green numbers give full details.     |    back to list of philosophers     |     expand these ideas

Ideas of Gilbert Harman, by Text

[American, b.1938, Professor at Princeton University.]

1970 Induction
žIV p.150 If you would deny a truth if you know the full evidence, then knowledge has social aspects [Sosa]
1973 Thought
p.81 In negative coherence theories, beliefs are prima facie justified, and don't need initial reasons [Pollock/Cruz]
Pref p.-4 We see ourselves in the world as a map
2.2 p.28 People's reasons for belief are rarely conscious
3.2 p.38 Could a cloud have a headache if its particles formed into the right pattern?
3.3 p.41 Defining dispositions is circular
3.6 p.47 Reasoning might be defined in terms of its functional role, which is to produce knowledge
4.3 p.61 Speech acts, communication, representation and truth form a single theory
5.1 p.71 Truth in a language is explained by how the structural elements of a sentence contribute to its truth conditions
5.2 p.75 Logical form is the part of a sentence structure which involves logical elements
5.2 p.76 A theory of truth in a language must involve a theory of logical form
5.3 p.78 Ambiguity is when different underlying truth-conditional structures have the same surface form
5.4 p.81 Many predicates totally resist translation, so a universal underlying structure to languages is unlikely
6.3 p.92 Our underlying predicates represent words in the language, not universal concepts
6.4 p.94 Sentences are different from propositions, since two sentences can express one proposition
6.5 p.97 Are there any meanings apart from in a language?
6.5 p.98 The analytic/synthetic distinction is a silly division of thought into encyclopaedia and dictionary
6.7 p.104 Analyticity is postulated because we can't imagine some things being true, but we may just lack imagination
6.7 p.105 Only lack of imagination makes us think that 'cats are animals' is analytic
6.8 p.109 There is only similarity in meaning, never sameness in meaning
7.2 p.119 If you believe that some of your beliefs are false, then at least one of your beliefs IS false
8.1 p.127 Any two states are logically linked, by being entailed by their conjunction
10.1 p.157 You don't have to accept the conclusion of a valid argument
10.2 p.159 Induction is an attempt to increase the coherence of our explanations
10.4 p.164 Coherence avoids scepticism, because it doesn't rely on unprovable foundations
10.4 p.166 We don't distinguish between accepting, and accepting as evidence
10.4 p.168 Deductive logic is the only logic there is
11.2 p.179 Inference is never a conscious process
12.1 p.189 You have to reaffirm all your beliefs when you make a logical inference
12.1 p.190 Memories are not just preserved, they are constantly reinferred
1974 The Inference to the Best Explanation
p.1 Best Explanation is the core notion of epistemology [Smart]
1983 Human Flourishing, Ethics and Liberty
9.2.1 p.156 What counts as 'flourishing' must be relative to various sets of values
9.2.2 p.156 Basing ethics on flourishing makes it consequentialist, as actions are judged by contributing to it
1986 Change in View: Principles of Reasoning
1 p.4 Implication just accumulates conclusions, but inference may also revise our views
1 p.5 The rules of reasoning are not the rules of logic
1 p.8 The Gambler's Fallacy (ten blacks, so red is due) overemphasises the early part of a sequence
2 p.12 It is a principle of reasoning not to clutter your mind with trivialities
2 p.15 If there is a great cost to avoiding inconsistency, we learn to reason our way around it
2 p.19 We strongly desire to believe what is true, even though logic does not require it
2 p.20 Logic has little relevance to reasoning, except when logical conclusions are immediate
3 p.23 High probability premises need not imply high probability conclusions
4 p.29 In revision of belief, we need to keep track of justifications for foundations, but not for coherence
7 p.65 Coherence is intelligible connections, especially one element explaining another
1987 (Nonsolipsistic) Conceptual Role Semantics
12.1 p.206 Meaning from use of thoughts, constructed from concepts, which have a role relating to reality
12.1 p.206 Some regard conceptual role semantics as an entirely internal matter
12.1.1 p.207 Take meaning to be use in calculation with concepts, rather than in communication
12.1.2 p.208 Concepts in thought have content, but not meaning, which requires communication
12.1.2 p.208 Mastery of a language requires thinking, and not just communication
12.1.3 p.3 The use theory attaches meanings to words, not to sentences
12.1.4 p.210 If one proposition negates the other, which is the negative one?
12.2.2 p.212 Reasoning aims at increasing explanatory coherence
12.2.2 p.212 We have a theory of logic (implication and inconsistency), but not of inference or reasoning
12.2.2 p.213 I might accept P and Q as likely, but reject P-and-Q as unlikely
12.2.4 p.215 Reality is the overlap of true complete theories
12.2.6 p.217 Reason conservatively: stick to your beliefs, and prefer reasoning that preserves most of them
12.3.3 p.221 The content of thought is relations, between mental states, things in the world, and contexts
12.3.3 p.223 The way things look is a relational matter, not an intrinsic matter
12.3.4 p.224 There is no natural border between inner and outer
12.3.4 p.226 We can only describe mental attitudes in relation to the external world
1990 The Intrinsic Quality of Experience
p.459 Qualities of experience are just representational aspects of experience ('Representationalism') [Burge]
1995 Rationality
1.2 p.22 You can be rational with undetected or minor inconsistencies
1.3 p.23 Ordinary rationality is conservative, starting from where your beliefs currently are
1.4.5 p.31 Induction is 'defeasible', since additional information can invalidate it
1.4.5 p.32 All reasoning is inductive, and deduction only concerns implication
1.5.2 p.33 A coherent conceptual scheme contains best explanations of most of your beliefs
1.5.2 p.34 Enumerative induction is inference to the best explanation
1999 Moral Philosophy meets social psychology
10.1 p.165 Maybe consequentialism is a critique of ordinary morality, rather than describing it
10.1 p.165 Maybe there is no such thing as character, and the virtues and vices said to accompany it
10.2 p.167 If a person's two acts of timidity have different explanations, they are not one character trait p.176 Virtue ethics might involve judgements about the virtues of actions, rather than character