Working Without a Net: A Study of Egocentric Epistemology / Edition 1

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In this new book, Foley defends an epistemology that takes seriously the perspectives of individual thinkers. He argues that having rational opinions is a matter of meeting our own internal standards rather than standards that are somehow imposed upon us from the outside. It is a matter of making ourselves invulnerable to intellectual self-criticism. Foley also shows how the theory of rational belief is part of a general theory of rationality. He thus avoids treating the rationality of belief as a fundamentally different kind of phenomenon from the rationality of decision or action. His approach generates promising suggestions about a wide range of issues—e.g., the distinction between epistemic and non-epistemic reasons for belief; the question of what aspects of the Cartesian project are still worth doing; the significance of simplicity and other theoretical virtues; the relevance of skeptical hypotheses; the difference between a theory of rational belief and a theory of knowledge; the difference between a theory of rational belief and a theory of rational degrees of belief; and the limits of idealization in epistemology.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195076998
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Rational Belief
1 Rationality as a Goal-oriented Notion 3
2 Reasons and Perspectives 8
3 Reasons, Beliefs, and Goals 15
4 Evidence, Belief, and Commitment 22
5 Evidence and Reasons for Belief 27
6 An Evaluation Procedure for Epistemology 30
7 Further Illustrations of the Procedure 37
2 Skepticism
1 Rationality and Skeptical Hypotheses 54
2 The Lack of Guarantees 59
3 Is Skepticism Self-referentially Incoherent? 62
4 Can Metaphysics Solve the Problem of Skepticism? 67
5 The Epistemological Circle 75
6 Rationality and Knowledge 85
3 Egocentric Rationality
1 The Subject Matter of Egocentric Epistemology 94
2 Responsible Belief 102
3 What Am I to Believe? 117
4 Why Be Egocentrically Rational? 131
4 The Epistemology of Beliefs and the Epistemology of Degrees of Belief
1 The Lockean Thesis 140
2 Two Paradoxes for the Lockean Thesis 141
3 Degrees of Belief 146
4 Inconsistency, Incoherency, and Dutch Books 155
5 Being Knowingly Inconsistent 162
6 Being Knowingly Incoherent 174
7 Pessimistic Scenarios 184
8 Evidence 189
9 Belief as Epistemic Commitment 197
Index 211
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011


    This price tag is ridiculous! $110??? It isn't even a physical book! I'm not sure Nook is going to be around very long if they're charging so much for books.

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