•  603
    Virtue epistemology is among the dominant influences in mainstream epistemology today. An important commitment of one strand of virtue epistemology – responsibilist virtue epistemology (e.g., Montmarquet 1993; Zagzebski 1996; Battaly 2006; Baehr 2011) – is that it must provide regulative normative guidance for good thinking. Recently, a number of virtue epistemologists (most notably Baehr, 2013) have held that virtue epistemology not only can provide regulative normative guidance, but moreover t…Read more
  •  246
    Instrumental rationality and naturalized philosophy of science
    Philosophy of Science 63 (3): 124. 1996.
    In two recent papers, I criticized Ronald N. Giere's and Larry Laudan's arguments for 'naturalizing' the philosophy of science (Siegel 1989, 1990). Both Giere and Laudan replied to my criticisms (Giere 1989, Laudan 1990b). The key issue arising in both interchanges is these naturalists' embrace of instrumental conceptions of rationality, and their concomitant rejection of non-instrumental conceptions of that key normative notion. In this reply I argue that their accounts of science's rationality…Read more
  •  237
    Justification by balance
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1): 27-46. 1992.
  •  232
    Justification, discovery and the naturalizing of epistemology
    Philosophy of Science 47 (2): 297-321. 1980.
    Reichenbach's well-known distinction between the context of discovery and the context of justification has recently come under attack from several quarters. In this paper I attempt to reconsider the distinction and evaluate various recent criticisms of it. These criticisms fall into two main groups: those which directly challenge Reichenbach's distinction; and those which (I argue) indirectly but no less seriously challenge that distinction by rejecting the related distinction between psychology…Read more
  •  227
    What is the question concerning the rationality of science?
    Philosophy of Science 52 (4): 517-537. 1985.
    The traditional views of science as the possessor of a special method, and as the epitome or apex of rationality, have come under severe challenges for a variety of historical, psychological, sociological, political, and philosophical reasons. As a result, many philosophers are either denying science its claim to rationality, or else casting about for a new account of its rationality. In this paper a defense of the traditional view is offered. It is argued that contemporary philosophical discuss…Read more
  •  150
    In this review of Christopher Winch's new book, Education, Autonomy and Critical Thinking (2006), I discuss its main theses, supporting some and criticising others. In particular, I take issue with several of Winch's claims and arguments concerning critical thinking and rationality, and deplore his reliance on what I suggest are problematic strains of the later Wittgenstein. But these criticisms are not such as to upend Winch's powerful critique of antiperfectionism and 'strong autonomy' or his …Read more
  •  144
    Recent work in epistemology has focused increasingly on the social dimensions of knowledge and inquiry. Education is one important social arena in which knowledge plays a leading role, and in which knowledge-claims are presented, analyzed, evaluated, and transmitted. Philosophers of education have long attended to the epistemological issues raised by the theory and practice of education . While historically philosophical issues concerning education were treated alongside other philosophical issu…Read more
  •  131
    Truth, Thinking, Testimony and Trust: Alvin Goldman on Epistemology and Education
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (2): 345-366. 2005.
    In his recent work in social epistemology, Alvin Goldman argues that truth is the fundamental epistemic end of education, and that critical thinking is of merely instrumental value with respect to that fundamental end. He also argues that there is a central place for testimony and trust in the classroom, and an educational danger in over-emphasizing the fostering of students’ critical thinking. In this paper I take issue with these claims, and argue that critical thinking is a fundamental end of…Read more
  •  123
    Relativism, truth, and incoherence
    Synthese 68 (2): 225-259. 1986.
    There are many contemporary sources and defenders of epistemological relativism which have not been considered thus far. I have, for example, barely touched on the voluminous literature regarding frameworks, conceptual schemes, and Wittgensteinian forms of life. Davidson's challenge to the scheme/content distinction and thereby to conceptual relativism, Rorty's acceptance of the Davidsonian argument and his use of it to defend a relativistic position, Winchian and other sociological and anthropo…Read more
  •  123
    The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2009.
    Philosophy of education has an honored place in the history of Western philosophical thought. Its questions are as vital now, both philosophically and practically, as they have ever been. In recent decades, however, philosophical thinking about education has largely fallen off the philosophical radar screen. Philosophy of education has lost intimate contact with the parent discipline to a regrettably large extent--to the detriment of both. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education is inte…Read more
  •  105
    Educating Reason: Critical Thinking, Informal logic, and the Philosophy of Education
  •  94
    This paper considers two philosophical problems and their relation to science education. The first involves the rationality of science; it is argued here that the traditional view, according to which science is rational because of its adherence to (a non-standard conception of) scientific method, successfully answers one central question concerning science''s rationality. The second involves the aims of education; here it is argued that a fundamental educational aim is the fostering of rationali…Read more
  •  93
    Argumentation, Arguing, and Arguments
    with John Biro
    Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 26 (3): 279-287. 2011.
