Frick and Frack are with me, literally it is true that Frick is with me. However, if they are both with me then it is improper to assert only that Frick is; what is warranted in the context of your question is the assertion that both are with me. In the above objection to contextualism a WAM is used to explain why intuitions about the truth of knowledge attributions vary according to context. The idea is that in some contexts where it is literally false that someone knows something, it is nevertheless proper to assert that the person does know.
Other contexts call for a more literal assertion, and in these it is proper to assert that the same person does not know. Whether a given knowledge attribution is true or false is invariant across conversational contexts. What varies is assertability, and this makes it appear that truth conditions vary.
DeRose's strategy for responding to the present objection is to investigate some successful and unsuccessful examples of WAMs and to identify criteria for the proper use of WAMs in general. A central theme in his argument is that successful WAMs appeal to general conversational rules, and explain away intuitions about truth and falsity by means of these.
For example, in the case above I violated the following quite general conversational rule: that if you are in a position to assert either of two things, then you should assert the stronger. Since I was in a position to assert that Frick and Frack were with me, and since the general "Assert the Stronger" rule was in place, my asserting that Frick was with me created the false implicature that Frack was not.
DeRose argues that the WAM employed against contextualism does not work this way. It appeals to no general conversational rule, and to that extent it amounts to an ad hoc response to contextualism. For this reason, the most important objection to contextualism lacks plausibility. Rationality In the final essay of this part Keith Lehrer considers the nature and ground of rationality. Here rationality is not conceived as an element of knowledge. Rather, it is a related normative property, which can apply to actions and preferences as well as to beliefs and reasonings. Being rational involves using one's reason with regard to what one does, intends, or prefers practical rationality , and with regard to what one accepts and how one reasons theoretical rationality.
But what does it take for someone to be rational or reasonable in this sense? According to a traditional view, rationality consists entirely in reasoning well about means for achieving ends. On this "instrumentalist" theory, to be rational is to be reasonable about how one goes about achieving one's purposes or goals. This view of rationality presupposes "the autonomy of ends.
Lehrer explains that some philosophers have held this view in order to avoid a regress problem.
Specifically, if we say that some end is rational then this invites the question, "What makes it rational? On the other hand, the thesis of the autonomy of ends seems intuitively wrong. In other words, it seems wrong that someone's purposes and goals cannot themselves be rational or irrational.
Lehrer interprets Aristotle as holding that ends can be rational or irrational, and he sets out to defend this Aristotelian alternative to the instrumentalist theory of rationality. According to Lehrer, the problem concerning the rationality of ends is answered by Aristotle's claim that man is a rational animal. By making the rationality of the person central we can explain why other things are rational, including the person's preferences concerning ends. Specifically, if we assume that a person is rational, then this gives us a reason for saying that her preferences are rational, via the following argument.
I am rational. I prefer that A. I am rational in what I prefer. From 1 Therefore,4. I am rational in my preference that A. From 2 and 3 Lehrer explains that the inferences to 3 and 4 are not deductive. Rather, they are explanatory. It is because I have certain dispositions to be rational this is what Premise 1 says , that I have a reason to think that my preferences are rational this is what 3 and 4 conclude. What reason do I have for accepting Premise 1? Since this is a question about what I should accept, it concerns theoretical rationality. In section two of the paper Lehrer turns to this topic, and suggests that I have a reason for accepting my own rationality via a similar looping argument.
Roughly, the assumption that I am rational gives me a reason for thinking that I am rational in accepting the things that I do. Moreover, one of the things I accept is my own rationality. Therefore, my rationality explains why I am rational in accepting Premise 1 above, that I am rational. This sounds circular, and it is. But Lehrer argues that the circle is not vicious. On the contrary, it is central to the position being considered that personal rationality is explanatory of other kinds of rationality: it is because I embody certain dispositions regarding my acceptances that what I accept, including Premise 1, is rational.
Of course this kind of looping argument does not allow us to prove that we are rational to a skeptic who denies it. But that is not what the argument is supposed to do. Rather, it is supposed to explain why Premise 1 is rational. In section three Lehrer argues that a similar line of reasoning solves the problem of induction, or the problem of explaining how inductive reasoning can be rational. What explains how I can be rational in my reasoning, including my reasoning to the conclusion that I am rational, is my rationality itself.
So far Lehrer has tried to explain a what makes a person's preferences, acceptances, and reasonings rational, and b what reasons one might have for accepting that these are rational. He next turns to the question, "What makes a person rational? This becomes a question of first importance, since the rationality of the person is central to the Aristotelian account that Lehrer is defending. In the next two sections he approaches this question by exploring the nature of diachronic rationality rationality regarding the way we change and social rationality rationality regarding the social group of which I am a part.
He concludes that what makes a person rational importantly depends on these latter kinds of rationality. In sum, what makes me rational is my dispositions concerning what I prefer, what. I accept, how I reason, and how I change these in response to others. It is the character of these dispositions that makes me rational, although it is my rationality that explains and allows me to conclude that I am rational in these various undertakings. Lehrer invokes the metaphor of an arch to explain the relationship between my personal rationality and the rationality of my various undertakings.
