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Reliabilism Leveled

Journal of Philosophy 97 (11):602 (2000)

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  1. Debunking Arguments in Metaethics and Metaphysics.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 337-363.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments abound, but it is widely assumed that they do not arise for our perceptual beliefs about midsized objects, insofar as the adaptive value of our object beliefs cannot be explained without reference to the objects themselves. I argue that this is a mistake. Just as with moral beliefs, the adaptive value of our object beliefs can be explained without assuming that the beliefs are accurate. I then explore the prospects for other sorts of vindications of our object (...)
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  • Contingent A Priori Knowledge.John Turri - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):327-344.
    I argue that you can have a priori knowledge of propositions that neither are nor appear necessarily true. You can know a priori contingent propositions that you recognize as such. This overturns a standard view in contemporary epistemology and the traditional view of the a priori, which restrict a priori knowledge to necessary truths, or at least to truths that appear necessary.
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  • Unconfirmed Peers and Spinelessness.Ben Sherman - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):425-444.
    The Equal Weight View holds that, when we discover we disagree with an epistemic peer, we should give our peer’s judgment as much weight as our own. But how should we respond when we cannot tell whether those who disagree with us are our epistemic peers? I argue for a position I will call the Earn-a-Spine View. According to this view, parties to a disagreement can remain confident, at least in some situations, by finding justifiable reasons to think their opponents (...)
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  • The Persuasiveness Puzzle About Bootstrapping.Guido Melchior - 2020 - Ratio 33 (1):27-36.
    This paper aims at resolving a puzzle about the persuasiveness of bootstrapping. On the one hand, bootstrapping is not a persuasive method of settling questions about the reliability of a source. On the other hand, our beliefs that our sense apparatus is reliable is based on other empirically formed beliefs, that is, they are acquired via a presumably complex bootstrapping process. I will argue that when we doubt the reliability of a source, bootstrapping is not a persuasive method for coming (...)
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  • Basic Knowledge and Easy Understanding.Kelly Becker - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (2):145-161.
    Reliabilism is a theory that countenances basic knowledge, that is, knowledge from a reliable source, without requiring that the agent knows the source is reliable. Critics (especially Cohen 2002 ) have argued that such theories generate all-too-easy, intuitively implausible cases of higher-order knowledge based on inference from basic knowledge. For present purposes, the criticism might be recast as claiming that reliabilism implausibly generates cases of understanding from brute, basic knowledge. I argue that the easy knowledge (or easy understanding) criticism rests (...)
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  • Entitlement, Justification, and the Bootstrapping Problem.Jon Altschul - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (4):345-366.
    According to the bootstrapping problem, any view that allows for basic knowledge (knowledge obtained from a reliable source prior to one’s knowing that that source is reliable) is forced to accept that one can utilize a track-record argument to acquire justification for believing that one’s belief source is reliable; yet, we tend to think that acquiring justification in this way is too easy. In this paper I argue, first, that those who respond to the bootstrapping problem by denying basic knowledge (...)
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  • Replies.Annalisa Coliva - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (1):81-96.
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  • Taking Things for Granted: Comments on Harman and Sherman.Thomas Kelly - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (1):141-147.
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  • Evidential Externalism.Jeffrey Dunn - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (3):435-455.
    Consider the Evidence Question: When and under what conditions is proposition P evidence for some agent S? Silins (Philos Perspect 19:375–404, 2005) has recently offered a partial answer to the Evidence Question. In particular, Silins argues for Evidential Internalism (EI), which holds that necessarily, if A and B are internal twins, then A and B have the same evidence. In this paper I consider Silins’s argument, and offer two response on behalf of Evidential Externalism (EE), which is the denial of (...)
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  • Skepticism: Lehrer Versus Mooreanism.Guido Melchior - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (1):47-58.
