Against global method safety

Synthese 197 (12):5101-5116 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The global method safety account of knowledge states that an agent’s true belief that p is safe and qualifies as knowledge if and only if it is formed by method M, such that her beliefs in p and her beliefs in relevantly similar propositions formed by M in all nearby worlds are true. This paper argues that global method safety is too restrictive. First, the agent may not know relevantly similar propositions via M because the belief that p is the only possible outcome of M. Second, there are cases where there is a fine-grained belief that is unsafe and a relevantly similar coarse-grained belief that is safe and where both beliefs are based on the same method M. Third, the reliability of conditional reasoning, a basic belief-forming method, seems to be sensitive to fine-grained contents, as suggested by the wide variation in success rates for thematic versions of the Wason selection task.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 79,724

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Is Safety In Danger?Fernando Broncano-Berrocal - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):1-19.
Knowledge without safety.Haicheng Zhao - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3261-3278.
Saving safety from counterexamples.Thomas Grundmann - 2018 - Synthese 197 (12):5161-5185.
Knowledge Under Threat.Tomas Bogardus - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):289-313.
Testimony, testimonial belief, and safety.Charlie Pelling - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):205-217.
Functionalism and propositions.John Martin Fischer - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (November):295-311.
Conditional Belief and the Ramsey Test.Scott Sturgeon - 2002 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 51:215-232.
Is Knowledge Safe?Peter Baumann - 2008 - American Philosophical Quarterly 45 (1):19 - 30.
A generality problem for bootstrapping and sensitivity.Guido Melchior - 2014 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):31-47.
Epistemic luck and logical necessities: armchair luck revisited.Guido Melchior - 2017 - In Smiljana Gartner Bojan Borstner (ed.), Thought Experiments between Nature and Society. A Festschrift for Nenad Miščević. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 137-150.
The epistemology of belief.Hamid Vahid - 2009 - New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.


Added to PP

79 (#163,622)

6 months
5 (#166,481)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Sven Bernecker
University of Cologne

Citations of this work

A Dilemma for Globalized Safety.Bin Zhao - 2021 - Acta Analytica 37 (2):249-261.
Epistemic Closure, Necessary Truths, and Safety.Bin Zhao - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (4):391-401.
Sensitivity, Safety, and Epistemic Closure.Bin Zhao - 2022 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (1):56-71.
Better virtuous than safe.Haicheng Zhao - 2019 - Synthese 198 (8):6969-6991.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Epistemology and cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
A virtue epistemology.Ernest Sosa - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - New York: Routledge.

View all 80 references / Add more references