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Luminosity

Edited by Julien Dutant (University of Geneva, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
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  1. Patrick Allo (2013). The Many Faces of Closure and Introspection. Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):91-124.
    In this paper I present a more refined analysis of the principles of deductive closure and positive introspection. This analysis uses the expressive resources of logics for different types of group knowledge, and discriminates between aspects of closure and computation that are often conflated. The resulting model also yields a more fine-grained distinction between implicit and explicit knowledge, and places Hintikka’s original argument for positive introspection in a new perspective.
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  2. Brueckner Anthony (2002). Williamson's Anti-Luminosity Argument. Philosophical Studies 110 (3).
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  3. Selim Berker (2008). Luminosity Regained. Philosophers' Imprint 8 (2):1-22.
    The linchpin of Williamson (2000)'s radically externalist epistemological program is an argument for the claim that no non-trivial condition is luminous—that no non-trivial condition is such that whenever it obtains, one is in a position to know that it obtains. I argue that Williamson's anti-luminosity argument succeeds only if one assumes that, even in the limit of ideal reflection, the obtaining of the condition in question and one's beliefs about that condition can be radically disjoint from one another. However, no (...)
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  4. Thomas A. Blackson (2007). On Williamson's Argument for (Ii) in His Anti-Luminosity Argument. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):397-405.
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  5. Denis Bonnay & Paul Égré (2009). Inexact Knowledge with Introspection. Journal of Philosophical Logic 38 (2):179 - 227.
    Standard Kripke models are inadequate to model situations of inexact knowledge with introspection, since positive and negative introspection force the relation of epistemic indiscernibility to be transitive and euclidean. Correlatively, Williamson’s margin for error semantics for inexact knowledge invalidates axioms 4 and 5. We present a new semantics for modal logic which is shown to be complete for K45, without constraining the accessibility relation to be transitive or euclidean. The semantics corresponds to a system of modular knowledge, in which iterated (...)
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  6. Jessica Brown (2005). Williamson on Luminosity and Contextualism. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):319–327.
    According to contextualism, the truth-conditions of knowledge attributions depend on features of the attributor's context. Contextualists take their view to be supported by cases in which the intuitive correctness of knowledge attributions depends on the attributor's context. Williamson offers a complex invariantist account of such cases which appeals to two elements, psychological bias and a failure of luminosity. He provides independent reasons for thinking that contextualist cases are characterized by psychological bias and a failure of luminosity, and argues that some (...)
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  7. Jessica Brown (2005). Williamson on Luminosity and Contextualism. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):319 - 327.
    According to contextualism, the truth-conditions of knowledge attributions depend on features of the attributor's context. Contextualists take their view to be supported by cases in which the intuitive correctness of knowledge attributions depends on the attributor's context. Williamson offers a complex invariantist account of such cases which appeals to two elements, psychological bias and a failure of luminosity. He provides independent reasons for thinking that contextualist cases are characterized by psychological bias and a failure of luminosity, and argues that some (...)
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  8. Anthony Brueckner & M. Oreste Fiocco (2002). Williamson's Anti-Luminosity Argument. Philosophical Studies 110 (3):285–293.
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  9. Girdhari Lal Chaturvedi (1982). The Concept of Self-Luminosity of Knowledge in Advaita Vedānta. Adarsha Prakashan.
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  10. Stewart Cohen (2010). Luminosity, Reliability, and the Sorites. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):718-730.
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  11. Carmelo di Primo, Gaston H. U. I. Bon Hoa, Pierre Douzou & Stephen Sligar (forthcoming). What Williamson's Anti-Luminosity Argument Really Is. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
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  12. Jérôme Dokic & Paul Égré (2009). Margin for Error and the Transparency of Knowledge. Synthese 166 (1):1 - 20.
    In chapter 5 of Knowledge and its Limits, T. Williamson formulates an argument against the principle (KK) of epistemic transparency, or luminosity of knowledge, namely “that if one knows something, then one knows that one knows it”. Williamson’s argument proceeds by reductio: from the description of a situation of approximate knowledge, he shows that a contradiction can be derived on the basis of principle (KK) and additional epistemic principles that he claims are better grounded. One of them is a reflective (...)
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  13. Julien Dutant, Inexact Knowledge, Margin for Error and Positive Introspection. Proceedings of Tark XI.
    Williamson (2000a) has argued that posi- tive introspection is incompatible with in- exact knowledge. His argument relies on a margin-for-error requirement for inexact knowledge based on a intuitive safety prin- ciple for knowledge, but leads to the counter- intuitive conclusion that no possible creature could have both inexact knowledge and posi- tive introspection. Following Halpern (2004) I put forward an alternative margin-for-error requirement that preserves the safety require- ment while blocking Williamson’s argument. I argue that the infallibilist conception of knowledge (...)
