We argue that if evidence were knowledge, then there wouldn’t be any Gettier cases, and justification would fail to be closed in egregious ways. But there are Gettier cases, and justification does not fail to be close in egregious ways. Therefore, evidence isn’t knowledge.
It can often be heard in the hallways, and occasionally read in print, that reliabilism runs into special trouble regarding lottery cases. My main aim in this paper is to argue that this is not so. Nevertheless, lottery cases do force us to pay close attention to the relation between justification and probability.
Many philosophers think that, necessarily, any material objects have a fusion (let’s call that doctrine “Universalism”). In this paper I point out a couple of strange consequences of Universalism and related doctrines, and suggest that they are strange enough to constitute a powerful argument against those views.
According to reliabilists about epistemic justification, what makes a belief epistemically justified is that it was produced by a reliable process of belief-formation. Earl Conee and Richard Feldman have forcefully presented a problem for such reliabilism, "the generality problem."? The generality problem arises once we realize that the notion of reliability applies straightforwardly only to types of process--for only types of process are repeatable entities which can produce true or false beliefs in each of their instances. Moreover, any token process (...) will be an instance of indefinitely many types of process. Which of these types must be reliable for my belief to be justified, according to reliabilism? That question, generalized to cover every case of belief-formation, is the generality problem for reliabilism. In this paper I propose a solution to the generality problem. The solution makes use of the basing relation, and so, given that it isn't clear how to characterize that relation, it might be thought to replace one problem with another. I argue that, however difficult it is to characterize the basing relation, every adequate epistemological theory must make use of it implicitly or explicitly. Therefore, it is perfectly legitimate to appeal to the basing relation in solving a problem for an epistemological theory. (shrink)
I argue that one reason for being a disjunctivist advanced by McDowell (having to do with the indefeasibility of perceptual knowledge) fails because it ignores the distinction between justification and warrant.
Ernest Sosa has argued that if someone knows that p, then his belief that p is “safe”. and Timothy Williamson has agreed. In this paper I argue that safety, as defined by Sosa, is not a necessary condition on knowledge – that we can have unsafe knowledge. I present Sosa’s definition of safety and a counterexample to it as a necessary condition on knowledge. I also argue that Sosa’s most recent refinements to the notion of safety don’t help him to (...) avoid the counterexample. I consider three replies on behalf of the defender of safety, and find them all wanting. Finally, I offer a tentative diagnosis of my counterexample. (shrink)
In this paper I argue against Mentalism, the claim that all the factors that contribute to the epistemic justification of a doxastic attitude towards a proposition by a subject S are mental states of S. My objection to mentalism is that there is a special kind of fact (what I call a "support fact") that contributes to the justification of any belief, and that is not mental. My argument against mentalism, then, is the following: Anti-mentalism argument: 1. If mentalism is (...) true, then support facts are mental. 2. Support facts are not mental. Therefore, 3. Mentalism is not true. In what follows I explain what support facts are, and then defend each of the premises of my argument. I conclude with some remarks regarding the relevance of my argument for the larger internalism/externalism debate(s) in epistemology. (shrink)
Reliabilism about epistemic justification – thethesis that what makes a belief epistemicallyjustified is that it was produced by a reliableprocess of belief-formation – must face twoproblems. First, what has been called ``the newevil demon problem'', which arises from the ideathat the beliefs of victims of an evil demonare as justified as our own beliefs, althoughthey are not – the objector claims – reliablyproduced. And second, the problem of diagnosingwhy skepticism is so appealing despite beingfalse. I present a special version ofreliabilism, (...) ``indexical reliabilism'', based ontwo-dimensional semantics, and show how it cansolve both problems. (shrink)