Название журнала Эпистемология и философия науки
Том 56
Номер 2
Год 2019
Количество страниц 241

 

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Т. 56 • 2

Ежеквартальный научно-теоретический журнал

МОСКВА

2019

ISSN 1811-833Х (Print)

ISSN 2311-7133 (Online)

ЭПИСТЕМОЛОГИЯ И ФИЛОСОФИЯ НАУКИ

Ежеквартальный научно-теоретический журнал

2019. Том 56. Номер 2

Главный редактор: И.Т. Касавин (Институт философии РАН, Москва, Россия)

Зам. главного редактора: И.А. Герасимова (Институт философии РАН, Москва, Россия),

П.С. Куслий (Институт философии РАН, Москва, Россия)

Ответственный секретарь: Л.А. Тухватулина (Институт философии РАН, Москва, Россия)

Редакционная коллегия:

А.Ю. Антоновский (Институт философии РАН, Москва, Россия),
В.И. Аршинов (Институт философии РАН, Москва, Россия),
В.А. Бажанов (Ульяновский государственный университет, Ульяновск, Россия),
Джон Греко (Сент-Луисский университет, США),
Н.И. Кузнецова (Российский государственный гуманитарный университет, Москва, Россия),
С.М. Левин (Национальный исследовательский университет «Высшая школа экономики»,
Санкт-Петербург, Россия), Джоан Лич (Университет Куинсленда, Брисбен, Австралия),
Дженнифер Лэки (Северо-Западный университет, Чикаго, США),
Л.А. Микешина (Московский педагогический государственный университет, Москва, Россия),
И.Д. Невважай (Саратовская государственная юридическая академия, Саратов, Россия),
А.Л. Никифоров (Институт философии РАН, Москва, Россия),
С.В. Пирожкова (Институт философии РАН, Москва, Россия),
Ханс Позер (Берлинский технический университет, Берлин, Германия),
В.Н. Порус (Национальный исследовательский университет «Высшая школа экономики», Москва, Россия), В.С. Пронских (Национальная Ускорительная Лаборатория им. Ферми, Батавия, США; Объединенный Институт Ядерных Исследований, Дубна, Россия),
Александр Рузер (Университет Цеппелина, Фридрихсхафен, Германия),
С.Г. Секундант (Одесский национальный университет им. И.И. Мечникова, Одесса, Украина),
В.П. Филатов (Российский государственный гуманитарный университет, Москва, Россия),
Стив Фуллер (Уорикский университет, Ковентри, Великобритания),
Нико Штер (Университет Цеппелина, Фридрихсхафен, Германия)

Редакционный совет:

В.А. Лекторский (Институт философии РАН, Москва, Россия),
А.А. Гусейнов (Институт философии РАН, Москва, Россия),
Джон Дюпре (Эксетерский университет, Эксетер, Великобритания),
Ньютон Да Коста (Федеральный Университет Санта-Катарины, Флоарианополис, Бразилия),
Ханс Ленк (Технологический институт Карлсруэ, Карлсруэ, Германия),
Том Рокмор (Университет Дюкейн, Питтсбург, США; Пекинский университет, Пекин, Китай),
Ром Харре (Джорджтаунский университет, Вашингтон, США),
Эндрю Финберг (Университет Саймона Фрезера, Бенрнаби, Канада),
Дэвид Хесс (Университет Вандербильта, Нашвилл, США)

Учредитель и издатель: Федеральное государственное бюджетное учреждение науки Институт философии Российской академии наук

Периодичность: 4 раза в год. Выходит с 2004 г.

Журнал зарегистрирован Федеральной службой по надзору в сфере связи, информационных технологий и массовых коммуникаций (Роскоммнадзор). Свидетельство о регистрации СМИ: ПИ № ФС77-57113 от 03 марта 2014 г.

Подписной индекс в каталоге Агентства «Роспечать» – 46318

Журнал включен в: Перечень рецензируемых научных изданий ВАК (группа научных специальностей «09.00.00 – философские науки»); Российский индекс научного цитирования (РИНЦ); Ulrichs Periodicals Directory; ERIH PLUS; Philosophy Documentation Center; Russian Science Citation Index (Web of Science); Web of Science (Core Collection); SCOPUS

Адрес редакции: Российская Федерация, 109240, г. Москва, ул. Гончарная, д. 12, стр. 1, оф. 315

Тел.: +7 (495) 697-95-7; e-mail: journal@iph.ras.ru; сайт: http://journal.iph.ras.ru

ISSN 1811-833Х (Print)

ISSN 2311-7133 (Online)

EPISTEMOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

Quarterly peer-reviewed journal

2019. Volume 56. Number 2

Editor-in Chief: Ilya T. Kasavin (RAS Institute of Philosophy, Russia)

Editorial Assistants: Irina A. Gerasimova (RAS Institute of Philosophy, Russia),

Petr S. Kusliy (RAS Institute of Philosophy, Russia),

Liana A. Tukhvatulina (RAS Institute of Philosophy, Russia)

Editorial Board:

Alexander A. Antonovski (RAS Institute of Philosophy, Russia),
Vladimir I. Arshinov (RAS Institute of Philosophy, Russia),
Valentin A. Bazhanov (Ulyanovsk State University, Russia),
John Greco (Saint Louis University, USA),
Vladimir P. Filatov (Russian State University for Humanities, Russia),
Steve Fuller  (University of Warwick, Great Britain),
Natalia I. Kuznetsova (Russian State University for Humanities, Russia),
Jennifer Lackey (Northwestern University, USA),
Joan Leach (Queensland University, Australia),
Sergei M. Levin (National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Russia),
Lyudmila A. Mikeshina (Moscow Pedagogical State University, Russia),
Igor D. Nevvazhay (Saratov State Law Academy, Russia),
Alexander Nikiforov (RAS Institute of Philosophy, Russia),
Sofia V. Pirozhkova (RAS Institute of Philosophy, Russia),
Vladimir N. Porus (National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Russia),
Hans Poser (Technical University of Berlin, Germany),
Vitaly S. Pronskikh (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, USA;
Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Russia),
Alexander Ruser (Zeppelin University, Germany),
Sergei G. Sekundant (Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University, Ukraine),
Nico Stehr (Zeppelin University, Germany)

Editorial Council:

Vladislav A. Lektorsky (RAS Institute of Philosophy, Russia),
Newton Da Costa (Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil),
John Dupré (University of Exeter, UK),
Andrew Feenberg
(Simon Fraser University, Canada),
Abdusalam A. Guseinov
(RAS Institute of Philosophy, Russia),
Rom Harré
(Georgetown University, USA),
David Hess
(Vanderbilt University, USA),
Hans Lenk
(Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany),
Tom Rockmore
(Duquesne University, USA; Peking University, China)

Publisher: Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences

Frequency: 4 times per year. First issue: 2004

The journal is registered with the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Rosskomnadzor). The Mass Media Registration Certificate No. FS77-57113 on March 3, 2014

Abstracting and Indexing: the list of peer-reviewed scientific edition acknowledged by the Higher Attestation Commission of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation; Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory; ERIH PLUS; Philosophy Documentation Center; Russian Science Citation Index (Web of Science)

Subscription index  in the catalogue of Rospechat’ agency is 46318

Editorial address: 12/1 Goncharnaya St., Moscow, 109240, Russian Federation

Tel.: +7 (495) 697-95-76; e-mail: journal@iph.ras.ru; Website: http://journal.iph.ras.ru

Эпистемология и философия науки

2019. Т. 56. № 2

Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2019, vol. 56, no. 2

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Guest Editors – Vadim V. Vasilyev & Anton V. Kuznetsov

Изображение13Editorial

Vadim V. Vasilyev. Metaphilosophy: History and Perspectives6

Изображение14panel discussion

Timothy Williamson. Armchair Philosophy19

Daniel C. Dennett. Philosophy or Auto-Anthropology?26

Joshua Knobe. Philosophical Intuitions Are Surprisingly Robust
Across Demographic
Differences29

Daniel Stoljar. Williamson on Laws and Progress in Philosophy37

Anton V. Kuznetsov. Armchair Science and Armchair Philosophy43

Timothy Williamson. Reply to Dennett, Knobe, Kuznetsov,
and Stoljar on Philosophical Methodology
46

Vadim V. Vasilyev. Afterword to the Panel Discussion
on Armchair
Philosophy53

Изображение15epistemology & cognition

Axel Gelfert. Beyond The ‘Null Setting’: the Method of Cases
in the Epistemology of Testimony
60

Dustin Olson. Epistemic Progress Despite Systematic Disagreement77

Изображение16language & mind

Esther Goh. The Argument from Variation against Using
One’s Own Intuitions as Evidence
95

Изображение17vista

Alexander L. Nikiforov. Problems of Metaphilosophy –
a View from
Aside111

Изображение18case studies – science studies

Vladimir N. Porus. The Philosophical Status
of “Metaphilosophy of Science”
134

Johnnie R.R. Pedersen. Normative Ethics: an Armchair Discipline?151

Изображение19interdisciplinary studies

Markéta Jakešová. The Question of Reflexivity167

Изображение20archive

Teodor I. Oizerman. On the Meaning of the Question
“What Is Philosophy?”
181

Andrey A. Veretennikov. McTaggart: Reality in Idealism.203

John Ellis McTaggart. The Unreality of Time211

Изображение21book reviews

Alina O. Kostina. Normativity, Expertise
and Epistemological Paternalism in the Philosophy of Science
229

Эпистемология и философия науки

2019. Т. 56. № 2

Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2019, vol. 56, no. 2

 

Эпистемология и философия науки

2019. Т. 56. № 2. С. 6–18

УДК 101.3

Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 6–18

DOI: 10.5840/eps201956222

Содержание

Приглашенные редакторы – д.ф.н., проф. В.В. Васильев, к.ф.н. А.В. Кузнецов

Изображение4Редакционная статья

В.В. Васильев. Метафилософия: история и перспективы6

Изображение5Панельная дискуссия

Тимоти Уильямсон. Кабинетная философия19

Дэниэл Деннет. Философия или ауто-антропология?26

Джошуа Ноуб. Философские интуиции на удивление устойчивы
к демографическим различиям
29

Дэниел Столджар. Уильямсон о законах и прогрессе в философии37

А.В. Кузнецов. Кабинетная наука и кабинетная философия43

Тимоти Уильямсон. Ответ оппонентам по поводу
философской методологии
46

В.В. Васильев. Послесловие к панельной дискуссии
о кабинетной философии
53

Изображение6Эпистемология и познание

Аксель Гелферт. За пределами «нулевой настройки»:
ситуационный метод в эпистемологии свидетельс
тва60

Дастин Олсон. Эпистемический прогресс
вопреки систематическим разногласиям
77

Изображение7Язык и сознание

Эстер Го. Аргумент вариативности:
против использования интуиций в качестве доказательств
95

Изображение8Перспектива

А.Л. Никифоров. Проблемы метафилософии – взгляд со стороны111

Изображение9Ситуационные исследования

В.Н. Порус. Философский статус «метафилософии науки»134

Джонни Педерсен. Нормативная этика: кабинетная дисциплина?151

Изображение10Междисциплинарные исследования

Маркета Якешова. Вопрос рефлексивности167

Изображение11Архив

Т.И. Ойзерман. О смысле вопроса «что такое философия?»181

А.А. Веретенников. МакТаггарт: реальность в идеализме.203

Джон Эллис МакТаггарт. Нереальность времени211

Изображение12Обзоры книг

А.О. Костина. Нормативность, экспертиза и эпистемологический патернализм в философии науки. Обзор номеров журнала «Метафилософия»229

Редакционная статья

Метафилософия: история и перспективы

Васильев Вадим Валерьевич – доктор философских наук, профессор.

Московский государственный университет им. М.В. Ломоносова.

Российская Федерация, 119991, г. Москва, Ленинские горы, д. 1.

e-mail: vadim.v.vasilyev@
gmail.com

Изображение32

В статье рассматривается предыстория современных метафилософских исследований и дается обзор наиболее важных направлений последних. Обсуждается понимание философии классическими и неклассическими авторами и очерчивается траектория метафилософских дискуссий в аналитической философии. Показано, что активизация метафилософских исследований в аналитической традиции объясняется поисками новой идентичности аналитической философии после разочарования в «лингвистическом повороте», критики У. Куайном и его последователями различных аспектов метода концептуального анализа и расширением предметного поля исследований. Оценивается роль Т. Уильямсона в новейших метафилософских исследованиях. Рассматривается его книга «Занимаясь философией» (2018), главные идеи которой излагаются им в статье «Кабинетная философия», опубликованной в этом номере журнала. Показано, что исследования Уильямсона подчеркивают значимость выбора между растворением философских методов в методологии экспериментальных наук и обоснованием правомерности кабинетной философии, перед которым стоят современные философы.

Ключевые слова: метафилософия, философия философии, экспериментальная философия, метафизика, кабинетная философия, концептуальный анализ

Metaphilosophy: History and Perspectives

Vadim V. Vasilyev – DSc
in Philosophy, professor.

Lomonosov Moscow State University.

1 Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation.

e-mail: vadim.v.vasilyev@
gmail.com

 

In this paper I discuss a prehistory of the recent metaphilosophical research and provide an overview of its most important areas. I review the ways of understanding of philosophy by the authors of the Early Modernity and contemporary continental philosophers and outline a trajectory of metaphilosophical discussions in analytic philosophy of 20th century. I try to show that the recent surge of metaphilosophy research in it could be explained by a search for a new identity of analytic philosophy after wide disappointment in the “linguistic turn,” as well as after criticism of Quine and his followers of various aspects of the common method of conceptual analysis, and expansion of the field of inquiry. I argue that contemporary analytic philosophy is much closer to the classical and modern tradition than to the early analytic philosophy. And the most important question for contemporary metaphilosophers seems to be a question about possible substitutes of an old-fashioned conceptual analysis. Some authors propose to get rid of armchair methods at all and follow experimental line of research. This, however, could be destructive to the philosophy as a separate discipline. That’s why it is important to pay utmost attention to those philosophers who try to save armchair philosophy. As Timothy Williamson is one of the most interesting authors working in this vein, I asses his role in the recent metaphilosophical research. I give a brief review of

© Васильев В.В.

Метафилософия: история и перспективы

 

Изображение34

 

his book “Doing Philosophy” (2018) and draw attention to the fact that its main ideas are briefly expressed in his paper “Armchair Philosophy”, published in this issue of the journal. I claim that the importance of Timothy Williamson’s work is best explained by its role in realizing that philosophers now have to make a hard choice between dissolving philosophical methodology in methods of experimental sciences and trying to find way of justification of armchair philosophy.

Keywords: metaphilosophy, philosophy of philosophy, experimental philosophy, metaphysics, armchair philosophy, conceptual analysis

Этот выпуск журнала посвящен метафилософским дискуссиям. Слово «метафилософия» пока не очень привычно российским философам, хотя сам этот термин употреблялся еще в начале XIX в. кантианцем К.Л. Рейнгольдом [Reinhold, 1803, S. 208], а в 2010 г. академик Т.И. Ойзерман опубликовал обстоятельную монографию с таким названием [Ойзерман, 2010]. Между тем эта дисциплина в ее современном понимании обсуждает различные аспекты вопроса, с которым многие из нас знакомы с университетской скамьи. Вопрос этот в самом общем виде звучит так: «Что такое философия?» В студенческие годы, в конце 80-х – начале 90-х гг., и сам я часто слышал его, обычно при обсуждении научности этой дисциплины. Участники этих споров могли горячо отстаивать ненаучность философии, как будто ненаучность – это достоинство. Впрочем, такие слова воспринимались многими как вызов господствовавшему в советские времена диалектическому материализму, для которого было характерно понимание философии как науки о «наиболее общих принципах и законах бытия и познания» [Мысливченко, Шептулин, 1988, с. 11]. Восходящий к трудам К. Маркса и Ф. Энгельса диалектический материализм был многим обязан также спекулятивному идеализму Г.В.Ф. Гегеля. Но Гегель пытался дедуцировать подобные законы из чистого спекулятивного разума, тогда как марксистские философы делали упор на практику, а значит на опыт. При этом они редко обсуждали вопрос об эпистемическом статусе универсальных законов бытия и познания, не желая признавать их гипотетическую природу (что выглядело бы логичным при допущении их эмпирической базы) и не видя путей избежать этого [см., напр., Мысливченко, Шептулин, 1988, с. 136, 138; Бессонов, 1989, с. 259].

Стоит, впрочем, отметить, что не все сторонники диалектического материализма соглашались с таким пониманием философии. Т.И. Ойзерман в упомянутой выше работе, к примеру, отвергает эту трактовку, хотя и причисляет себя к диалектическим материалистам [Ойзерман, 2014, с. 245‒246]. Он понимает философию как совокупность мировоззренческих убеждений по фундаментальным вопросам, имеющим то или иное аксиологическое измерение [Ойзерман, 2014, c. 76; см. также Богомолов, Ойзерман, 1983, c. 62]. Это понимание он подкрепляет

Изображение37

 

В.В. Васильев

метафилософским анализом. Оригинальность подхода Ойзермана, развивающего идеи М. Геру [см. Кротов, 2017], но полемизирующего с его плюралистическим восприятием истории философии, состоит в своеобразном совмещении метафилософских и историко-философских изысканий [Ойзерман, 2015, с. 24]. Такое решение объясняется тем, что предметом как истории философии, так и метафи­лософии является философия. Можно, конечно, возразить, что эти дисциплины обсуждают данный предмет по-разному: история философии позволяет понять, чем когда-то была философия, а метафилософия проясняет, чем она является сейчас или чем она должна быть. К тому же историк философии занимается скорее конкретными философами, а не философией как таковой, не идеей философии в отличие от метафилософа. Впрочем, на это можно ответить, что метафилософ в любом случае не может обойтись без эмпирического материала, даже если он рассуждает о философии в нормативном ключе. А история философии как раз и поставляет такой материал, помогающий увидеть за частностями философских теорий некие сущностные черты, которые нужны метафилософу для нормативных рассуждений о философии, для рассуждений о том, какой она должна быть.

Вернемся, однако, к спорам о научности философии в советский период. Противники диалектического материализма нередко искали ориентиры во французской философии середины XX века. Французские мыслители того времени тоже были озабочены метафилософскими темами. Истоки их озабоченности были связаны с тем, что эти авторы в большей или меньшей степени порывали с классической философской традицией, пробовали новые пути и, соответственно, искали свою новую идентичность. Знаменитая работа Ж. Делеза и Ф. Гваттари «Что такое философия?» лучше всего иллюстрирует такие поиски, а позиция ее авторов, трактующих философию как «искусство формировать, изобретать, изготавливать концепты» [Делез, Гваттари, 2009, с. 6] явно идет вразрез с ее классическим пониманием.

Французская философия середины XX в. была самой крупной ветвью «континентальной философии» и произрастала в основном из идей М. Хайдеггера. Именно этот философ более всего ответствен за успешное закрепление в философском пространстве последнего столетия стилистики неклассического, или континентального, философствования. Неудивительно, что и сам он размышлял о природе философии и философствования. Как и многие другие континентальные философы, он не разделял научного видения философии. Скорее, он считал ее поэтическим делом, которое может выводить нас в просвет подлинного бытия [Хайдеггер, 1993; с. 192]. Интуиции Хайдеггера повлияли на самых разных философов, от Ж.П. Сартра до М.К. Мамардашвили и В.В. Бибихина [Мамардашвили, 1992, с. 30; Бибихин, 2007, с. 243‒245, 332, 374].

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Классическая философская традиция, между тем, успешно пережила кризисные времена, охватившие целое столетие с середины XIX в. В наши дни эту традицию продолжает самое мощное философское движение современности – «аналитическая философия». Впрочем, аналитическая философия начиналась во многом с критики классической философии, и ее основатели – Дж.Э. Мур, Б. Рассел и Л. Витгенштейн – считали себя скорее революционерами, чем консерваторами. Через сто лет, однако, стало очевидным, что их революционный пыл был направлен лишь на некоторых классических предшественников этих мыслителей. Ядро же аналитической программы, как оказалось, хорошо сочетается с классической философией.

Классические философы – Платон, Аристотель, Декарт, Юм, Кант и др. – разумеется, не игнорировали вопрос о природе философии. И многовековые дискуссии сформировали некое подобие консенсуса в ее понимании. Не стоит, конечно, забывать, что само слово «философия» употреблялось порой очень широко, и при обсуждении трактовок философии классическими мыслителями под философией обычно подразумевается «первая философия», или метафизика. И указанный консенсус касался прежде всего нее. Под метафизикой в эпоху ее расцвета в XVII и XVIII вв. понимали науку, включавшую в себя онтологию, т. е. науку о самых общих характеристиках сущего и первых принципах познания (ее именовали также «общей мета­физикой», metaphysica generalis), рациональную психологию, общую космологию и естественную теологию [Baumgarten, 1763, pp. 1‒2]. Три последние дисциплины составляли «частную метафизику», metaphysica specialis. Внутри этих дисциплин обсуждались такие фундаментальные темы, как вопрос об основных структурных компонентах сущего (субстанциях, модусах, отношениях и т. п.), природа и границы человеческого познания, природа сознания и проблема взаимодействия души и тела, свобода воли и моральная ответственность, вопрос о сущности материи и границах физической реальности, а также доказательства бытия Бога и отношение Бога к миру и человеку.

