Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Books 46 (2):123-131 (2005)
|Abstract||John Hawthorne’s recent monograph Knowledge and Lotteries1 is centred on the following puzzle: Suppose you claim to know that you will not be able to afford to summer in the Hamptons next year. Aware of your modest means, we believe you. But suppose you also claim to know that a ticket you recently purchased in a multi-million dollar lottery is a loser. Most of us have the intuition that you do not know that your ticket is a loser. However, your alleged knowledge of not being able to afford to summer in the Hamptons puts you in a position to know that your ticket is a loser. For the proposition that you will not be able to afford to summer in the Hamptons entails the proposition that you will lose the lottery. And the following principle, what Hawthorne calls ‘Single Premise Closure’ ( p. 34), is very plausible: If you know that p, p entails q, and you competently deduce q from p thereby coming to believe that q (all the while retaining your knowledge of p), then you come to know q|
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