    I will compare Lehrer’s anti-skeptical strategy from a coherentist point of view with the anti-skeptical strategy of the Mooreans. I will argue that there are strong similarities between them: neither can present a persuasive argument to the skeptic and both face the problem of easy knowledge in one way or another. However, both can offer a complete and self-explanatory explanation of knowledge although Mooreanism can offer the more natural one. Hence, one has good reasons to prefer Mooreanism to Lehrer’s anti-skeptical (...)
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  • The Significance of High-Level Content.Nicholas Silins - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (1):13-33.
    This paper is an essay in counterfactual epistemology. What if experience have high-level contents, to the effect that something is a lemon or that someone is sad? I survey the consequences for epistemology of such a scenario, and conclude that many of the striking consequences could be reached even if our experiences don't have high-level contents.
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  • Bootstrapping, Evidentialist Internalism, and Rule Circularity.Anthony Brueckner - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (3):591-597.
    Bootstrapping, evidentialist internalism, and rule circularity Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-7 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9876-9 Authors Anthony Brueckner, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
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  • Knowledge as a Thick Concept: Explaining Why the Gettier Problem Arises.Brent G. Kyle - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):1-27.
    The Gettier problem has stymied epistemologists. But, whether or not this problem is resolvable, we still must face an important question: Why does the Gettier problem arise in the first place? So far, philosophers have seen it as either a problem peculiar to the concept of knowledge, or else an instance of a general problem about conceptual analysis. But I would like to steer a middle course. I argue that the Gettier problem arises because knowledge is a thick concept, and (...)
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  • What’s the Matter with Epistemic Circularity?David James Barnett - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):177-205.
    If the reliability of a source of testimony is open to question, it seems epistemically illegitimate to verify the source’s reliability by appealing to that source’s own testimony. Is this because it is illegitimate to trust a questionable source’s testimony on any matter whatsoever? Or is there a distinctive problem with appealing to the source’s testimony on the matter of that source’s own reliability? After distinguishing between two kinds of epistemically illegitimate circularity—bootstrapping and self-verification—I argue for a qualified version of (...)
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  • Respecting All the Evidence.Paulina Sliwa & Sophie Horowitz - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2835-2858.
    Plausibly, you should believe what your total evidence supports. But cases of misleading higher-order evidence—evidence about what your evidence supports—present a challenge to this thought. In such cases, taking both first-order and higher-order evidence at face value leads to a seemingly irrational incoherence between one’s first-order and higher-order attitudes: you will believe P, but also believe that your evidence doesn’t support P. To avoid sanctioning tension between epistemic levels, some authors have abandoned the thought that both first-order and higher-order evidence (...)
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  • Epistemic Closure and Epistemic Logic I: Relevant Alternatives and Subjunctivism.Wesley H. Holliday - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (1):1-62.
    Epistemic closure has been a central issue in epistemology over the last forty years. According to versions of the relevant alternatives and subjunctivist theories of knowledge, epistemic closure can fail: an agent who knows some propositions can fail to know a logical consequence of those propositions, even if the agent explicitly believes the consequence (having “competently deduced” it from the known propositions). In this sense, the claim that epistemic closure can fail must be distinguished from the fact that agents do (...)
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  • A Reliabilist Foundationalist Coherentism.Sanford Goldberg - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (2):187-196.
    While Process Reliabilism has long been regarded by many as a version of Foundationalism, this paper argues that there is a version of Process Reliabilism that can also been seen as at least a partial vindication of Coherentism as well. The significance of this result lies in what it tells us both about the prospects for a plausible Process Reliabilism, but also about the old-school debate between Foundationalists and Coherentists.
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  • Reflective Knowledge and the Nature of Truth.José L. Zalabardo - 2016 - Disputatio 8 (43):147-171.
    I consider the problem of reflective knowledge faced by views that treat sensitivity as a sufficient condition for knowledge, or as a major ingredient of the concept, as in the analysis I advance in Scepticism and Reliable Belief. I present the problem as concerning the correct analysis of SATs — beliefs to the effect that one of my current beliefs is true. I suggest that a plausible analysis of SATs should treat them as neither true nor false when they ascribe (...)