    ABSTRACT: While we applaud several aspects of Lilian Bermejo-Luque's novel theory of argumentation and especially welcome its epistemological dimensions, in this discussion we raise doubts about her conception of argumentation, her account of argumentative goodness, and her treatments of the notion of “giving reasons” and of justification.RESUMEN: Aunque aprobamos varios aspectos de la nueva teoría de la argumentación propuesta por Lilian Bermejo Luque y, en particular, su dimensión epistemológi…Read more
  •  93
    Epistemic Normativity, Argumentation, and Fallacies
    with John Biro
    Argumentation 11 (3): 277-292. 1997.
    In Biro and Siegel we argued that a theory of argumentation mustfully engage the normativity of judgments about arguments, and we developedsuch a theory. In this paper we further develop and defend our theory.
  •  79
    Relativism refuted
    Educational Philosophy and Theory 14 (2). 1982.
  •  74
    Second Philosophy: A Naturalistic Method (review)
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4): 897-903. 2010.
    (No abstract is available for this citation)
  •  73
    Philosophy of Education
    Teaching Philosophy 20 (1): 83-88. 1997.
  •  73
    In Defense of the Objective Epistemic Approach to Argumentation
    with John Biro
    Informal Logic 26 (1): 91-101. 2006.
    In this paper we defend a particular version of the epistemic approach to argumentation. We advance some general considerations in favor of the approach and then examine the ways in which different versions of it play out with respect to the theory of fallacies, which we see as central to an understanding of argumentation. Epistemic theories divide into objective and subjective versions. We argue in favor of the objective version, showing that it provides a better account than its subjectivist r…Read more
  •  72
    Is 'Education' a Thick Epistemic Concept?
    Philosophical Papers 37 (3): 455-469. 2008.
    Is 'education' a thick epistemic concept? The answer depends, of course, on the viability of the 'thick/thin' distinction, as well as the degree to which education is an epistemic concept at all. I will concentrate mainly on the latter, and will argue that epistemological matters are central to education and our philosophical thinking about it; and that, insofar, education is indeed rightly thought of as an epistemic concept. In laying out education's epistemological dimensions, I hope to clarif…Read more
  •  72
    Argument Quality and Cultural Difference
    Argumentation 13 (2): 183-201. 1999.
    Central to argumentation theory is a concern with normativity. Argumentation theorists are concerned, among other things, with explaining why some arguments are good (or at least better than others) in the sense that a given argument provides reasons for embracing its conclusion which are such that a fair- minded appraisal of the argument yields the judgment that the conclusion ought to be accepted -- is worthy of acceptance -- by all who so appraise it
  •  71
    Tarski a Relativist?
    Analysis 45 (2). 1985.
  •  69
    Israel Scheffler’s “Moral Education and the Democratic Ideal”
    Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 16 (3): 25-26. 1997.
  •  67
    In Educating Reason, Harvey Siegel presented the case regarding rationality and critical thinking as fundamental education ideals. In Rationality Redeemed? , a collection of essays written since that time, he develops this view, responds to major criticisms raised against it, and engages those critics in dialogue. In developing his ideas and responding to critics, Siegel addresses main currents in contemporary thought, including feminism, postmodernism and multiculturalism.
  •  66
    Farewell to Feyerabend
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 32 (3). 1989.
    It is with some trepidation that I offer this critical review of Feyerabend's new book. I do not relish the prospect of getting involved in one of the nasty little fights Feyerabend picks with those who criticize his work. Nevertheless, Feyerabend's work cries out for critical attention. Of particular interest is the degree to which this new work deepens or enhances Feyerabend's earlier castigations of Reason. Fans of Feyerabend will be disappointed to learn that Feyerabend's philosophy is not d…Read more
  •  59
    Epistemological relativism in its latest form
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 23 (1). 1980.
    Gerald Doppelt's recent ?Kuhn's Epistemological Relativism: An Interpretation and Defense? (Inquiry, Vol. 21 [1978], pp. 33?86) offers a reconstruction of Thomas Kuhn's views concerning theory choice in science in which Kuhn's ?incommensurability thesis?, and his epistemological relativism, are defended. It is argued that Doppelt's reconstruction fails to provide an adequate defense, and that both Kuhn's incommensurability thesis, and his epistemological relativism, as reconstructed by Doppelt, …Read more