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Epistemic Angst

Radical Skepticism and the Groundlessness of Our Believing

Duncan Pritchard

Epistemic Angst offers a completely new solution to the ancient philosophical problem of radical skepticism—the challenge of explaining how it is possible to have knowledge of a world external to us.

Duncan Pritchard argues that the key to resolving this puzzle is to realize that it is composed of two logically distinct problems, each requiring its own solution. He then puts forward solutions to both problems. To that end, he offers a new reading of Wittgenstein’s account of the structure of rational evaluation and demonstrates how this provides an elegant solution to one aspect of the skeptical problem. Pritchard also revisits the epistemological disjunctivist proposal that he developed in previous work and shows how it can effectively handle the other aspect of the problem. Finally, he argues that these two antiskeptical positions, while superficially in tension with each other, are not only compatible but also mutually supporting.

The result is a comprehensive and distinctive resolution to the problem of radical skepticism, one that challenges many assumptions in contemporary epistemology.

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Epistemology and Inference

Henry E. Kyburg, Jr.

Epistemology and Inference was first published in 1983. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Henry Kyburg has developed an original and important perspective on probabilistic and statistical inference. Unlike much contemporary writing by philosophers on these topics, Kyburg's work is informed by issues that have arisen in statistical theory and practice as well as issues familiar to professional philosophers. In two major books and many articles, Kyberg has elaborated his technical proposals and explained their ramifications for epistemology, decision-making, and scientific inquiry. In this collection of published and unpublished essays, Kyburg presents his novel ideas and their applications in a manner that makes them accessible to philosophers and provides specialists in probability and induction with a concise exposition of his system.

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Essays on Plato’s Epistemology

Franco Trabattoni

An Innovating approach to Plato’s philosophy. Through a careful survey of several significant Platonic texts, mainly focussing on the nature of knowledge, Essays on Plato’s Epistemology offers the reader a fresh and promising approach to Plato’s philosophy as a whole. From the very earliest reception of Plato’s philosophy, there has been a conflict between a dogmatic and a sceptical interpretation of his work and thought. Moreover, the two sides are often associated, respectively, with a metaphysical and an anti-metaphysical approach. This book, continuing a line of thought that is nowadays strongly present in the secondary literature – and also followed by the author in over thirty years of research –, maintains that a third way of thinking is required. Against the widespread view that an anti-dogmatic philosophy must go together with an anti-metaphysical stance, Trabattoni shows that for Plato, on the contrary, a sober and reasonable assessment of both the powers and limits of human reason relies on a proper metaphysical outlook.

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Evidence and Transcendence

Religious Epistemology and the God-World Relationship

Anne E. Inman

In Evidence and Transcendence, Anne Inman critiques modern attempts to explain the knowability of God and points the way toward a religious epistemology that avoids their pitfalls. Christian apologetics faces two major challenges: the classic Enlightenment insistence on the need to provide evidence for anything that is put forward for belief; and the argument that all human knowledge is mediated by finite reality and thus no “knowledge” of a being interpreted as completely other than finite reality is possible. Modern Christian apologists have tended to understand their task primarily, if not exclusively, in terms of one of these challenges. As examples of contemporary rationalist and postliberal approaches, Inman analyzes in depth the religious epistemologies of philosopher Richard Swinburne and theologians George Lindbeck and Ronald Theimann. She concludes that none of their positions is satisfactory, because none can uphold the notion of God’s transcendence while at the same time preserving a sound account of our claims to freedom and knowledge. The root cause of such failures, Inman argues, is an inadequate philosophy of God and of the relation of God and the finite world. Her exploration of the theologies of Karl Rahner and Friedrich Schleiermacher provides the material for the constructive work in this book. Against rationalist and postliberal epistemologies, Inman calls for an austere grounding of Christian faith in the claim that God is known in human conscious activity as such, as the “other” that grounds the finite.

