• University of Helsinki
    Department of Philosophy (Theoretical Philosophy, Practical Philosophy, Philosophy in Swedish)
    Regular Faculty
Areas of Interest
  • Circularity and Stability
    The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 45 164-169. 1998.
    William Alston argues that there is no way to show that any of our basic sources of belief is reliable without falling into epistemic circularity, i.e. relying at some point on premises that are themselves derived from the very same source. His appeal to practical rationality is an attempt to evaluate our sources of belief without relying on beliefs that are based on the sources under scrutiny and thus without just presupposing their reliability. I argue that this attempt fails and that Ernest S…Read more
  •  78
    We Can't Know
    In Steven Cowan (ed.), Problems in Epistemology and Metaphysics : An Introduction to Contemporary Debates, Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 38-51. 2020.
    The paper defends Cartesian skepticism by an argument relying on internalism and infallibilism. It argues that this sort of skepticism gives the best explanation of our intuitions and ordinary epistemic practices.
  •  73
    How Art Teaches: A Lesson from Goodman
    Paths From the Philosophy of Art to Everyday Aesthetics. 2019.
    In “How Art Teaches: A Lesson from Goodman”, Markus Lammenranta inquires if and how artworks can convey propositional knowledge about the world. Lammenranta argues that the cognitive role of art can be explained by revising Nelson Goodman’s theory of symbols. According to Lammenranta, the problem of Goodman’s theory is that, despite providing an account of art’s symbolic function, it denies art the possibility of mediating propositional knowledge. Lammenranta claims that Goodman’s theory c…Read more
  •  1
    Markus Lammenranta’s essay sheds light on at least one of the reasons for this. Arguing that disagreement plays a key role not only in the Pyrrhonian but also in the Cartesian skeptical arguments, he contends that these arguments are intuitively sound and that their intuitiveness cannot be accounted for unless we assume a dialectical conception of justification. As we saw, this view maintains that one is justified in holding a belief if and only if, when appropriately challenged, one is ab…Read more
  •  145
    Skepticism and Disagreement
    In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Pyrrhonism in Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary Philosophy, Springer. pp. 203-216. 2011.
    Though ancient Pyrrhonian skepticism is apparently based on disagreement, this aspect of skepticism has been widely neglected in contemporary discussion on skepticism. The paper provides a rational reconstruction of the skeptical argument from disagreement that can be found in the books of Sextus Empiricus. It is argued that this argument forms a genuine skeptical paradox that has no fully satisfactory resolution. All attempts to resolve it make knowledge or justified belief either intuitively …Read more
  •  234
    In Diego E. Machuca & Baron Reed (eds.), Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present, Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 565-580. 2018.
    Fogelin’s neo-Pyrrhonism is skepticism about epistemology and philosophy more generally. Philosophical reflection on ordinary epistemic practices leads us to deny the possibility of knowledge and justified belief. However, instead of accepting the dogma that knowledge and justified beliefs are impossible, a neo-Pyrrhonist rejects the philosophical premises that lead to this conclusion. Fogelin argues in particular that contemporary theories of justification cannot avoid dogmatic skepticism, beca…Read more
  • Nelson Goodman on Emotions in Music
    In Veikko Rantala, Lewis Eugene Rowell & Eero Tarasti (eds.), Essays on the Philosophy of Music, Akateeminen Kirjakauppa. pp. 210--6. 1988.
  •  17
    Reviews (review)
    with Hans-Joachim Dahms, Juha Manninen, and Georg Schiemer
    Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 15 337-349. 2011.
    As Paul Feyerabend once remarked, philosophy of science is a subject with a great past. Let me for the moment leave aside his disillusioned impression that it had only a sad present and no future and concentrate on its past. It is surprising indeed that much has been published on the history of science in the last few decades, while only very few efforts have been made to give an overall description of the history of philosophy of science. That of course presupposes a defi nition or at least a r…Read more
  •  15
    Reliabilism, Circularity, and the Pyrrhonian Problematic
    Journal of Philosophical Research 28 311-328. 2003.
