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Groundless Belief By Michael Williams

Groundless Belief by Michael Williams

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Summary

Launches an all-out attack on what it calls phenomenalism, the idea that our knowledge of the world rests on a perceptual or experiential foundation. This book states that the wider-than-normal usage of the term phenomenalism is to call attention to important continuities of thought between theories often thought to be competitors.

Groundless Belief Summary

Groundless Belief: An Essay on the Possibility of Epistemology - Second Edition by Michael Williams

Inspired by the work of Wilfrid Sellars, Michael Williams launches an all-out attack on what he calls phenomenalism, the idea that our knowledge of the world rests on a perceptual or experiential foundation. The point of this wider-than-normal usage of the term phenomenalism, according to which even some forms of direct realism deserve to be called phenomenalistic, is to call attention to important continuities of thought between theories often thought to be competitors. Williams's target is not phenomenalism in its classical sense-datum and reductionist form but empiricism generally. Williams examines and rejects the idea that, unless our beliefs are answerable to a given element in experience, objective knowledge will be impossible. Groundless Belief was first published in 1977. This second edition contains a new afterword in which Williams places his arguments in the context of some current discussions of coherentism versus the Myth of the Given and explains their relation to subsequent developments in his own epistemological views.

Groundless Belief Reviews

[An] intriguing work... Williams has an array of deft, decisive arguments directed at the views of Lewis, Ayer, Chisholm, Sellars, Bennett, et al... Tightly argued.--Alan Hart, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

About Michael Williams

Michael Williams is Charles and Emma Morrison Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii Preface to the Second Edition ix I Introduction: Epistemology and Scepticism 1 2 The Appeal to the Given 25 3 The Regress of Justification 60 4 Meaning or Theory? 116 5 Basic Propositions 145 Afterword 183 Index 203

Additional information

NPB9780691009070
9780691009070
0691009074
Groundless Belief: An Essay on the Possibility of Epistemology - Second Edition by Michael Williams
New
Paperback
Princeton University Press
19990726
208
N/A
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