Knowledge and non-traditional factors. Prospects for doxastic accounts

Synthese:1-22 (forthcoming)

Authors
Alexander Dinges
Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Abstract
Knowledge ascriptions depend on so-called non-traditional factors. For instance, we become less inclined to ascribe knowledge when it’s important to be right, or once we are reminded of possible sources of error. A number of potential explanations of this data have been proposed in the literature. They include revisionary semantic explanations based on epistemic contextualism and revisionary metaphysical explanations based on anti-intellectualism. Classical invariantists reject such revisionary proposals and hence face the challenge to provide an alternative account. The most prominent strategy here appeals to Gricean pragmatics. This paper focuses on a slightly less prominent strategy, which is based on the idea that non-traditional factors affect knowledge ascriptions because they affect what the putative knower believes. I will call this strategy doxasticism. The full potential of doxasticism is rarely appreciated in the literature and numerous unwarranted concerns have been raised. The goal of this paper is to present the strongest form of doxasticism and then to point out the genuine limitations of this position. I also sketch a closely related, more promising account.
Keywords epistemic contextualism  epistemic invariantism  experimental philosophy  belief  stakes effects  salient alternatives
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02572-9
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