Epistemic Judgments are Insensitive to Probabilities

Metaphilosophy 51 (4):499-521 (2020)
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Multiple epistemological programs make use of intuitive judgments pertaining to an individual’s ability to gain knowledge from exclusively probabilistic/statistical information. This paper argues that these judgments likely form without deference to such information, instead being a function of the degree to which having knowledge is representative of an agent. Thus, these judgments fit the pattern of formation via a representativeness heuristic, like that famously described by Kahneman and Tversky to explain similar probabilistic judgments. Given this broad insensitivity to probabilistic/statistical information, it directly follows that these epistemic judgments are insensitive to a given agent’s epistemic status. From this, the paper concludes that, breaking with common epistemological practice, we cannot assume that such judgments are reliable.



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Adam Michael Bricker
University of Turku

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References found in this work

Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Elusive knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
On the psychology of prediction.Daniel Kahneman & Amos Tversky - 1973 - Psychological Review 80 (4):237-251.
The lottery paradox, knowledge, and rationality.Dana K. Nelkin - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (3):373-409.

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