Knowledge Under Threat


Authors
Tomas Bogardus
Pepperdine University
Abstract
Many contemporary epistemologists hold that a subject S’s true belief that p counts as knowledge only if S’s belief that p is also, in some important sense, safe. I describe accounts of this safety condition from John Hawthorne, Duncan Pritchard, and Ernest Sosa. There have been three counterexamples to safety proposed in the recent literature, from Comesaña, Neta and Rohrbaugh, and Kelp. I explain why all three proposals fail: each moves fallaciously from the fact that S was at epistemic risk just before forming her belief to the conclusion that S’s belief was formed unsafely. In light of lessons from their failure, I provide a new and successful counterexample to the safety condition on knowledge. It follows, then, that knowledge need not be safe. Safety at a time depends counterfactually on what would likely happen at that time or soon after in a way that knowledge does not. I close by considering one objection concerning higher-order safety.
Keywords Safety  Knowledge  Gettier  Williamson  Sosa  Pritchard  luck  Epistemology  Sensitivity
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Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2011.00564.x
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Epistemic Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Warrant and Proper Function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Skill in Epistemology I: Skill and Knowledge.Carlotta Pavese - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (11):642-649.
Yes, Safety is in Danger.Tomas Bogardus & Chad Marxen - 2013 - Philosophia 42 (2):321-334.
How to Be an Infallibilist.Julien Dutant - 2016 - Philosophical Issues 26 (1):148-171.

View all 23 citations / Add more citations

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Luminosity and the Safety of Knowledge.Ram Neta & Guy Rohrbaugh - 2004 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (4):396–406.

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