Erkenntnis:1-17 (forthcoming)

Authors
Niall J. Paterson
University of Bristol
Abstract
Can epistemic luck be captured by modal conditions such as safety from error? This paper answers ‘no’. First, an old problem is cast in a new light: it is argued that the trivial satisfaction associated with necessary truths and accidentally robust propositions is a symptom of a more general disease. Namely, epistemic luck but not safety from error is hyperintensional. Second, it is argued that as a consequence the standard solution to deal with this worry, namely the invocation of content variation, fails. Third, it is considered whether the condition can serve some restricted theoretical role; the hypothesis is rejected. Finally, it is tentatively suggested that epistemic luck’s hyperintensionality derives from its being an explanatory notion, and an analogy is drawn with failures of probabilstic conceptions of explanation in the philosophy of science.
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-020-00231-6
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