Все перечисленные проблемы рассматривались в научном ключе. Метафизики Нового времени стремились к строгости и доказательности своих теорий. Нельзя при этом сказать, что они исполь­зовали единообразные методы. Какие-то классические философы, к примеру Декарт или Спиноза, отдавали предпочтение дедуктивной методологии, выстраивая метафизику по образцу математики, какие-то, в частности Лейбниц и Вольф, осознанно прибегали к мета­физическим гипотезам (таким как гипотеза предустановленной гармонии между душой и телом). Были и такие, которые пытались построить «истинную метафизику» по образцу экспериментального естествознания. Это прежде всего Д. Юм. Можно встретить и тех, кто, подобно И. Канту или Г.В.Ф. Гегелю, искали для философии какую-то новую методологию. Но еще раз стоит подчеркнуть, что

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этих мыслителей объединяло понимание философии как более или менее строгой науки.

Именно это обстоятельство роднило с классическими философами основателей аналитической традиции. Первые аналитики, впрочем, негативно относились ко многим разделам традиционной метафизики. И они резонно полагали, что проблемы этой дисциплины были связаны с какими-то дефектами в ее методологии. Из таких соображений выросла знаменитая лингвистическая программа ранних аналитических философов. Путь к оздоровлению философии, к ее избавлению от старого метафизического балласта лежит, уверяли они, в области анализа высказываний. Одним из самых эффективных приемов такого рода они считали сведение абстрактных теоретических конструкций к базовым «протокольным предложениям», фиксирующим опытные данности. Этот прием получил название метода верификации. Не подлежащие верификации высказывания объявлялись бессмысленными. Сведением к бессмыслице ранние аналитики пытались бороться не только с традиционной метафизикой, но и с новыми подходами Хайдеггера [Карнап, 1998]. Вскоре, однако, выяснилось, что метод верификации проблематичен, что при широкой трактовке верифицируемости верифицируемым оказывается всё, а при узкой из числа верифицируемых положений выпадают, к примеру, формулировки всеобщих законов природы [Soames, 2003, pp. 271‒299]. Кризис верификационизма размывал лингвистическую идеологию ранней аналитической философии и заставлял усомниться в правомерности критики первыми аналитиками ряда областей традиционной метафизики. Постепенно это привело к возрождению интереса аналитической философии к широкому кругу привычных метафизических проблем. В последние десятилетия количество интересных работ по онтологии и эпистемологии, по проблемам сознания и свободы воли и даже по философской теологии резко возросло. Большинство современных аналитиков, между тем, чувствуют себя преемниками первых аналитических философов. Но от них, конечно, не могут ускользнуть те глубокие изменения, которые произошли за это время с аналитической философией. Она явно стала другой. И эти изменения заслуживают серьезного анализа. По сути, речь идет о поисках новой идентичности аналитической философии. Эти поиски роднят ее с аналогичными, но более ранними разысканиями континентальных мыслителей. А актуализация проблемы идентичности философии не может не сопровождаться актуализацией вопроса «Что такое философия?». И мы видим, что в последнее время аналитические философы все чаще пишут об этом. Развитие этой области исследований предполагает и закрепление за ней какого-то названия. Главным кандидатом оказывается термин «метафилософия». И хотя он не вызывает всеобщего одобрения – некоторые предпочитают говорить о «философии философии» [см. об этом

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Overgaard, Gilbert, Burwood, 2013, pp. 10], – его достоинства перекрывают его недостатки, и прежде всего тот его проблематичный аспект, что название «метафилософия» наводит на мысль, будто сама эта дисциплина не является философской. В самом деле, «мета-химики» едва ли ставили бы химические эксперименты, а «метафизика», как мы понимаем, никоим образом не может быть названа одним из разделов физики. Но метафилософия кажется философской дисциплиной. И все-таки не стоит преувеличивать значимости этой проблемы: с оговорками термин «метафилософия» можно использовать.

Но в каком же направлении идут поиски новой идентичности аналитической философии? Объективно, напомню, новейшая аналитическая философия сближается с классической философской тра­дицией, для которой характерно понимание метафизического ядра философии как совокупности дисциплин, в которых доказательно обсуждаются фундаментальные мировоззренческие проблемы, от природы человеческого сознания до существования Бога. И если мы проанализируем репрезентативные метафилософские тексты последнего времени, то мы увидим, что именно такая интерпретация природы философии выходит в них на первый план [см., напр., Overgaard, Gilbert, Burwood, 2013, pp. 21‒22]. Но нельзя не заметить, что она дается аналитическим авторам не без труда. Причины их затруднений можно уяснить, приняв во внимание ряд обстоятельств. Во-первых, зачастую они проводят свои изыскания, учитывая не только аналитическую, но и континентальную традицию. И это можно понять. Ведь их интересует общий вопрос: что такое философия? Едва ли можно отвечать на него, игнорируя континентальных мыслителей. Но если не игнорировать их, обозначенное выше понимание нельзя будет толковать как изображение фактического положения дел. В лучшем случае его надо будет интерпретировать в нормативном ключе. А это создает дополнительные трудности, так как нор­мативные дискурсы предполагают отсылки к ценностям, но неясно, почему эпистемические ценности (которые можно связать со стандартными приемами и методами аналитиков) должны быть выше художественных (которые культивирует континентальная мысль). Во-вторых, сближение с классической традицией предполагает изменение устоявшегося отношения аналитических философов к истории философии. Хотя представление о резком неприятии ранними аналитическими философами историко-философских исследований [Preston, 2007, p. 29, 74], несомненно, является мифом (хотя бы потому, что основатели этого движения, Дж.Э. Мур и Б. Рассел, были в том числе и историками философии: Мур защитил две диссертации по учению о свободе воли у Канта [Moore, 2011, pp. 1‒94, 115‒242], а Рассел еще за полвека до своей «Истории западной философии» написал монографию по философии Лейбница [Russell, 2005]; первое изд. 1900 г.), в целом ранние аналитики, и правда, не очень

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интересовались ею. Оправданием их безразличия была их уверенность в том, что они занимаются чем-то принципиально иным. Но постепенно картина самовосприятия аналитических философов изменилась. Измениться должно было и их отношение к истории философии. От старых привычек, однако, непросто избавиться.

Но самая большая проблема, стоящая перед новейшими аналитическими метафилософами, связана с утратой аналитической традицией четких методологических ориентиров. Ранние аналитики придавали большое значение анализу высказываний. Философские исследования, считали они, должны начинаться с вопроса: что вы хотитите этим сказать? Понятно, что такой вопрос можно адресовать лишь каким-то другим людям, в том числе и прежде всего философам. Такое понимание философского метода неявно предполагает, что предшествующие мыслители не задавали подобных вопросов и поэтому запутались в своих теориях. Задавая же их, мы сможем распутать их затруднения. Причем для этого не надо будет обращаться к самим вещам. Философские трудности заключены не в мире, а в том, как мы осмысляем этот мир. Поэтому и разрешить их можно прояснением наших мыслей, кабинетным концептуальным анализом [см., напр., Moore, 1942, p. 14].

Трудность, однако, в том, что концептуальный анализ подвергался в последние десятилетия критике. Все началось со статьи У. Куайна «Две догмы эмпиризма», где проблематизировалось различение аналитических и синтетических положений [Куайн, 2000, с. 342‒367]. Аналитические положения (или суждения) традиционно понимались как утверждения, проясняющие наши понятия, синтетические – как расширяющие их. Синтетические истины поставляются нам опытом и экспериментами, аналитические же могут добываться априори, в кабинетной тиши. Куайн, однако, показывал, что у нас нет оснований допускать существование содержательных аналитических истин, так как на деле они скрывают в себе тот или иной опытный синтез.

Критика Куайна имела большие метафилософские последствия. Концептуальный анализ вышел из моды. Аналитические философы стали в большей степени ориентироваться на экспериментальные науки, либо толкуя их результаты (образцовым исследователем такого плана является Н. Блок [Block, 2007]), либо пытаясь указывать науке какие-то ориентиры в передовых областях (здесь в первую очередь вспоминаются труды Д. Деннета [см., напр., Dennett, 1991]). В последние годы эмпирический крен аналитической философии был усилен новой программой «экспериментальной философии». Экспериментальные философы предлагают философам уже не только толковать результаты, полученные другими экспериментальными учеными, но и самим ставить эксперименты. Вдумавшись в идеи экспериментальных философов, мы, однако, заметим, что они, по сути,

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предлагают провести демонтаж философии как самостоятельной дисциплины. Толковательные аспекты философии могут стать составными компонентами конкретных наук.

Неудивительно, что некоторые аналитические философы восстали против экспериментальной философии. Но успех этого восстания невозможен без убедительного решения методологических, т. е. метафилософских проблем. Вектор подобных решений в целом ясен: философам надо показать достоинства кабинетной философии и подтвердить ее претензии на самостоятельность. При этом надо так или иначе реформировать традиционный метод концептуального анализа. Даже если куайновская критика и может быть нейтрализована, в изначальном виде он не кажется каким-то мощным инструментом: прояснение словесных конструкций едва ли может способствовать решению фундаментальных метафизических проблем, которыми вновь увлечены аналитические философы. Ведь эти проблемы связаны не со словами, а с вещами, с миром в широком смысле, в устройстве которого хотели разобраться метафизики с времен Платона.

Попытки защитить кабинетную философию от угроз экспериментальной философии предпринимаются самыми разными аналитическими философами, но трудно отрицать, что наибольший вклад в обсуждение этих вопросов внес оксфордский логик и философ Тимоти Уильямсон (р. 1955). Получивший известность своими исследованиями по эпистемологии (по итогам недавнего опроса британского журнала Philosophy Now Уильямсон вошел в тройку самых значимых из ныне здравствующих философов, наряду с С. Крипке и Д. Чалмерсом), в частности изучением феномена неопределенности понятий и уточнением дефиниции понятия знания, он распространил свои интересы и на метафилософию. Именно он является автором статьи для панельной дискуссии в этом номере журнала. Статья Уильямсона иллюстрирует реализацию некоторых пунктов его большой программы переосмысления методов кабинетной философии. В более полном виде она рассматривается в двух монографиях этого автора: «Философия философии» [Williamson, 2007] и «Занимаясь философией» [Williamson, 2018]. Эти книги отличаются друг от друга своими подходами к изложению материала (первая имеет гораздо более технический характер) и широтой охвата (вторая предлагает гораздо более масштабную палитру приемов). Сам Уильямсон рекомендует использовать «Философию философии» для детализации некоторых идей, высказанных в книге «Занимаясь философией». Так что же мы видим в этой книге?

«Занимаясь философией» – это развернутый ответ на вопрос «Что такое философия?». Уильямсон обсуждает соотношение философии и здравого смысла, философии и истории философии, экспериментальную философию и концептуальный анализ, мысленные эксперименты, дедуктивные и абдуктивные приемы в философии

Изображение49

 

В.В. Васильев

и ее междисциплинарные аспекты. Перечисленные темы выглядят достаточно разнородными, но это не мозаичное собрание эссе. Ведь по итогам прочтения книги у читателей формируется цельный образ философии. Важная его часть – приземленность. Философия должна отталкиваться от здравого смысла и сверяться с ним. При этом она больше похожа на математику, чем на экспериментальное естествознание. Этот тезис нужен Уильямсону, чтобы провести мысль о возможности кабинетной философии. Кабинетная дисциплина вполне может быть наукой: никто ведь не отрицает научности математики, кабинетность которой не вызывает сомнений. И почему так не может быть с философией? [Williamson, 2018, p. 4] Конечно, математика более зрелая наука, чем философия. Зато философия более критична. Об этом, по мнению Уильямсона, свидетельствует не только то, что ее естественной средой обитания являются споры и дискуссии, но и увлеченность многих философов историей философии. Он свя­зывает такую увлеченность со стремлением философов взглянуть на себя со стороны, из контекста других эпох, – чтобы лучше понять предпосылки современных дискуссий и подвергнуть их критическому анализу. Впрочем, хотя перепроверка собственных оснований – важное дело, не надо забывать, считает он, и о построении на этих основаниях новых теорий. И здесь, по его мнению, предстоит еще немало сделать для прояснения методологических принципов их создания. Традиционные методы кабинетной философии – концептуальный анализ, дедукция и мысленные эксперименты – не лишены проблем. Наименее перспективным из этих методов Уильямсон считает концептуальный анализ. Вслед за Куайном он сомневается в существовании чисто концептуальных истин [Williamson, 2018, p. 47]. Кроме того, концептуальный анализ ведет нас к подобию словарных дефиниций, но философы хотят создавать теории об устройстве мира, а не определять термины. Если говорить о дедукциях, то в философии их можно использовать для объяснений и для выведения следствий из уже имеющихся теорий, но они едва ли могут приводить к их созданию. Более мощным инструментом для создания и отбраковки теорий могут быть мысленные эксперименты. Уильямсон убедительно показывает, что расхожая критика мысленных экспериментов безосновательна. Мысленные эксперименты иногда упрекают в экстравагантности. Но ведь они завязаны на представление гипотетических ситуаций, а визуализация гипотетического хода событий – обычная практика повседневной жизни. Кроме того, мысленные эксперименты хорошо зарекомендовали себя в других областях науки. Что же касается критики мысленных экспериментов со стороны экспериментальных философов, экспериментально подкреплявших ее данными о том, что многие из них опираются на предвзятые интуиции кабинетных философов, то Уильямсон уверяет, что их громкие заявления были следствием плохо поставленных опытов

Метафилософия: история и перспективы

 

Изображение50

и не подтвердились проверками, проведенными профессиональными психологами [Williamson, 2018, p. 64]. В известном смысле этого и можно было ожидать.

Между тем, Уильямсон вовсе не считает мысленные эксперименты лучшим методом кабинетной философии. Философы, опирающиеся на них, склонны умножать их число, корректировать одни из них другими и т. д., что приводит к переусложнению их теорий [Williamson, 2018, p. 81]. А ведь простота является одним из главных критериев предпочтения конкурирующих идей. Поскольку метод мысленных экспериментов ведет к усложнению теорий, он нуждается в балансировке.

Но чем можно дополнить и уравновесить мысленные эксперименты при построении философских теорий? Уильямсон дает понять, что знает ответ на этот вопрос. И этот ответ: моделирование. Теоретические модели – это чаще всего абстрактные объекты, описывающие соотносительные изменения каких-то параметров. Чем строже такие описания, тем интереснее кабинетно «играть» с моделью. Модель не стремится к полному соответствию с реальностью. Она пытается выделить ее сущностные черты. Насыщенность реальности информационным шумом, делающим маловероятным отыскание таких высокоуровневых универсальных законов, которые опи­сывали бы все нюансы того или иного типа объектов, как раз и заставляет ученых прибегать к моделям в тех областях науки, где рассматриваются разного рода сложные системы. К числу таких систем, несомненно, относится и человек. Поскольку же, по Уильямсону, философия по большей части говорит о человеке, метод построения моделей вполне может подходить ко многим ее разделам.

Важной особенностью метода построения моделей является его устойчивость к контрпримерам. Модели не боятся контрпримеров, так как они изначально допускают их, не стремясь к точному воспроизведению реальности [Williamson, 2018, p. 138‒139]. Это снижает значение мысленных экспериментов, хорошо работающих при отыскании контрпримеров. Выбор же между конкурирующими моделями осуществляется по критерию простоты, абдукцией к лучшему объяснению. Подобные приемы, отмечает Уильямсон, встречаются не только в естествознании, но и в математике при оценке предпочтительности той или иной аксиоматики. Поэтому они совместимы с образом кабинетной философии [Williamson, 2018, p. 91]. Уильямсон находит прецеденты такого метода в недавней истории философии, указывая, в частности, на семантические модели Р. Карнапа. Вместе с тем он подчеркивает, что этот метод до сих пор мало обсуждался, и дает понять, что он видит в нем будущее философии [Williamson, 2018, p. 140].

Рассуждения Уильямсона о построении моделей завершают основную часть его ответа на вопрос «Что такое философия?» в книге

Изображение53

 

В.В. Васильев

«Занимаясь философией», причем здесь он трансформируется в нормативный вопрос «Какой должна быть философия?». Именно раздел о построении моделей является, таким образом, главной теоретической конструкцией его метафилософского проекта. Неудивительно поэтому, что именно эта тема выходит на первый план при рас­смотрении перспектив кабинетной философии в статье, написанной Уильямсоном для панельной дискуссии в этом номере журнала. Особенности его статьи и реакций на нее других участников будут рассмотрены в послесловии к дискуссии, эту же статью я завершу констатацией, что современная философия находится на очередном перекрестке своей истории. Пойдет ли она по пути дальнейшего сближения с экспериментальными дисциплинами и растворения в них или найдет ресурсы для сохранения своего уникального кабинетного статуса? Вопрос остается открытым.

Список литературы

Бессонов, 1989 – Диалектический материализм / Под ред. Б.Н. Бессонова. М.: Наука, 1989. 398 с.

Бибихин, 2007 – Бибихин В.В. Язык философии. СПб.: Наука, 2007. 389 с.

Богомолов, Ойзерман, 1983 – Богомолов А.С., Ойзерман Т.И. Основы тео­рии историко-философского процесса. М.: Наука, 1983. 288 c.

Делез, Гваттари, 2009 – Делез Ж., Гваттари Ф. Что такое философия. М.: Академический проект, 2009. 261 с.

Карнап – Карнап Р. Преодоление метафизики логическим анализом языка // Аналитическая философия: Становление и развитие. М.: Дом интеллектуальной книги, 1998. С. 69‒89.

Кротов, 2017 – Кротов А.А. Архитектоника и доказательства (теория фило­софии Марсиаля Геру) // Вестник Московского университета. Серия 7: Фило­софия. 2017. № 3. С. 3‒17.

Куайн, 2000 – Куайн У.В.О. Две догмы эмпиризма // Куайн У.В.О. Слово и объект. М.: Логос, 2000. С. 342‒367.

Мамардашвили, 1992 – Мамардашвили М.К. Как я понимаю философию. 2-е изд. М.: Прогресс, 1992. 408 с.

Мысливченко, Шептулин, 1988 – Мысливченко А. Г., Шептулин А. П. (ред). Диалектический и исторический материализм. 2-е изд. М.: Политиздат, 1988. 446 с.

Ойзерман, 2014 – Ойзерман Т.И. Метафилософия (теория историко-фило­софского процесса) // Ойзерман Т.И. Избранные труды в 5 т. Т. 5 / Сост. И.Т. Касавин. М.: Наука, 2014.

Хайдеггер, 1993 – Хайдеггер М. Время и бытие. М.: Республика, 1993. 445 с.

Baumgarten, 1763 – Baumgarten, A. Metaphysica. Ed. 5. Halae Magdeburgicae: Impensis Carol. Herman. Hemmerde, 1763. 432 pp.

Block, 2007 – Block, N. Consciousness, Function, and Representation. Collected Papers. Vol. 1. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2007. 636 pp.

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Dennett, 1991 – Dennett, D. Consciousness Explained. N.Y.: Back Bay Books, 1991. 511 pp.

Knobe, Nichols, 2008 – Knobe, J.; Nichols, S. An Experimental Philosophy Manifesto // Experimental Philosophy / Ed. by Knobe, J. & Nichols, S. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2008. P. 3‒14.

Moore, 1942 – Moore, G.E. An Autobiography // Philosophy of G.E. Moore / Ed. by Schilpp P. A. Evanston and Chicago: Northwestern University, 1942. P. 3‒39.

Moore, 2011 – Moore G.E. Early Philosophical Writings / Ed. by T. Baldwin & C. Preti. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011. 251 pp.

Overgaard, Gilbert, Burwood, 2013 – Overgaard, S.; Gilbert, P.; Burwood, S. An Introduction to Metaphilosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013. 240 pp.

Preston, 2007 – Preston, A. Analytic Philosophy: The History of Illusion. London: Continuum, 2007. 190 pp.

Reinhold, 1803 – Reinhold, K.L. Beyträge zur leichtern Übersicht des Zustandes der Philosophie beym Anfange des 19 Jahrhunderts. Heft 6. Hamburg: bei Friedrich Perthes, 1803. 250 S.

Russell, 2005 – Russell, B. A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. London: Routledge, 2005. 383 pp.

Soames, 2003 – Soames, S. Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century. Vol. 1. The Dawn of Analysis. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2003. 411 pp.

Stoljar, 2017 – Stoljar, D. Philosophical Progress: In Defence of a Reasonable Optimism. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2017. 192 pp.

Williamson, 2007 – Williamson, T. The Philosophy of Philosophy. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2007. 332 pp.

Williamson, 2018 – Williamson, T. Doing Philosophy: From Common Curiosity to Logical Reasoning. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2018. 176 pp.

References

Baumgarten, A. Metaphysica. Ed. 5. Halae Magdeburgicae: Impensis Carol. Herman. Hemmerde, 1763, 432 pp.

Bessonov, B.N. (ed.) Dialekticheskiy materializm [Dialectical Materialism]. Moscow: Nauka,1989, 398 pp. (In Russian)

Bibikhin, V.V. Yazyk filosofii [Language of Philosophy]. Saint Petersburg: Nauka, 2007, 389 pp. (In Russian)

Block, N. “Consciousness, Function, and Representation”, in: Block, N. Col­lected Papers, vol. 1. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2007, 636 pp.

