David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 190 (14):2731-2748 (2013)
The idea that knowledge can be extended by inference from what is known seems highly plausible. Yet, as shown by familiar preface paradox and lottery-type cases, the possibility of aggregating uncertainty casts doubt on its tenability. We show that these considerations go much further than previously recognized and significantly restrict the kinds of closure ordinary theories of knowledge can endorse. Meeting the challenge of uncertainty aggregation requires either the restriction of knowledge-extending inferences to single premises, or eliminating epistemic uncertainty in known premises. The first strategy, while effective, retains little of the original idea—conclusions even of modus ponens inferences from known premises are not always known. We then look at the second strategy, inspecting the most elaborate and promising attempt to secure the epistemic role of basic inferences, namely Timothy Williamson’s safety theory of knowledge. We argue that while it indeed has the merit of allowing basic inferences such as modus ponens to extend knowledge, Williamson’s theory faces formidable difficulties. These difficulties, moreover, arise from the very feature responsible for its virtue- the infallibilism of knowledge
|Keywords||Knowledge Inference Modus ponens Infallibilism Lottery propositions Chance Epistemic probability Knowledge safety Single premise closure Multi premise closure|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Marc Alspector-Kelly (2011). Why Safety Doesn't Save Closure. Synthese 183 (2):127-142.
David Phiroze Christensen (2004). Putting Logic in its Place: Formal Constraints on Rational Belief. Oxford University Press.
Stewart Cohen (1988). How to Be a Fallibilist. Philosophical Perspectives 2:91-123.
Richard Feldman (1981). Fallibilism and Knowing That One Knows. Philosophical Review 90 (2):266-282.
Richard A. Fumerton (2006). Epistemology. Blackwell Pub..
Citations of this work BETA
Stewart Cohen & Juan Comesaña (2013). Williamson on Gettier Cases in Epistemic Logic and the Knowledge Norm for Rational Belief: A Reply to a Reply to a Reply. Inquiry 56 (4):400-415.
Similar books and articles
M. Yan (2013). When Does Epistemic Closure Fail? Analysis 73 (2):260-264.
Hamid Vahid (2007). Varieties of Easy Knowledge Inference: A Resolution. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 22 (3):223-237.
P. D. Magnus (2008). Demonstrative Induction and the Skeleton of Inference. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):303 – 315.
Sven Bernecker (2012). Sensitivity, Safety, and Closure. Acta Analytica 27 (4):367-381.
Patrick Allo (2013). The Many Faces of Closure and Introspection. Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):91-124.
Krista Lawlor (2005). Living Without Closure. Grazer Philosophische Studien 69 (1):25-50.
Peter Murphy (2006). A Strategy for Assessing Closure. Erkenntnis 65 (3):365-383.
Guido Melchior (2010). Knowledge-Closure and Inferential Knowledge. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10 (30):259-285.
Martin Smith (2013). Two Notions of Epistemic Risk. Erkenntnis 78 (5):1069-1079.
Huajie Liu (2006). Instability, Modus Ponens and Uncertainty of Deduction. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 1 (4):658-674.
Added to index2012-02-28
Total downloads114 ( #10,990 of 1,410,304 )
Recent downloads (6 months)17 ( #12,712 of 1,410,304 )
How can I increase my downloads?