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Knowledge, Action, and Factive Mental States

English title Knowledge, Action, and Factive Mental States
Applicant Teroni Fabrice
Number 169293
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Département de Philosophie Faculté des Lettres Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Philosophy
Start/End 01.12.2016 - 31.08.2021
Approved amount 285'232.00
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Keywords (7)

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

Lay Summary (French)

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.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 03.10.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Which Attitudes for the Fitting Attitude Analysis of Value?
Deonna Julien A., Teroni Fabrice (2021), Which Attitudes for the Fitting Attitude Analysis of Value?, in Theoria, theo.12333-theo.12333.
Certitude, A
VolletJacques-Henri, BelkonieneMiloud (2021), Certitude, A, L'encyclopédie philosophique, France.
R. Pouivet L'éthique intellectuelle. Une épistémologie des vertus
Vollet Jacques-Henri (2021), R. Pouivet L'éthique intellectuelle. Une épistémologie des vertus, in Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale, 110(2), 263-280.
Is an Increase in Probability Always an Increase in Evidential Support?
Logins Artūrs (2020), Is an Increase in Probability Always an Increase in Evidential Support?, in Erkenntnis, 1-25.
Two-state solution to the lottery paradox
Logins Artūrs (2019), Two-state solution to the lottery paradox, in Philosophical Studies, 1-28.
Emotion, Fiction and Rationality
Teroni Fabrice (2019), Emotion, Fiction and Rationality, in The British Journal of Aesthetics, 59(2), 113-128.
On Seeming to Remember
TeroniFabrice (2018), On Seeming to Remember, in Michaelian K., Debus D., Perrin D. (ed.), Routledge, New York, 329-345.
The Ontology of Emotions
Teroni Fabrice, Naar Hichem (ed.) (2017), The Ontology of Emotions, Cambridge University Press, New York.
Les attitudes appropriées verbatim
Teroni Fabrice, Deonna Julien (2016), Les attitudes appropriées verbatim, in Les ateliers de l'éthique, 11(2-3), 151-170.
Certainty and Assertion
VolletJacques-Henri, Certainty and Assertion, in dialectica.
La notion de degré en épistémologie
Vollet Jacques-Henri, Chevalier Jean-Marie (ed.), La notion de degré en épistémologie, Editions du Collège de France, Paris, France.
L'échelle de la certitude
VolletJacques-Henri, L'échelle de la certitude, in Vollet Jacques-Henri, Chevalier Jean-Marie (ed.), Collège de France, Paris, France.
Normative reasons
Logins Artūrs, Normative reasons, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
What is the Role of Emotions in Grounding Belief and Knowledge?
Teroni Fabrice, DeonnaJulien, What is the Role of Emotions in Grounding Belief and Knowledge?, in Scarantino A. (ed.), Routledge., New York, NA-NA.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Pascal Engel, Paris, EHESS France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Timothy Williamson (Oxford) Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Anne Meylan (Basel) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Jennifer Nagel (Toronto) Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
The Ethics of Emotions: Fittingness, Fairness, and Control Talk given at a conference Attitudinalism Defended 06.07.2021 Bern, Switzerland Teroni Fabrice;
La notion de degré en épistémologie Talk given at a conference L'échelle de la certitude 24.06.2021 Paris, France Vollet Jacques-Henri;
First Philosophy of Emotion Essen Lab Workshop ‘Beyond Representation: Emotions’ Agential Dimensions’ Talk given at a conference Emotions and their Correctness Conditions 23.03.2021 Duisburg-Essen, Germany Teroni Fabrice;
2nd Goethe Epistemology Meeting Talk given at a conference Epistemic akrasia and justification 12.03.2021 Frankfurt am Main, Germany Vollet Jacques-Henri;
Annual Research Forum Talk given at a conference Sentiments, Emotions and Correctness 04.02.2021 Geneva, Switzerland Teroni Fabrice;
Higher-Order Evidence in Epistemology, Ethics, and Aesthetics Talk given at a conference Self-licensing and dogmatism about higher-order evidence: a response to DiPaolo 25.01.2021 Southampton, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Vollet Jacques-Henri;
Bochum-Grenoble Memory Colloquium Individual talk Emotions and memory 17.12.2020 Grenoble, France Teroni Fabrice;
Moral and Political Philosophy Research Seminar Talk given at a conference Which Attitudes Fit the Fitting Attitude Analysis of Value 09.12.2020 Helsinki, Finland Teroni Fabrice;
Thumos Research Seminar Individual talk Epistemic Akrasia and Justification 26.11.2020 GEnève, Switzerland Vollet Jacques-Henri;
7èmes journées de métaéthique Talk given at a conference Primauté des raisons ou des valeurs ? 23.11.2020 Aix-Marseille Université, France Vollet Jacques-Henri;
Memory, Imagination and the Self Talk given at a conference The Affective Self, Memory and Imagination 17.10.2020 Stuttgart, Germany Teroni Fabrice;
Knowledge and Decision Colloquium Individual talk Antiluminosity and the knowledge norm 15.05.2020 Hambourg, Germany Vollet Jacques-Henri;
Research colloquium Talk given at a conference Valence, Bodily (Dis)pleasure and Emotion’ 21.04.2020 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Teroni Fabrice;
Workshop (Aarhus) Talk given at a conference Bodily (Dis)pleasures, Emotions and Valence 14.02.2020 Aarhus, Denmark Teroni Fabrice;
IMéRA, Institut d’études avances, Talk given at a conference Les raisons normatives. Une éthique du savoir 27.01.2020 Marseille, France Logins Arturs;
Groupe de Recherche en Épistémologie de la chaire "Métaphysique et philosophie de la connaissance Talk given at a conference Emotions and Evidence 14.01.2020 Paris, France Logins Arturs;
Thumos Seminar Individual talk Emotions and Evidence 26.09.2019 Genève, Switzerland Logins Arturs;
Thumos Research Seminar Individual talk Emotions and Evidence 26.09.2019 University of Geneva, Switzerland Logins Arturs;
The Joint Session of the Mind Association and Aristotelian Society Talk given at a conference Reasons without reasoning 19.07.2019 University of Durham, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Logins Arturs;
Seminaire les raisons dans tous leurs états Individual talk Les raisons normatives 15.04.2019 EHESS, Paris, France Logins Arturs;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Workshop 24.06.2021 Paris, France
Conference 05.05.2020 Genève, Switzerland
Weekly Reading Group/Work in Progress Group of the Project open for all 01.02.2020 Genève, Switzerland
Weekly Reading Group/Work in Progress Group of the Project open for all in the university 08.12.2016 University of Geneva, Switzerland

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
176364 Feel bad, live well! The value of negative emotions for well-being 01.09.2018 Project funding (Div. I-III)
144403 Analyses de la rationalité en termes de connaissance 01.10.2012 Project funding (Div. 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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