Bogomolov A.S., Oizerman T.I. Osnovy teorii istoriko-filosofskogo processa [Theory of Historico-philosophical Process in Outline]. Moscow: Nauka, 1983, 288 pp. (In Russian)

Carnap, R. “Preodoleniye metafiziki logicheskim analizom yazyka” [The Elimi­nation of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language], in: Gryaznov, A.F. (ed.) Analiticheskaya filosofiya: Stanovleniye i razvitiye [Analytic Philosophy: Origins and Development], Moscow: Dom intellektualnoy knigi, 1998, pp. 69‒89. (In Russian)

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Эпистемология и философия науки

2019. Т. 56. № 2. С. 19–25

УДК 101.2

Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 19–25

DOI: 10.5840/eps201956223

Deleuze, G. & Guattari, F. Chto takoye filosofiya [What is Philosophy?]. Mos­cow: Akademicheskiy proyekt, 2009, 261 pp. (In Russian)

Dennett, D. Consciousness Explained. New York: Back Bay Books, 1991, 511 pp.

Heidegger, M. Vremya i bytiye [Time and Being]. Moscow: Respublika, 1993, 445 pp. (In Russian)

Knobe, J.; Nichols, S. “An Experimental Philosophy Manifesto”, in: Knobe, J. & Nichols, S. (eds). Experimental Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 3‒14.

Krotov, A.A. “Arhitektonika i dokazatel'stva (teoriya filosofii Marsialya Geru)” [Architectonics and Arguments (Martial Gueroult’s Theory of Philosophy)], Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Seriya 7: Filosofiya, 2017, no. 3, pp. 3‒17. (In Russian)

Mamardashvili, M.K. Kak ya ponimayu filosofiyu [How Do I Understand Philo­sophy?], 2nd ed. Moscow: Progress, 1992, 408 pp. (In Russian)

Moore, G.E. “An Autobiography”, in: Schilpp, P.A. (ed). Philosophy of G. E. Moore. Evanston and Chicago: Northwestern University, 1942, pp. 3‒39.

Moore, G.E.; T. Baldwin & C. Preti (eds.). Early Philosophical Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, 251 pp.

Myslivchenko, A.G. & Sheptulin, A.P. (eds). Dialekticheskiy i istoricheskiy materializm [Dialectical and Historical Materialism], 2nd ed. Moscow; Politizdat, 1988, 446 pp. (In Russian)

Oizerman, T.I. “Metafilosofiya (teoriya istoriko-filosofskogo processa)” [Meta­philosophy (Theory of the Historico-philosophical Process)], in: Oizerman T.I.; I.T. Kasavin (ed.). Izbrannye trudy [Selected Writings in 5 vols.], vol. 5, Moscow: Nauka, 2014. (In Russian)

Overgaard, S., Gilbert, P. & Burwood, S. An Introduction to Metaphilosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, 240 pp.

Preston, A. Analytic Philosophy: The History of Illusion. London: Continuum, 2007, 190 pp.

Quine, W.V.O. “Dve dogmy empirizma” [Two Dogmas of Empiricism], in: Quine W. V. O. Slovo i obyekt [Word and Object], Moscow: Logos, 2000, pp. 342‒367. (In Russian)

Reinhold, K.L. Beyträge zur leichtern Übersicht des Zustandes der Philosophie beym Anfange des 19 Jahrhunderts. Heft 6. Hamburg: bei Friedrich Perthes, 1803, 250 S.

Russell, B.A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. London: Routledge, 2005, 383 pp.

Soames, S. Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century, vol. 1. The Dawn of Analysis. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003, 411 pp.

Stoljar, D. Philosophical Progress: In Defence of a Reasonable Optimism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 192 pp.

Williamson, T. Doing Philosophy: From Common Curiosity to Logical Rea­soning. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 176 pp.

Williamson, T. The Philosophy of Philosophy. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2007, 332 pp.

Панельная дискуссия

Armchair Philosophy

Timothy Williamson – PhD, Wykeham Professor of Logic.

Oxford University,
New College.

Holywell St., Oxford OX1 3BN, UK.

e-mail: Timothy.williamson@
philosophy.ox.ac.uk

Изображение60

 

The article presents an anti-exceptionalist view of philosophical methodology, on which it is much closer to the methodology of other disciplines than many philosophers like to think. Like mathematics, it is a science, but not a natural science. Its methods are notprimarily experimental, though it can draw on the results of natural science. Likefoundational mathematics, its methods are abductive as well as deductive. As in the natural sciences, much progress in philosophy consists in the construction of better models rather than in the discovery of new laws. We should not worry about whether philosophy is a priori or a posteriori, because the distinction is epistemologically superficial.

Keywords: Armchair philosophy, experimental philosophy, a priori, a posteriori, abduction, model-building, philosophical methodology, thought experiments

Кабинетная философия

Тимоти Уильямсон – доктор философии, профессор.

Оксфордский университет.

Holywell St., Оксфорд OX1 3BN, Великобритания.

e-mail: Timothy.williamson@
philosophy.ox.ac.uk

 

В этой статье автор выступает против исключительного статуса философской методологии.  Он полагает, что философская методология имеет значительно больше сходств с методологией других дисциплин, чем думают философы. Как и математика, философия – наука, однако не естественная наука. Философский метод не является экспериментальным, хотя он и опирается на результаты естественно-научного познания. Как и в фундаментальной математике, методы в философии могут быть абдуктивными и дедуктивными. Так же, как в естественных науках, прогресс в философии в большей степени связан с построением лучших моделей, чем с открытием новых законов. Автор считает, что нам не следует беспокоиться о том, является ли философское знание априорным или апостериорным, поскольку это различие, с эпистемологической точки зрения, существует лишь на поверхности.

Ключевые слова: кабинетная философия, экспериментальная философия, apriori, aposteriori, абдукция, построение моделей, философская методология, мысленный эксперимент

The phrase ‘armchair philosophy’ is currently used, often pejoratively, to describe philosophy done in the supposedly traditional a priori way, by contrast with philosophy that learns from real-life experiments, performed either by natural scientists or by philosophers themselves. A video of a burning armchair was displayed on a website for the x-phi

© Timothy Williamson

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Timothy Williamson

(‘experimental philosophy’) movement, suggesting that philosophers should stop theorizing from their armchairs about how the world must be, and instead go and observe how it actually is. In particular, according to some proponents of x-phi, if philosophers want to argue from what ‘we’ would say about various hypothetical scenarios in thought experiments, they should first find out what statistically significant numbers of laypeople actually do say about those scenarios. That echoes a much earlier survey-based inquiry by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss (1938) into the lay understanding of philosophically significant terms of ordinary language, later invoked as a reproof to ordinary language philosophy.

Confusingly, the talk of armchairs goes back to the Oxford philosopher J.L. Austin’s classic case for ordinary language philosophy, which he contrasted with a less firmly grounded style of do-it-yourself armchair theorizing [Austin, 1956‒57]:

our common stock of words embodies all the distinctions men have found worth drawing, and the connexions they have found worth making, in the lifetimes of many generations: these surely are likely to be more numerous, more sound, since they have stood up to the long test of the survival of the fittest, and more subtle, at least in all ordinary and reasonably practical matters, than any that you or I are likely to think up in our arm-chairs of an afternoon – the most favoured alternative method.

This methodological attitude to distinctions in ordinary language can be traced back from Austin to the Oxford realist John Cook Wilson, who wrote: ‘Distinctions current in language can never be safely neglected’ [Wilson, 1926, p. 46].

For Austin, armchair philosophers ignore the distinctions made by ordinary language, available in the armchair but shaped, calibrated, and tested by centuries of experience beyond it. For an x-phi critic, armchair philosophers apply those distinctions, but without checking whether they do so with ethnic, gender, or other bias. However, many experimental philosophers do not subscribe to that ‘negative programme’; they regard x-phi as a valuable complement to the armchair, not a rival. Early experimental results supporting charges of ethnic and gender bias have generally not been repeated under improved standards of experimental method ([Sytsma and Buckwalter, 2016] surveys the state of play in x-phi; Alexander 2012 is an introduction). To that limited extent, the methodology of ordinary language philosophy has been vindicated. But, of course, even if a particular verdict on a thought experiment is a human universal – for instance, in the philosophy of perception, if everyone agrees that the subject sees a tree in such-and-such circumstances – that would not show the verdict to be correct. Some innate human bias might favour a false verdict.

Such concerns are liable to degenerate into a more generic scepticism. For our verdicts on thought experiments are really just judgments about

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hypothetical scenarios, in effect counterfactual conditionals: ‘If that scenario were to obtain, the subject would (not) see the tree’. There is no reason to expect our unreflective assessments of such conditionals to use different cognitive mechanisms from those used in assessing similar counterfactual conditionals outside philosophy. From an evolutionary perspective, we often need to be reliable in assessing conditionals, for otherwise we will make too many mistakes when choosing between options (‘Would the outcome be better if I chose option A than if I chose option B?’). The epistemology of thought experiments is an unintended by-product of the epistemology of counterfactual conditionals [Williamson, 2007].

Conditional judgments can be anywhere on the spectrum between paradigms of the a priori and paradigms of the a posteriori. For instance, ‘If you were to look through my bedroom window, you would see a tree’ is clearly a posteriori, while ‘If you were to look in the middle of a forest, you would see a tree’ is much more a priori. ‘If you were to look towards a tree n metres away, without obstructions, you would see it’ varies in how easy it is judge from an armchair, depending on the value of ‘n’. This continuous variation puts in question the depth of the distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge [Williamson, 2013a]. It is not just variation in the role of background knowledge. Even long-forgotten experiences play a role in moulding and calibrating our capacities to apply words of our language more or less accurately, including to hypothetical scenarios. The philosopher in the armchair, thinking about such cases, may still benefit from such pre-armchair experiences in applying capacities for pattern-recognition to the imagined possibilities. Armchair thinking is far from a ‘pure’ method.

The belief that philosophy should never rely on non-armchair me­thods is increasingly rare. Philosophers of perception often learn from experimental results in the psychology of perception; it would be foolish not to. Philosophers of space and time must take account of theories in physics, most obviously Einstein’s special relativity. Of course, some philosophers insist that their interest is in our experience or concepts of space and time, not in physical space and time, but such attempts to avoid interaction with the natural and social sciences do not end well. Even if they can escape physics, how can they ignore the non-armchair work of experimental psychologists on human experience of time, or of linguists on the semantics of tense in different natural languages? As for the alleged contrast between the ‘conceptual’ questions of philosophy and the ‘empirical’ questions of the sciences, it depends on an unworkable theory of concepts [Williamson, 2007]. In any case, contemporary metaphysicians are less interested in our experience or concepts of space and time than in the real nature of space and time themselves.

Such pressures may suggest that philosophy can become properly rigorous only by adopting the ‘empirical’ methodology of the natural and social sciences. But that conclusion is fallacious. It neglects

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the most rigorous science of all: mathematics, whose methodology is paradigmatically armchair. Mathematicians prove their theorems without relying on experiments. Logic is a branch of both mathematics and philosophy, with an armchair methodology. Imitating physics would not help logicians answer their questions.

A natural objection is that logic is a special case: in most branches of philosophy, we cannot hope to answer the questions with a mathematical proof. What relevance has the mathematical precedent to those branches?

The flaw in the objection is that the methodology of mathematics is not purely deductive. Mathematical proofs proceed step-by-step, and ultimately those steps are instances of first principles, which mathematicians accept without further proof. For present purposes, we need not worry whether those first principles are laws of logic, or axioms of set theory, or something else. What matters is that their epistemological status needs explaining. Some mathematicians and philosophers have hoped that there is no epistemological problem about the first principles, because they are valid ‘by definition’. But that answer does not work. Definitions merely shift the burden of proof from the definiendum to the definiens; they do not make it evaporate. Nor are the first principles of mathematics indubitable. They have all been doubted, by heretical logicians who understood their content and were still not convinced.

Bertrand Russell faced this problem over a century ago. His project had been to base mathematics on the solid foundations of purely logical laws, but he found that the required principles were not perfectly self-evident. He concluded that their support is inductive rather than deductive. In a paper first delivered in 1907 [Russell, 1973], he argued:

…we tend to believe the premises because we can see that their consequences are true, instead of believing the consequences because we know the premises to be true. But the inferring of premises from consequences is the essence of induction; thus the method in investigating the principles of mathematics is really an inductive method, and is substantially the same as the method of discovering general laws in any other science.

Russell’s account fits the practice of researchers on the foundations of mathematics even today. Of course, what he has in mind is not simple enumerative induction, because the latter only takes us to generalizations formulated in the same terms as the data were described in, whereas foundational theories of mathematics typically introduce new basic terms. We are now more likely to use C.S. Peirce’s term ‘abduction’ for Russell’s method. We may also call it ‘inference to the best explanation’, on the understanding that in mathematics the relevant explanations are not causal [Lipton, 2004]. Rather, they unify many specific, apparently disparate mathematical facts by deriving them all from a handful of more general principles, as informative, simple, and elegant as they can consistently be. Scientists may argue for a fundamental theory of physics in just

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the same way, as Russell saw. The case of mathematics shows that an abductive methodology is applicable beyond the non-armchair natural and social sciences. It is needed for the armchair science of mathematics.

An abductive methodology makes sense in philosophy too. A clear and well-articulated philosophical theory may consist of a few general principles, as informative, simple, and elegant as they can consistently be. A philosopher may then argue for the theory by demonstrating its capa­city to provide unifying explanations of many specific, apparently dispa­rate matters. The leading analytic metaphysician of the late twentieth century, David Lewis, explicitly argued for his signature theories in just that way [Lewis, 1986]. I have used it, and defended its use, in both logic and metaphysics [Williamson, 2013b, 2016, 2017a]. In such cases, enough constraining data may already be available in the armchair: we typically need go no further to find counterexamples to invalid principles. Thus mathematics constitutes a relevant precedent of an armchair abductive methodology for philosophical theorizing.

Many branches of philosophy deal mainly with the messy, unruly human world, where informative exceptionless universal generalizations are in short supply. Examples are epistemology, moral and political philosophy, and philosophy of mind, language, and art. One might wonder how far abduction can take us in such cases.

The problem of messy, unruly complexity is not specific to philosophy. The natural and social sciences have to deal with it too. Most macroscopic systems are like that; so are many microscopic ones. For instance, biologists have learned not to expect many informative, exceptionless universal generalizations about living systems. In response, scientists have developed a model-building methodology [Weisberg, 2013]. A mo­del is in effect a precise description of a highly simplified hypothetical example of the kind of system in question. Typically, the description comprises mathematical equations defining how the system changes over time. The behaviour of the model can be investigated by rigorous mathematical means. The results help scientists understand the observed behaviour of real systems of the given kind. In many areas of science, progress consists not in the discovery of new exceptionless universal laws of nature but in the development of better and better models.

Sometimes the point of a model is to make quantitatively accurate predictions. But not all cases are like that. For instance, some biologists wonder why species tend to reproduce by two sexes rather than three. A good way to answer the question is by exploring models of three-sex reproduction. One lays down reasonable rules for how three-sex reproduction might work, and then follows the development of such a system over time, by mathematical calculation or computer simulation. The hope is to see what goes wrong – perhaps lack of variety in the species, making it vulnerable to changes in its environment. That would help explain the lack of three-sex species. It is not a matter of quantitatively accurate

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predictions. Rather, it is a qualitative role for models. One might call it armchair biology, but not in a pejorative sense.

Models can play a qualitative role in philosophy too [Williamson, 2017b]. In some areas they already do so. Formal epistemologists study mathematical models of situations involving knowledge and uncertainty, using the frameworks of Bayesian probability theory and epistemic logic. For example, we are easily confused by statements like ‘John knows that Mary knows that John knows that Mary knows that John is unfaithful’. The best way to reason rigorously about them is to use mathematical models of knowledge and ignorance developed by armchair philosophers [Hintikka, 1962]. Such models are applied extensively in computer science and theoretical economics [Fagin et al., 1995]. Similarly, using precise methods developed in logic, armchair philosophers of language have developed formal semantic frameworks for calculating the literal meaning of sentences from the literal meanings of their constituent words. Those methods are widely used in linguistics to study meaning in natural languages [Heim and Kratzer, 1998]. However much they simplify the linguistic phenomena, they provide deep insight into the structural basis of language, without which the more complex phenomena cannot be properly understood. In moral and political philosophy, the mathematical methods of game theory and decision theory have been used to build models of complex choices. For example, they help explain why, if everyone acts rationally, the outcome is sometimes worse for everyone.

According to a common stereotype, there is progress in natural sci­ence but not in philosophy. The contrast depends on an obsolete view of scientific progress as consisting in the discovery of universal laws. Philo­sophers have not discovered many of those, at least outside logic. But once we realize that much scientific progress consists in the development of better models, we should realize too that philosophy has also made much progress of just the same kind. The formal models available in epis­temology and the philosophy of language are far better than those avail­able in 1950; they provide deeper and more sophisticated insight into the underlying structure of knowledge and meaning. Those models have been developed almost entirely in the armchair. But most philosophers, even many of those who in effect engage in model-building, do not think of their methodology in those terms. As a result, they grossly underestimate how much progress their own discipline has made.

Philosophy is far less different from the rest of inquiry than many philosophers like to think. Much of it is more similar to the most theo­retical parts of the natural and social sciences than they are to the most experimental and observational parts of the same sciences. But that should not lead us to expect a gradual convergence in methodology between philosophy and those sciences, for philosophy also has much in common with the foundational parts of mathematics, the most armchair science of all. As long as there are armchairs, they will be good places to think.

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Список литературы / References

Alexander, 2012 – Alexander, J. Experimental Philosophy: An Introduction. Lon­don: Polity, 2012, 200 pp.

Austin, 1956‒57 – Austin, J.L. “A Plea For Excuses”, Proceedings of the Aristo­telian Society, 1956‒57, vol. 57, pp. 1‒30.

Fagin et.al., 1995 – Fagin, R., Halpern, J., Moses, Y., and Vardi, M. Reasoning about Knowledge. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1995, 536 pp.

Heim and Kratzer, 1998 – Heim, I. & Kratzer, A. Semantics in Generative Grammar. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998, 334 pp.

Hintikka, 1962 – Hintikka, J. Knowledge and Belief. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 179 pp.

Lewis, 1986 – Lewis, D. On the Plurality of Worlds. Oxford: Blackwell, 1986, 286 pp.

Lipton, 2004 – Lipton, P. Inference to the Best Explanation, 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2004, 232 pp.

Næss, 1938 – Næss, A. “Truth” as Conceived by Those Who are not Professional Philosophers. Oslo, London: Kommisjon Hos Jacob Dybward, 1938.

Russell, 1973 – Russell, B. “The Regressive Method Of Discovering The Premises Of Mathematics”, in: D. Lackey (ed.), Essays in Analysis. London: Allen and Unwin, 1973, pp. 272‒283.

Sytsma and Buckwalter, 2016 – Sytsma, J. & Buckwalter, W. (eds.). A Com­panion to Experimental Philosophy. Oxford: Wiley Blackwel, 2016. 611 pp.

Weisberg, 2013 – Weisberg, M. Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World. – Williamson, T. The Philosophy of Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007, 346 pp.

Williamson, 2013a – Williamson, T. ‘How Deep Is The Distinction Between A Priori And A Posteriori Knowledge?’, in: A. Casullo & J. Thurow (eds.). The A Priori in Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 291‒312.

Williamson, 2013b – Williamson, T. Modal Logic as Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 480 pp.

Williamson, 2016 – Williamson, T. “Abductive Philosophy”, Philosophical Forum, 2016, vol. 47, pp. 263‒280.

Williamson, 2017a – Williamson, T. “Semantic Paradoxes And Abductive Metho­dology”, in: B. Armour-Garb (ed.). The Relevance of the Liar. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. 325‒346.

Williamson, 2017b – Williamson, T. “Model-Building In Philosophy”, in R. Blackford & D. Broderick (eds.). Philosophy’s Future: The Problem of Philoso­phical Progress. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2017, pp. 106‒122.

Williamson, 2018 – Williamson, T. Doing Philosophy: From Common Curiosity to Logical Reasoning. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 176 pp.

Wilson, 1926 – Wilson, J.C. Statement and Inference. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1926, 1091 pp.

Эпистемология и философия науки

2019. Т. 56. № 2. С. 26–28

УДК 101.2

Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 26–28

DOI: 10.5840/eps201956224

Philosophy or Auto-Anthropology?

Daniel C. Dennett – PhD, Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy.

Tufts University.

419 Boston Ave, Medford,
MA 021
55, USA.

e-mail: daniel.dennett@
tufts.edu

 

Timothy Williamson is mainly right, I think. He defends armchair philosophy as a variety of armchair science, like mathematics, or computer modeling in evolutionary theory, economics, statistics, and I agree that this is precisely what philosophy is, at its best: working out the assumptions and implications of any serious body of thought, helping everyone formulate the best questions to ask, and then leaving the empirical work to the other sciences. Philosophy – at its best – is to other inquiries roughly as theo­retical physics is to experimental physics. You can do it in the armchair, but you need to know a lot about the phenomena with which the inquiry deals.

