Two Ways to Put Knowledge First

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):353 - 369 (2012)
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Abstract

This paper distinguishes two ways to ?put knowledge first?. One way affirms a knowledge norm. For example, Williamson [2000] argues that one must only assert that which one knows. Hawthorne and Stanley [2008] argue that one must only treat as a reason for action that which one knows. Another way to put knowledge first affirms a determination thesis. For example, Williamson [2000] argues that what one knows determines what one is justified in believing. Hawthorne and Stanley [2008] argue that what one knows determines what it is rational for one to do. This paper argues that the defender of the knowledge norms can and should reject the determination theses. For example, the rationality of acting on a partial belief cannot be explained in terms of the subject's knowledge. That's no problem for the knowledge norm, which only governs acting on full belief. (Analogously, the knowledge norm of flat-out assertion does not govern hedged assertion.) One might worry that rejecting the determination theses undermines the importance of knowing. I reply that the knowledge norms set the standard for epistemic success. The importance of success is not undermined by loosening its ties to justification and rationality

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Author's Profile

Alexander Jackson
Boise State University

References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and practical interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.

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