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  14. Paul Egré (2008). Reliability, Margin for Error, and Self-Knowledge. In Vincent Hendricks (ed.), New Waves in Epistemology. Palgrave Macmillan. 215--250.
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  15. Richard Fumerton (2009). Luminous Enough for a Cognitive Home. Philosophical Studies 142 (1):67 - 76.
    In this paper I argue that there is no viable alternative to construing our knowledge and justified belief as resting on a foundation restricted to truths about our internal states. Against Williamson and others I defend the claim that the internal life of a cognizer really does constitute a special sort of cognitive home that is importantly different from the rest of what we think we know and justifiably believe.
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  16. Mario G'Omez-Torrente (2002). Vagueness and Margin for Error Principles. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):107-125.
    Timothy Williamson’s potentially most important contribution to epistemicism about vagueness lies in his arguments for the basic epistemicist claim that the alleged cut-off points of vague predicates are not knowable. His arguments for this are based on so-called ‘margin for error principles’. This paper argues that these principles fail to provide a good argument for the basic claim. Williamson has offered at least two kinds of margin for error principles applicable to vague predicates. A certain fallacy of equivocation (on the (...)
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  17. Mario Gómez-Torrente (2002). Vagueness and Margin for Error Principles. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):107-125.
  18. Delia Graff Fara (2002). An Anti-Epistemicist Consequence of Margin for Error Semantics for Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):127-142.
    Let us say that the proposition that p is transparent just in case it is known that p, and it is known that it is known that p, and it is known that it is known that it is known that p, and so on, for any number of iterations of the knowledge operator ‘it is known that’. If there are transparent propositions at all, then the claim that any man with zero hairs is bald seems like a good candidate. (...)
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  19. Patrick Greenough (2012). Discrimination and Self-Knowledge. In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    In this paper I show that a variety of Cartesian Conceptions of the mental are unworkable. In particular, I offer a much weaker conception of limited discrimination than the one advanced by Williamson (2000) and show that this weaker conception, together with some plausible background assumptions, is not only able to undermine the claim that our core mental states are luminous (roughly: if one is in such a state then one is in a position to know that one is) but (...)
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  20. Patrick Greenough, Duncan Pritchard & Timothy Williamson (eds.) (2009). Williamson on Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
    16 leading philosophers offer critical assessments of Timothy Williamson's ground-breaking work on knowledge and its impact on philosophy today.
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  21. T. Remington Harkness (2011). The Modern Philosophical Revolution: The Luminosity of Existence. By David Walsh. Heythrop Journal 52 (1):153-154.
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  22. Anna Mahtani (2008). Williamson on Inexact Knowledge. Philosophical Studies 139 (2):171 - 180.
    Timothy Williamson claims that margin for error principles govern all cases of inexact knowledge. I show that this claim is unfounded: there are cases of inexact knowledge where Williamson’s argument for margin for error principles does not go through. The problematic cases are those where the value of the relevant parameter is fixed across close cases. I explore and reject two responses to my objection, before concluding that Williamson’s account of inexact knowledge is not compelling.
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  23. Kevin Meeker & Ted Poston (2010). Skeptics Without Borders. American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (3):223.
    Timothy Williamson’s anti luminosity argument has received considerable attention. Escaping unnoticed, though, is a strikingly similar argument from David Hume. This paper highlights some of the arresting parallels between Williamson’s reasoning and Hume’s that will allow us to appreciate more deeply the plausibility of Williamson’s reasoning and to understand how, following Hume, we can extend this reasoning to undermine the “luminosity” of simple necessary truths. More broadly the parallels help us to identify a common skeptical predicament underlying both arguments, which (...)
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  24. P. X. Monaghan (2008). Williamson and the Argument From Luminosity. Dialogue 47 (3-4):619-.
    ABSTRACT: Many of the results of Timothy Williamson's Knowledge and Its Limits depend upon his argument that many, if not all, of our mental states fail to be luminous in the sense that if we are in them, then we are in a position to know that we are in them. The purpose of this article is to show that his argument is unsound. I conclude by distinguishing between partial and total luminosity, and by arguing that even if mental states (...)
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  25. Ram Neta & Guy Rohrbaugh (2004). Luminosity and the Safety of Knowledge. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (4):396–406.
    In his recent Knowledge and its Limits, Timothy Williamson argues that no non-trivial mental state is such that being in that state suffices for one to be in a position to know that one is in it. In short, there are no “luminous” mental states. His argument depends on a “safety” requirement on knowledge, that one’s confident belief could not easily have been wrong if it is to count as knowledge. We argue that the safety requirement is ambiguous; on one (...)
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  26. David S. Pacini (2009). Review of David Walsh, The Modern Philosophical Revolution: The Luminosity of Existence. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (9).