Keywords: armchair philosophy, method, auto-anthropology, meta­philosophy

Философия или ауто-антропология?

Дэниел Деннет – доктор
философии, профессор.

Университет Тафтса.

419 Boston Ave, Мэдфорд, Массачусетс, 02155, США.

e-mail: daniel.dennett@
tufts.edu

 

Автор в целом согласен с позицией Т.Уильямсона. Уильямсон защищает кабинетную философию, ставя ее в один ряд с математикой, компьютерным моделированием в эволюционной теории, экономике и статистике. Автор согласен, что кабинетная философия связана с одним из лучших проявлений философии вообще – выявлением предпосылок и оценкой результатов тех или иных способов мышления. Философия помогает тем самым ставить правильные вопросы, не вмешиваясь при этом в эмпирические исследования, которыми занимаются конкретные науки. В этом смысле роль философии сопоставима с ролью теоретической физики по отношению к физике экспериментальной. Вы можете заниматься ею, сидя в кресле, но вы должны обладать достаточным знанием о феномене, который вы изучаете.

Ключевые слова: кабинетная философия, метод, ауто-антропо­логия, метафилософия

Williamson acknowledges that “Armchair thinking is far from a ‘pure’ method,” and goes on to make some important observations:

The belief that philosophy should never rely on non-armchair methods is increasingly rare. Philosophers of perception often learn from experimental results in the psychology of perception; it would be foolish not to. Philosophers of space and time must take account of theories in physics, most obviously Einstein’s special relativity. Of course, some philosophers insist that their interest is in our experience or concepts of space and time, not in physical space and time, but such attempts to avoid interaction with the natural and social sciences do not end well. Even if they can escape physics, how can they ignore the non-armchair work of experimental psychologists on human experience of time, or of linguists on the semantics of tense in different natural languages?

© Daniel C. Dennett

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How can they indeed, but they often do. That is not philosophy at its best, but it still passes as good work in all too many quarters. He goes on: “In any case, contemporary metaphysicians are less interested in our experience or concepts of space and time than in the real nature of space and time themselves.” His parade case is David Lewis:

A clear and well-articulated philosophical theory may consist of a few general principles, as informative, simple, and elegant as they can consistently be. A philosopher may then argue for the theory by demonstrating its capacity to provide unifying explanations of many specific, apparently disparate matters. The leading analytic metaphysician of the late twentieth century, David Lewis, explicitly argued for his signature theories in just that way [Lewis, 1986].

Yes, David Lewis, my friend for four decades, was a master of the method, but I think these two assertions by Williamson can be easily misread as endorsing a blinkered approach that Lewis himself eschewed. They provide a near-perfect expression of the position I have called “naïve naïve axiomatic auto-anthropology” [Dennett, 2013]: thinking that the roy­al road to truth is to attempt to axiomatize, with your companions, your shared intuitions. I contrast it with sophisticated naïve axiomatic auto-anthropology, exemplified by Patrick Hayes’ (1978) ambitious, if failed, efforts to axiomatize the naïve physics of liquids. The difference is this: sophisticated Hayes knew full well that naïve physics – the physics of the manifest image, approximately – is full of flaws (siphons and pipettes are impossible, no sailing upwind, ‘centrifugal force’,...), but still an intellectual structure worth getting clear about. Why bother? One good – philosophical – reason is to clarify the manifest image so that we can better execute Wilfrid Sellars’ definition of philosophy’s task, explaining “how things, in the broadest sense of the term, hang together, in the broadest sense of the term.” Some of Lewis’s work can be seen, in fact, to be a fine contribution to Judea Pearl’s (2009) seminal work on causality, not because it succeeded in getting at the “real nature” of causation but because it gave Pearl, as an engineer/philosopher, something to fix.

If David Lewis and his many disciples thought that his methods, taken without deep knowledge of science, would yield “the real nature of space and time themselves,” as Williamson put it, they were committing themselves to naïve naïve axiomatic auto-anthropology, using their own coterie as their “native informants” and taking their intuition-pumped consensus as a sure path to “the real nature” of whatever they were talking about. That this presumption has been common for decades is nicely presaged in Williamson’s quotation from Austin. Right in the middle of his apologia for ordinary language philosophy Austin helps himself to a tell-tale word, “surely”, which I have argued [Dennett, 2013] is such a reliable, if fallible, marker of the weak link in any persuasion that we should all, as scrupulous thinkers, inculcate the mental habit of interrupting our

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train of thought with a “surely” alarm — ding! — whenever we encounter it. Austin may well have been right that his perspicuous and imaginative methods of examining ordinary language were better than the neo­logistic fantasies of some metaphysicians back then, but this passage misdirects our attention and our energies if it is read as a complacent assurance that the time-honored, well-honed home truths of the manifest image are the last word on anything.

I thank Williamson for drawing our attention to the wonderful pas­sage from Russell, which describes a sort of feedback loop between ven­tured premises and encountered results. What we philosophers have learned in recent decades is that if our feedback loops are myopically constrained by our ignorance of advances in the other sciences, they are, at best, perceptive accounts of the lore of idiosyncratic tribes of ill-informed opinionators. That might be useful anthropological ground-clearing, a nar­row investigation of a particular tiny subset of WEIRD subjects (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic – see [Henrich et al, 2010]), useful grist for the Sellarsian mill, along with the contributions of properly conducted x-phi. But it wouldn’t be good philosophy.

Список литературы / References

Dennett, 2013 – Dennett, D.C. “Kinds of Things – Towards a Bestiary of the Manifest Image,” in: D. Ross, J. Ladyman & H. Kincaid (eds.). Scientific Metaphysics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 96‒107.

Hayes, 1978 – Hayes, P. “The Naive Physics Manifesto’”, in: D. Michie (ed.) Expert Systems in the Mocroelectronic Age. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1978, pp. 242‒270.

Henrich et.al., 2010 – Henrich, J.; Heine, S.J; and Norenzayan, A. “The Weirdest People in the World”, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2010, vol. 2(3), pp. 61‒83.

Pearl, 2009 – Pearl, J. Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009, 484 pp.

Эпистемология и философия науки

2019. Т. 56. № 2. С. 29–36

УДК 101.2

Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 29–36

DOI: 10.5840/eps201956225

Philosophical Intuitions Are Surprisingly Robust Across Demographic Differences*

Joshua Knobe – PhD,
professor.

Yale University.

New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

e-mail: joshua.knobe@
yale.edu

 

Within the existing metaphilosophical literature on experimental philosophy, a great deal of attention has been devoted to the claim that there are large differences in philosophical intuitions between people of different demographic groups. Some philosophers argue that this claim has important meta­philosophical implications; others argue that it does not. However, the actual empirical work within experimental philosophy seems to point to a very different sort of metaphilosophical question. Specifically, what the actual empirical work suggests is that intuitions are surprisingly robust across demographic groups. Prior to empirical study, it seemed plausible that unexpected patterns of intuition found in one demographic group would not emerge in other demographic groups. Yet, again and again, empirical work obtains the opposite result: that unexpected patterns found in one demographic group actually emerge also in other demographic groups. I cite 30 studies that find this sort of robustness. I then argue that to the extent that metaphilosophical work is to engage with the actual findings from experimental philosophy, it needs to explore the implications of the surprising robustness of philosophical intuitions across demographic differences.

Keywords: metaphilosophy, experimental philosophy, demographic differences, intuitions

Философские интуиции на удивление устойчивы к демографическим различиям

Джошуа Ноуб – доктор
философии, профессор.

Йельский университет.

Нью-Хейвен, Коннектикут 06520, США.

e-mail: joshua.knobe@
yale.edu

 

В современной метафилософской литературе по экспериментальной философии большое внимание уделяется тезису о том, что у представителей различных демографических групп наблюдаются существенные различия в философских интуициях. Некоторые философы утверждают, что этот тезис имеет большое метафилософское значение, другие отрицают это. Однако реальные эмпирические исследования в экспериментальной философии указывают на противоположную тенденцию: интуиции остаются удивительно устойчивыми от группы к группе. До проведения эмпирических исследований казалось правдоподобным, что уникальные интуиции, характерные для одной демографической группы, не проявятся в других демографических группах. Однако эта гипо­теза не подтвердилась. Автор статьи цитирует порядка 30 исследований, указывающих на устойчивость интуиций. Он утверждает, что метафилософский анализ результатов ра‐


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боты в экспериментальной философии должен быть направлен на выявление тех следствий, которые влечет за собой эта наблюдаемая тенденция.

Ключевые слова: метафилософия, экспериментальная филосо­фия, демографические различия, интуиции

When we make frequent use of a method, it is only natural to ask whether the method is a reliable one. Suppose, for example, that we are using a method that is supposed to be 95% accurate. If this method indeed turns out to give us the wrong answer only 5% of the time, then there is no problem – the method is working exactly as it should. By contrast, if we discover that the method gives us the wrong answer 35% of the time, we would be faced with a very serious issue.

The situation in armchair philosophy is no different from anywhere else. On one popular characterization, armchair philosophy makes use of a method that relies on intuitions. Even the most ardent defenders of this intuition-based method do not describe it as infallible. Clearly, intuition sometimes gives us the wrong answer. A question arises, however, as to whether this method has an acceptable level of reliability. If we discover that its reliability is more or less what we thought it was, this discovery would not point to a major problem. By contrast, if we find that it yields incorrect answers far more often than we thought it did, we would have reason to begin reevaluating this whole approach to philosophical research.

As Timothy Williamson notes in his target article, early research in experimental philosophy argued that we might be faced with precisely that sort of difficulty. One argument for this conclusion started out with the claim that people’s intuitions show a strong impact of demographic factors (gender, ethnicity, age, etc.). On this view, the intuitions of older men from the United States could be radically different from, say, the intuitions of younger women from Hong Kong. Though the metaphilosophical issues here are complex, one can at least see how this empirical claim might have implications for questions about the reliability of intuition.

Williamson nicely summarizes a widely-shared narrative about the fate of this argument. According to this narrative, early experimental philosophy studies seemed to suggest that demographic factors had a large impact on people’s intuitions, but more recent studies suggest that the impact of demographic factors is smaller and more circumscribed. Taken as a whole, then, the empirical literature simply does not indicate that demographic factors have a greater influence than we would have expected.

To the extent that we accept this narrative, it might seem that that we should also accept a rather bleak assessment of the metaphilosophical importance of research on demographic effects. The assessment would go something like this: early studies seemed to be pointing to a surprising phenomenon that at least had the potential to have important metaphilo­sophical implications, but in the end, this research program simply failed to pan out.

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Joshua Knobe

I will argue that this assessment is mistaken. The main problem is that discussion of experimental philosophy within the metaphilosophical literature has been excessively shaped by the chronological order in which experimental philosophy studies happened to come out. Early studies seemed to suggest that demographic factors had a large impact on philo­sophical intuitions. These studies led to a sense that it was somehow built into the very nature of experimental philosophy that it aims to find dif­ferences between demographic groups. Thus, the metaphilosophical lite­rature implicitly privileged findings that involve differences between demographic groups over those that involve robustness across demo­graphic groups.

But of course, the aim of experimental philosophy is not to argue for any preconceived view about people’s intuitions. Rather, the aim is to find the truth about people's intuitions. This obvious fact is vividly on display in the actual body of experimental philosophy research, where the very same philosophers who show that certain intuitions differ between demographic groups (e.g., Machery et al., 2004) can often be found arguing that other intuitions are robust across demographic groups (e.g., Machery et al., 2017).

If we ignore the existing metaphilosophical literature and just look directly at the body of empirical research, we naturally arrive, I think, at a very different assessment. This assessment focuses on findings of robustness. Work in experimental philosophy is often concerned with intuitions about seemingly abstruse issues, such as the nature of the true self or whether the universe is governed by deterministic laws. There was every reason to expect that such intuitions would differ radically between demographic groups. Yet actual research on this topic has yielded a surprising result. Again and again, studies find that effects observed within one demographic group can also be found in a variety of others.

Of course, this is not to say that philosophical intuitions do not differ at all between groups. (Researchers have identified specific cases in which they clearly do.) Still, when one examines the body of research as a whole, it is impossible not to be struck by the extraordinary degree to which philosophical intuitions are robust across demographic differences. This is an important finding that promises to have profound implications for metaphilosophical questions.

To make a case for this more optimistic assessment, I review existing research in reverse chronological order. I begin with more recent findings and argue that they point to something extremely surprising and important. Then, only in the final subsection, I turn to the early findings that did so much to shape the narrative within the metaphilosophical literature.

Cross-Cultural Studies

A series of studies have taken experimental paradigms originally used with participants in Western cultures and used those same experimental paradigms with participants in a variety of different cultures. Strikingly, the results tend to show that effects obtained with Western participants also emerge among participants from other cultures.

More specifically, studies do find cross-cultural differences in intui­tions about moral responsibility (Hannikainen et al., 2018), but they find cross-cultural robustness for the Gettier intuition (Machery, et al. 2017), the Gettierized epistemic side-effect effect (Yuan & Kim, 2018), metaethical intuitions (Beebe et al., 2015; Sarkissian et al, 2011), libertarian intuitions about free will (Sarkissian et al. 2010), the striking lack of impact of stakes on epistemic intuitions (Rose et al., in press), and the tendency to regard morally good mental states as falling within the “true self” (De Freitas et al., 2018).

Developmental Studies

Other studies have asked whether the effects obtained in research on adults also emerge in children. Obviously, there are bound to be important differences between children and adults, but the most salient result of this research has been the degree to which children do show many of the effects obtained in research on adults. Children have been shown to exhibit some of the surprising patterns of intuition that adults show about free will (Nichols, 2004), metaethics (Heiphetz & Young, 2016; Nichols & Folds-Bennett, 2003), generics (Tasimi et al., 2017), trolley problems (Pellizzoni et al.,2010), the side-effect effect (Leslie, et al. 2006), and causation (Samland, et al. 2016).

Replication Studies

Finally, a series of recent studies have replicated studies from earlier papers on demographic effects. In other words, researchers have simply rerun studies from these earlier papers, using precisely the same procedure but a larger sample size. The results of replication studies are sometimes framed in terms of what they suggest about whether previous papers were right or wrong, but in my view, this framing fails to bring out what is most important about them. To get at the most philosophically important implications, it might be best just to look at the results of

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the replication studies themselves and see what they show about patterns in people’s intuitions.

In research on epistemic intuitions, replication studies found no cul­tural differences in intuitions about Gettier cases, Truetemp, the cancer conspiracy case, or the zebra case (Kim & Yuan, 2015; Nagel et al. 2013; Seyedsayamdost, 2015a). In research on gender differences, replication studies did find a gender difference in intuitions about the brain in a vat case (original study: Buckwalter & Stich, 2014; replications: Adleberg et al., 2015; DeRose 2018), but they found no gender difference in intui­tions about Gettier cases, compatibilism, dualism, Twin Earth, the vio­linist case, causal deviance, the trolley problem, the Chinese Room, the Plank of Carneades, or the magistrate and the mob (Adleberg et al., 2015; Seyedsayamdost, 2015b). In other words, even when we look just at cases in which philosophers were specifically concerned that there might be differences between demographic groups, the majority of studies find robustness.

Interim Conclusion

I have been suggesting that one surprising finding coming out of the experimental philosophy literature is the shocking degree to which demo­graphic factors do not impact people’s philosophical intuitions. In support of this claim, I have cited 30 studies, by 91 different researchers, com­prising a total sample size of 12,696 participants. Many of these results would be highly surprising even in isolation. Taken together, they are downright shocking.

These findings raise important questions both empirically and metaphilosophically. At an empirical level, the key question is how to explain the surprising robustness of philosophical intuitions. One possible answer would be that the capacities underlying people’s philosophical intuitions have an innate basis. In mentioning this answer, I don't mean to suggest that it will necessarily turn out to be correct. Rather, the point is that this is the kind of hypothesis we should be investigating.

At a more metaphilosophical level, the question is what this result teaches us about the methods used in philosophy. Presumably, we will only be able to engage in a serious way with this metaphilosophical question to the extent that we can formulate plausible answers to the empirical question. So, for example, if we answer the empirical question by suggesting that philosophical intuitions have an innate basis, we will be faced with a new and difficult metaphilosophical question: What do we learn about the reliability of people's intuitions when we learn that they have an innate basis? Similarly thorny metaphilosophical questions arise for other plausible answers to the empirical question.

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Joshua Knobe

To be honest, I don’t have a good sense of how to go about answering these metaphilosophical questions. The reason is in part that existing metaphilosophical research has almost entirely neglected them. Instead, it has focused on another, very different issue.

Reevaluating The Implications Of Early Studies

Let’s now go back in time to the very earliest studies in experimental philosophy. As we noted above, some of the early studies that appeared to show demographic differences have failed to replicate, but that does not mean that none of them were real. The most important exception is the classic Machery et al. (2004) study indicating a difference in intui­tions about reference between Western and Asian participants. Subse­quent studies confirm that there is indeed a real demographic difference here (e.g, Beebe & Undercoffer, 2015; Machery et al., 2009; but see Cova et al., 2019). This is a beautiful and deeply important result, which has been justly celebrated.

Unfortunately, this deeply important early study has led to a wildly inaccurate portrayal of the field of experimental philosophy within the metaphilosophical literature. Within that literature, it is often suggested that experimental philosophy research on demographic factors is basically about differences between demographic groups. It is then assumed that metaphilosophical discussions of this research should be concerned almost entirely with such differences. In some cases, it is argued that demographic differences have metaphilosophical implications; in others (as in Williamson’s work), it is argued that they do not. Either way, though, the discussion is always about the differences.

In general, I am reluctant to criticize the work of other philosophers, but I have to say that this framing of the issue is completely wrong. Any reasonable review would have to conclude that many of the most surprising results are not about differences but about robustness. To the extent that the metaphilosophical literature continues to ignore these results, it will simply be failing to engage with some of the questions that most need answering.

Список литературы / References

Adleberg et.al., 2015 – Adleberg, T., Thompson, M. & Nahmias, E. “Do men and women have different philosophical intuitions? Further data”, Philosophical Psycho­logy, 2015, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 615‒641.

Beebe & Undercoffer, 2015 – Beebe, J.R. & Undercoffer, R.J. “Moral Valence And Semantic Intuitions”, Erkenntnis, 2015, vol. 80, no. 2, pp. 445‒466.

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Beebe et.al., 2015 – Beebe, J., Qiaoan, R., Wysocki, T. & Endara, M. A. “Moral Objectivism In Cross-Cultural Perspective”, Journal of Cognition and Culture, 2015, vol. 15, pp. 386‒401.

Buckwalter & Stich, 2014 – Buckwalter, W. & Stich, S. “Gender And Philo­sophical Intuition”, in Knobe, J. & Nichols, S. (eds.). Experimental philosophy (Vol. 2). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 307‒346.

Cova et.al., 2019 – Cova, F., Strickland, B., Abatista, A., Allard, A., Andow, J., Attie, M.,... & Cushman, F. “Estimating The Reproducibility Of Experimental Philosophy”, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 2019. (in print)

De Freitas et.al., 2018 – De Freitas, J., Sarkissian, H., Newman, G.E., Gross­mann, I., De Brigard, F., Luco, A., & Knobe, J. “Consistent Belief In A Good True Self In Misanthropes And Three Interdependent Cultures”, Cognitive Science, 2018, vol. 42, pp. 134‒160.

DeRose, 2017 – DeRose, K. The Appearance of Ignorance: Knowledge, Skep­ticism, and Context (Vol. 2). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 374 pp.

Hannikainen et.al., 2018 – Hannikainen, I., Machery, E., Rose, D., Stich, S., Olivola, C., Sousa, P.... Zhu, J. Sourcehood versus Alternate Possibilities: The Problem of Free Will Throughout 21 Countries. Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. Unpublished manuscript.

Heiphetz & Young, 2016 – Heiphetz, L., & Young, L.L. “Can Only One Person Be Right? The Development Of Objectivism And Social Preferences Regarding Widely Shared And Controversial Moral Beliefs”, Cognition, 2016, vol. 167, pp. 78‒90.

Kim & Yuan, 2016 – Kim, M. & Yuan, Y. “No Cross-Cultural Differences In The Gettier Car Case Intuition: A Replication Study Of Weinberg et al. 2001”. Episteme, 2016, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 355‒361.

Leslie et.al., 2006 – Leslie, A.M., Knobe, J., & Cohen, A. “Acting Intentionally And The Side-Effect Effect: Theory Of Mind And Moral Judgment”, Psychological Science, 2006, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 421‒427.

Machery et. al., 2004 – Machery, E., Mallon, R., Nichols, S., & Stich, S.P. “Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style”, Cognition, 2004, vol. 92, no. 3, B1–B12.

Machery et.al., 2009 – Machery, E., Olivola, C. Y., & De Blanc, M. “Linguistic And Metalinguistic Intuitions In The Philosophy Of Language”, Analysis, 2009, vol. 69, no. 4, pp. 689‒694.

Machery et.al., 2017 – Machery, E., Stich, S., Rose, D., Chatterjee, A., Karasawa, K., Struchiner, N.,... & Hashimoto, T. “Gettier Across Cultures 1”, Noûs, 2017, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 645‒664.

