Topics in Cognitive Science 12 (2):535-554 (2018)

Authors
Don Fallis
Northeastern University
Abstract
We want to keep hackers in the dark about our passwords and our credit card numbers. We want to keep potential eavesdroppers in the dark about our private communications with friends and business associates. This need for secrecy raises important questions in epistemology (how do we do it?) and in ethics (should we do it?). In order to answer these questions, it would be useful to have a good understanding of the concept of keeping someone in the dark. Several philosophers (e.g., Bok, 1983; Carson, 2010; Mahon, 2009; Scheppele, 1988) have analyzed this concept (or, equivalently, the concept of keeping secrets) in terms of concealing and/or withholding information. However, their analyses incorrectly exclude clear instances of keeping someone in the dark. And more important, they incorrectly focus on possible means of keeping someone in the dark rather than on what it is to keep someone in the dark. In this paper, I argue that you keep X in the dark about a proposition P if and only if you intentionally cause X not to have a true belief that P. In addition, I show how this analysis of keeping someone in the dark can be extended from a categorical belief model of epistemic states to a credence (or degree of belief) model.
Keywords Concealing information  Conceptual analysis  Credences  Deception  Epistemic goals  Secrecy  Withholding information
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Reprint years 2018, 2020
DOI 10.1111/tops.12361
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and the Flow of Information.F. Dretske - 1989 - Trans/Form/Ação 12:133-139.
Causation as Influence.David K. Lewis - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
The Philosophy of Information.Luciano Floridi - 2010 - The Philosophers' Magazine 50:42-43.
What Is Lying.Don Fallis - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (1):29-56.

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