The first premise of my rationality is like the keystone of the arch, in that without it the arch collapses. But the keystone is supported by the other stones in the arch; I am a rational person because of my dispositions concerning what I prefer, what I accept, how I reason, and how I change. C Varieties of Knowledge We said that one of the main questions of epistemology is "What can we know? Perceptual Knowledge In the first essay of the part William Alston investigates the epistemology of perception. The essay begins with some preliminaries, including a distinction between two questions one might ask regarding perception.
This question asks about what conditions must actually be satisfied for a perceptual belief to be justified or qualify as knowledge.
The second concerns how a philosopher might provide a justification for perception in general. This latter task is associated with proving the existence of an external world, perhaps in the context of replying to the skeptic. Although some philosophers have engaged in such a task, Alston makes it clear that his question is the first one. Alston also makes a distinction between externalist and internalist approaches to perception.
He argues that externalist accounts of perceptual knowledge are plausible, but that perceptual justification has at least a weak internalist constraint.
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Namely, if a perceptual experience justifies me in holding some perceptual belief, I ought to have some insight into how this is so. I must have some idea, in other words, about why the particular experience I have ought to justify the particular belief I have. The remainder of Alston's paper can be divided into three main sections. In the first he distinguishes four alternatives concerning the nature of perception and perceptual experience. In the second he argues that only one satisfies the internalist constraint set out above.
In the final section he addresses the problem of hallucinations, which turns out to be an important concern for the account of perception he defends. The account Alston defends is direct realism. On this view, perceptual consciousness is irreducibly relational in its nature; to have a perceptual experience is to have some object appear to you in some way, for example as being round or blue.
This experience then acts as a justifier for the belief that the object is as it. The view is realist because the object that appears to the perceiver is understood to be extramental. It is direct because the manner in which we are held to perceive objects is not via some other object, such as a mental image or sense-datum.
A second view of perception is the sense-datum theory. Unlike direct realism, this view holds that what appears to us in perception is a mental object. Such mental particulars are held to be the direct objects of perception, by which we come to know extramental objects only indirectly. A third view is adverbialism, according to which perceptual experience is a way of being conscious rather than a conscious relation to some mental or extramental object. It is called "adverbialism" because varieties of perceptual experience must be described as different modifications of the way one is conscious, rather than as modifications of some perceived object.
For example, the adverbialist understands perceiving blue as perceiving or sensing "bluely," as opposed to being aware of some object that is blue. Finally, the phenomenal quality view understands perceptual experience as an awareness of qualities of one's mental states. 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. All of the other views understand perceptual experience to be purely mental, or "in the head. If by nature perceptual experience involves a direct awareness of a physical object as appearing a particular way, then intuitively this seems to be a good reason for believing that the object is as it appears.
On the other hand, alternative views portray perceptual experience as purely subjective and involving no intrinsic relation to physical objects. Accordingly, these views do not make it clear why experience should justify beliefs about physical objects. In the remainder of the paper Alston considers various strategies by sensedatum theorists, adverbialists, and phenomenal quality theorists for explaining why perceptual experience has justificatory force. He concludes that such attempts are inadequate, insofar as they either a simply lay it down in an ad hoc way that perceptual beliefs are justified, b invoke some discredited thesis about the ontology of physical objects, or c give up on the idea that justification has any connection to truth.
Alston ends by considering the problem of hallucinatory experiences. Such experiences are a problem for direct realism because they seem, at least in some cases, to justify beliefs about physical objects. On the other hand, hallucinatory experiences seem not to have the structure that the direct realist has described for justifying experiences: that of an object appearing to a subject in a particular way.
Alston suggests two strategies that the direct realist might adopt in reply. One response is to bite the bullet and to hold that, despite appearances, hallucinatory. The other is to characterize the experiential justifier in terms of what perceptual and hallucinatory experiences have in common: that of seeming as if some physical object is appearing in a particular way. The direct realist may then hold that beliefs about physical objects can be justified by either kind of experience. Either way, Alston argues, the central contention of direct realism is preserved: that an object's appearing a particular way to a person justifies the person in believing that the object is that way.
A Priori Knowledge The varieties of knowledge have traditionally been divided into two main categories: a priori and a posteriori. We may understand the latter as knowledge which is evidentially grounded in sensory experience. Accordingly, perceptual knowledge is a paradigm case of the a posteriori. A priori knowledge can be understood as knowledge that is not grounded in experience. The evidence for a priori knowledge is not sensory experience, but intellectual or rational intuitions.
George Bealer begins his essay on a priori knowledge and evidence by addressing the source of some confusions. The latter distinctions, however, are logical or linguistic; they are about kinds of truth, or kinds of proposition, or kinds of sentence. Keeping these distinctions clear is important. In the remainder of the essay Bealer defends an account of a priori knowledge and evidence. In section 1 he clarifies the notion of an intuition and defends the thesis that intuitions qualify as a kind of evidence. In section 2 he explains why intuitions count as evidence. The main idea is that basic sources of evidence must have an appropriate kind of reliable tie to the truth, and that intuitions are tied to the truth in this way.
In section three Bealer explains why intuitions have this relationship to the truth.