Projekt

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Knowledge, Action, and Factive Mental States

Titel Englisch Knowledge, Action, and Factive Mental States
Gesuchsteller/in Teroni Fabrice
Nummer 169293
Förderungsinstrument Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)
Forschungseinrichtung Département de Philosophie Faculté des Lettres Université de Genève
Hochschule Universität Genf - GE
Hauptdisziplin Philosophie
Beginn/Ende 01.12.2016 - 30.11.2019
Bewilligter Betrag 285'232.00
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Keywords (7)

Epistemology; Perception; Emotions; Knowledge; Factivity; Action; Memory

Lay Summary (Französisch)

Lead
Selon une approche influente en épistémologie contemporaine, la connaissance est l'état mental le plus général dont le contenu ne peut pas être faux. L’influence de cette approche est principalement due au fait qu’elle explique aisément certains présupposés traditionnels en épistémologie, présupposés concernant p.ex. les liens entre perception, souvenir et connaissance.
Lay summary

Cette approche s’accorde cependant mal avec certains présupposés orthodoxes en philosophie de l’esprit (notamment en philosophie des émotions) et en philosophie de l’action. Ainsi, combinée à l’affirmation plausible que certaines émotions ne peuvent avoir un contenu faux, elle va à l’encontre du présupposé courant selon lequel aucune émotion ne constitue un état de connaissance. Elle est également malaisée à réconcilier avec le présupposé que la connaissance est superflue dans l’explication causale de l’action.

Partant du constat que les tentatives de résolution de ces tensions théoriques sont quasi-inexistantes, le projet a pour but de combler cette lacune. Il cherchera ainsi à (1) évaluer certains présupposés traditionnels en épistémologie de la perception et de la mémoire ainsi que les critiques auxquels ils ont récemment donné lieu, (2) explorer l'idée que la connaissance n'est pas indispensable dans l'explication causale de l’action et (3) examiner la plausibilité de l'hypothèse selon laquelle certaines émotions peuvent être considérées comme des états de connaissance.

Plus généralement, le projet a l'ambition d'élaborer une position unifiée entra théorie de la connaissance, philosophie de l’esprit et philosophie de l'action.

Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 03.10.2016

Verantw. Gesuchsteller/in und weitere Gesuchstellende

Mitarbeitende

Verbundene Projekte

Nummer Titel Start Förderungsinstrument
144403 Analyses de la rationalité en termes de connaissance 01.10.2012 Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)

Abstract

The present project draws light on the significant but understudied tensions between a prominent approach in contemporary epistemology and the orthodoxy in philosophy of action and philosophy of emotions. The results of our envisioned investigation are expected to lead to surprising conclusions: either we will have to reject some traditional views in epistemology (along with a recently prominent account of knowledge) or we will have to give up some of the orthodox assumptions concerning the place of knowledge in explanation of action and of emotions.According to a prominent and simple view in contemporary epistemology, knowledge is a genus of specific mental states that can only be held towards truth (e.g. seeing that something is the case, hearing that something is the case, remembering that something is the case and so on). More specifically, the claim is that knowledge is the most general factive mental state. Few contemporary epistemologists would wholeheartedly accept the simple account of knowledge (for instance, because they think that more illuminating accounts of knowledge are available). Yet, most epistemologists would agree that the simple account has noteworthy qualities. For one thing, it has the merit of being immune to problems that more complex accounts of knowledge meet. Furthermore, it is simple and unified, which is ceteris paribus good reason to prefer it to more complex accounts. Finally, the simple view about knowledge respects the traditional and intuitively plausible assumption that if one sees, hears, remembers etc. that p, then one knows that p.What is surprising, though, is that despite fitting well with some traditional assumptions in epistemology, the simple account of knowledge fits poorly with the orthodoxy of neighbouring fields. In particular, it seems to be hardly compatible with the mainstream views in philosophy of action and philosophy of emotions (and philosophy of mind more generally). More specifically, it seems to be incompatible with a traditional combination of views in philosophy of action according to which (i.) genuine mental states are not dispensible in causal explanation of action and (ii.) knowledge is dispensible in explanation of action. It also seems to be incompatible with the orthodoxy in philosophy of emotions, according to which factive emotions (for example, regret and embarrassment), do not qualify as knowledge, since emotions are not states of knowing.What is more, while the simple view of knowledge fits well with the orthodoxy in epistemology, recent attacks on the orthodoxy in epistemology might change the overall dialectical situation. Recently, there have been a number of arguments challenging the view that paradigmatic factive mental states, e.g. propositional perception and propositional memory, are states of knowing. If these arguments are successful, then the simple view falls, along with the present state orthodoxy.This project aims to explore these theoretical tensions in a systematic way. The results will be important in one way or another. Either we will manage to show that the simple account holds, and (a) that the orthodoxy in epistemology of perception and memory can be maintained, but (b) that some traditional views in philosophy of action and philosophy of emotions have to be reconsidered in order to avoid overall inconsistency. Or we will have to conclude that the simple view fails and that, while (c) the orthodoxy about action explanation and philosophy of emotions stands unchallenged, (d) it is unclear whether the orthodoxy about perception and memory can be maintained.
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