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  27. Duncan Pritchard & Patrick Greenough (eds.) (2009). Williamson on Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Eighteen leading philosophers offer critical assessments of Timothy Williamson's ground-breaking work on knowledge and its impact on philosophy today. They discuss epistemological issues concerning evidence, defeasibility, scepticism, testimony, assertion, and perception, and debate Williamson's central claim that knowledge is a mental state.
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  28. Murali Ramachandran, Four Anti-Luminosity Strategies.
    Timothy Williamson (2000) reckons that hardly any mental state is luminous, i.e. is such that if one were in it, then one would invariably be in a position to know that one was. To this end he presents an argument against the luminosity of feeling cold— which he claims generalizes to other phenomenal states, such as e.g. being in pain. As we shall see, however, no fewer than four lines of argument for that conclusion can be extracted from Williamson’s remarks. (...)
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  29. Murali Ramachandran, Anti-Luminosity.
    Timothy Williamson (2000) reckons that hardly any mental state is luminous, i.e. is such that if one were in it, then one would invariably be in a position to know that one was. This paper examines an argument he presents against the luminosity of feeling cold, which he claims generalizes to other phenomenal states, such as e.g. being in pain. As we shall see, the argument fails. However, our deliberations do yield two anti-luminosity results: a simple refutation of the claim (...)
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  30. Murali Ramachandran, Williamson's Argument Against the KK-Principle.
    Timothy Williamson (2000 ch. 5) presents a reductio against the luminosity of knowing, against, that is, the so-called KK-principle: if one knows p, then one knows (or is at least in a position to know) that one knows p.1 I do not endorse the principle, but I do not think Williamson’s argument succeeds in refuting it. My aim here is to show that the KK-principle is not the most obvious culprit behind the contradiction Williamson derives.
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  31. Murali Ramachandran (2009). Anti-Luminosity: Four Unsuccessful Strategies. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):659-673.
    In Knowledge and Its Limits Timothy Williamson argues against the luminosity of phenomenal states in general by way of arguing against the luminosity of feeling cold, that is, against the view that if one feels cold, one is at least in a position to know that one does. In this paper I consider four strategies that emerge from his discussion, and argue that none succeeds.
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  32. Baron Reed (2006). Shelter for the Cognitively Homeless. Synthese 148 (2):303 - 308.
    One of the main strands of the Cartesian tradition is the view that the mental realm is cognitively accessible to us in a special way: whenever one is in a mental state of a certain sort, one can know it just by considering the matter. In that sense, the mental realm is thought to be a cognitive home for us, and the mental states it comprises are luminous. Recently, however, Timothy Williamson has argued that we are cognitively homeless: no mental (...)
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  33. Assaf Sharon & Levi Spectre (2008). Mr. Magoo's Mistake. Philosophical Studies 139 (2):289 - 306.
    Timothy Williamson has famously argued that the (KK) principle (roughly, that if one knows that p, then one knows that one knows that p) should be rejected. We analyze Williamson’s argument and show that its key premise is ambiguous, and that when it is properly stated this premise no longer supports the argument against (KK). After canvassing possible objections to our argument, we reflect upon some conclusions that suggest significant epistemological ramifications pertaining to the acquisition of knowledge from prior knowledge (...)
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  34. Declan Smithies (2012). Mentalism and Epistemic Transparency. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):723-741.
    Questions about the transparency of evidence are central to debates between factive and non-factive versions of mentalism about evidence. If all evidence is transparent, then factive mentalism is false, since no factive mental states are transparent. However, Timothy Williamson has argued that transparency is a myth and that no conditions are transparent except trivial ones. This paper responds by drawing a distinction between doxastic and epistemic notions of transparency. Williamson's argument may show that no conditions are doxastically transparent, but it (...)
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  35. Roy Sorensen (2007). Knowledge Beyond the Margin for Error. Mind 116 (463):717 - 722.
    Epistemicists say there is a last positive instance in a sorites sequence-we just cannot know which is the last. Timothy Williamson explains that knowledge requires a margin for error and this ensures that the last heap will not be knowable as a heap. However, there is a class of disjunctive predicates for which knowledge at the thresholds is possible. They generate sorites paradoxes that cannot be diagnosed with the margin for error principle.
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  36. Roy A. Sorensen (2007). Knowledge Beyond the Margin for Error. Mind 116 (463):717 - 722.
    Epistemicists say there is a last positive instance in a sorites sequence-we just cannot know which is the last. Timothy Williamson explains that knowledge requires a margin for error and this ensures that the last heap will not be knowable as a heap. However, there is a class of disjunctive predicates for which knowledge at the thresholds is possible. They generate sorites paradoxes that cannot be diagnosed with the margin for error principle.
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  37. David Spector (2013). Margin for Error Semantics and Signal Perception. Synthese 190 (15):3247-3263.
