Anti-Individualism and Knowledge by Jessica Brown

By Jessica Brown

Modern philosophy of brain is ruled by means of anti- individualism, which holds subject's techniques are decided not just via what's inside of her head but in addition via features of her atmosphere. regardless of its dominance, anti-individualism is topic to a frightening array of epistemological objections: that it's incompatible with the privileged entry each one topic has to her innovations, that it undermines rationality, and, absurdly, that it offers a brand new path to a priori wisdom of the area. during this rigorous and persuasive examine, Jessica Brown defends anti- individualism from those epistemological objections. The dialogue has vital outcomes for key epistemological matters comparable to skepticism, closure, transmission, and the character of data and warrant. in accordance with Brown's research, one major explanation for pondering that anti-individualism is incompatible with privileged entry is that it undermines a subject's introspective skill to differentiate varieties of options. So clinically determined, the normal specialise in a subject's reliability approximately her concepts offers no sufficient answer. Brown defuses the objection by way of entice the epistemological thought of a correct replacement. additional, she argues that, given a formal figuring out of rationality, anti- individualism is suitable with the idea that we're rational matters. in spite of the fact that, the dialogue of rationality presents a brand new argument that anti-individualism is in rigidity with Fregean feel. ultimately, Brown indicates that anti-individualism doesn't create a brand new path to a priori wisdom of the area. whereas rejecting suggestions that limit the transmission of warrant, she argues that anti-individualists may still deny that we have got the kind of wisdom that will be required to take advantage of a priori wisdom of inspiration content material to achieve a priori wisdom of the area.

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I extend the established literature on this topic by discussing not only non-Fregean anti-individualism but also Fregean anti-individualism. I argue that only non-Fregean anti-individualism is incompatible with transparency of sameness, although both Fregean and non-Fregean varieties of anti-individualism are incompatible with transparency of difference. While I agree that anti-individualism of both Fregean and non-Fregean versions undermines transparency, I argue that this is not a threat to rationality properly understood.

Notice that these two cases do not suggest that knowledge requires that the subject be able to distinguish the actual situation from every possible situation. If this were required, then even in the first situation the driver would not count as knowing that the object she is looking at is a barn, for, of course, she would not be able to distinguish real barns from possible fake barns (which as it happens are not present in her environment). This leads Goldman to suggest that knowledge requires the ability to distinguish the actual situation from a subset of alternative situations—the “relevant” ones: A person knows that p, I suggest, only if the actual state of affairs in which p is true is distinguishable or discriminable by him from a relevant possible state of affairs in which p is false.

There are several epistemologically relevant notions of reliability, including local and global reliability. I argue that the illusion version of antiindividualism may threaten global reliability if not local reliability. Instead, I suggest that the possibility of suffering an illusion of thought is not normally relevant. Anti-Individualism 29 In chapter 5 I turn to the question of whether antiindividualism undermines the idea that we are rational subjects. According to anti-individualism, a subject’s thought contents are individuated partly by the environment.

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