February 16, 2005

Talk at UWM Friday

UWM Philosophy Colloquium Series
Friday, Feb. 18, 3:30 pm
Curtin Hall 118 (note--not the usual room for Philosophy Colloquia)

Matthew Weiner, "An Incoherence Theory of Knowledge."

Note also the difference between 'ce' and 't'. The argument is that our ordinary use of the word 'know' is incoherent, but in a largely harmless way. The word 'know' is governed by four inference principles that together are inconsistent, but in practice we are usually able to use 'know' in such a way as to express usable contents.

This paper currently exists only in a 41-page very rough draft, which I'm unwilling to post on the web for the eyes of all and sundry. But e-mail me (or comment) if you want a copy. Or, if you're in Milwaukee, a hard copy is available in the Philosophy office (Curtin 612).

Posted by Matt Weiner at February 16, 2005 02:42 PM

I don't know if you'll know this stuff well enough to comment, but I wondered if there's any connection between this theory and the stuff Matti Eklund has been doing on incoherent concepts? That seems like fairly interesting stuff, and if there's a connection to the knowledge literature that would be important.

Posted by: Brian Weatherson at February 17, 2005 11:40 AM

Hi Matt! I would like to see a copy of that paper, if you wouldn't mind sending it to me. I have long suspected that our use of the term "know" is incoherent, and I'm curious about your four inference principles.

Posted by: Wayne Riggs at February 17, 2005 05:40 PM

Brian--It's not causally related--I just got pointed to Matti's 2002 PPR paper after finishing this draft. I think that my approach could fit into Matti's, but I'm not committed to the idea that the principles are ones we must be disposed to accept on the basis of semantic competence alone. Also, from the 2002 paper, Matti seems to think that picking winners and losers among the inconsistent principles might be a good idea, while I don't AOTW see much point to that.

(Also, I wouldn't say that a connection between Matti's paper and mine would constitute a connection to the knowledge literature, because my paper is only potentially part of that literature! But Matti's apparatus might be used on Schiffer's 1996 Aristotelian Society about the unhappy-face solution to the paradox of the argument from ignorance. I have to say, though, I don't feel the pull of some of Schiffer's premises.)

Wayne--I'll send it to you [pause] now.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at February 17, 2005 08:28 PM