Towards an Account of Epistemic Luck for Necessary Truths

Acta Analytica 33 (4):483-504 (2018)
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Abstract

Modal epistemologists parse modal conditions on knowledge in terms of metaphysical possibilities or ways the world might have been. This is problematic. Understanding modal conditions on knowledge this way has made modal epistemology, as currently worked out, unable to account for epistemic luck in the case of necessary truths, and unable to characterise widely discussed issues such as the problem of religious diversity and the perceived epistemological problem with knowledge of abstract objects. Moreover, there is reason to think that this is a congenital defect of orthodox modal epistemology. This way of characterising modal epistemology is however optional. It is shown that one can non-circularly characterise modal conditions on knowledge in terms of epistemic possibilities, or ways the world might be for the target agent. Characterising the anti-luck condition in terms of epistemic possibilities removes the impediment to understanding epistemic luck in the case of necessary truths and opens the door to using these conditions to shed new light on some longstanding epistemological problems.

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James Collin
University of Glasgow

Citations of this work

A Dilemma for Globalized Safety.Bin Zhao - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (2):249-261.
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Saving Sensitivity.Brett Topey - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):177-196.
Safety and Necessity.Niall J. Paterson - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1081-1097.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
Epistemic Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.

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