Suri 6 (2):110-123 (2017)

Mark Anthony Dacela
De La Salle University
Robert Nozick (1981, 172) offers the following analysis of knowledge (where S stands for subject and p for proposition): D1 S knows that p =df (1) S believes p, (2) p is true, (3) if p weren’t true, S wouldn’t believe that p (variation condition), and (4) If p were true, S would believe it (adherence condition). Jointly, Nozick refers to conditions 3 and 4 as the sensitivity condition: for they require that the belief be sensitive to the truth-value of the proposition—such that if the proposition were false, the subject would not have believed it, and if the proposition remains true in a slightly different situation, the subject would have still believed it. In other words, they ask us to consider the status of the belief in close possible situations (those that obtain in close possible worlds); specifically, in situations that would obtain if the proposition is false, and in those in which it remains true. Condition 3 specifies how belief should vary with the truth of what is believed, while condition 4 specifies how belief shouldn’t vary when the truth of the belief does not vary. I will discuss some notable problem cases for Nozick’s analysis and then look at why the sensitivity condition he proposes fails in these cases.
Keywords sensitivity  Nozick  epistemology  Gettier Problem  Sensitivity Condition  Sensitivity Principle  Epistemic Situation
Categories (categorize this paper)
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

Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
How to Defeat Opposition to Moore.Ernest Sosa - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13:137-49.
How to Defeat Opposition to Moore.Ernest Sosa - 1999 - Noûs 33 (s13):141-153.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Tracking Without Concessions?Danilo Šuster - 2013 - Prolegomena 12 (2):337-352.
Subjunctivitis.Jonathan Vogel - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 134 (1):73 - 88.
In Defense of Sensitivity.Tim Black & Peter Murphy - 2007 - Synthese 154 (1):53-71.
Closure Failures for Safety.Peter Murphy - 2005 - Philosophia 33 (1-4):331-334.
Sensitivity and Higher-Order Knowledge.Kevin Wallbridge - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
Sensitivity, Safety, and Closure.Sven Bernecker - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (4):367-381.
The Sensitivity Principle in Epistemology.Kelly Becker & Tim Black (eds.) - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
Truth-Tracking and the Problem of Reflective Knowledge.Joseph Salerno - 2010 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry S. Silverstein (eds.), Knowledge and Skepticism. MIT Press. pp. 73-83.
Sensitivity Actually.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):606-625.


Added to PP index

Total views
111 ( #98,013 of 2,454,713 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
19 ( #36,877 of 2,454,713 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes