Cognitive bias, scepticism and understanding

Carter, J. A. and Pritchard, D. (2017) Cognitive bias, scepticism and understanding. In: Grimm, S. R., Baumberger, C. and Ammon, S. (eds.) Explaining Understanding: New Perspectives from Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Routledge: New York, pp. 272-292. ISBN 9781138921931

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In recent work, Mark Alfano (2012; 2014) and Jennifer Saul (2013) have put forward a similar kind of provocative sceptical challenge. Both appeal to recent literature in empirical psychology to show that our judgments across a wide range of cases are riddled with unreliable cognitive heuristics and biases. Likewise, they both conclude that we know a lot less than we have hitherto supposed, at least on standard conceptions of what knowledge involves. It is argued that even if one grants the empirical claims that Saul and Alfano make, the sceptical conclusion that they canvass might not be as dramatic as it first appears. It is further argued, however, that one can reinstate a more dramatic sceptical conclusion by targeting their argument not at knowledge but rather at the distinct (and distinctively valuable) epistemic standing of understanding.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carter, Dr J Adam
Authors: Carter, J. A., and Pritchard, D.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Routledge
First Published:First published in Explaining Understanding: New Perspectives from Epistemology and Philosophy of Science: 272-292
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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