The Reliability of Sense Perception

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1993 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 148 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Alston has written a readable and intelligent book. His results will not surprise many philosophers, but his 'nothing-up-my-sleeves' lucidity will assist them in thinking through a range of possible positions. At a time when epistemology has been widely understood to be passé, Alston's account, interwoven as it is with discussion of work by Goldman, Nozick, and others, indicates that epistemology is not yet only a thing of the past."—Russell B. Goodman, University of New Mexico, Review of Metaphysics, 48 (September 1994)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801428623
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1993
  • Series: 4/18/2002
  • Pages: 148
  • Lexile: 1440L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction 1
i The Problem 1
ii Significance of the Problem 2
iii Ways of Belief Formation 4
iv Doxastic Practices 7
v Reliability 8
Ch. 2 Track Record and Other Simple Empirical Arguments for Reliability 12
i A Track Record Argument for the Reliability of Sense Perceptual Practice SP 12
ii Epistemic Circularity 15
iii A Piecemeal Approach 17
iv Back to SP as a Whole 19
v Pragmatic Arguments: Validation by Fruits 22
vi The Road Ahead 25
Ch. 3 A Priori Arguments 26
i Theological Arguments 26
ii Verificationism 30
iii Criteria of Physical Object Concepts 32
iv Paradigm Case Arguments 45
v The Private Language Argument 53
vi Transcendental Arguments 57
Ch. 4 Empirical Arguments for the Reliability of SP 60
i The Explanation of Sensory Experience 60
ii The Explanation of Patterns in Sense Experience 70
iii Attempts to Support the Standard Explanation 78
iv Explanations of Our Success in Predicting Our Experience 97
v Problems with the Argument 101
vi How Widespread Is the Circularity Problem? 115
Ch. 5 Where Do We Go from Here? 120
i The Problem 120
ii A Practical Argument for the Rationality of SP 124
iii Practical Rationality and Reliability 130
iv Overriders of Prima Facie Rationality 134
v Significant Self-Support 138
Bibliography 141
Index 145
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