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  • Reliabilism Without Epistemic Consequentialism.Kurt L. Sylvan - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Varieties of Easy Knowledge Inference: A Resolution. [REVIEW]Hamid Vahid - 2007 - Acta Analytica 22 (3):223-237.
    It has recently been argued that any epistemological theory that allows for what is called basic knowledge, viz., knowledge that an agent acquires from a certain source, even if he fails to know that the source is reliable, falls victim to what is known as the problem of easy knowledge. The idea is that for such theories bootstrapping and closure allow us far too easily to acquire knowledge (justification) that seems unlikely under the envisaged circumstances. In this paper, I begin (...)
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  • Sosa on Easy Knowledge and the Problem of the Criterion.James Van Cleve - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (1):19-28.
  • Replies to Ram Neta, James Van Cleve, and Crispin Wright for a Book Symposium on Reflective Knowledge (OUP, 2009).Ernest Sosa - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (1):43-59.
    Replies to Ram Neta, James Van Cleve, and Crispin Wright for a book symposium on Reflective Knowledge (OUP, 2009).
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  • Replies to Wright, MacFarlane and Sosa.Paul Boghossian - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (3):409-432.
    The main impetus for my book came from the widespread acceptance of relativistic views about truth and knowledge within the Academy, especially within the humanities and the humanistic social sciences. In its introductory sections, though, I noted that there is one discipline within the humanities in which the influence of relativistic views is quite weak—namely, within analytic philosophy itself. Ironically, no sooner had the ink dried on the final version of my manuscript sometime in mid-2005—although, of course it had been (...)
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  • Bootstrapping and Knowledge of Reliability.Anthony Brueckner & Christopher T. Buford - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (3):407–412.
    This is a critical discussion of a paper on the problem of bootstrapping by Jose Zalabardo.
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  • In Defense of Epistemic Circularity.David Alexander - 2011 - Acta Analytica 26 (3):223-241.
    In this paper I defend epistemic circularity by arguing that the “No Self-Support” principle (NSS) is false. This principle, ultimately due to Fumerton ( 1995 ), states that one cannot acquire a justified belief in the reliability of a source of belief by trusting that very source. I argue that NSS has the skeptical consequence that the trustworthiness of all of our sources ultimately depends upon the trustworthiness of certain fundamental sources – sources that we cannot justifiably believe to be (...)
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  • The Easy Argument.Steven Luper - 2007 - Acta Analytica 22 (4):321 - 331.
    Suppose Ted is in an ordinary house in good viewing conditions and believes red, his table is red, entirely because he sees his table and its color; he also believes not-white, it is false that his table is white and illuminated by a red light, because not-white is entailed by red. The following three claims about this table case clash, but each seems plausible: 1. Ted’s epistemic position is strong enough for him to know red. 2. Ted cannot know not-white (...)
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  • Reliabilist Justification: Basic, Easy, and Brute. [REVIEW]Jesper Kallestrup - 2009 - Acta Analytica 24 (3):155-171.
    Process reliabilists hold that in order for a belief to be justified, it must result from a reliable cognitive process. They also hold that a belief can be basically justified: justified in this manner without having any justification to believe that belief is reliably produced. Fumerton (1995), Vogel (2000), and Cohen (2002) have objected that such basic justification leads to implausible easy justification by means of either epistemic closure principles or so-called track record arguments. I argue that once we carefully (...)
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  • Margins for Error and Sensitivity: What Nozick Might Have Said. [REVIEW]Kelly Becker - 2009 - Acta Analytica 24 (1):17-31.
    Timothy Williamson has provided damaging counterexamples to Robert Nozick’s sensitivity principle. The examples are based on Williamson’s anti-luminosity arguments, and they show how knowledge requires a margin for error that appears to be incompatible with sensitivity. I explain how Nozick can rescue sensitivity from Williamson’s counterexamples by appeal to a specific conception of the methods by which an agent forms a belief. I also defend the proposed conception of methods against Williamson’s criticisms.
