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MIT Readers in Contemporary Philosophy

Contemporary Readings
Edited by John Greco and John Turri

Virtue epistemology is a diverse and flourishing field, one of the most exciting developments in epistemology to emerge over the last three decades. Virtue epistemology begins with the premise that epistemology is a normative discipline and, accordingly, a central task of epistemology is to explain the sort of normativity that knowledge, justified belief, and the like involve. A second premise is that a focus on the intellectual virtues (individual intellectual excellences) is essential to carrying out this central task.

Contemporary Readings

Some of the most challenging questions in philosophical ethics concern the justification of action. Can you have reasons to do something that you are not, and perhaps cannot be, motivated to do? If reasons rest on desires, why respect the rights and interests of others when doing so prevents us from getting what we want? In other words, why be moral?

Contemporary Readings

A central debate in contemporary philosophy of perception concerns the disjunctive theory of perceptual experience. Until the 1960s, philosophers of perception generally assumed that a veridical perception (a perceptual experience that presents the world as it really is) and a subjectively similar hallucination must have significant mental commonalities. Disjunctivists challenge this assumption, contending that the veridical perception and the corresponding hallucination share no mental core.

Contemporary Readings

How does an object persist through change? How can a book, for example, open in the morning and shut in the afternoon, persist through a change that involves the incompatible properties of being open and being shut? The goal of this reader is to inform and reframe the philosophical debate around persistence; it presents influential accounts of the problem that range from classic papers by W. V. O. Quine, David Lewis, and Judith Jarvis Thomson to recent work by contemporary philosophers.