Anti-Luck Epistemology and Safety's (Recent) Discontents

Philosophia 38 (3):517-532 (2009)
Anti-luck epistemology is an approach to analyzing knowledge that takes as a starting point the widely-held assumption that knowledge must exclude luck. Call this the anti-luck platitude. As Duncan Pritchard (2005) has suggested, there are three stages constituent of anti-luck epistemology, each which specifies a different philosophical requirement: these stages call for us to first give an account of luck; second, specify the sense in which knowledge is incompatible with luck; and finally, show what conditions must be satisfied in order to block the kind of luck with which knowledge was argued to be incompatible. What I’ll show here is that the modal account of luck offers a plausible story at the first stage and leads naturally to equally plausible lines to take at the second and third stages, at which a safety condition on knowledge is squarely motivated. There are, however, recent challenges—advanced by Jonathan Kvanvig (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77: 272–281, 2008); Kelly Becker (2007); and Jennifer Lackey (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86(2):255–267, 2008), among others—to the plausibility of the safety-based anti-luck project I’ve sketched here at each of its three stages of development. Once I’ve made precise the challenges, I’ll show why none implies that we abandon the commitments of the safety-based anti-luck project at any of its stages. What we should conclude, then, is that a safety-condition on knowledge is motivated by independently defensible accounts of (1) what luck is; and (2) just how knowledge should be thought incompatible with it
Keywords Knowledge  Epistemic luck  Gettier  Safety
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11406-009-9219-z
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,865
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Alvin Goldman (1976). Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge. Journal of Philosophy 73 (November):771-791.
Wayne D. Riggs (2009). Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jennifer Lackey (2008). What Luck is Not. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):255 – 267.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

95 ( #27,856 of 1,724,889 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

13 ( #53,055 of 1,724,889 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.