A defense of liberalism

John Hawthorne and David Manley

in The Reference Book

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693672
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739002 | DOI:
A defense of liberalism

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This chapter examines two general types of argument against ‘liberalism’-- the thesis that there are no interesting acquaintance constraints on reference or singular thought. The first argument contends that such a constraint best explains a certain kind of belief-reporting data; the second contends that such a constraint is necessary to appease our intuitions regarding cases of apparently unwanted epistemic advance. (On one variant, the problem involves the acquisition of contingent a priori knowledge.) The authors make the case that all the relevant data are in fact best explained by liberalism.

Keywords: acquaintance; quantifying in; belief attribution; attitude reports; propositional attitudes; contingent a priori; Willard V. Quine

Chapter.  18376 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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