    A joint modelling of objective worlds and subjective perceptions within two-dimensional semantics eliminates the margin for error principle and solves the epistemic sorites paradox. Two objective knowledge modalities can be defined in two-dimensional frames accounting for subjective perceptions: “necessary knowledge” (NK) and “possible knowledge” (PK), the latter being better suited to the interpretation of knowledge utterances. Two-dimensional semantics can in some cases be reduced to one-dimensional ones, by defining accessibility relations between objective worlds that reflect subjective perceptions: NK and PK (...)
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  38. Amia Srinivasan (2013). Are We Luminous? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2).
    Since its appearance over a decade ago, Timothy Williamson's anti-luminosity argument has come under sustained attack. Defenders of the luminous overwhelmingly object to the argument's use of a certain margin-for-error premise. Williamson himself claims that the premise follows easily from a safety condition on knowledge together with his description of the thought experiment. But luminists argue that this is not so: the margin-for-error premise either requires an implausible interpretation of the safety requirement on knowledge, or it requires other equally implausible (...)
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  39. M. M. Trivedi (1987). Citsukha's View on Self-Luminosity. Journal of Indian Philosophy 15 (2):115-123.
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  40. Jonathan Vogel (2010). Luminosity and Indiscriminability. Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):547-572.
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  41. David Walsh (2008). The Modern Philosophical Revolution: The Luminosity of Existence. Cambridge University Press.
    The Modern Philosophical Revolution breaks new ground by demonstrating the continuity of European philosophy from Kant to Derrida. Much of the literature on European philosophy has emphasized the breaks that have occurred in the course of two centuries of thinking. But as David Walsh argues, such a reading overlooks the extent to which Kant, Hegel, and Schelling were already engaged in the turn toward existence as the only viable mode of philosophizing. Where many similar studies summarize individual thinkers, this book (...)
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  42. Brian Weatherson (2004). Luminous Margins. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):373 – 383.
    Timothy Williamson has recently argued that few mental states are luminous , meaning that to be in that state is to be in a position to know that you are in the state. His argument rests on the plausible principle that beliefs only count as knowledge if they are safely true. That is, any belief that could easily have been false is not a piece of knowledge. I argue that the form of the safety rule Williamson uses is inappropriate, and (...)
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  43. Timothy Williamson (2007). Knowledge Within the Margin for Error. Mind 116 (463):723 - 726.
    Roy Sorensen's criticism of my use of margin for error principles to explain ignorance in borderline cases fails because it misidentifies the relevant margin for error principles. His alternative explanation in terms of truth-maker gaps is briefly criticized.
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  44. Timothy Williamson (2005). Précis of Knowledge and its Limits. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):431–435.
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  45. Timothy Williamson (2002). Reply to Machina and Deutsch on Vagueness, Ignorance, and Margins for Error. Acta Analytica 17 (1):47-61.
    In their paper “Vagueness, Ignorance, and Margins for Error” Kenton Machina and Harry Deutsch criticize the epistemic theory of vagueness. This paper answers their objections. The main issues discussed are: the relation between meaning and use; the principle of bivalence; the ontology of vaguely specified classes; the proper form of margin for error principles; iterations of epistemic operators and semantic compositionality; the relation or lack of it between quantum mechanics and theories of vagueness.
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  46. Timothy Williamson (2000). Knowledge and its Limits. Oxford University Press.
    Knowledge and its Limits presents a systematic new conception of knowledge as a kind of mental stage sensitive to the knower's environment. It makes a major contribution to the debate between externalist and internalist philosophies of mind, and breaks radically with the epistemological tradition of analyzing knowledge in terms of true belief. The theory casts new light on such philosophical problems as scepticism, evidence, probability and assertion, realism and anti-realism, and the limits of what can be known. The arguments are (...)
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  47. Wai-hung Wong (2008). What Williamson's Anti-Luminosity Argument Really Is. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (4):536-543.
    Abstract: Williamson argues that when one feels cold, one may not be in a position to know that one feels cold. He thinks this argument can be generalized to show that no mental states are such that when we are in them we are in a position to know that we are in them. I argue that his argument is a sorites argument in disguise because it relies on the implicit premise that warming up is gradual. Williamson claims that his (...)
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  48. Elia Zardini (2013). Luminosity and Determinacy. Philosophical Studies 165 (3):765-786.
    The paper discusses some ways in which the phenomenon of borderline cases may be thought to bear on the traditional philosophical idea that certain domains of facts are fully open to our view. The discussion focusses on a very influential argument (due to Tim Williamson) to the effect that, roughly, no such domains of luminous facts exist. Many commentators have felt that the vagueness unavoidably inherent in the description of the facts that are best candidates for being luminous plays an (...)
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  49. Elia Zardini (2012). Luminosity and Vagueness. Dialectica 66 (3):375-410.