Author Archives: Kareem Khalifa

About Kareem Khalifa

Department of Philosophy, Middlebury College

Argument Reconstructions

So, despite my best-laid plans over the last two weeks, I haven’t succeeded in reading the texts that I promised a few weeks ago. This isn’t to say I haven’t done any reading for my research paper. I’ve done something a wee bit sneaky: I’ve done course prep that is also research. As a result, I’ve still managed to make progress on reviewing literature pertinent to my project, and have a number of useful argument reconstructions. They’re scattered throughout these three documents:

PHIL 0316 Week 1

PHIL 0316 Week 2

(And there’s a third one, but I can’t show it to you until tomorrow night. Otherwise, Louis will have an unfair advantage over other students in PHIL0316.)

I think that there are two lessons for you here. First, a lesson that may not apply: owing to my teaching schedule this semester, I managed to kill multiple birds (teaching and research) with one stone. While I suspect that this might be harder for you to do, I’m hopeful that at least some of your other courses are contributing to your research.

Second, although not everything in these documents is relevant, there are some key points that are:

  1. As you’ll recall from my abstract, part of the goal is to discuss how well scientific practices comport with veritism, the thesis that truth is the sole fundamental epistemic good. The bulk of the literature that I’ve read is about what scientific representations are. For those representations to comport with veritism, all scientific representations must express propositions and be valuable only when true. Much of the literature that I’ve covered above suggests that this is not the case.
  2. Another thing I’m trying to do is contribute to the literature on perspectivism. (Indeed, the conference is about perspectivism in epistemology.) I’ve given a fairly careful reading of one of the most prominent perspectivists, Ronald Giere.


My Readings for the Week of September 9th

Hi All,

Like you, I’ll do some readings every week for my paper. This week, I’m hoping to complete the following:

is true belief really a fundamental epistemic value?

LK Aschliman – Episteme –

Getting it right

AhlstromVijSR Grimm – Philosophical Studies, 2013 – Springer

True enough

CZ Elgin – Philosophical issues, 2004 – Wiley Online Library

My Abstract

Dear Students,

I will be working on a paper alongside you, just so that you can get a window into my process. Please read the tutorial on abstract writing, then take a look at this:

Inquisitive Accuracy Monism

Kareem Khalifa and Jared Millson

Epistemologists frequently endorse truth monism, the thesis that only true beliefs are of fundamental epistemic value. However, such a view faces searching counterexamples, particularly when it is used to account for various facets of scientific practice. While many of truth monism’s critics adopt a pluralistic view in which other epistemic goods are as fundamental as true belief, we opt instead to alter the letter but not the spirit of truth monism. We dub the resulting view “Inquisitive accuracy monism,” which holds that only accurate representations are of fundamental epistemic value, and that a representation’s accuracy is to be assessed by its success in providing correct answers to relevant questions. Which questions are relevant is a function of a putative representer’s perspective, which is characterized by his/her social role, abilities, and presuppositions. We argue that inquisitive accuracy monism outperforms both truth monism and its pluralist alternatives in accounting for the epistemic value underlying a variety of scientific practices.

This is a prospective basic abstract (do the reading!). You’ll also see that I’ve covered all four things that an abstract ought to do:

Motivation: The first two sentences state the problem to be solved: how to reconcile truth monism with scientific practice?

Thesis: The solution to the problem is to shift from truth monism to inquisitive accuracy monism, both of which are defined.

Encapsulation: Inquisitive accuracy monism will be established by accounting for a variety of scientific practices’ epistemic value.

Flagging differences: The main foils are truth monism and its pluralist rivals.