Addressing two recent challenges to the factive account of knowledge

Synthese 200 (435):1-14 (2022)
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It is widely thought that knowledge is factive – only truths can be known. However, this view has been recently challenged. One challenge appeals to approximate truths. Wesley Buckwalter and John Turri argue that false-but-approximately-true propositions can be known. They provide experimental findings to show that their view enjoys intuitive support. In addition, they argue that we should reject the factive account of knowledge to avoid widespread skepticism. A second challenge, advanced by Nenad Popovic, appeals to multidimensional geometry to build a case where it seems intuitive that a person knows p even though p is false. In addition, Popovic argues that we should reject the factive account of knowledge because most of us would not become widespread skeptics if we discovered that ordinary objects in our world are actually four-dimensional. In this paper, we defend the factive account of knowledge against these arguments by challenging the intuitive appeal of the cases and arguing that there is no real threat of widespread skepticism for the factive account of knowledge.

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Author Profiles

Esther Goh
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Frederick Choo
Rutgers University - New Brunswick

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References found in this work

The Myth of Factive Verbs.Allan Hazlett - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):497 - 522.
Knowledge, adequacy, and approximate truth.Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri - 2020 - Consciousness and Cognition 83 (C):102950.
Knowledge and truth: A skeptical challenge.Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (1):93-101.

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