Epistemic Intuitions in Fake-Barn Thought Experiments

Episteme 11 (2):199-212 (2014)
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Abstract

In epistemology, fake-barn thought experiments are often taken to be intuitively clear cases in which a justified true belief does not qualify as knowledge. We report a study designed to determine whether non-philosophers share this intuition. The data suggest that while participants are less inclined to attribute knowledge in fake-barn cases than in unproblematic cases of knowledge, they nonetheless do attribute knowledge to protagonists in fake-barn cases. Moreover, the intuition that fake-barn cases do count as knowledge is negatively correlated with age; older participants are less likely than younger participants to attribute knowledge in fake-barn cases. We also found that increasing the number of defeaters (fakes) does not decrease the inclination to attribute knowledge.

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Author Profiles

David Colaço
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Wesley Buckwalter
George Mason University

Citations of this work

Reliabilist Epistemology.Alvin Goldman & Bob Beddor - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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Modal Virtue Epistemology.Bob Beddor & Carlotta Pavese - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (1):61-79.
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Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge.Alvin Goldman - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (November):771-791.
Evidence, Pragmatics, and Justification.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (1):67-94.

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