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Achievements, safety and environmental epistemic luck


Gaultier, Benoît (2014). Achievements, safety and environmental epistemic luck. Dialectica, 68(4):477-497.

Abstract

Theories of knowledge as credit for true belief, or as cognitive achievement, have to face the following objection: in the famous Barn façades case, it seems that the truth of Barney's belief that he is in front of a barn is to be explained by the correct functioning of his cognitive capacities, although we are reluctant to say that he knows he is in front of a barn. Duncan Pritchard concludes from this that a safety clause, irreducible to the conditions a true belief must satisfy in order to be credited to the believer, constitutes a necessary condition of knowledge. Because those who define knowledge as a cognitive achievement have not convincingly answered this objection, I intend, in the first section of this paper, to refute it by showing how practical and doxastic achievements differ. Then I defend the idea that we should also distinguish two kinds of environmental epistemic luck, and, correlatively, two kinds of safety, that are not equally incompatible with knowledge. Finally, I argue that this distinction is inevitably vague and I indicate some consequences of this vagueness for our knowledge‐intuitions

Abstract

Theories of knowledge as credit for true belief, or as cognitive achievement, have to face the following objection: in the famous Barn façades case, it seems that the truth of Barney's belief that he is in front of a barn is to be explained by the correct functioning of his cognitive capacities, although we are reluctant to say that he knows he is in front of a barn. Duncan Pritchard concludes from this that a safety clause, irreducible to the conditions a true belief must satisfy in order to be credited to the believer, constitutes a necessary condition of knowledge. Because those who define knowledge as a cognitive achievement have not convincingly answered this objection, I intend, in the first section of this paper, to refute it by showing how practical and doxastic achievements differ. Then I defend the idea that we should also distinguish two kinds of environmental epistemic luck, and, correlatively, two kinds of safety, that are not equally incompatible with knowledge. Finally, I argue that this distinction is inevitably vague and I indicate some consequences of this vagueness for our knowledge‐intuitions

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Language:English
Date:1 December 2014
Deposited On:19 Oct 2018 09:01
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 02:52
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0012-2017
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/1746-8361.12081

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