Lotteries, Knowledge, and Practical Reasoning

Logos and Episteme 2 (2):225-231 (2011)
This paper addresses an argument offered by John Hawthorne gainst the propriety of an agent’s using propositions she does not know as premises in practical reasoning. I will argue that there are a number of potential structural confounds in Hawthorne’s use of his main example, a case of practical reasoning about a lottery. By drawing these confounds out more explicitly, we can get a better sense of how to make appropriate use of such examples in theorizing about norms, knowledge, and practical reasoning. I will conclude by suggesting a prescription for properly using lottery propositions to do the sort of work that Hawthorne wants from them.
Keywords Knowledge Norm  Lotteries  Practical Reasoning
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