A Remark on the Bank Cases

Acta Analytica:1-11 (forthcoming)


Since their formulation by Keith DeRose, the so-called bank cases have played a major role in the discussion about whether knowledge depends on practical factors. According to the proponents of pragmatic encroachment, the proper conclusion to be drawn from the bank cases and similar examples is that knowledge of a proposition p does not supervene on one’s evidence for or against p. In my view, this conclusion is ill-founded. The reason is that the bank cases and similar examples suffer from an ambiguity concerning the known proposition — an ambiguity that has so far been overlooked. When this ambiguity is made explicit, it becomes clear that the conclusion does not follow.

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Wolfgang Barz
Goethe University Frankfurt

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