Synthese 194 (5):1517-1529 (2017)

In “Facts: Particulars of Information Units?”, Kratzer proposed a causal analysis of knowledge in which knowledge is defined as a form of de re belief of facts. In support of Kratzer’s view, I show that a certain articulation of the de re/de dicto distinction can be used to integrally account for the original pair of Gettier cases. In contrast to Kratzer, however, I think such an account does not fundamentally require a distinction between facts and true propositions. I then discuss whether this account might be generalized and whether it can give us a reductive analysis of knowledge as de re true belief. Like Kratzer, I think it will not, in particular the distinction appears inadequate to account for Ginet-Goldman cases of causally connected but unreliable belief. Nevertheless, I argue that the de re belief analysis allows us to account for a distinction Starmans and Friedman recently introduced between apparent evidence and authentic evidence in their empirical study of Gettier cases, in a way that questions their claim that a causal disconnect is not operative in the contrasts they found.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1115-z
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Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits.Bertrand Russell - 1948 - New York, USA: Simon and Schuster.
A Causal Theory of Knowing.Alvin I. Goldman - 1967 - Journal of Philosophy 64 (12):357-372.

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