Nagel et.al., 2013 – Nagel, J., San Juan, V., & Mar, R.A. “Lay Denial Of Knowledge For Justified True Beliefs”, Cognition, 2013, vol. 129, no. 3, pp. 652‒661.

Nichols & Folds-Bennett, 2003 – Nichols, S. & Folds-Bennett, T. “Are Children Moral Objectivists? Children’s Judgments About Moral And Response-Dependent Properties”, Cognition, 2003, vol. 90, no. 2, B23–B32.

Nichols, 2004 – Nichols, S. “The Folk Psychology Of Free Will: Fits And Starts”, Mind & Language, 2004, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 473‒502.

Pellizzoni et.al., 2010 – Pellizzoni, S., Siegal, M., & Surian, L. “The Contact Principle And Utilitarian Moral Judgments In Young Children”, Developmental Science,2010, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 265‒270.

Rose et.al., in press – Rose, D., Machery, E., Stich, S., Alai, M., Angelucci, A., Berniūnas, R.,... & Cohnitz, D. “Nothing At Stake In Knowledge”, Noûs. (in press).

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Samland et.al., 2016 – Samland, J., Josephs, M., Waldmann, M.R., & Rako­czy, H. “The Role Of Prescriptive Norms And Knowledge In Children’s And Adults’ Causal Selection”, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2016, vol. 145, no. 2, pp. 125‒130.

Sarkissian et.al., 2011 – Sarkissian, H., Park, J., Tien, D., Wright, J. C., & Knobe, J. “Folk Moral Relativism”, Mind & Language, 2011, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 482‒505.

Sarkissian, 2010 – Sarkissian, H., Chatterjee, A., De Brigard, F., Knobe, J., Nichols, S., & Sirker, S. “Is Belief In Free Will A Cultural Universal?”, Mind & Language, 2010, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 346‒358.

Seyedsayamdost, 2015a – Seyedsayamdost, H. “On Gender And Philosophical Intuition: Failure Of Replication And Other Negative Results”, Philosophical Psychology, 2015, vol. 28(5), pp. 642‒673.

Seyedsayamdost, 2015b – Seyedsayamdost, H. “On Normativity And Epistemic Intuitions: Failure Of Replication”, Episteme, 2015, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 95‒116.

Tasimi et.al., 2017 – Tasimi, A., Gelman, S. A., Cimpian, A., & Knobe, J. “Differences In The Evaluation Of Generic Statements About Human And Non-Human Categories”, Cognitive Science, 2017, vol. 41, no. 7, pp. 1934‒1957.

Yuan & Kim, 2018 – Yuan, Y. & Kim, M. Cross-Cultural Universality of Knowledge Attributions. Unpublished manuscript. Yale University.

Эпистемология и философия науки

2019. Т. 56. № 2. С. 37–42

УДК 101.2

Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 37–42

DOI: 10.5840/eps201956226

Williamson on Laws and Progress
in Philosophy*

Daniel Stoljar – PhD
in Philosophy, professor.

Australian National University. Canberra, 0200, Australia.

e-mail: daniel.stoljar@
anu.edu.au

 

Williamson rejects the stereotype that there is progress in sci­ence but none in philosophy on the grounds (a) that it assumes that in science progress consists in the discovery of universal laws and (b) that this assumption is false, since in both science and philosophy progress consists at least sometimes in the deve­lopment of better models. I argue that the assumption is false for a more general reason as well: that progress in both science and philosophy consists in the provision of better information about dependency structures.

Keywords: philosophical progress, scientific progress, laws, explanation, models, dependency, causation, grounding, necessitation

Уильямсон о законах и прогрессе
в философии

Дэниел Столджар – доктор философии, профессор.

Австралийский национальный университет.

Канберра, 0200, Австралия.

e-mail: daniel.stoljar@
anu.edu.au

 

Уильямсон не согласен с мнением о том, что в философии, в отличие от науки, нет прогресса, по следующим причинам: а) оно основано на допущении о том, что прогресс в науке состоит в исследовании универсальных законов; б) это допу­щение ложно, потому что и в философии, и в науке прогресс также заключается в разработке лучших объяснительных моделей. В свою очередь, автор полагает, что это допущение является ложным по еще одной более общей причине: прогресс в науке и философии состоит в получении более точной информации о структурах зависимости.

Ключевые слова: философский прогресс, научный прогресс, законы, объяснение, модели, зависимость, причинность, основания, необходимость

According to a common stereotype,” Timothy Williamson writes (p. 24), “there is progress in natural science but not in philosophy.” One should reject this stereotype, he says, because it

… depends on an obsolete view of scientific progress as consisting in the discovery of universal laws. Philosophers have not discovered many of those, at least outside logic. But once we realize that much scientific progress consists in the development of better models, we should realize too that philosophy has also made much progress of just the same kind. (5)


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Daniel Stoljar

I agree with Williamson that one should reject the stereotype and indeed for the reason he gives. But I think one should reject it for a more general reason as well. My aim here is to set out this more general reason.1

We may begin with what is at first sight an unrelated issue: David Lewis’s view on causal explanation (see Lewis 1986). As I understand it, Lewis’s view has four main theses. The first thesis is that the world consists in or contains causal histories, vast systems of events standing in various causal relations. This thesis is intended to be an abstract metaphysical thesis, not tied to any particular theory of causation. The second thesis is that to explain an event is to provide some information about its position in this system; in addition, to explain a type of event is to provide information about the position of events of that type in the system.2 The third thesis is that to provide information about causal histories is a special case of providing information about anything. When you provide information about a train system or a university, for example, you generally aim to maximize various virtues, such as truth, relevance, clarity, novelty, and reasonableness, and to minimize various vices, such as falsity and abstraction.3 The same is true, Lewis thinks, when you provide information about causal histories. The fourth thesis is that, beyond the fact that causal explanations provide information about causal histories and conform to the general canons of information provision, there is no special form or content that they must have; Lewis puts this by saying that there is no ‘unit of explanation.’ What he mainly has in mind is Hempel’s view that explanations must take the form of an argument among whose premises is a canonical statement of a universal law (see Hempel, 1965). Lewis accepts that causal explanations may on occasion be Hempelian; his point is that they need not be, and in particular need not be in order to be good explanations.

Lewis’s view of explanation does not apply directly to the issue of philosophical progress; philosophers are not typically interested in the causal explanation of particular events or types of events. But it is possible to generalize the approach so that it does apply.

We may do this by taking advantage of a point emphasized by a number of contemporary philosophers: that causal histories are one example of a more general type of structure, which I will call here a ‘dependency


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structure.’4 Another kind of dependency structure is a constitutive hierarchy, a vast system of facts standing in various synchronic relations of grounding or necessitation. The thesis of materialism, for example, entails that the world contains or is a constitutive hierarchy, since according to it every fact is grounded in, or necessitated by, some physical fact.

A version of Lewis’s approach generalized to dependency structures may be formulated this way. The first thesis is that the world is or contains dependency structures, systems of causal relations among events or grounding or necessitation relations among facts. Once again we may advance this thesis as an abstract metaphysical thesis, not tied to any parti­cular theory of grounding or necessitation. The second thesis is that to explain an item in a dependency structure is to provide information about the position of that item in the structure; mutatis mutandis for types of items. The third thesis is that providing information about dependency structures is a special case of providing information about anything. The fourth thesis is that there is no unit of explanation. We have seen what this amounts to in the causal case, namely, a rejection that explanation must be Hempelian. Something similar is true in the constitutive case. In order to provide information about the position of a fact or type of fact in a constitutive hierarchy, it is not necessary to provide a bridge law or an a priori entailment of the fact or facts in question. Once again, constitutive explanations may on occasion have these forms; but they need not, and need not in order to be good explanations.

Once Lewis’s approach is generalized in this way, we may use it to state the mistake in the stereotype that there is progress in science but not in philosophy. In Williamson’s formulation, the stereotype depends on two ideas: (a) that progress in science consists in the discovery of universal laws, and (b) that no such universal laws are discovered in philosophy, setting aside logic. Generalized Lewis, and indeed even Lewis’s original account, tells us that (a) is false. Progress in science may in some cases involve the discovery of universal laws. But it does not in general consist of that. Rather it consists in the provision of information about dependency structures. Indeed, to link universal laws and progress in the way the stereotype does is to be in the grip of the very idea Lewis thinks is mistaken: the unit of explanation idea.

A friend of the stereotype might seek to defend it against this criticism by conceding that progress in science consists in the provision of information about dependency structures – and then denying that in philosophy we ever provide such information. But this denial is implausible. When the moral philosopher says that rightness in an action is at least partly constituted by the expected outcomes of that action, they are providing information about


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Daniel Stoljar

dependency structures. So too is the philosopher of mind, who says that consciousness in a mental state is at least partly constituted by the subject of the state attending to its intentional object to a sufficient degree.

I said this criticism of the common stereotype about philosophy is more general than the one Williamson offers. I have two things in mind here. First, Williamson says that (a) is false because science sometimes consists in model building of the kind described by Michael Weisberg among others (see [Weisberg, 2013], see also [Williamson, 2017]). He goes on to point out that in philosophy we engage in model building as well. I don’t disagree with this. But in the light of the picture I have been describing, we may see the idea about models as an instance of something more general: providing models that resemble target systems is one way of providing information about dependency structures.

Second, the criticism I have offered brings out that the stereotype about philosophy Williamson is responding to is similar to once-common stereotypes about other fields, and is mistaken in a similar way. In the 1950s and early 1960s, for example, there was a flourishing discussion in analytic philosophy about the nature of history (a good example is [Dray, 1964]). One strand in that literature might have been formulated Williamson-style as follows: “According to a common stereotype, there is progress in science but not in history: in science, progress consists in the discovery of universal laws, but no such laws are discovered in history.” Lewis on causal explanation provides a good reason to reject this stereotype about history.5 Historians do provide causal explanations and do make progress, even if they do not discover any laws of history. Lewis generalized provides a way to reject a similar stereotype in the case of philosophy.

I will end by responding to two objections, each of which concern the apparent limits of the idea that philosophy is concerned with depen­dency structures.

The first points out that constitutive hierarchies involve relations among facts, and according to many philosophical positions, no facts of the relevant sort exist. Expressivism about morality, for example, at least in its simplest version, denies that there are any moral facts; hence it denies that there are any moral facts that stand in dependency structures. How then could moral philosophy be concerned with such structures?

One reply draws on an idea Lewis emphasizes in his paper: that information can often take a negative form. If the simplest version of expressivism is correct, the whole truth about dependency structures involving moral facts may be provided quite easily, viz. there are no such structures. A different, compatible, reply is that, while (if the simplest


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expressivism is true) there are no dependency structures involving moral facts, there are nevertheless related structures involving psychological facts – facts about us judging things to be right or wrong, for example. It is consistent with expressivism that moral philosophy is concerned with structures of this related type.

The second objection is that, while we are sometimes concerned in philosophy with dependency structures, this is not always true. Often we are interested, for example, not in what grounds moral rightness, but in what it is. If so, it is at best an exaggeration to say that philosophy concerns dependency structures.

My reply draws again on an idea Lewis emphasizes. Explanations for him are answers to ‘why’-questions, and ‘why’-questions are in turn requests for information about causal histories. If Lewis’s approach is ge­neralized, we may say instead that ‘why’-questions are requests for information about dependency structures. From this point of view, this second objection is that, while philosophers are sometimes interested in  ‘why’-questions, they are just as often interested in ‘what’-questions: what are moral facts, what is a conscious state, and so on.

Once we have the issue in this form, however, it is reasonably easy to see how we might meet it, at least in outline. For ‘what’-questions are requests for information too: when we ask what something is, we are requesting certain sorts of information about it. If so, versions of the third and fourth theses mentioned above apply: providing information as an answer to a ‘what’-question is likewise a special case of providing information in general, and here too we should reject the unit of explanation idea, or to put it more generally, the unit of information idea.

What does rejecting this idea amount to in the case of a ‘what’-question in philosophy? Well, consider the question ‘What is a conscious state?’ If you accept there is a unit of explanation or information, you may well expect the answer to this question to come in a certain form, for example, in the form of a reductive definition of consciousness. If so, you are likely to be disappointed. You may even express your disappointment by adopting the pessimistic view that philosophy makes no progress. If you reject that idea, on the other hand, you may well expect the answer to this question to consist in good information about conscious states—information about their functional and rational roles, for example, or their intentional structure. If so you are likely not to be disappointed. It is in this way that the Lewis-inspired approach to explanation encourages an optimistic view about progress in philosophy.

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Список литературы / References

Bennett, 2017 – Bennett, K Making Things Up. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 274 pp.

Davidson, 2001 – Davidson, D. Essays on Actions and Events. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001, 224 pp.

Dray, 1964 – Dray, W. Philosophy of History. Englewood, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1964. 116 pp.

Fine, 2001 – Fine, K. “The Question of Realism”, Philosophers’ Imprint, 2001, vol. 1, pp. 1‒30.

Hempel, 1965 – Hempel, C. Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science. New York: The Free Press, 1965, 504 pp.

Lewis, 1986 – Lewis, D. “Causal Explanation”, in: Lewis, D. Philosophical Papers, Vol. II. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986, pp. 214‒40

Rosen, 2010 – Rosen, G. “Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduc­tion”, in: Hale, B. & Hoffman, A. (eds.) Modality: Metaphysics, Logic and Epistemo­logy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 109‒36.

Schaffer, 2009 – Schaffer, J. “On What Grounds What”, in: Chalmers, D., Manley, D., Wasserman, R. (eds.). Metametaphysics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 247‒383

Skow, 2016 – Skow, B. Reasons Why. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, 208 pp.

Stoljar, 2017 – Stoljar, D. Philosophical Progress. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 192 pp.

Weisberg, 2013 – Weisberg, M. Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 212 pp.

Williamson, 2007 – Williamson, T. The Philosophy of Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007, 346 pp.

Williamson, 2017b – Williamson, T. “Model-Building In Philosophy”, in R. Blackford & D. Broderick (eds.). Philosophy’s Future: The Problem of Philo­sophical Progress. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2017, pp. 106‒122.

Williamson, 2018 – Williamson, T. Doing Philosophy: From Common Curiosity to Logical Reasoning. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 176 pp.

Williamson, Forthcoming – Williamson, T. “Armchair Philosophy”, Epistemo­logy & Philosophy of Science, 2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 46‒52.

Wilson, 2014 – Wilson, J. “No Work for a Theory of Grounding”, Inquiry, 2014, vol. 57, pp. 1‒45.

Эпистемология и философия науки

2019. Т. 56. № 2. С. 43–45

УДК 101.2

Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 43–45

DOI: 10.5840/eps201956227

Armchair Science and Armchair Philosophy

Anton V. Kuznetsov – PhD
in Philosophy, junior research
associate.

Lomonosov Moscow State
University.

1 Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation.

e-mail: anton.smith@
philos.msu.ru

 

Williamson defends armchair philosophy by likening it to arm­chair science – they have the same echelon of results and use such a priori methods as model building and conditional analyses. More, if a priori methods are accepted within science, then they acceptable in philosophy – thus, armchair philosophy is justified. However, I am not swayed by this reasoning: there could be non-armchair philosophers who use these a priori methods. So, there are two options – revise the notion of armchair philosophy or add more details to the aforementioned reasoning.

Keywords: armchair philosophy, armchair science, a priori methods

Кабинетная наука и кабинетная философия

Кузнецов Антон Викторович – кандидат философских наук, младший научный
сотрудник.

Московский государственный университет имени М.В. Ломоносова.

Российская Федерация, 119991, г. Москва, Ленинские горы, д. 1.

e-mail: anton.smith@
philos.msu.ru

 

Уильямсон защищает кабинетную философию, связывая ее с понятием кабинетной науки, в которых мы видим схожие результаты и в которых существенную роль играют априорные методы, такие как кондициональный анализ и построение моделей. Применимость априорных методов в науке влечет их применимость и в философии. Таким образом, кабинетная философия получает обоснование. Однако я не убежден этим рассуждением, так как могут быть не-кабинетные философы, пользующиеся априорными методами. В таком случае есть две опции: пересмотреть понятие кабинетной философии или дополнить данное рассуждение новыми деталями.

Ключевые слова: кабинетная философия, кабинетная наука, априорные методы

Throughout the target article, Williamson defends armchair philosophy by likening it to armchair science, in which a priori methods play are substantive. This enables the reader to consider scientific inquiry and results from an unusual viewpoint. From this panorama, scientific inquiry does not only generate laws, but also new models. Moreover, using mathe­matics as an exemplar of armchair science, one can see that a priori methods are not exclusively deductive: instead, they are largely inductive. This kind of “armchair induction” pervades both philosophy and science, and both boast model building and conditional analysis as their key forms of armchair practice. Thus, we can achieve scientific results via a priori methods. Additionally, if we understand that the primary results of the philosophical inquiry are not laws, but, instead, models that are obtained by a priori methods, then we get the rationale of armchair philosophy. Here, armchair philosophy is a part of armchair science.

Изображение112

 

Кузнецов А.В.

However, the significant role that armchair methods play in science does not give establish armchair philosophy, otherwise it significantly weakens its notion.

I can find criticism via two objections:

  1. Mathematics and philosophy are significantly different – the onto­logy of formal systems is known without a trace: we know all the basic laws of these systems. There is no such thing either in philosophy (except logic) or science.

  2. Model building in science relies on empirical results and is mediated by them, while the pathos of the armchair philosophy is that its results do not need to be justified by empirical data.

Thus, the justification of the armchair methods by pointing to the model building does not answer the question of why we should trust the models of armchair philosophy itself (again, let’s spare logic). The arm­chair methods of obtaining such models are not in doubt: but why do these models have explanatory potential, even though they are not connected with empirical research? This is the main question for the armchair phi­losophy. If this question is not asked, then there is a significant change in the notion of armchair philosophy, which is understood as the study of philosophical theories, concepts and intuitions through a priori methods. Here, we are interested in the justification of a priori methods, not in the status of their results in relation to empirical data.

Based on the above, there can be formulated strong and weak notions of armchair philosophy:

Weak notion: Armchair philosophy is the study of philosophical problems via a priori methods.

Strong notion: Armchair philosophy is the study of philosophical problems via a priori methods, where the philosophical problems are independent of empirical ones and, therefore, the resulting philosophical theories are independent of empirical ones.

None of these notions appears to be correct. According to the former, the problem of armchair philosophy is justifying a priori methods. However, most likely, this is only part of the problem since the mere fact of using a priori methods doesn’t specifically refer to armchair philosophy. This continues from the fact that so-called armchair science and non-armchair philosophy exist. The latter could use armchair methods but oppose itself to armchair philosophy. One of the most striking examples is the philosophy of Daniel Dennett, who uses the methods of armchair philosophy, but whom is its active critic [Dennett, 2010: 81‒84]. Hence, the notion of armchair philosophy is not only in the use of armchair methods. So, the concern is also about a special kind of independence that armchair philosophy has from empirical science, which does not just concern itself with the method.

I agree with Williamson that a “pure” armchair philosophy, as a philosophy completely divorced from everything empirical, is impossible.

Armchair Science and Armchair Philosophy

 

Изображение113

However, my point is more general – there is no cognitive practice completely divorced from any experience. Thus, if we take the strong notion of armchair philosophy as “pure”, then it is not viable. However, as I’m trying to show, some independence of philosophical theories and problems from empirical science is necessary for armchair philosophy. Otherwise, the notion of armchair philosophy would disappear. 

One of the ways to answer the question may be that there are special philosophical intuitions that support philosophical inquiry. These intui­tions are, to some extent, universal and need special philosophical training. Roughly speaking, this view is taken by Williamson in a dispute with early experimental philosophers [Williamson, 2007] [Weinberg, Nichols, Stich, 2001: 429‒460]. If such defense is successful, then it is possible to postulate some independence of philosophical intuitions from empirical data. However, this still cannot serve as a defense of armchair philosophy. Rather, it can be considered as a defense of philosophy and the philosophical profession, but not armchair philosophy itself, since non-armchair philosophers also possess these intuitions and philosophical skills.

If this is correct, then we should recognize that Williamson’s reasoning did not reach its goal. Otherwise the very idea of armchair philosophy should be substantially revised and talking about separating armchair philosophy from non-armchair philosophy makes sense only when we want to defend philosophy from the attack of experimental philosophers and some scientists and laypeople. Here, all philosophers are one way or another armchair philosophers, even though some would never recognize themselves that way.

Список литературы / References

Dennett, 2010 – Dennett, D. “Two Black Boxes: a Fable”, Activitas Nervosa Superior, 2010, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 81‒84.

Weinberg, Nichols, Stich, 2001 – Weinberg, J. M., Nichols, S., Stich, S. “Normativity And Epistemic Intuitions”, Philosophical Topics, 2001, vol. 29, no. 1‒2, pp. 429‒460.

Williamson, 2007 – Williamson, T. The Philosophy of Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007, 346 pp.

Эпистемология и философия науки

2019. Т. 56. № 2. С. 46–52

УДК 101.2

Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 46–52

DOI: 10.5840/eps201956228

Reply to Dennett, Knobe, Kuznetsov,
and Stoljar on Philosophical Methodology

Timothy Williamson – PhD, Wykeham Professor of Logic.

Oxford University,
New College.

