Episteme 12 (4):479-496 (2015)

Authors
Guido Melchior
University of Graz
Abstract
Offering a solution to the skeptical puzzle is a central aim of Nozick's sensitivity account of knowledge. It is well-known that this account faces serious problems. However, because of its simplicity and its explanatory power, the sensitivity principle has remained attractive and has been subject to numerous modifications, leading to a of sensitivity accounts. I will object to these accounts, arguing that sensitivity accounts of knowledge face two problems. First, they deliver a far too heterogeneous picture of higher-level beliefs about the truth or falsity of one's own beliefs. Second, this problem carries over to bootstrapping and Moorean reasoning. Some beliefs formed via bootstrapping or Moorean reasoning are insensitive, but some closely related beliefs in even stronger propositions are sensitive. These heterogeneous results regarding sensitivity do not fit with our intuitions about bootstrapping and Moorean reasoning. Thus, neither Nozick's sensitivity account of knowledge nor any of its modified versions can provide the basis for an argument that bootstrapping and Moorean reasoning are flawed or for an explanation why they seem to be flawed
Keywords Sensitivity  higher-level knowledge  bootstrapping  Moorean reasoning  skepticism
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DOI 10.1017/epi.2015.31
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References found in this work BETA

Solving the Skeptical Problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.
Warrant for Nothing (and Foundations for Free)?Crispin Wright - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):167–212.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):452-458.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.

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Citations of this work BETA

Knowing and Checking: An Epistemological Investigation.Guido Melchior - 2019 - New York City, New York, USA: Routledge.
Higher-Order Knowledge and Sensitivity.Jens Christian Bjerring & Lars Bo Gundersen - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):339-349.
Sensitivity Principle in Epistemology.Guido Melchior - 2020 - Oxford Bibliographies Online.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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The Contrast-Sensitivity of Knowledge Ascriptions.Jonathan Schaffer - 2008 - Social Epistemology 22 (3):235-245.
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The Bootstrapping Problem.Jonathan Weisberg - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (9):597-610.

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