SOPhiA 2013

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programm - Vortrag

Wissen und praktisches Überlegen
(Erkenntnistheorie, Englisch)

What is the relation between knowledge and practical reasoning? Several philosophers have argued that knowledge is the norm of practical reasoning. Their exact proposal is this:

''The Reason-Knowledge Principle henceforth referred to as RKP: Where one's choice is p-dependent, it is appropriate to treat the proposition that p as a reason for acting iff you know that p.'' (See: Hawthorne, John, and Stanley, Jason (2008). ''Knowledge and Action.'' Journal of Philosophy, Vol.105, No. 10.)

I will summarize various arguments against the RKP found in the recent literature. I shall point out why the preferred defense of the proponents of the RKP, the excuse-maneuver, does not work. My diagnosis for the failure of the RKP is that some norms simply do not translate into simple biconditionals. One consequence of this is the need to distinguish between epistemic norms for practical reasoning and epistemic conditions for practical rationality. I will then focus on the former notion. I will give a new argument for the claim that knowledge is the norm of practical reasoning. I argue that the aim of practical reasoning is determining a course of action in which we can bring it about that we non-accidentally achieve our goals. I then go on to argue that knowledge is the epistemic state best suited to realize this aim. Finally, I defend this thesis against the previously introduced counterexamples. In order to do that, I will rely on a certain understanding of normativity. I argue that knowledge is a normative ideal for practical reasoning whose application is defeasible. This means while the knowledge-norm generally holds, its application to particular cases may be suspended. Not all non-compliance with the norm must lead to the assessment of a person as irrational because she fails to meet the norm.

Chair: Martha Cassidy-Brinn
Zeit: 09:00-09:30, 14. September 2013 (Samstag)
Ort: HS 105

Andreas Mueller
(Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt, Deutschland)

Andreas Mueller (M.A.), received from Goethe University Frankfurt in 2011. Andreas is interested in epistemology, methaethics and theories about reasons and rationality. He is currently a member of the research cluster ''The Emergence of Normative Orders'' in Frankfurt where he focusses on writing a dissertation concerning pragmatic encroachment in epistemology.

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