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  • Dogmatism Repuzzled.Assaf Sharon & Levi Spectre - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (2):307 - 321.
    Harman and Lewis credit Kripke with having formulated a puzzle that seems to show that knowledge entails dogmatism. The puzzle is widely regarded as having been solved. In this paper we argue that this standard solution, in its various versions, addresses only a limited aspect of the puzzle and holds no promise of fully resolving it. Analyzing this failure and the proper rendering of the puzzle, it is suggested that it poses a significant challenge for the defense of epistemic closure.
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  • Non-Inferential Justification and Epistemic Circularity.J. Brown - 2004 - Analysis 64 (4):339-348.
  • Epistemic Luck and the Generality Problem.Kelly Becker - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (3):353 - 366.
    Epistemic luck has been the focus of much discussion recently. Perhaps the most general knowledge-precluding type is veritic luck, where a belief is true but might easily have been false. Veritic luck has two sources, and so eliminating it requires two distinct conditions for a theory of knowledge. I argue that, when one sets out those conditions properly, a solution to the generality problem for reliabilism emerges.
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  • Subjunctivitis.Jonathan Vogel - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 134 (1):73 - 88.
    Subjunctivitis is the doctrine that what is distinctive about knowledge is essential modal in character, and thus is captured by certain subjunctive conditionals. One principal formulation of subjunctivism invokes a ``sensitivity condition'' (Nozick, De Rose), the other invokes a ``safety condition'' (Sosa). It is shown in detail how defects in the sensitivity condition generate unwanted results, and that the virtues of that condition are merely apparent. The safety condition is untenable also, because it is too easily satisfied. A powerful motivation (...)
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  • Reliabilist Justification (or Knowledge) as a Good Truth-Ratio.Jonathan E. Adler - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (4):445–458.
    Fair lotteries offer familiar ways to pose a number of epistemological problems, prominently those of closure and of scepticism. Although these problems apply to many epistemological positions, in this paper I develop a variant of a lottery case to raise a difficulty with the reliabilist's fundamental claim that justification or knowledge is to be analyzed as a high truth-ratio (of the relevant belief-forming processes). In developing the difficulty broader issues are joined including fallibility and the relation of reliability to understanding.
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  • Easy Knowledge, Circularity, and the Puzzle of Reliability Knowledge.Matthias Steup - 2019 - Episteme 16 (4):453-473.
    According to externalist reliabilism and dogmatic foundationalism, it's possible to gain knowledge through a perceptual experience without being in a position to know that the experience is reliable. As a result, both of these views face the problem of making knowledge of perceptual reliability too easy, for they permit deducing perceptual reliability from particular perceptual experience without already knowing that these experiences are trustworthy. Ernest Sosa advocates a two-stage solution to the problem. At the first stage, a rich body of (...)
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  • Tell Me You Love Me: Bootstrapping, Externalism, and No-Lose Epistemology.Michael G. Titelbaum - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (1):119-134.
    Recent discussion of Vogel-style “bootstrapping” scenarios suggests that they provide counterexamples to a wide variety of epistemological theories. Yet it remains unclear why it’s bad for a theory to permit bootstrapping, or even exactly what counts as a bootstrapping case. Going back to Vogel's original bootstrapping example, I note that an agent who could gain justification through the method Vogel describes would have available a “no-lose investigation”: an investigation that can justify a proposition but has no possibility of undermining it. (...)
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  • Bootstrap and Rollback: Generalizing Epistemic Circularity.Jesper Kallestrup - 2012 - Synthese 189 (2):395-413.
