Cover: The Theory of Epistemic Rationality, from Harvard University PressCover: The Theory of Epistemic Rationality in E-DITION

The Theory of Epistemic Rationality

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674334236

Publication Date: 09/08/1987

335 pages

World

Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

How do we know reality? The prevalent theory has been that we construct knowledge upon absolute foundations, the way the Egyptians built pyramids. In recent years this foundationalist account has come under attack from a number of directions, from those who want to make epistemology a branch of cognitive science to those who reject out of hand the search for foundational certainty. Richard Foley’s book defends a modified form of foundationalism that does not depend on our having privileged access to the truth of foundational propositions.

Foley presents the idea of rational belief going back to Aristotle’s concept of rationality—as the basis for what he calls “subjective foundationalism.” Epistemological rationality is subjective for Foley because he sees the rationality of a belief as dependent on the cognitive resources and tendencies of the believer. He is able thereby to accommodate the strong “internalist” intuition telling us that whether it is rational for us to believe something depends on how that thing appears within our perspective on the world. But Foley removes a large part of the curse of subjectivism by making rationality dependent not on what the subject thinks, or is inclined to think at the moment of belief, but on what the subject would be inclined to think as a result of an ideally conducted reflection.

The foundationalists, he asserts, with their obsessive search for guarantors of truth, get the structure of epistemic rationality right but the spirit wrong. Foley gives a novel and provocative account of the nature of epistemic rationality.

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World, by Samuel Zipp, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Samuel Zipp, author of The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World

Debates about what should be America’s role in the world are not new—neither is the slogan “America First.” So as the presidential election nears, we spoke with Samuel Zipp, whose book, The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World, is a dramatic account of the former Republican presidential nominee’s worldwide plane trip