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Richard Feldman: Epistemology
Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2003. Paperback, 197 pages. Prentice-Hall Foundations of Philosophy Series
feldman Rezension in deutschfeldman Autor
After I have read some good introductions into epistemology (feldman Jonathan Dancy: Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology; feldman Peter Baumann: Erkenntnistheorie) I thought nothing could pass these. I was wrong. Richard Feldmans Epistemology is nothing less than excellent.
Starting from the important epistemological questions Feldman gets to The Standard View.
SV1: We know a large variety of things in many different categories.
SV2: Our primary sources of knowledge are perception, memory, testimony, etc.
Now the author develops the Traditional Analysis of Knowledge. In two chapters he discusses the justification of knowledge. Then Feldman attacks the Traditional Analysis of Knowledge with four arguments (Pyrrhonian skeptics and the Infinite Regress Argument [feldman Bibliografie zum unendlichen Regress der epistemischen Rechtfertigung], are treated with the evidentialist theories of justification.):
  1. 'The Possibility of Error Argument'
  2. 'The Indistinguishable Argument'
  3. 'The Certainty Argument'
  4. 'The Transmissibility Argument.'
Next, Feldman discusses the problem of induction and modern versions of Cartesian skepticism: The Alternative Hypotheses Argument. Two chapters, finally, cover naturalistic epistemology and epistemological relativism.
All parts have a clear-cut scheme: introduction, explicitly stating the arguments, discussion of premises and conclusion. The chapters end with a rating of the results, Feldman give his own consideration of the position under discussion. So the reader is not left alone with a variety of theories. The book ends with: 'The Standard View is correct after all. However, its defense leads to surprisingly difficult conceptual issues and questions, many of which remain unanswered.'
Epistemology is highly recommended and despite only 197 pages (an advantage for the reader) a comprehensive introduction to the theory of knowledge.
The Table of Contents shows the structure of the book:
  1. Epistemological Questions
  2. The Traditional Analysis of Knowledge
  3. Modifying The Traditional Analysis of Knowledge
  4. Evidentialist Theories of Knowledge and Justification
  5. Nonevidentialist Theories of Knowledge and Justification
  6. Skepticism (I)
  7. Skepticism (II)
  8. Epistemology and Science
  9. Epistemological Relativism
  10. Conclusion
© Richard Feldman
With kind permission
Richard Feldman
Department of Philosophy, University of Rochester Rochester, NY.
feldmanRichard Feldman's Home Page
Other books:
& Earl Conee: Evidentialism. Oxford 2004.
Reason and Argument. Upper Saddle River 1993; 2. ed. 1999.
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Feldman FeldmanRichard Feldman: Epistemology. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2003. Taschenbuch, 197 pages. Prentice-Hall Foundations of Philosophy Series

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