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The Expibasketics and Intrigues of Love

Ateh-Afac Fossungu

Using expibasketical theory and findings, this book attempts to understand and explain some of the wonders of love and the impacts these have on the other human institutions (such as marriage and family) that are supposed to be erected on love and understanding. Love is a phenomenon that is hard to correctly master, most probably because it is loaded with a lot of uncertainties. This simple fact must be the reason behind the commonplace saying that love is blind; a statement that can have several interpretations, one of which being that it is hard to read or know exactly what is on the other party's mind. Love thus becomes not only an intriguing feeling but also potentially full of intrigues. Can love be so blind to realities and still be love? The book answers many of such queries by expanding and delineating the frontiers of love, and thence marriage and family.

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Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre of 1794

A Commentary on Part 1

by George Seidel

Seidel presents the English and German text of part 1 of the Wissenscbaftsiebre, followed by a commentary on the text. The work concludes with a summary of parts 2 and 3 of the Wissenscbafislebre. An annotated bibliography surveys the important literature on the philosopher.

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Forms of Truth and the Unity of Knowledge

Vittorio Hösle

Forms of Truth and the Unity of Knowledge addresses a philosophical subject—the nature of truth and knowledge—but treats it in a way that draws on insights beyond the usual confines of modern philosophy. This ambitious collection includes contributions from established scholars in philosophy, theology, mathematics, chemistry, biology, psychology, literary criticism, history, and architecture. It represents an attempt to integrate the insights of these disciplines and to help them probe their own basic presuppositions and methods.
The essays in Forms of Truth and the Unity of Knowledge are collected into five parts, the first dealing with division of knowledge into multiple disciplines in Western intellectual history; the second with the foundational disciplines of epistemology, logic, and mathematics; the third with explanation in the natural sciences; the fourth with truth and understanding in disciplines of the humanities; and the fifth with art and theology.

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Freedom of Mind and Other Essays

Stuart Hampshire

Each of the fourteen essays in this volume is directed to some aspect of these two questions: What are the peculiarities of the concepts that we use to describe and to criticize the mental states and performances of human beings? What are the peculiarities of the knowledge that we may possess of our own mental states and attitudes and of the mental states and attitudes of others? Each of us is both a scientific student of others' beliefs, desires, and attitudes and the responsible author of his own beliefs and attitudes. The center of the freedom-of-mind problem, Professor Hampshire asserts, is the confusion that arises when we try to reconcile the explanations that we would give of the same mental state or process from the two different points of view.

Originally published in 1971.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Gazing Through a Prism Darkly

Reflections on Merold Westphal's Hermeneutical Epistemology

B. Putt

Merold Westphal has been in the foremost ranks of philosophers who proclaim a new postsecular philosophy. By articulating an epistemology sensitive to the realities of cognitive finitude and moral weakness, he defends a wisdom that begins in both humility and commitment, one that always confesses that human beings can encounter meaning and truth only as human beings, never as gods.The present volume focuses on this wisdom of humility that characterizes Westphal's thought and explores how that wisdom, expressed through the redemptive dynamic of doubt, can contribute to developing a postsecular apologetic for faith.This book can function both as an accessible introduction to Westphal for those who have not read him extensively and also as an informed critical appreciation and extension of his work for those who are more experienced readers.

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God as Reason

Essays in Philosophical Theology

Vittorio Hösle

In God as Reason: Essays in Philosophical Theology, Vittorio Hösle presents a systematic exploration of the relation between theology and philosophy. In examining the problems and historical precursors of rational theology, he calls on philosophy, theology, history of science, and the history of ideas to find an interpretation of Christianity that is compatible with a genuine commitment to reason. The essays in the first part of God as Reason deal with issues of philosophical theology. Hösle sketches the challenges that a rationalist theology must face and discusses some of the central ones, such as the possibility of a teleological interpretation of nature after Darwin, the theodicy issue, freedom versus determinism, the mind-body problem, and the relation in general between religion, theology, and philosophy. In the essays of the second part, Hösle studies the historical development of philosophical approaches to the Bible, the continuity between the New Testament concept of pneuma and the concept of Geist (spirit) in German idealism, and the rationalist theologies of Anselm, Abelard, Llull, and Nicholas of Cusa, whose innovative philosophy of mathematics is the topic of one of the chapters. The book concludes with a thorough evaluation of Charles Taylor’s theory of secularization.

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