William J. TalbottApr 1, 2022
Learning from Our Mistakes
Epistemology for the Real World
Oxford University Press 2021
The enterprise of Western epistemology has largely been devoted to a collection of issues concerning the definition and analysis of knowledge. What makes knowledge different from true belief? When is one’s evidence or justification for one’s belief sufficient for knowledge? When must we revise our beliefs? What methods or processes can be relied on for forming rational beliefs? These endeavors typically aspire to defeat skepticism. Yet they often fall flat. In response, contemporary epistemologists have developed different ways of recasting the epistemological enterprise. But many of these provoke new versions of the old difficulties.
In Learning from our Mistakes: Epistemology for the Real World (Oxford University Press 2021), William Talbott proposes a more radical shift in our approach to epistemology. He proposes that we abandon the thought that rational belief should be cast as a successful proof. Instead, we should think of rational belief on the model of a good learner.
Robert Talisse is the W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.