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I'm wondering if you -- or even your readers, if you think it'd be fitting to pose the below question to them -- could recommend a history of marxism that could serve as an alternative to Kolakowski's comprehensive yet superficial Main Currents. Is there another work out there that covers as much ground but is more philosophically in-depth
I can't think of anything, but will open comments for suggestions. The best bet is probably to look at philosophically serious and informed treatments of particular thinkers/movements within the Marxist tradition.
In contemporary modal epistemology, many philosophers hold that we make a lot of justified modal claims, and also that we have good accounts of how they are justified. But when it comes to philosophically interesting modal claims, things are different, and these good accounts do not apply. In response to this, some modal epistemologists embrace partial modal scepticism1 and claim that we cannot make justified philosophically interesting modal claims. Others, however, suggest that we have yet to develop some distinct, workable theory of their justification. That is, they are committed to some form of non-uniformism about the epistemology of modality. Non-uniformism is the view that there is more than one basic route to modal justification, i.e. it is a form of pluralism about modal justification. Self-proclaimed non-uniformists often hold that different forms of justification are tied to different kinds of modal claims. In this case, the view would be that claims about philosophically interesting modal matters need to be justified differently from e.g. everyday modal claims. While several authors have gestured in this direction, no details have so far been provided. This article is concerned with how such a non-uniformist view could be spelled out and what story about philosophically interesting modal justification it could contain.
The plan for the article is as follows. Section 2 describes the background against which philosophically interesting modal claims seem problematic. Section 3 briefly explains why questions of epistemic value are relevant to questions of justification. Section 4 outlines how pluralism about epistemic value can underwrite a form of non-uniformism about modal epistemology. Section 5 develops the axiologically motivated non-uniformism I have in mind and the epistemology of philosophy (and thereby, philosophically interesting modal claims) that goes with it. Section 6 makes some clarifications in response to anticipated objections, and section 7 concludes.
For another example, according to Williamson (2007), one is justified in claiming that p is possible if one does not arrive at a contradiction when counterfactually developing the supposition that p in imagination. This account is attractive because it makes justification of possibility claims a product of a cognitive capacity that we likely possess, namely the ability to reliably evaluate counterfactuals, and there is an evolutionary story to tell of why we should have acquired such a capacity. But first, there are doubts about whether that story covers also reliability with respect to philosophically interesting modal matters; and second, the search for contradiction must be sufficiently thorough in order to deliver justification of a possibility claim, and as Strohminger and Yli-Vakkuri (2018) note, the more different p is from the actuality that we have experience of, the more difficult it likely is for us to competently develop the supposition that p in imagination: we will presumably be more likely to fail to detect relevant contradictions. This arguably goes for our counterfactually developing philosophically interesting ps.
The question of epistemic value has not been much discussed in modal epistemology, but it is reasonable to assume that veritism is the default view there too.4 The way in which the debate is conducted reflects that modal epistemologists tend to assume that a method, practice, or property can justify a modal belief just in case it tends to promote the acquisition of true beliefs about modal matters. As we saw in the previous section, the perceived problem with philosophically interesting modal claims is that suggested routes to modal knowledge are apparently not reliable with respect to the philosophically interesting modal matters. That is, being a reliable means to true modal belief is seen as a necessary condition on any method which is to provide modal justification. Why Presumably because, as veritists would have it, the epistemic value of justification is taken to lie in its being a way to promote acquisition of the fundamental epistemic good, i.e. true belief.
While popular, veritism is not the only available view of epistemic value. Another option is epistemic value pluralism, according to which there is more than one fundamental epistemic good, beside that of believing truly.5 A pluralist has more resources than a veritist when it comes to explaining instances of derivative epistemic value: a state or method x may be epistemically valuable in virtue of its relation to either of the fundamental epistemic goods.6 This opens up for a pluralism about particular epistemic good-making properties too. Justification may be realized in different ways, so that a state may be epistemically justified in virtue of promoting either of a plurality of fundamental epistemic goods. Alternatively, one might talk about two (or more) different kinds of justification, each understood as the promotion of one out of several epistemic goods.7 In what follows, I will appeal to a form of epistemic value pluralism to make headway with respect to the problem of philosophically interesting modal claims. In particular, I will exploit the way in which epistemic value pluralism opens up for pluralism with respect to modal justification too.
Some philosophers endorse scepticism about the modal matters, including the philosophically interesting ones, that lie beyond the reach of the otherwise reliable methods (van Inwagen 1998, Leon 2017, Machery 2017). Others retreat to the claim that philosophically interesting modal claims can (perhaps) be justified through a distinct method, but it remains to be spelled out how (Bueno and Shalkowski 2014, 679; Strohminger 2015, 369; Roca-Royes 2017). The latter, agnostic alternative hints towards non-uniformism, i.e. pluralism with respect to modal justification.
Epistemic value pluralism can be cashed out in many different ways, and the issue is seriously underexplored in the literature.8 Here I will just state the form I have in mind as underwriting an axiological non-uniformism according to which philosophically interesting modal claims are justified in a different way from e.g. claims about everyday modal matters, because philosophically interesting modal claims are to be epistemically evaluated in relation to a different fundamental epistemic good than everyday modal claims.
Like Fischer, I take most of the interesting action here to lie with the second condition. TEM is designed to take care of remote modal claims, and it plausibly delivers justification of many scientifically interesting modal claims, because it is widely held that many scientific theories are supported by reliable scientific methods, and hence that we are justified in accepting them. However, Fischer suggests that TEM delivers modal scepticism about philosophically interesting modal claims because it is implausible that the same goes for theories that would imply the truth of philosophically interesting modal propositions.
According to TEM, one is justified in making the philosophically interesting modal claim p just in case one is justified in accepting a philosophical theory that contains or implies p. One is justified in accepting a philosophical theory insofar as it is p-justified, that is, has undergone the examination that is the bread and butter of academic philosophy as we know it (and this is obviously a matter of degree). 1e1e36bf2d