Holywell St., Oxford OX1 3BN, UK.

e-mail: Timothy.williamson@
philosophy.ox.ac.uk

The paper replies to replies by Dennett, Knobe, Kuznetsov, and Stoljar to the author’s ‘Armchair Philosophy’.

Keywords: Armchair philosophy, intuitions, a priori knowledge, abduction, model-building, dependency structures.

Ответ оппонентам
по поводу философской методологии

Тимоти Уильямсон – доктор философии, профессор.

Оксфордский университет.

Holywell St., Оксфорд OX1 3BN, Великобритания.

e-mail: Timothy.williamson@
philosophy.ox.ac.uk

В данной статье автор отвечает на критические замечания оппонентов (Д. Деннета, Дж. Ноуба, А.В. Кузнецова и Д. Столжара).

Ключевые слова: кабинетная философия, интуиции, априорное знание, абдукция, построение моделей, структуры зависимости

Daniel Dennett, Joshua Knobe, Anton Kuznetsov, and Daniel Stoljar have made thoughtful responses to my position piece on armchair philosophy, identifying many points of agreement and some of disagreement. This reply deals mainly with the latter.

1. ‘Philosophical Intuitions’

Knobe’s title is ‘Philosophical Intuitions are Surprisingly Robust Across Demographic Differences’. He writes that ‘the aim of experimental philosophy […] is to find the truth about people’s intuitions’. He takes for granted that a central issue can be neutrally articulated in the question: how reliable is ‘a method that relies on intuitions’? According to Kuznetsov, my view in The Philosophy of Philosophy is (‘Roughly speaking’) ‘that there are special philosophical intuitions that support philosophical inquiry’ which ‘are, to some extent, universal and need special philosophical training’. In their pieces, neither Knobe nor Kuznetsov makes any attempt to explain what they mean by an ‘intuition’, or by describing one as ‘philosophical’. Dennett characterizes ‘naïve naïve axiomatic auto-anthropology’ as ‘thinking that the royal road to truth is to attempt to axiomatize, with your companions,

Reply to Dennett, Knobe, Kuznetsov...

 

Изображение119

your shared intuitions’, though he is careful not to ascribe that methodology to me. He too does not say what an ‘intuition’ is. Stoljar is the only one of the four not to use the ‘i’-word.

In ‘Armchair Philosophy’, I simply avoided the ‘i’-word. Given the limitations of space, I preferred not to use any of it explaining my reasons for avoidance. Since my 2004 article ‘Philosophical “Intuitions” and Scepticism about Judgment’ (the clue is in the scare quotes), I have been arguing that the debate about the reliability of ‘philosophical intuitions’ is ill-posed, because the extension of the quoted phrase is quite unclear. The point is not just that there are borderline cases; we cannot eliminate all vagueness from our vocabulary, and at the margins is usually does little harm. With the term ‘intuition, it is much worse: most human judgments are in the disputed territory. Let me explain.

Psychologists distinguish between ‘intuitive’ and ‘reflective’ judg­ments. Roughly, reflective judgments are those based on conscious rea­soning; intuitive judgments are those not based on conscious reasoning (for simplicity, I concentrate on judgments, but the distinction can be extended to inhibited inclinations to judgment and the like). Some philosophers use the word ‘intuition’ with explicit reference to the psy­chologists’ distinction. An example is Jennifer Nagel’s excellent paper  ‘Intuitions and Experiments: A Defense of the Case Method in Epis­temology’ (2012). However, as Nagel emphasizes, one consequence of so defining the term is that normal perceptual judgments (and many others) count as intuitions. Thus relying on normal perceptual judgments would count as relying on intuitions. That is not what the metaphilosophical debate was supposed to be about. Indeed, in that sense of the term, avoiding reliance on intuitions is not an option. For all judgments based on conscious reasoning rely on judgments not based on conscious reasoning. For instance, when you do a complex arithmetical calculation in your head, your final answer is based on conscious reasoning, but you did not go through an infinite regress of conscious reasoning: at some point in the calculation you made a judgment not based on conscious reasoning.

Can one finesse the problem for philosophical purposes by stipulat­ing that ‘intuitions’ are based neither on conscious reasoning nor on perception? That too would wrong-foot the metaphilosophical debate. For our judgments about thought experiments are typically made by using offline, in imagination, the very cognitive capacities we use online, in perception. For example, the proposed stipulation would allow us to sidestep reliance on intuitions in Gettier cases by making judgments based on perception of real-life Gettier cases. We observe someone at 3 o’clock setting his watch by a clock that happened to have stopped at 3 o’clock, and judge that he does not know that it is 3 o’clock. Our judgment that he lacks knowledge is not an ‘intuition’ in the stipulated sense, since it is based on perception, but critics of the case method in epistemology will

Изображение122

 

Timothy Williamson

be just as uneasy about it as they are about the verdict on the corresponding thought experiment – as I have put to the test by tricking audiences at my lectures into real Gettier cases. Thus the proposed restriction misconstrues the metaphilosophical debate.

In my paper ‘How deep is the distinction between a priori and a pos­teriori knowledge?’ (2013), I used this easy exchangeability between online and offline judgements to argue that the distinction between the a priori and the a posteriori is epistemologically superficial. Kuznetsov uses the traditional distinction to characterize my account of armchair philosophy. That is bound to be misleading, given how little I think of the traditional distinction.

As for the problem of defining ‘intuition’, an alternative strategy is to concede that ordinary non-reflective judgments based on perception are intuitions, but deny that they are philosophical intuitions. That too is unpromising. For what is distinctively philosophical about the judg­ment ‘He doesn’t know that it’s 3 o’clock’? ‘Know’ is one of the com­monest verbs in the English language. If such an everyday judgment counts as philosophical, it is hard to guess what would count as unphilo­sophical. Virtually any judgment can be used in a counterexample to some suitably wrong-headed philosophical theory.

To vary the example, for most adults the judgment ‘2+2 = 4’ counts as intuitive in the psychologists’ sense, since they do not base it on conscious reasoning. They also do not base it on sense perception. Moreover, ‘2+2 = 4’ is philosophical in the sense that many philosophers of mathematics rely on the truth of such arithmetical equations in their arguments. I have certainly heard experimental philosophers define ‘philosophical intuition’ in a way that makes ‘2+2 = 4’ a philosophical intuition. When the method of relying on‘philosophical intuitions’ is de­bated, are elementary arithmetical equations to be included?

The moral is this: do not use the word ‘intuition’ in debates on philo­sophical methodology unless you have properly clarified what you mean by it. Such clarification requires, at a minimum, answering the questions raised over the past few paragraphs.

2. Abductive Philosophy

In ‘Armchair Philosophy’, I characterized a broadly abductive metho­dology for philosophy. To emphasize that this need not give philosophy the character of a natural science, I cited the example of foundational inquiry within mathematics. Kuznetsov objects: ‘Mathematics and philo­sophy are significantly different – the ontology of formal systems is known without a trace: we know all the basic laws of these systems’. But that is not true of foundational mathematics. As Kurt Gödel and Paul

Reply to Dennett, Knobe, Kuznetsov...

 

Изображение123

Cohen proved, neither Cantor’s Continuum Hypothesis (CH) nor its ne­gation is derivable from standard set theory (given the con­sistency of the theory). If CH is true, it is a basic law of set theory. If CH is false, its negation is a basic law of set theory. Either way, there is a basic law of which we are ignorant. Of course, on some views there are many set-theoretic universes, with CH holding in some and failing in others. Then the more basic framework is that in which we investigate the space of all set-theoretic universes. But then we do not know all the basic laws of that more general framework, for reasons connected with Gödel’s incomp­leteness theorems. Although there are many obvious differences between mathematics and philosophy, whether our knowledge has limits is not one of them.

Dennett’s main concern with philosophers’ use of an abductive methodology is that if they take intuitions as the input, the abductively derived outputs will be no more reliable than the inputs – unless the out­puts are recycled as a theory about the content of the implicit folk theory which generated the intuitions, not as a theory about whatever the intui­tions themselves are about. The radical unclarity of ‘intuition’ discussed in §1 clouds that concern too. Dennett mentions David Lewis in connec­tion with an ‘intuition’-based abductive methodology, but Lewis spoke of ‘intuitions’ just as our opinions, in describing something like the method of reflective equilibrium in philosophy, with no intention to exclude natural scientific opinions.

Dennett seems a little unfair to advocates of an ‘intuition’-based abductive methodology when he describes them as ‘taking their intuition-pumped consensus as a sure path to the “real nature” of whatever they were talking about’. His words‘a sure path’ suggest that they expect something like certainty from their methodology. But many of them would settle for a much weaker epistemic status, such as high rational credence. Dennett also flirts with a reading of a passage I quote from Austin as ‘a complacent assurance that the time-honored, well-honed home truths of the manifest image are the last word on anything’, but in that discussion Austin explicitly proposes that ordinary language should just be the first word on some things; he offers no candidate for the last word.

In my view, the conception of philosophical methodology as directed towards reflective equilibrium suffers from the usual defects of internalist and coherentist epistemology. It ignores crucial questions about where our evidence comes from. To discuss the methodology of natural science as directed towards reflective equilibrium without mentioning our inter­actions with the external world through observation and experiment would, rather blatantly, be to miss half the picture. Although the omission is less obvious when philosophical methodology is described in terms of reflective equilibrium, it is still there. Our knowledge of the world includes many findings of natural science; it also includes much else

Изображение126

 

Timothy Williamson

besides. In principle, our evidence base for abduction in philosophy com­prises all of that knowledge. In practice, parts coming from natural sci­ence are highly relevant to some philosophical questions; to ignore them would be foolish. But, again in practice, not all philosophical questions are like that. For example, the findings of natural science often have no distinctive relevance to abductive arguments for first principles of logic or mathematics, though there is no ban in principle on appeal to them even there. Sometimes, common sense knowledge is enough; sometimes, high-powered mathematical knowledge is needed. When things go well, we acquire knowledge (not just high rational credence) in the form of the abductive conclusions. It does not follow that the conclusions are the last word on anything. That something is known does not imply that no one is allowed to question it.

3. Models and Dependency Structures

In ‘Armchair Philosophy’, I proposed that philosophy, like much of natural science, often makes progress by constructing better models of matters of interest, rather than by discovering new universal laws of those matters. Of course, models in philosophy are usually not geared to making testable quantitative predictions, but the same applies to some models in natural science. For example, a model of evolution with three-sex rather than two-sex reproduction need not aim at making quantitative predictions: instead, its purpose may be to help explain why three-sex reproduction tends not to occur. Similarly, the purpose of models in philosophy tends to be explanation, not prediction. Kuznetsov seems to have an over­ly predictive conception of models when he writes ‘Model building in science relies on empirical results and is mediated by them’.

Daniel Stoljar agrees that the conception of progress as the discovery of new universal laws is far too narrow for both philosophy and natural science, but he argues that it is for a more general reason as well: ‘pro­gress in both science and philosophy consists in the provision of better information about dependency structures’. Such structures may involve relations of either causal or constitutive dependence.

I was certainly not suggesting that discovering new universal laws and constructing better models are the only forms that progress in either philosophy or natural science can take. Nor have I anything against progress in either case by providing better information about dependency structures. However, I do not see what is so special about dependency structures. Progress in philosophy or natural science might be made by providing better information about almost any general kind of relational structure, whether they involve dependency relations or relations of some other sort.

Reply to Dennett, Knobe, Kuznetsov...

 

Изображение127

Dependency relations typically involve an ordering, irreflexive (does not depend on itself), asymmetric (if x depends on y, then y does not depend on x), and transitive (if x depends on y, and y depends on z, then x depends on z). But many relations of philosophical and natural scientific interest are not dependency relations. Logical relations, such as entailment, are an example. That p entails q tells us nothing about whether p depends on q, or q depends on p, or neither. For a start, the entailment may be mutual. Of course, we can rig up an irreflexive, asymmetric, and transitive relation of one-way entailment, where p one-way entails q just in case p entails q but q does not entail p. But it still implies nothing about dependency. For example, ‘This is red and square’ one-way entails ‘This is red’, where the temptation is to say that the entailer depends on the entailed, but ‘This is red’ one-way entails ‘This is red or square’, where the temptation is to say that the entailed depends on the entailer. Nevertheless, better information about entailment is often highly explanatory, in both philosophy and natural science. Something similar goes for mereological relations: to say that x is a proper part of y is not yet to say whether x depends on y, or y depends on x, or neither. Yet better information about parthood can be explanatory. In philosophy, better information about the existence, identity, and distinctness of things can also be explanatorily crucial, yet it is not naturally understood as information about a dependency structure.

The significance of progress by building better models is not that it is the only alternative to progress by discovering new laws, but that it is a different, widespread, and theoretically very powerful form of progress, distinctive of advanced natural science and, as it turns out, advanced philosophy too. How much progress in advanced natural science really consists of finding out more about dependency structures?

Список литературы / References

Dennett, 2019 – Dennett, D. “Philosophy or Auto-Anthropology?”, Epistemology & Philosophy of Science, 2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 26‒28.

Knobe, 2019 – Knobe, J. “Philosophical Intuitions Are Surprisingly Robust Across Demographic Differences”, Epistemology & Philosophy of Science, 2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 29‒36.

Kuznetsov, 2019 – Kuznetsov, A. “Armchair Science And Armchair Philosophy”, Epistemology & Philosophy of Science, 2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 43‒45.

Nagel, 2012 – Nagel, J. “Intuitions And Experiments: A Defense Of The Case Method In Epistemology”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2012, vol. 85, pp. 495‒527.

Stoljar, 2019 – Stoljar, D. “Williamson On Laws And Progress In Philosophy”, Epistemology & Philosophy of Science, 2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 37‒42.

Williamson, 2004 – Williamson, T. “Philosophical Intuitions and Scepticism About Judgment’, Dialectica, 2004, vol. 58, pp. 109‒153.

Изображение130

 

Timothy Williamson

Эпистемология и философия науки

2019. Т. 56. № 2. С. 53–59

УДК 101.3

Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 53–59

DOI: 10.5840/eps201956229

Williamson, 2007 – Williamson, T. The Philosophy of Philosophy. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007, 346 pp.

Williamson, 2013 – Williamson, T. ‘How Deep Is The Distinction Between A Priori And A Posteriori Knowledge?’, in: A. Casullo & J. Thurow (eds.). The A Priori in Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 291‒312.

Williamson, 2018 – Williamson, T. Doing Philosophy: From Common Curiosity to Logical Reasoning. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 176 pp.

Williamson, 2019 – Williamson, T. “Armchair Philosophy”, Epistemology & Philosophy of Science, 2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 19‒25.

Послесловие к панельной дискуссии
о кабинетной философии*

Васильев Вадим Валерьевич – доктор философских наук, профессор.

Московский государственный университет
им. М.В. Ломоносова.

Российская Федерация, 119991, г. Москва, 
Ленинские горы, д. 1.

e-mail: vadim.v.vasilyev@
gmail.com

 

Обсуждается статья Т. Уильямсона «Кабинетная философия», возражения участников панельной дискуссии и другие возможные реакции на нее. Показано соответствие содержания статьи Уильямсона основным темам его книги «Занимаясь философией». Отмечен больший акцент статьи на методе моделирования, с которым Уильямсон связывает будущее кабинетной философии. Анализ ответов на статью Уильямсона со стороны Д. Столджара, Дж. Ноуба, Д. Деннета и А. Кузнецова показывает, однако, что предложенный Уильямсоном вариант кабинетной философии не вызывает больших возражений у принципиальных противников кабинетного подхода и, таким образом, по сути не защищает ту априорную методологию, которую он собирался защищать. Для более эффективной защиты потребовалось бы использование метода концептуального анализа, обещающего получение априорных концептуальных истин. Уильямсон, однако, сомневается в перспективах продуктивного концептуального анализа. Автор послесловия, между тем, пытается показать, что традиционное представление о концептуальном анализе может быть усовершенствовано, в результате чего он сможет эффективно выполнять возложенную на него функцию защиты кабинетной философии.

Ключевые слова: метафилософия, философия философии, каби­нетная философия, концептуальный анализ

Afterword to the Panel Discussion on Armchair Philosophy

Vadim V. Vasilyev – Dsc
in Philosophy, professor.

Lomonosov Moscow State
University.

1 Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation.

e-mail: vadim.v.vasilyev@
gmail.com

 

In this paper I discuss Timothy Williamson’s panel paper “Arm­chair Philosophy”, the objections of the participants of the panel dis­cussion and other possible reactions to it. The correspondence of the content of Williamson’s paper to the main themes of his book “Doing Philosophy” is shown, as well as the greater emphasis of his paper on the method of model building, upon which he bases his hope for the future of armchair philosophy. The analysis of the responses to the paper by Williamson received from Daniel Stoljar, Joshua Knobe, Daniel Dennett, and Anton Kuznetsov shows, however, that the version of the armchair philosophy proposed by Williamson does not raise much objections among principal oppo­nents of the armchair approach and thus does not promote an a priori methodology that this kind of philosophy is supposed to defend and promote. More effective defense would require the use of a conceptual analysis that promises getting a priori or conceptual


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Васильев В.В.

 

truths. Williamson, however, doubts the prospects for productive conceptual analysis. Nevertheless, the author of this afterword tries to show that the traditional conceptual analysis can be improved and that it is possible that such an improved analysis would per­form its function of promoting the radical armchair philosophy much more effectively. Instead of clarifying some more or less inte­resting concepts conceptual analysis might aim at clarifying our na­tural beliefs, such as belief in causal dependance of ordinary events, in independent existence of the objects of our experience, in identity of some objects, in other minds, etc. In the process of such a clarifying we can also try to understand some non-trivial relations between our natural beliefs. The author provides an example of such an analysis, resulting in getting a truth which has all the marks of necessary conceptual truth, claiming there are a lot of similar truths to be found.

Keywords: metaphilosophy, philosophy of philosophy, experimental philosophy, armchair philosophy, conceptual analysis

Нечасто бывает, чтобы на страницах отечественных философских журналов разворачивались дискуссии с участием ведущих западных философов. Но обсуждение в этом номере журнала «Эпистемология и философия науки» проблем и перспектив кабинетной философии именно таково. Заглавная статья написана одним из ведущих со­временных эпистемологов, оксфордским профессором Тимоти Уиль­ямсоном. На нее откликнулись: знаменитый философ-натуралист Дэниел Деннет, один из создателей экспериментальной философии Джошуа Ноуб и выдающийся австралийский философ Дэниел Столджар. В дискуссии также принял участие один из ее организаторов, сотрудник Московского центра исследования сознания при философском факультете МГУ Антон Кузнецов.

Ознакомившись со статьей Уильямсона, читатели могут заметить, что она кратко воспроизводит содержание его книги «Занимаясь философией», которая обсуждалась в редакторской статье к этому номеру журнала. Как и в книге, Уильямсон размышляет о различных философских методах, применяя которые можно практиковать кабинетную философию. Острота этого вопроса объясняется критикой традиционного понимания философии как кабинетной дисциплины со стороны экспериментальных философов и сторонников более тесного союза философии с эмпирическими науками. Важным оборонительным ресурсом Уильямсона оказывается аналогия философии с такой успешной кабинетной дисциплиной, как математика, а также тривиализация якобы сомнительных кабинетных процедур, таких как мысленные эксперименты. Но самым перспективным методом ка­бинетной философии он признает моделирование. Интересно, что, несмотря на краткость текста Уильямсона, некоторые аспекты этого метода раскрыты здесь даже более подробно, чем в упомянутой книге 2018 г. Он приводит больше конкретных примеров использования

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метода построения моделей в философии, рассказывая, в частности, о задействовании байесианской модели вероятности в эпистемологических исследованиях, а также о применении в моральной и политической философии моделей, основанных на математических принципах теорий игр и принятия решений. И еще более однозначно, чем в книге, он связывает здесь прогресс в философии с созданием все более удачных моделей, описывающих изучаемые в ней явления. Ошибочное противопоставление философии и естествознания в этом плане объясняется, с его точки зрения, тем, что многие привыкли считать, что стремительно прогрессирующее естествознание открывает универсальные законы – чем не может похвастаться философия (за исключением ее логической части). Но на самом деле прогресс естествознания во многом состоит в изобретении учеными все более успешных моделей. И в этом плане философия мало отстает от нее: «Формальные модели, доступные в эпистемологии и философии языка, намного превосходят те, которые были доступны в 1950 г.; они позволяют более глубоко и детализировано постигать фундаментальную структуру знания и значения». Уильямсон не забывает также отметить, что «указанные модели почти всецело были созданы в кабинетах».

Какую же реакцию вызвала статья Уильямсона у участников дискуссии? Д. Столджар недавно опубликовал книгу о прогрессе в философии [Stoljar, 2017], где одобрительно ссылался на Уильямсона. Поэтому можно было бы заранее предположить, что он под­держит его идеи. Что же касается экспериментального философа Дж. Ноуба и одного из главных пропагандистов союза философии и экспериментального естествознания Д. Деннета, то они, казалось бы, должны раскритиковать его. Эти предположения отчасти подтверждаются, но лишь отчасти. Столджар, к примеру, считает, что описание прогресса философии через улучшение моделей сужает его горизонты. Для прогресса, по его мнению, достаточно любого уточнения соотношения исследуемых параметров, необязательно в контексте моделирования. И мы, разумеется, сможем найти немало примеров подобных уточнений в истории философии. Ноуб больше озабочен не критикой выстраиваемого Уильямсоном образа кабинетной философии, а доказательством того, что экспериментальная философия вовсе не была изначально нацелена – как считают многие, в том числе Уильямсон – на оспаривание интуиций философов на том основании, что они не репрезентируют взгляды всех людей (на что те претендуют), так как среднестатистический философ – зрелый белый мужчина из богатой западной страны. Чтобы поспорить с Ноубом, достаточно взглянуть на его собственный «Манифест экспериментальной философии» более чем десятилетней давности. Манифест начинается именно с рассуждений о различиях философских интуиций в разных культурах [Knobe, Nichols, 2008; p. 3].

