How Much is at Stake for the Pragmatic Encroacher

Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6 (2019)
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People who defend “pragmatic encroachment” about knowledge generally advocate two ideas: you can rationally act according to what you know; knowledge is harder to achieve when more is at stake. In their chapter in this volume, Charity Anderson and John Hawthorne argue that these two ideas may not fit together so well. This chapter extends Anderson and Hawthorne’s argument. By applying some standard decision theory, we can calculate a precise quantity of “how much is at stake” that does fit together with knowledge and action. While this calculated quantity matches intuitions about how much is at stake in certain standard cases, in others it does not.Keywords.



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