Consciousness and Cognition 83:102950 (2020)

Authors
John Turri
University of Waterloo
Wesley Buckwalter
George Mason University
Abstract
Approximation involves representing things in ways that might be close to the truth but are nevertheless false. Given the widespread reliance on approximations in science and everyday life, here we ask whether it is conceptually possible for false approximations to qualify as knowledge. According to the factivity account, it is impossible to know false approximations, because knowledge requires truth. According to the representational adequacy account, it is possible to know false approximations, if they are close enough to the truth for present purposes. In this paper, we adopt an experimental methodology to begin testing these two theories. When an agent provides a false and practically inadequate answer, both theories predict that people will deny knowledge. But the theories disagree about an agent who provides a false but practically adequate answer: the factivity hypothesis again predicts knowledge denial, whereas the representational adequacy hypothesis predicts knowledge attribution. Across two experiments, our principal finding was that people tended to attribute knowledge for false but practically adequate answers, which supports the representational adequacy account. We propose an interpretation of existing findings that preserves a conceptual link between knowledge and truth. According to this proposal, truth is not necessary for knowledge, but it is a feature of prototypical knowledge.
Keywords knowledge  truth  approximation  epistemology  folk epistemology  action  practical interests  theory of mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2020.102950
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Approximate Truth Vs. Empirical Adequacy.Seungbae Park - 2014 - Epistemologia 37 (1):106-118.
Truth and Representation in Science: Two Inspirations From Art.Anjan Chakravartty - 2010 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science:33-50.
Knowledge and Truth: A Skeptical Challenge.Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (1):93-101.
Convergent Realism and Approximate Truth.David B. Resnik - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:421-434.
Approximate Truth and Scientific Realism.Thomas Weston - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (1):53-74.
Truth and Argument Evaluation.Patrick Bondy - 2010 - Informal Logic 30 (2):142-158.
Theory Status, Inductive Realism, and Approximate Truth: No Miracles, No Charades.Shelby D. Hunt - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):159 - 178.
Knowledge and Luck.John Turri, Wesley Buckwalter & Peter Blouw - 2015 - Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 22 (2):378-390.
Approximate Truth and Confirmation.Robert John Schwartz - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (4):606-610.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-05-29

Total views
71 ( #140,674 of 2,411,819 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
22 ( #34,705 of 2,411,819 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes