Sensitivity and Closure
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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From the mid-1980‘s to the early 2000‘s the wide-ranging resources of the concept we now call sensitivity , which Robert Nozick used to give an analysis of the concepts of knowledge and evidence , went largely unappreciated in epistemology. This was in part because these resources were upstaged by a glamorous implication the condition has for skepticism, and in part because of loss of faith in the project of giving a theory of knowledge at all, due to the failure time and again to construct a theory without counterexamples. The sensitivity condition, or as Nozick called it the variation condition, which requires that were p to be false you wouldn‘t believe it, had its own apparent counterexamples. And while the implication of this condition for skepticism was elegant and principled – it is possible to know that there is a table in front of you without knowing you are not a brain in a vat – it had the price of denying closure of knowledge under known implication, that is, denying that knowing q and knowing that q implies p are together sufficient to make the belief in p that you have on that basis knowledge
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