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И первые эксперименты вроде бы подтверждали это предположение. Но более точные позднейшие эксперименты показали, напротив, совпадения философски значимых интуиций у людей разных возрастов, полов и культур. Ноуб не отрицает эти новые данные, но пытается представить их как удивительное открытие большой значимости. Кабинетные философы могут заметить, что оно удивительное только для самих экспериментальных философов и что характеристика его как удивительного подтверждает, что экспериментальные философы ожидали чего-то другого, в противоположность словам Ноуба.

Но, пожалуй, самую неожиданную реакцию на статью Уильямсона дает Деннет. Он с готовностью поддерживает тот образ кабинетной философии, который рисует Уильямсон, и расходится с ним лишь в деталях, предостерегая от понимания слов Уильямсона так, будто тот предлагает выстраивать философские теории в аксиоматическом ключе (чего он, конечно, не предлагает). Но как же Деннет может в принципе соглашаться с Уильямсоном? Разве они не находятся на противоположных полюсах философской методологии? Причина этого согласия, думается, в том, что Уильямсон вовсе не отрицает наличия эмпирической базы у тех моделей, построением которых должна заниматься философия. Да и как здесь можно было бы обойтись без нее? Не исключено, конечно, что он трактует ее не так широко, как Деннет, считающий необходимым включение в эту базу как можно большего набора данных экспериментальных наук, тогда как Уильямсон делает упор на фундамент здравого смысла, но это уже детали. По сути же сам Деннет готов назвать себя кабинетным философом в уильямсоновском смысле. Казалось бы, кабинетные философы могут торжествовать, но все не так однозначно. Ведь на эту ситуацию можно посмотреть и с другой стороны. Если даже такой эмпирик, как Деннет, готов признать себя кабинетным философом в уильямсоновском смысле, то не является ли этот смысл выхолощенным? Не будет ли такая кабинетная философия кабинетной только на словах?

Как бы ни отвечать на эти вопросы, ясно, что Уильямсона нельзя назвать радикальным кабинетным философом. Это обстоятельство отмечает в своем отклике А. В. Кузнецов. С его точки зрения, кабинетная философия в строгом смысле слова должна быть в состоянии не только в априорном режиме обрабатывать эмпирический материал (это делает любая философия), но и формулировать такие проблемы и решения, которые были бы недоступны при экспериментальном подходе.

Причина недостаточной радикальности Т. Уильямсона нам, собственно, уже известна. Она состоит в том, что он отвергает метод концептуального анализа. А ведь именно концептуальный анализ мог бы резко обособлять кабинетную философию от экспериментальных дисциплин. Для его проведения мы не нуждались бы в экспериментах, так как он направлен на уже имеющиеся у нас концепты. Кроме того, он обещает нам получение необходимых истин

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(так как раскрытие содержания этих концептов или понятий происходит по закону тождества), нетипичных для экспериментальных наук, претендующих лишь на контингентные обобщения.

Уильямсон считает, что обещания концептуального анализа остаются всего лишь обещаниями. В этом своем убеждении он следует идеологии У. Куайна. Но действительно ли она не может быть поколеблена? Критика концептуального анализа обычно состоит либо в указании на трудности определения понятия аналитических утверждений (не сводящихся к тавтологиям), через высказывание которых осуществляется концептуальный анализ, либо в отсылках к тому, что такой анализ имеет отношение скорее к словам и правилам их употребления, а не к фактам о вещах, которыми интересуются философы. Но идущий от Куайна аргумент от трудностей в дефиниции [Куайн, 2001] едва ли очень опасен. Давать дефиниции вообще непросто, но из трудностей в определении, к примеру, тривиального понятия стола едва ли можно делать вывод о неправомерности его употребления или об отсутствия такого понятия [ср. Williamson, 2007, p. 50‒51]. Что же касается второго момента, то лучшим ответом, на мой взгляд, была бы не абстрактная оборонительная программа в традиционных границах понимания концептуального анализа [ср., напр., Strevens, 2019], а отыскание для начала хотя бы одного убедительного примера философски значимого и нетавтологичного утверждения, истинность которого можно было бы удостоверить априори на основе имеющихся у нас представлений. В качестве критерия его достоверности можно использовать невозможность мыслить без противоречия поло­жение дел, противоположное тому, которое констатируется в нем. Важно также, чтобы этот пример не сводился к чисто словесным дефинициям, вроде того, что «действие – это событие, вызываемое причиной». Подобные высказывания сами по себе не имеют отношения к фактическому устройству мира.

Для отыскания нужного нам примера можно воспользоваться одной из дистинкций Уильямсона в книге «Занимаясь философией». Он разграничивает там понятия и концепты [Williamson, 2018, pp. 44‒45]. Понятия (concepts) – это то, что фиксируется в словарных определениях, они общи для всех людей, признающих авторитет соответствующих словарей. Концепты (conceptions) же – это индивидуализированные понятия, сопряженные с убеждениями, имеющимися у индивидов. Скажем, у всех читателей этого номера журнала имеется примерно одинаковое понятие рыси, но я, к примеру, убежден, что рыси водятся в Подмосковье, а кто-то может думать о них иначе, и т. п. Убеждения, включенные в концепты, могут быть, между тем, не только партикулярными. Некоторые из них могут разделяться всеми разумными людьми. Скажем, с понятием физической реальности (как совокупности чувственно данных пространственно-временных предметов) у всех разумных индивидов связано убеждение о том,

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что она существует независимо от нашего восприятия. Это убеждение, таким образом, встроено в ее концепт. В него встроены и другие убеждения. К примеру – по крайней мере на обыденном уровне – мы убеждены, что изменения, происходящие в физической реальности, происходят не просто так, что они всегда чем-то вызваны, или, иными словами, что у них всегда есть какие-то причины.

Задумаемся теперь, нельзя ли реализовать программу концептуального анализа, изучая соотношение подобных универсальных убеждений, сопряженных с такими философски значимыми понятиями, как понятие физической реальности. Отметим, что вопрос, связано ли наше убеждение в независимом существовании физической реальности с нашим убеждением, что изменения в этой реальности происходят не без причин, не кажется риторическим. Вера в независимое от нас существование физической реальности предполагает уверенность в том, что мы не являемся причинами, поддерживающими ее существование, но в заданном вопросе подразумевается более широкий каузальный контекст. Это значит, что здесь есть поле для исследований, для анализа. И такой анализ может принести конкретные результаты. Ведь если бы мы не верили в причинность, а именно если бы мы считали высоковероятным беспричинное исчезновение чувственных предметов, то мы не могли бы верить, что предметы, покидающие поле нашего восприятия, сохраняют свое существование. Но эта вера и конституирует убеждение в независимом от нас существовании физической реальности. Иначе говоря, нельзя отчетливо представить индивида, считающего очень вероятным, что большинство данных ему в опыте предметов не исчезнут при прекращении его восприятия этих предметов, т. е. считающего очень вероятным, что эти предметы существуют независимо от него, и вместе с тем полагающего высоковероятным беспричинное исчезновение любых чувственных предметов. Эти убеждения логически несовместимы. Ведь если вы считаете высоковероятным беспричинное исчезновение предметов как таковых, то вы считаете высоковероятным и что данные вам в чувственном опыте предметы исчезнут после прекращения их восприятия вами. И тогда вы не можете считать вероятным, что данные вам в чувственном опыте предметы не исчезнут после прекращения их восприятия, не впадая в противоречие. А поскольку речь здесь идет о противоречии, то несовместимость рассматриваемых убеждений выявляется не эмпирическим установлением корреляций (разрыв коррелятивных связей может мыслиться без противоречия), а концептуальным анализом.

Таким образом, утверждение о связи нашего убеждения в независимом существовании физической реальности и нашего убеждения в существовании причин у событий – концептуальная истина. И трудно отрицать философскую значимость этого вывода, ведь в нем идет

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Эпистемология и философия науки

2019. Т. 56. № 2. С. 60–76

УДК 167.7

Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2019, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 60–76

DOI: 10.5840/eps201956230

речь о наших представлениях о фундаментальных характеристиках сущего. Разумеется, это лишь один пример, указывающий на целое поле исследований, в плоскости которого можно выстраивать концептуальные анализы априорного типа, позволяющие реализовать радикальную версию кабинетной философии. Так мне самому хотелось бы отреагировать на построения Уильямсона и на метафилософские вызовы наших дней. Но, разумеется, на эти вызовы можно реагировать и множеством других способов. И интереснейшая панельная дискуссия в этом номере журнала «Эпистемология и философия науки» дает всем нам импульс к новым изысканиям в этой важной области.

Список литературы

Куайн, 2000 – Куайн У.В.О. Две догмы эмпиризма // Куайн У.В.О. Слово и объект. М.: Логос, 2000. С. 342‒367.

Knobe, Nichols, 2008 – Knobe, J. & Nichols, S. An Experimental Philosophy Manifesto // Knobe, J. & Nichols, S. (eds). Experimental Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2008. P. 3‒14.

Stoljar, 2017 – Stoljar, D. Philosophical Progress: In Defence of a Reasonable Optimism. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2017. 192 pp.

Strevens, 2019 – Strevens, M. Thinking Off Your Feet: How Empirical Psycho­logy Vindicates Armchair Philosophy. Cambridge MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 2019. 330 pp.

Williamson, 2007 – Williamson T. The Philosophy of Philosophy. Malden: Blackwell Publ., 2007. 332 pp.

Williamson, 2018 – Williamson T. Doing Philosophy: From Common Curiosity to Logical Reasoning. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2018. 176 pp.

References

Knobe, J. & Nichols, S. “An Experimental Philosophy Manifesto”, in: Knobe, J. & Nichols, S. (eds). Experimental Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 3‒14.

Quine, W.V.O. “Dve dogmy empirizma” [Two Dogmas of Empiricism], in: Quine W.V.O. Slovo i obyekt [Word and Object]. Moscow: Logos, 2000, pp. 342‒367. (In Russian)

Stoljar, D. Philosophical Progress: In Defence of a Reasonable Optimism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 192 pp.

Strevens M. Thinking Off Your Feet: How Empirical Psychology Vindicates Armchair Philosophy. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2019, 330 pp.

Williamson T. Doing Philosophy: From Common Curiosity to Logical Reasoning. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 176 pp.

Williamson T. The Philosophy of Philosophy. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2007, 332 pp.

Эпистемология и познание

Beyond The ‘Null Setting’:
The Method Of Cases
In The Epistemology Of Testimony

Axel Gelfert – PhD
in Philosophy, professor.

Technische Universität Berlin.

Straße des 17. Juni 135,
10623 Berlin, Germany.

e-mail: a.gelfert@tu-berlin.de

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Epistemologists of testimony have tended to construct highly stylized (so-called “null setting”) examples in support of their respective philosophical positions, the paradigmatic case being the casual request for directions from a random stranger. The present paper analyzes the use of such examples in the early controversy between reductionists and anti-reductionists about testimonial justification. The controversy concerned, on the one hand, the source of whatever epistemic justification our testimony-based beliefs might have, and, on the other hand, the phenomenology of testimonial acceptance and rejection. As it turns out, appeal to “null setting” cases did not resolve, but instead deepened, the theoretical disputes between reductionists and anti-reductionists. This, it is suggested, is because interpreters ‘fill in’ missing details in ways that reflect their own peculiarities in perspective, experience, upbringing, and philosophical outlook. In response, two remedial strategies have been pursued in recent years: First, we could invert the usual strategy and turn to formal contexts, rather than informal settings, as the paradigmatic scenarios for any prospective episte­mology of testimony. Second, instead of “null setting” scenarios, we can focus on richly described cases that either include, or are embedded into, sufficient contextual information to allow for educated judgments concerning the reliability and trustworthiness of the testimony and testifiers involved. The prospects of both of these approaches are then discussed and evaluated.

Keywords: social epistemology, testimony, reductionism, anti-reductionism, method of cases, social context

За пределами «нулевой настройки»: ситуационный метод в эпистемологии свидетельства

Аксель Гелферт – доктор
философии, профессор.

Технический университет Берлина.

Straße des 17. Juni 135,
10623, Берлин, Германия.

e-mail: a.gelfert@tu-berlin.de

Эпистемологи свидетельства склонны к разработке очень изощренных примеров (так называемых нулевых установок) в поддержку соответствующих философских позиций, причем основное направление здесь задает ориентир на «случайного незнакомца». В данной статье анализируется использование таких примеров в полемике об обосновании свидетельства между редукционистами и антиредуктивистами. Противоречия здесь возникают, с одной стороны, по поводу эпистемических оснований верований, основанных на свидетельствах, а с другой стороны, в связи с феноменологией признания и отрицания свидетельств. Автору представляется, что апелляция к случаям с «нулевой установкой» не только не способствует разреше­нию споров между редукционистами и антиредукционистами, но, напротив, лишь усугубляет их. По-видимому, это связано

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с тем, что интерпретация оказывается «дополнена» самим интерпретатором – его мировоззрением, опытом, воспитанием и философскими взглядами. В этой связи в последние годы были разработаны две стратегии коррекции такой интерпретации. Первая предлагает вместо неформальных условий обратиться к формальным контекстам с целью выявления парадигмальных сценариев для всякой эпистемологии свидетельства. Вторая требует отказаться от сценария «нулевой установки» и сосредоточиться на хорошо описанных кейсах, которые включают в себя достаточную информацию о контексте, что позволяет сформулировать обоснованные суждения относительно надежности и достоверности свидетельских показаний. Автор анализирует перспективность каждой из названных стратегий.

Ключевые слова: социальная эпистемология, свидетельство, редук­ционизм, антиредукционизм, ситуационный метод, социальный контекст

1. Introduction

Philosophical methodology, in recent years, has undergone something of a revival, in that it has moved beyond the confines of a specialist pursuit and has actively been taken up in various corners of philosophy. The pre­sent paper offers one such application – a fairly narrow one, it should be added – to the field of social epistemology. In particular, it discusses the method of cases, and its limitations, in the epistemology of testimony. Much of the early work in contemporary epistemology of testimony was based on the assumption that cases should be sufficiently ‘stylized’ (i.e., should abstract from empirical detail), so as to allow for generalizations about all, or at least most, of the testimonial information we receive. However, far from eliciting stable intuitions about when it is rational to trust someone’s testimony, this emphasis on the so-called “null setting” [Adler, 2006] deepened the divide between (in the early phase of the debate) reductionists and anti-reductionists about testimonial justification, or so I shall argue. In recent years, alternative approaches have emerged that aim to sidestep various methodological issues, by looking beyond the null setting towards, on the one hand, empirically rich descriptions of socially situated practices and, on the other hand, examples from literature and film which offer contextual information and narrative unity.

The remainder of this paper is as follows. In Section 2, the relevant meta-philosophical background is sketched, including the controversy over whether certain philosophical methodologies, such as the method of cases, can be defended by appeal to a specialist notion of ‘philosophical expertise’. Section 3 offers a sketch of contemporary epistemology of testimony, paying special attention to the argumentative dialectic between reductionists and anti-reductionists about testimonial justification. On the basis of a much-discussed example due to Tony Coady [1992], it is shown how cases that

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conform to the “null setting” fail as arbiters between the two opposing camps. Section 4 looks at how contemporary scholars in the epistemology of testimony have moved beyond the early emphasis on stylized examples, turning instead to an analysis of socially situated practices and to literature and narrative for inspiration. While the “null setting” may still have a role to play for the analysis of certain types of testimony, its oversize influence in early epistemology of testimony has rightly diminished, or so I conclude.

2. Meta-Philosophical Background:
Intuitions And Expertise

Metaphilosophical considerations tend to enter philosophical dis­course at crucial junctures in the formation, or consolidation, of a sub­discipline or nascent tradition. Examples from twentieth-century Western philosophy might include the rise of logical empiricism, and its subse­quent disintegration (and partial absorption) into a variety of subfields and approaches. Similarly, the divide between, say, analytical and phe­nomenological traditions within Western philosophy has, on occasion, given rise to methodological and metaphilosophical reflection, yet with the deepening of the divide over time, occasions for productive ex­changes have diminished. In recent years, metaphilosophical discus­sions have flourished within what may be called ‘mainstream analytical philosophy’, and this, too, may be considered a side effect of the pro­liferation of methodologies and approaches, along with the erosion of tacitly shared philosophical commitments.

At the heart of recent metaphilosophical controversies within mainstream analytical philosophy has been the method of cases and conceptual analysis, where this refers to the dual strategy of, on the one hand, conjuring up particular cases (in the spirit of philosophical ‘thought experiments’) and, on the other hand, attempting to dissolve any disagreement through careful – and competent – attention to the contituent concepts at issue. This overall approach spans the various subdisciplines, ranging from metaphysics and the philosophy of mind all the way to epistemological projects such as demarcating the applicability of the term ‘knowledge’. In fact, one of the most spirited defences of the philosophical utility of conceptual analysis, by Frank Jackson, is entitled From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis [1998], thereby signalling the appeal, and near-universal ambition, of conceptual analysis as a philosophical methodology. At the same time, criticisms and challenges abound, much of which has traditionally centred on the tacitly assumed analytic/synthetic distinction (usually considered to have been undermined by Quine [1951]) and on the undue emphasis on language and concepts [Williamson, 2004].

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The power of the method of cases resides in its ability to prompt powerful intuitions, for example concerning the extension of certain concepts (e.g.,‘knowledge’), which help adjudicate philosophical questions and demarcate conceptual boundaries. As Jennifer Nagel notes, “[a] well-constructed case can elicit a powerful intuitive verdict,” even if “the power of intuitive responses is somewhat mysterious” [Nagel, 2012, p. 495]. Part of the mystery is due to the lack of immediate transparency and the lack of a phenomenology of deliberation. Typically, in philosophical argumentation, cases are so constructed as to either illustrate an already accepted point or sway the hearer/reader, by bringing about an alignment between her intuitions and those of the speaker/author. As Nagel rightly notes, this failure of transparency may lead “us, as self-conscious epistemologists, to wonder about the epistemic legitimacy of the method of cases” [ibid.]. Extending this line of thought further, one could harbour the suspicion that, perhaps, the method of cases amounts to nothing but a careful manipulation of an audience’s seemingly intuitive responses. Even when intuitive responses appear to be unanimous, this may well turn out to be an artefact of irrelevant influences that have unduly skewed a particular audience’s response – or so the objection goes.

Most recently, proponents of so-called experimental philosophy have issued just such a caveat with respect to the probative force of case-based intuitions. Joshua Alexander and Jonathan Weinberg, in a survey article on the relationship between experimental philosophy and mainstream analytic epistemology, characterize as one type of concern the “restric­tionist” worry that “experimental evidence seems to point to the unsuitability of intuitions to serve as evidence at all” [Alexander & Weisberg, 2007, p. 63]; on this view, intuitions in general are too unreliable and temporally unstable to serve as any sort of durable foundations of philosophical practice. This contrasts with the “proper foundation” view, which holds that we should empirically ascertain which intuitions (regarding the types of examples and thought experiments philosophers tend to devise) are stable and durable enough to serve as a basis of theorizing. Crudely speaking, restrictionist views are pessimistic, proper foundation views optimistic about putting intuitions on a firm empirical footing, yet both entail a revision of the standard practice of assuming, without further analysis, that philosophical intuitions have probative force. A further issue concerns the differences between what one might call ‘raw’ vs. ‘educated’ intuitions. As Nagel notes, it should be “possible to have theory-driven epistemic intuitions, for example, after becoming very well-rehearsed in applying the verdicts of some particular analysis” of a given philosophical concept (e.g. ‘knowledge’). On the one hand, this relates to the worry that even seemingly uniform intuitions may still be subject to cultural modulation; on the other hand, it opens up the possibility of insisting on there being expert intuitions, i.e. intuitive – that is, instant

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non-deliberative – responses by properly educated experts well-versed in the correct underlying theories.1

Timothy Williamson has forcefully pushed back against the experimentalists’ challenge to the ‘traditional’ way of doing philosophy. First, philosophers need not accept the tacit premise that evaluations of particular cases amount only to the pitting of one set of intuitive seemings against another. In his The Philosophy of Philosophy [2007], he offers an alternative account of philosophical thought experiments “as employing deductively valid arguments with counterfactual premises that we evaluate as we evaluate other counterfactuals, using a mixture of imaginative simulation, background information, and logic” [Williamson, 2011, p. 215‒216]. Couched in these terms, philosophical thought experiments no longer appear so radically different from, say, the experimental method in the sciences. When constrained in the right way, by logic and background knowledge, our intuitions may well track objective counterfactual relationships in the world. Furthermore, philosophers may be especially well placed to engage in such reasoning, given that even experimentalists concede that “philosophical training does typically bring a mastery of relevant literatures both contemporary and historical, and even specific technical skills such as argument evaluation and construction” [Weinberg, Gonnerman, Buckner & Alexander, 2010, p. 334]. Hence, Williamson argues, we should “not regard philosophical training as an illegitimate contamination of the data, any more than training natural scientists how to perform experiments properly is a contamination of their data” [Williamson, 2007, p. 191]. To be sure, philosophical inquiry needs to be conducted responsibly and in accordance with disciplinary standards, yet when these are in place, it is entirely defensible on the basis of the well-earned expertise of its practitioners. No expertise is without bounds, of course, which is why Williamson demands that “[p]hilosophy students have to learn how to apply general concepts to specific examples with careful attention to the relevant subtleties, just a law students have to learn how to analyze hypothetical cases” [Williamson, 2007, p. 191]. Elsewhere, he insists that the gulf between the thought experiments of philosophy and the real world of lived experience may not be as deep as the experimentalist critics have tended to assume: “Critics of ‘armchair philosophy’ tend to forget that there are real life analogues of some philosophical thought experiments” [Williamson, 2011, p. 217].