    Reliabilists accept the possibility of basic knowledge—knowledge that p in virtue of the reliability of some belief-producing process r without antecedent knowledge that r is reliable. Cohen (Philos Phenomenol Res 65:309–329, 2002 , Philos Phenomenol Res 70:417–430, 2005 ) and Vogel (J Philos 97:602–623, 2000 , J Philos 105:518–539, 2008 ) have argued that one can bootstrap knowledge that r is reliable from basic knowledge. This paper provides a diagnosis of epistemic bootstrapping, and then shows that recent attempts at embracing (...)
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  • Problems for Dogmatism.Roger White - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (3):525-557.
    I argue that its appearing to you that P does not provide justification for believing that P unless you have independent justification for the denial of skeptical alternatives – hypotheses incompatible with P but such that if they were true, it would still appear to you that P. Thus I challenge the popular view of ‘dogmatism,’ according to which for some contents P, you need only lack reason to suspect that skeptical alternatives are true, in order for an experience as (...)
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  • What is Deep Disagreement?Chris Ranalli - forthcoming - Topoi.
    What is the nature of deep disagreement? In this paper, I consider two similar albeit seemingly rival answers to this question: the Wittgensteinian theory, according to which deep disagreements are disagreements over hinge propositions, and the fundamental epistemic principle theory, according to which deep disagreements are disagreements over fundamental epistemic principles. I assess these theories against a set of desiderata for a satisfactory theory of deep disagreement, and argue that while the fundamental epistemic principle theory does better than the Wittgensteinian (...)
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  • Higher-Order Knowledge and Sensitivity.Jens Christian Bjerring & Lars Bo Gundersen - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-11.
    It has recently been argued that a sensitivity theory of knowledge cannot ac- count for intuitively appealing instances of higher-order knowledge. In this paper, we argue that it can once careful attention is paid to the methods or processes by which we typically form higher-order beliefs. We base our argu- ment on what we take to be a well-motivated and commonsensical view on how higher-order knowledge is typically acquired, and we show how higher-order knowledge is possible in a sensitivity theory (...)
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  • Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
    How should you take into account the opinions of an advisor? When you completely defer to the advisor's judgment, then you should treat the advisor as a guru. Roughly, that means you should believe what you expect she would believe, if supplied with your extra evidence. When the advisor is your own future self, the resulting principle amounts to a version of the Reflection Principle---a version amended to handle cases of information loss. When you count an advisor as an epistemic (...)
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  • Can Probability Theory Explain Why Closure is Both Intuitive and Prone to Counterexamples?Marcello Di Bello - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2145-2168.
    Epistemic closure under known implication is the principle that knowledge of "p" and knowledge of "p implies q", together, imply knowledge of "q". This principle is intuitive, yet several putative counterexamples have been formulated against it. This paper addresses the question, why is epistemic closure both intuitive and prone to counterexamples? In particular, the paper examines whether probability theory can offer an answer to this question based on four strategies. The first probability-based strategy rests on the accumulation of risks. The (...)
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  • Meta-Epistemological Scepticism: Criticisms and a Defence.Chris Ranalli - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
    The epistemological problem of the external world asks: (1) “How is knowledge of the world possible given certain obstacles which make it look impossible?” This is a “how-possible?” question: it asks how something is possible given certain obstacles which make it look impossible (cf. Cassam 2007; Nozick 1981; Stroud 1984). Now consider the following question, which asks: (2) “How is a philosophically satisfying answer to (1) possible?” Scepticism is the thesis that knowledge of the world is impossible. It therefore represents (...)
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  • Epistemic Value and the Jamesian Goals.Sophie Horowitz - forthcoming - In Jeffrey Dunn Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (ed.), Epistemic Consequentialism. Oxford University Press.
    William James famously tells us that there are two main goals for rational believers: believing truth and avoiding error. I argues that epistemic consequentialism—in particular its embodiment in epistemic utility theory—seems to be well positioned to explain how epistemic agents might permissibly weight these goals differently and adopt different credences as a result. After all, practical versions of consequentialism render it permissible for agents with different goals to act differently in the same situation. -/- Nevertheless, I argue that epistemic consequentialism (...)
