Is Probabilistic Evidence a Source of Knowledge?

Cognitive Science 39 (5):1062-1080 (2015)
Abstract
We report a series of experiments examining whether people ascribe knowledge for true beliefs based on probabilistic evidence. Participants were less likely to ascribe knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence than for beliefs based on perceptual evidence or testimony providing causal information. Denial of knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence did not arise because participants viewed such beliefs as unjustified, nor because such beliefs leave open the possibility of error. These findings rule out traditional philosophical accounts for why probabilistic evidence does not produce knowledge. The experiments instead suggest that people deny knowledge because they distrust drawing conclusions about an individual based on reasoning about the population to which it belongs, a tendency previously identified by “judgment and decision making” researchers. Consistent with this, participants were more willing to ascribe knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence that is specific to a particular case.
Keywords Knowledge  Theory of mind  Probabilistic evidence  Folk epistemology
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DOI 10.1111/cogs.12182
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References found in this work BETA
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge in an Uncertain World.Jeremy Fantl - 2009 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Skeptical Appeal: The Source‐Content Bias.John Turri - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (5):307-324.

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