The Problem of Epistemic Luck for Naturalists

Philo 17 (1):59-76 (2014)
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Abstract

According to a (once) venerable tradition, our knowledge of the external world is crucially dependent on divine favor: our ability to obtain knowledge of the world around us is made possible by God’s having so ordered things. I argue that this view, despite its unpopularity among con­temporary philosophers, is supported by a certain inference to the best explanation: namely, it provides an effective way of reconciling two widely held beliefs that, on the assumption of naturalism, appear incompatible: (1) that knowledge is incompatible with the kind of luck present in Gettier sce­narios and (2) that arguments for external world skepticism can be effectively rebutted by “shifting” them in the style of G. E. Moore.

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R. Zachary Manis
The Stony Brook School

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