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  • Evidence and the Openness of Knowledge.Assaf Sharon & Levi Spectre - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (4):1001-1037.
    The paper argues that knowledge is not closed under logical inference. The argument proceeds from the openness of evidential support and the dependence of empirical knowledge on evidence, to the conclusion that knowledge is open. Without attempting to provide a full-fledged theory of evidence, we show that on the modest assumption that evidence cannot support both a proposition and its negation, or, alternatively, that information that reduces the probability of a proposition cannot constitute evidence for its truth, the relation of (...)
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  • Sensitivity Hasn’T Got a Heterogeneity Problem - a Reply to Melchior.Kevin Wallbridge - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):835-841.
    In a recent paper, Melchior pursues a novel argumentative strategy against the sensitivity condition. His claim is that sensitivity suffers from a ‘heterogeneity problem:’ although some higher-order beliefs are knowable, other, very similar, higher-order beliefs are insensitive and so not knowable. Similarly, the conclusions of some bootstrapping arguments are insensitive, but others are not. In reply, I show that sensitivity does not treat different higher-order beliefs differently in the way that Melchior states and that while genuine bootstrapping arguments have insensitive (...)
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  • Sensitivity has Multiple Heterogeneity Problems: A Reply to Wallbridge.Guido Melchior - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (4):1741-1747.
    In this paper, I defend the heterogeneity problem for sensitivity accounts of knowledge against an objection that has been recently proposed by Wallbridge in Philosophia. I argue in, 479–496, 2015) that sensitivity accounts of knowledge face a heterogeneity problem when it comes to higher-level knowledge about the truth of one’s own beliefs. Beliefs in weaker higher-level propositions are insensitive, but beliefs in stronger higher-level propositions are sensitive. The resulting picture that we can know the stronger propositions without being in a (...)
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  • The Heterogeneity Problem for Sensitivity Accounts.Guido Melchior - 2015 - Episteme 12 (4):479-496.
    Offering a solution to the skeptical puzzle is a central aim of Nozick's sensitivity account of knowledge. It is well-known that this account faces serious problems. However, because of its simplicity and its explanatory power, the sensitivity principle has remained attractive and has been subject to numerous modifications, leading to a of sensitivity accounts. I will object to these accounts, arguing that sensitivity accounts of knowledge face two problems. First, they deliver a far too heterogeneous picture of higher-level beliefs about (...)
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  • Easy Knowledge, Closure Failure, or Skepticism: A Trilemma.Guido Melchior - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (2):214-232.
    This article aims to provide a structural analysis of the problems related to the easy knowledge problem. The easy knowledge problem is well known. If we accept that we can have basic knowledge via a source without having any prior knowledge about the reliability or accuracy of this source, then we can acquire knowledge about the reliability or accuracy of this source too easily via information delivered by the source. Rejecting any kind of basic knowledge, however, leads into an infinite (...)
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  • A Generality Problem for Bootstrapping and Sensitivity.Guido Melchior - 2014 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):31-47.
    Vogel argues that sensitivity accounts of knowledge are implausible because they entail that we cannot have any higher-level knowledge that our beliefs are true, not false. Becker and Salerno object that Vogel is mistaken because he does not formalize higher-level beliefs adequately. They claim that if formalized correctly, higher-level beliefs are sensitive, and can therefore constitute knowledge. However, these accounts do not consider the belief-forming method as sensitivity accounts require. If we take bootstrapping as the belief-forming method, as the discussed (...)
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  • Is Epistemological Disjunctivism the Holy Grail?Guido Melchior - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien, Vol. 86-2012 90:335-346.
    Pritchard argues that epistemological disjunctivism seems plainly false at first sight, but if it were right, it would represent the “holy grail of epistemology” (1), a view that allows us “to have our cake and eat it too” (3). This prospect motivates Pritchard to develop and defend an account that prima facie might seem simply false. It is disputable whether ED really seems plainly false at first sight or whether this intuition is based on a particular philosophical tradition. However, in (...)
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