If the continuity between the imaginary scenarios of philosophical thought experiments and the real world of lived experience is a desideratum for the method of cases in general, it is especially so for the methodology of social epistemology. This can easily be shown via a brief consideration of the dominant approaches to social epistemology, each of which reflects a distinct methodological orientation. Alvin Goldman [2010]


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helpfully gives a taxonomy of such approaches and distinguishes between three global ways of doing social epistemology, which he calls revisionism, preservationism, and expansionism, respectively. The guiding question, which he borrows from William Alston [2005], is that of whether social epistemology is “real epistemology” – where the latter is, quite obviously, itself a contested notion. Those approaches that take an overtly descriptive approach, such as the sociology and psychology of knowledge, may indeed fall outside the scope of “real” epistemology since they do not normally concern themselves with core epistemic notions such as justification and warrant, or so Goldman argues. To the extent that they are sometimes included under the heading of “social epistemology”, they reflect revisionism – they quite literally constitute a change of topic. By contrast, preservationism and expansionism actively seek continuity with traditional epistemology, differing mainly on the extent to which they are willing to include new concerns and considerations alongside the familiar notions of (individualist) epistemology. To a first approximation, preservationism acknowledges the existence of “social evidence” (Goldman’s term) for individual reasoners, whereas expansionism is open both to the consideration of collective epistemic agents (e.g., groups as knowers) and to normative questions concerning how epistemic systems can be improved. The latter concern gives rise to an ameliorative conception of social epistemology, which goes well beyond the normative dimension of traditional (individualist) epistemology.

Yet all the major approaches to social epistemology agree on the need for establishing contact with the real world of lived, socially situated experience. Even ‘revisionism’ does not intend to sever this connection; if anything, it is willing to sacrifice some of the core tenets of traditional epistemology in order to maintain this continuity. The ameliorative conception, likewise, does not – and cannot legitimately – abstract away from actual existing epistemic practices, even as it seeks to improve them. Social-epistemological theorizing, thus, inevitably takes place under constraints, not least the requirement to maintain empirical plausibility in the light of facts about human cooperation and sociality.

3. Cases And Intuitions
In The Epistemology Of Testimony

One of the central debates within social epistemology concerns the status of testimony-based beliefs. ‘Testimony’ here is to be understood as an umbrella term, covering face-to-face conversations, formal declara­tions (e.g., in court), educational instructions, written notes, books, media, and the like. As such, it is the chief source of knowledge by which we

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learn about the empirical world outside of our narrow realm of immediate experience, about the society we live in, and our place within both. Functionally, it is the main means by which people exchange information, it is crucial to the division of epistemic labor, and it is instrumental in securing the continuity of cultural tradition. No wonder, then, that among all the “social operations of the mind” – to use Thomas Reid’s phrase – testimony has received perhaps the most sustained attention from (social and mainstream) epistemology. The epistemology of testimony, therefore, provides fertile ground for an exploration of the method of cases in the context of social epistemology – including of its limitations. (For a survey of the field as a whole, see [Gelfert, 2014].)

It has become standard to introduce the epistemology of testimony via one of its core disputes, between reductionists and anti-reductionists, who have clashed on the issue of what grounds testimonial justification. Anti-reductionists treat testimony as on a par with perception and memory, that is, as a sui generis source of epistemic justification; on this account, a hearer can acquire justification for a belief simply in virtue of accepting the requisite testimony and making the corresponding belief their own. Reductionists reject any such suggestion that testimony is a fundamental source of epistemic justification. Whatever justification a hearer might have for a belief they acquired from someone else’s testimony, must ultimately derive from other, more basic epistemic sources: first-hand observation, memory, inference. We cannot expect to be able to verify first-hand every statement of fact we receive, but even when testimony gives us access to no longer directly verifiable states of affairs, our epistemic justification must be based on other, non-testimonial sources – such as inductive evidence of a witness’s track record, in conjunction with independent background knowledge. This dispute over the source of justification for our testimony-based beliefs maps on to – but is, strictly speaking, separate from – the doxastic question of how we should react when we encounter a new testimonial claim: should we accept what we are told, or should we reject the testimony (or perhaps suspend judgment for the time being)? Arguably, anti-reductionists should be expected to be more open towards a default stance of acceptance, whereas reductionists will likely hold off on acceptance until such a point as independent (non-testimonial) evidence has been obtained.

It is precisely this need to square general philosophical commitments  – to reductionism and anti-reductionism, respectively – with the situational demand of, here and now, having to decide whether to (tentatively) accept or reject a given piece of testimonial information, that renders some particular (imaginary) cases hotly contested. What is also interesting, and perhaps different from other philosophical disputes, is the fact that virtually all contributors to the debate – reductionists and anti-reductionists alike – agree on certain basic constraints. For example, no serious contributor to the debate denies that (some) testimony-based

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beliefs should count as knowledge. Even Elizabeth Fricker, one of the most vocal reductionists, calls this the “Commonsense Constraint”: “that testimony is, at least on occasion, a source of knowledge” [Fricker, 1995, p. 394]. As we shall see, this means that both reductionists and anti-reductionists use particular cases – sometimes, the same cases – in order to bolster their position; as a result, even where reductionists and anti-reductionists agree on the outcome (e.g., that a given testimony should be deemed acceptable and the corresponding belief justified), they often go out of their way to emphasize that only their own preferred theory of testimonial justification is able to account for this outcome. In order to illustrate this point, I shall discuss one such case in some detail, demonstrating how each camp – represented by Fricker (reductionism) and Tony Coady (anti-reductionism) – highlights (purported) aspects of the case that suit their theoretical position.

In his 1992 book, Coady argues for a form of defaultist ‘fundamentalism’2 about testimony. As the starting-point of his argument, Coady adopts a broadly Davidsonian perspective. Where Davidson [1984] tries to refute the possibility of global error at the level of beliefs, by introducing a hypothetical ‘omniscient interpreter’ into his framework of radical interpretation, Coady extends – problematically, it should be added! – this framework to testimonial utterances, thereby attempting to show that testimony, in general, cannot be radically mistaken. This, Coady supposes, results in a (defeasible) prima facie justification for claims received via testimony. Furthermore, we have a presumptive right to accept testimony unless there are specific reasons not to do so. In the absence of defeaters, we can acquire knowledge directly, simply by accepting what we are told, or so Coady argues. The anti-reductionist story about epistemic justification, thus, translates into a doxastic recommendation in favour of a stance of default acceptance. By contrast, Fricker argues that any presumptive right thesis is radically misguided: “Does not mere logic, plus our common-sense knowledge of what kind of act an assertion is, and what other people are like, entail that we should not just believe whatever we are told, without critically assessing the speaker for trustworthiness?” [Fricker, 1995, p. 400] This ties in with the reductionist demand that testimonial justification must eventually be reducible to non-testimonial evidence, acquired first-hand.

Whereas Coady argues that testimonial knowledge typically is direct, Fricker insists that it must be inferential: “the hearer must always be scrutinising the speaker for telltale signs [of insincerity and incompetence], and she must be alert to the presence of such signs.” [Fricker, 1995, p. 405] When contrasted in this way, the two positions could hardly seem more antagonistic. The purity of the contrast, however, comes at the price of plausibility: In its unmodified form, Coady’s position would seem to


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suggest that mere say-so could turn even the most implausible claim into knowledge, whereas, on Fricker’s account, even the most innocent claim would have to be subjected to close scrutiny. Yet, as recipients of testimony, we are neither gullible fools nor epistemic detectives; rather, while we often trust what people tell us without close examination, we also frequently reject testimony for all sorts of reasons. In order to maintain empirical plausibility – in the sense discussed towards the end of the previous section – Coady and Fricker must both modify their accounts: Coady must make room for instances of rejection, whereas Fricker must account for the non-inquisitive nature of everyday acceptance of testimony. Coady does so by adding a ceteris paribus clause to his presumptive acceptance thesis, as in the following case (which subsequently came to play a significant role in the unfolding controversy between anti-reductionists and their critics):

I ring up the telephone company on being unable to locate my bill and am told by an anonymous voice that it comes to $165 and is due on 15 June. No thought of determining the veracity and reliability of the witness occurs to me nor, given that the total is within tolerable limits, does the balancing of probabilities figure in my acceptance. [...] There is nothing hesitant or suspicious about the unknown communicant’s responses and I entirely believe what he says without adverting to the premisses about reliability etc. [Coady, 1992, p. 143f.; italics added]

As Fricker sees it, the italicized passages in the quotation from Coady point to “precisely the active sub-personal monitoring of the speaker by the hearer for signs of lack of sincerity or competence” [Fricker, 1995, p. 405] that she herself regards as essential to any rational attitude towards testimony.

While it is certainly compelling to argue that, unless caveats of some sort are added to Coady’s account, his position is in danger of collapsing into a stance of credulity, he is hardly alone in being forced to modify his account so as to restore plausibility: Fricker, too, must supplement her position of inferentialism with an account that makes sense of the apparent lack of any inferentialist phenomenology in everyday instances of accepting testimony. Fricker’s solution is to allow for “automatic and unconscious” monitoring [Fricker, 1995, p. 404], which takes place at the “sub-personal” level: “It is quite inessential that assessment be conscious; it may occur automatically, without the subject’s attention being directed to it.” [Fricker, 1995, p. 405] This move, however, is problematic for two reasons. First, Fricker motivates her project at least in part as a defence of the critical powers of the epistemically autonomous subject; yet, as I have argued elsewhere, “sub-personal monitoring, strictly speaking, does not amount to any critical assessment at all, since critical judgment requires that the mechanisms and standards by which we judge be open to scrutiny – which, a fortiori, is not the case if they operate

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‘at an irretrievably sub-personal level’.” [Gelfert, 2009, p. 177] Second, Fricker’s critique of testimonial fundamentalism is based on the premise that there is a significant difference between perception as a ‘direct’ epistemic source and testimony, in that the former, but not the latter, can be relied upon as a default source of knowledge. Yet, once “sub-personal” processes are sufficient to render an account inferentialist, the contrast dissolves, since perception, surely, also depends on all sorts of subconscious inferential processes. Rather than establish an asymmetry between ‘direct’ pathways to knowledge and ‘indirect’ testimony, an account in terms of subconscious inferences would seem grist on the mill of those who, like Coady, argue that testimony, in every epistemically relevant respect, is on a par with other epistemic sources.

This is not the place to adjudicate between reductionism and anti-reductionism as theories about the nature of testimonial justification, nor between their attendant doxastic recommendations of default acceptance and inferential monitoring, respectively. What is significant for our purposes is the fact that both camps, though overtly opposed to one another on nearly every issue of philosophical significance, are able to recruit the same case – the hypothetical scenario of someone ringing up the phone company to ask about an outstanding bill and accepting what an anonymous voice tells him – to their cause, and confidently assert that it bolsters their preferred position. Where Coady holds the example to show that in our “ordinary dealings with others we gather information” without any “concern for inferring the acceptability of communications from premisses about the honesty, reliability, probability, etc., of our communicants” [Coady, 1992, p. 143], Fricker explicitly claims that the case, as described by Coady, suggests “precisely the active sub-personal monitoring of the speaker by the hearer for signs of lack of sincerity or competence described above.” [Fricker, 1995, p. 405] To bring out just how extraordinary the coexistence of these conflicting interpretations is, consider that Fricker demands no modification or amendment of the case as described by Coady – even though Coady had deliberately constructed the scenario with the intention to illustrate, in paradigmatic fashion, the character of non-inferential, default acceptance, in line with his anti-reductionist stance. The method of cases, far from settling the matter by eliciting strong unanimous intuitions, appears to be all but impotent in the present case. Coady’s phone bill example, thus, does not serve as a clear-cut thought experiment – in the sense of a philosophical experimentum crucis – but rather as an ambiguous fictional vignette, onto which conflicting theoretical commitments can be projected with astonishing effortlessness.

4. Challenging The ‘Null Setting’

What, if anything, has ‘gone wrong’ in the dispute sketched in the previous section, and why is the method of cases unable, if not to settle the matter, then at least to elicit stable intuitions of the intended kind? Recall that Coady’s phone bill example was not meant to reflect a ‘messy’ real-life situation, where competing factors are always to be expected, but was devised precisely in order to illustrate a paradigmatic case of non-inferential testimonial acceptance. Fricker, in spite of her confidently co-opting Coady’s specific case and claiming that it is “precisely” what supports her story, not Coady’s, in her general remarks on the issue acknowledges the (special?) volatility of our intuitions concerning testimonial acceptance:

I find my own intuitions about testimony wildly volatile: consider some cases, and it seems obvious that we must have a default position of trust in what others tell us [...]; but consider others, and it seems equally obvious that our attitude to others must be critical and skeptical [Fricker, 1995, p. 406].

While Coady’s and Fricker’s conflicting interpretations of the pho­ne bill example may be seen as an illustration of this volatility, it is the fact that this volatility persists even for cases that are specifically designed to support one side of the conflict, not the other, which demands an explanation.

On the face of it, there is nothing unusual about Coady’s example; it is just the kind of stylized description – an easily imaginable scenario that abstracts somewhat from the messy complexities of the real world, but not so much as to strike one as contrived – that one would expect in this context. After all, it is intended to be illustrative, aimed at lending plausibility to a position, not at providing, say, a far-fetched counterexample. And yet, upon closer inspection, it turns out to be far from trivial. This is because, given the stylized nature of the description, we – as readers of the text – inevitably ‘fill in’ the details, thereby importing social background knowledge and projecting our own peconceptions and prejudices onto the (imaginary) encounter with the anonymous voice on the other end of the line. Indeed, as Tim Kenyon has noted, Coady’s example as described could not serve its intended argumentative purpose, if it weren’t for the importation of our deeply ingrained social expectations. When Coady takes our acceptance of the stated answer (“the bill comes to $165”) as evidence that, in general, we accept testimony without any thought of “determining the veracity and reliability of the witness” [Coady, 1992, p. 143], he ignores that a significant portion of the facts pertaining to the veracity and reliability of the testimony “have indeed already been substantially determined in the example as written” [Kenyon,

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2013, p. 76]. After all, as the case has been constructed, Coady has made the conscious decision to ring up his telephone company – not just anyone – to ask about the outstanding amount.

[A] vast amount of justificatory information is packed into the phrase, ‘I ring up the telephone company.’ [...] That the person who answers does not provide a name is practically irrelevant. Given the aim of the phone call, the name of the telephone company worker pales in evidential significance compared to the fact that they work at the telephone company. [Kenyon, 2013, p. 76]

If one were to focus merely on what is explicitly stated about the immediate testimonial exchange – an anonymous voice telling Coady to pay a seemingly random amount of money – Fricker’s conclusion that we should not take such testimony on blind faith, seems quite plausible. Yet, once we factor in the (entirely implicit) causal history of how the encounter came about – with Coady looking up the phone company’s toll-free customer service number, perhaps choosing from a range of options (“Press ‘1’ for inquiries about your bill, ‘2’ for...”), giving the customer service representative his account details, etc. – trusted acceptance of the resulting testimony seems entirely warranted. All the evidence that was utilized by Coady to seek out this particular source of information should legitimately also count as evidence in support of what he is told. Once one recognizes the evidential significance of testimonial contexts and histories, Coady’s and Fricker’s dispute over what may, or may not, be read into Coady’s claim that no thought of questioning his interlocutor occurred to him because there was “nothing hesitant or suspicious about the unknown communicant’s responses” – whether it indicates a default stance of trust or whether, on the contrary, it is the outcome of inferential monitoring – almost becomes a side issue.

At the heart of the matter is a more general question concerning which level of detail we should aim for in the description of exemplary cases in the epistemology of testimony. Jonathan Adler has stated that the setting that is “the proper one for investigating the epistemics of testimony” is the so-called “null setting” [Adler, 2006]. As the name suggests, the null setting abstracts from essentially all specifics that, in any actual situation, might be expected to make a difference. Specifically, Adler [ibid.] states five conditions: First, testimony in the null setting must be “limited to brief assertions to avoid internal support due to coherence”; second, “corroboration or convergence of a number of testifiers [...] should be set aside”; third, testimony must be the “sustaining source” of the belief in question; fourth, “we set aside cases of a hearer’s attribution of expertise to a speaker on certain topics, as well as a speaker’s acting under professional or institutional demands for accurate testimony”; andfifth, the hearer “has no special knowledge about the speaker” (i.e., must be a stranger in some sense). While it seems plausible that limiting

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Axel Gelfert

oneself to cases that conform to the “null setting” may help ‘isolate’ the specifically testimonial contributions to our epistemic situation, it is equally clear that most real-life scenarios are radically unlike it. Even Coady’s phone bill example would, strictly speaking, not qualify since, as discussed, the hearer (that is, Coady) implicitly relies on the institutional contraints imposed upon the (anonymous) speaker, thereby violating condition four. Virtually the only real-world scenario that comes anywhere close to the null setting is the – perhaps for this reason, ubiquitously cited – case of asking local directions from a stranger.

Paula Olmos draws an interesting parallel between this demand for “null setting” scenarios and the equally influential distinction between ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ testimony in the epistemology of testimony, where ‘formal testimony’ typically refers to highly constrained contexts – as in the case of eyewitness testimony before a court of law – while ‘informal’ testimony is the catch-all term for the more “relaxed exchange” [Olmos, 2008, p. 59] of information, e.g. between casual interlocutors, where formal conditions do not apply (or are not enforced). No wonder, then, that social epistemologists have tended to regard formal testimony as too restrictive, given that only a small portion of our testimonial encounters – though, no doubt, an important one – takes place in formal contexts. Instead, the focus has been on informal testimony, which is generally taken to reflect the “so-called natural, allegedly basic, practices (and settings)” [ibid.] associated with learning from others, and for which the only requirement is “that it be a statement of someone’s thoughts or beliefs, which they might direct to the world at large and to no one in particular” [Sosa, 1991, p. 219]. In part, this follows from analytic epistemology’s treatment of testimony as a catch-all for all non-individualist sources of belief and justification, as a result of which opting for the more comprehensive definition – by taking the term ‘testimony’ to refer primarily to informal testimony (with its greater extension than formal testimony) – seems the way to go. Doing so, however, comes at a price. Precisely because informal testimony is so diverse, it is virtually impossible to come up with meaningful generalizations that would allow one to estimate (in even the most qualitative fashion) the reliability or trustworthiness of the claims and testifiers one is likely to encounter. This leaves only the most bare-bones description of a testimonial encounter – the null setting – as the target for general theorizing in the epistemology of (in­formal) testimony. Yet, as we have seen, any case that approximates the null setting – if perhaps only imperfectly, like Coady’s phone bill example – is hostage to the importation of (tacit) background expectations, which undermine its probative force.

It appears, then, that the usual method of constructing stylized cases that can serve as ‘intuition pumps’ faces special challenges when applied to the domain of social epistemology, and to the epistemology of tes­timony in particular. Precisely because testimony, as a general category,

Beyond The‘Null Setting’...

 

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includes an extremely heterogeneous range of sources, cuts across all sorts of content, can be used both to inform and to obfuscate, and is heavi­ly context-dependent, any stylized cases that omit relevant details are at risk of being ‘up for grabs’, waiting to be hijacked for specific theoretical agendas. The closer a case description is to the null setting, the more it underdetermines the kinds of intuitions it elicits; as a result, tacit background assumptions and prejudices will guide our interpretation and assessment. One might argue that this is simply to be expected: In the absence of sufficient detail, any ‘underdescribed’ case will inevitably engage our pre-theoretical intuitions, which in turn will influence how we ‘fill in’ the missing bits in our subsequent theorizing and analysis. Isn’t this precisely how philosophical thought experiments are supposed to function? Yet, in the case of examples drawn from the social sphere, the ease with which we – entirely unreflectively – import peculiarities of our own outlook, experience, upbringing, and even temperament into the assessment and analysis of such cases, means that we cannot legitimately expect them to dissolve disagreement, but merely to illustrate it. And, indeed, this is precisely what we found in the earlier controversy between Coady and Fricker.

Two remedial strategies suggest themselves: First, we could invert the usual strategy and turn to formal contexts