Internalism = coherentism

Many epistemologists accept the mentalist version of internalism about rationality. In a slogan, this is the view that rationality supervenes on the mental states that the relevant thinker has at the relevant time.

Coherentism, as I shall understand it here, is the view that rationality requires nothing except that one’s mental states should cohere in certain ways: for it to be rational for you to have a certain belief (or other attitude) at a certain time is just for your having that belief (or attitude) at that time to be part of a system of mental states that meet all these rational requirements of coherence.

I shall argue here that given the right understanding of what “coherence” is, the only plausible form of internalism is equivalent to coherentism. Continue reading

Videos from First Conference

Held in St. Louis, November 13-15, 2014, much of interest to epistemologists. Links below:

James Sennett, Brenau University
Jonathan Kvanvig, Baylor University
Mark Lance, Georgetown University
Meghan Page, Baylor University
Sam Lebens, Rutgers University, Center for Philosophy of Religion
Mike Shaffer, St. Cloud State University
Dan Howard-Snyder, Western Washington University
Dan McKaughan, Boston College
Ryan Preston-Roedder, University of North Carolina

Call For Papers: Epistemic Consequentialism at the University of Kent

Epistemic Consequentialism: Problems and Prospects
25-26 June 2015 • University of Kent, Canterbury

Keynote Speakers
Julia Driver (WUSTL)
James Joyce (Michigan)
Ralph Wedgwood (USC)
Jon Williamson (Kent)

Call for Papers
Contributors are invited to submit extended abstracts (no more than one page) on the topic of consequentialist or teleological approaches to epistemology. Papers in both formal and traditional epistemology are welcome.

Submission deadline: 31 January 2015

Submit abstract in PDF format to Please remove identifying information from the abstract to allow for anonymous review. However, include identifying information in the email. The paper on which the abstract is based should be suitable for a 40-minute presentation.

Initial review of abstracts will be done anonymously. The final program will be selected with an eye to maintaining diversity. Graduate students, people outside the tenure track, women, and members of underrepresented minorities are thus especially encouraged to contribute.

Partial funding is available to support travel and accommodation expenses for speakers.

If you are interested in commenting on a paper, please note that in your email. There will not be financial support for commenters, although your home institution may offer financial support for this kind of participation.

Conference Organizers
The conference is organized by Jeff Dunn (DePauw) and Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (Kent), and made possible by funds from the Leverhulme Trust, the Kent Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (KIASH), and DePauw University.

CFP: 5th Annual Edinburgh Graduate Epistemology Conference

The University of Edinburgh is pleased to announce a call for papers for the 5th Annual Edinburgh Graduate Epistemology Conference (27th-28th May 2015). Our keynote speakers this year will be Elizabeth Fricker (Oxford) and Jennifer Nagel (Toronto). All graduate presentations will have respondents from faculty members at Edinburgh or a neighbouring university.

We are inviting graduate students to submit essays within any area of epistemology (broadly construed). Essays should be approximately 4000 words, and should be anonymised for blind review.

We would really like the conference to be representative of the graduate community and so we strongly encourage submissions from anyone working on epistemology who is a member of an under-represented group.

We will be happy to help arrange childcare for any attendees who would find it helpful. Please feel free to get in touch to discuss this, or any accessibility requirements you may have.

The deadline for submissions is 1st March 2015. For more information, including details of how to submit, please visit our conference page.

This conference is generously sponsored by the Eidyn Research Centre and the University of Edinburgh, and is supported by the Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group.

Memorable Passages from “Lila”

By the incomparable Marilynne Robinson. The first of several, but here is an interesting modal ambiguity I hadn’t noticed before:

“The door might have opened, and a woman might have called after them, Where are you going with that child? and then, after a minute, closed the door again, as if she had done all decency required.”