David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
If we add as an extra premise that the agent does know H, then it is possible for her to know E H, we get the conclusion that the agent does not really know H. But even without that closure premise, or something like it, the conclusion seems quite dramatic. One possible response to the argument, floated by both Descartes and Hume, is to accept the conclusion and embrace scepticism. We cannot know anything that goes beyond our evidence, so we do not know very much at all. This is a remarkably sceptical conclusion, so we should resist it if at all possible. A more modern response, associated with externalists like John McDowell and Timothy Williamson, is to accept the conclusion but deny it is as sceptical as it first appears. The Humean argument, even if it works, only shows that our evidence and our knowledge are more closely linked than we might have thought. Perhaps that’s true because we have a lot of evidence, not because we have very little knowledge. There’s something right about this response I think. We have more evidence than Descartes or Hume thought we had. But I think we still need the idea of ampliative knowledge. It stretches the concept of evidence to breaking point to suggest that all of our knowledge, including knowledge about the future, is part of our evidence. So the conclusion really is unacceptable. Or, at least, I think we should try to see what an epistemology that rejects the conclusion looks like.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Martin Smith (2014). Knowledge, Justification and Normative Coincidence1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):273-295.
Similar books and articles
Frances Weyland (1964). A Note on 'Knowledge, Certainty, and Probability'∗. Inquiry 7 (1-4):417-417.
Clayton Littlejohn (2008). From E = K to Scepticism? Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):679-684.
Aaron Rizzieri (2009). Evidence Does Not Equal Knowledge. Philosophical Studies 153 (2):235-242.
Timothy Williamson (1998). Conditionalizing on Knowledge. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (1):89-121.
Dylan Dodd (2007). Why Williamson Should Be a Sceptic. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):635–649.
Sten Olaf Welding (2005). Kann Es Ein Argument Für den Skeptizismus Geben? Das Epistemische Problem der Irrtumsmöglichkeit. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (1):107 - 118.
D. C. Stove (1973). Probability and Hume's Inductive Scepticism. Oxford,Clarendon Press.
David J. Owens & Brian P. McLaughlin (2000). Self-Knowledge, Externalism and Scepticism: II--David Owens, Scepticisms: Descartes and Hume. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 74 (74):119-142.
Added to index2009-07-31
Total downloads62 ( #46,908 of 1,707,756 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #47,695 of 1,707,756 )
How can I increase my downloads?