Moser-Mulder-Trout* Ch. 9

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Also known as... "Epistemology and Explanation: Ultimate Epistemological Authority"


Chapter/Section of: Moser-Mulder-Trout*

Chapter/Section: 9

Where to find it: David Seaman (002), Dennis Bergkamp (013) owns this Course Text

Author(s): Paul Moser, Dwayne Mulder, J.D. Trout

Type of reading: Course Text

Who's read this? Alan Smith, Jens Lehman

Short Summary

This section discusses the circular problem of literal talk in self-justification, as it pertains to common-sense judgments when they serve as the basis for our standard of justification. Basically, the common-sense argument is not reliable authority. It further explains how an appeal to ordinary language-use is problematic due to the vagueness of the term “our ordinary use” and to it being possible that ordinary language-use can actually be unjustified. It suggests that there may not be an ultimate authority in epistemology.

Chapter nine examines the historical origins of current epistemology for the purpose of understanding the nature of the epistemological problems. It touches on contemporary Anglo-American epistemology which begins with Bertrand Russel and G.E. Moore against Kantian and Hegelian idealism. Furthermore, Russel and Moore opposed idealism with epistemological claim they they "know" that there are such facts that are common-sense. Moore explains that a concept is not a mental fact, nor any part of a mental fact. He believed concepts are the only objects of knowledge.

Key terms & concepts

epistemological authority, Truth, Fact, Phenomenalism, Franz Brentano, Edmund Husserl, common-sense tradition, self-justification, intuitive judgments, Clifford Geertz, ordinary-language use, Bertrand Russell, G.E. Moore, Kantian idealism, Hegelian Idealism, Concepts, Anglo-American epistemology, beliefs

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