Lehrer Meets Ranking Theory

In Erik J. Olsson (ed.), The Epistemology of Keith Lehrer. Kluwer Academic Publishers (2002)
Meets what? Ranking theory is, as far as I know, the only existing theory suited for underpinning Keith Lehrer’s account of knowledge and justification. If this is true, it’s high time to bring both together. This is what I shall do in this paper. However, the result of defining Lehrer’s primitive notions in terms of ranking theory will be disappointing: justified acceptance will, depending on the interpretation, either have an unintelligible structure or reduce to mere acceptance, and in the latter interpretation knowledge will reduce to true belief. Of course, this result will require a discussion of who should be disappointed. So, the plan of the paper is simple: In section 1 I shall briefly state what is required for underpinning Lehrer’s account and why most of the familiar theories fail to do so. In section 2 I shall briefly motivate and introduce ranking theory. Basing Lehrer’s account on it will be entirely straightforward. Section 3 proves the above-mentioned results. Section 4, finally, discusses the possible conclusions.
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