    To solve the ancient Pyrrhonian problematic, it is not enough to show that knowledge and justified belief are possible. They must be shown to be actual. It is argued that the attempts by the main advocates of reliabilism, William Alston, Alvin Goldman, and Ernest Sosa, fail to solve the problematic because they fall under the Agrippan modes of circularity and hypothesis. There is also another sort of response implicit in their discussion. It is not to try to solve the problematic, but to accept …Read more
  •  1
    The relevance of Goodman, Nelson theory of symbols
    Semiotica 87 (3-4): 293-299. 1991.
  •  47
    Reliabilism and circularity
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (1): 111-124. 1996.
    How can we ever find out whether our psychological processes are reliable? According to many reliabilists—e.g. Alston, Goldman, Papineau, and Van Cleve —there is no problem: We just use our psychological processes and then arrive at the belief that these very same processes are reliable. If our psychological processes are actually reliable, we can arrive in this way at a justified belief. And, indeed, we can even come to know that they are reliable.
  •  1
    Armstrong's Epistemology
    Acta Philosophica Fennica 84 211. 2008.
  •  87
    The normativity of naturalistic epistemology
    Philosophia 26 (3-4): 337-358. 1998.
    Naturalistic epistemology is accused of ruling out the normative element of epistemology. Different naturalistic responses are considered. It is argued that the content of attributions of knowledge is best understood in purely descriptive terms. So their normative force is merely hypothetical. Attributions of justified belief, on the other hand, do have intrinsic normativity. This derives from their role in our first-person deliberation of what to believe. It is suggested that the content of the…Read more
  •  45
    Is Descartes's reasoning viciously circular?
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 14 (2). 2006.
    Descartes is traditionally accused of reasoning circularly in the _Meditations. Yet, it seems clear that there is no formal or logical circularity in his reasoning. There is another kind of circularity that William Alston calls epistemic circularity, and Descartes's reasoning seems to be circular in this sense. The question is whether this makes his reasoning viciously circular. It is argued that it does if we assume that his aim was to resolve the ancient Pyrrhonian problematic. Because of epis…Read more
  •  29
    Skepticism and Goldman's naturalism
    Ratio 5 (1): 38-45. 1992.
    Alvin I. Goldman sees epistemology as a multidisciplinary enterprise that needs help, e.g., from empirical psychology (or cognitive science). He thinks also that such an epistemology should be able to give a response to scepticism without just assuming that scepticism is false. I show here that Goldman's version of naturalistic epistemology can't give such a response. His attempt either leads to circularity or makes psychology irrelevant to epistemology. In other words, it is impossible for his …Read more
  •  11
    Reliabilism and Circularity
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (1): 111-124. 1996.
    Reliabilists have often noticed a kind of circularity in their reasoning, but they have insisted that the circularity in question is not vicious. On the contrary, they think typically that reliabilism resolves even the traditional problems of circularity. It is argued in the paper that there is a real problem of circularity that relates to the method by which we are supposed arrive at our epistemology. Different methods are considered, including methodism and particularism that Roderick Chisholm…Read more
  •  74
    Disagreement, Skepticism, and the Dialectical Conception of Justification
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 1 (1): 3-17. 2011.
    It is a common intuition that at least in some cases disagreement has skeptical consequences: the participants are not justified in persisting in their beliefs. I will argue that the currently popular non-dialectical and individualistic accounts of justification, such as evidentialism and reliabilism, cannot explain this intuition and defend the dialectical conception of justification that can explain it. I will also argue that this sort of justification is a necessary condition of knowledge by …Read more
  •  16
    Theories of Justification
    In M. Sintonen, J. Wolenski & I. Niiniluoto (eds.), Handbook of Epistemology, Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 467--497. 2004.
  •  28
    Knowledge in a social world
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (3). 2001.
    Book Information Knowledge in a Social World. By Alvin I. Goldman. Clarendon Press. Oxford. 1999. Pp. xiii + 407. Paperback, £16.99.
  •  54
    Reliabilism, Circularity, and the Pyrrhonian Problematic
    Journal of Philosophical Research 28 311-328. 2003.
  •  7
    Do we make worlds with symbols?
    Semiotica 86 (3-4): 277-288. 1991.
  •  45
    The pyrrhonian problematic
    In John Greco (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism, Oxford University Press. pp. 9--33. 2008.