- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Clarendon Press; 1 edition (June 10, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199253730
- ISBN-13: 978-0199253739
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.8 x 6.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,308,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Evidentialism 1st Edition
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"In Evidentialism, Conee and Feldman admirably and effectively defend a traditional epistemological view they call evidentialism from its externalist critics. They also take dead aim at externalism itself, claiming that its most well-known versions face insuperable difficulties...To describe the book as a mere collection of papers would be misleading. The papers are remarkably cohesive, focusing on common issues that lie at the heart of epistemology. To my way of thinking, the papers are also a model of philosophical writing. They are exceptionally clear, precise, and well-argued. One is never left wondering what the argument or view under consideration is...Internalists and externalists alike cannot afford to ignore the work of Conee and Feldman in this outstanding collection. They represent a powerful voice in the defense of an important epistemological tradition."--Richard Fumerton, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
About the Author
Earl Conee is in the Department of Philosophy, University of Rochester, N.Y. . Richard Feldman is in the Department of Philosophy, University of Rochester, N.Y. .
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Many of the essays contained in this collection are required reading if you're interested in debates about epistemic justification. Conee and Feldman defend an internalist view on which the justification of belief is determined by the evidence an individual has on hand. Their view counts as internalist because they insist that facts about your mental life determine whether there is adequate justification for your beliefs. It is hard to give this collection anything less than 4 stars because this book is indispensable if you're interested in epistemic justification.
I did find it difficult to determine precisely what precisely the evidentialist position was. At some places (e.g., pp. 232), Feldman speaks as if he thinks evidence consists of propositions. (True propositions only, or might false propositions constitute evidence?) At others, evidence consists of stored beliefs and various mental entities (pp. 70). I also did not find their defense of internalism terribly persuasive. They offer some examples in which they think it seems intuitive to say that something enhances the justification of some subject's belief when it makes an internal difference to that subject's mental life. The conclusion they try to establish is consistent, however, with the claim that external differences can also make a difference to the justification of a subject's belief. Since few externalists deny the relevance of some internal matters to the justification of belief, it's hard to see how these arguments support internalism about justification and not the weaker claim that some internal things are sometimes among the conditions that determine justificatory status.