Taking ‘know’ for an answer: A reply to Nagel, San Juan, and Mar

Cognition 129 (3):662-665 (2013)
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Nagel, San Juan, and Mar report an experiment investigating lay attributions of knowledge, belief, and justification. They suggest that, in keeping with the expectations of philosophers, but contra recent empirical findings [Starmans, C. & Friedman, O. (2012). The folk conception of knowledge. Cognition, 124, 272–283], laypeople consistently deny knowledge in Gettier cases, regardless of whether the beliefs are based on ‘apparent’ or ‘authentic’ evidence. In this reply, we point out that Nagel et al. employed a questioning method that biased participants to deny knowledge. Moreover, careful examination of participants’ responses reveals that they attributed knowledge in Gettier cases. We also note that Nagel et al. misconstrue the distinction between ‘apparent’ and ‘authentic’ evidence, and use scenarios that do not feature the structure that characterizes most Gettier cases. We conclude that NS&M’s findings are fully compatible with the claim that laypeople attribute knowledge in Gettier cases in general, but are significantly less likely to attribute knowledge when a belief is generated based on apparent evidence.



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Author Profiles

Christina Starmans
Yale University
Ori Friedman
University of Waterloo

Citations of this work

The legend of the justified true belief analysis.Julien Dutant - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):95-145.
Knowledge and Luck.John Turri, Wesley Buckwalter & Peter Blouw - 2015 - Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 22 (2):378-390.

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References found in this work

Discrimination and perceptual knowledge.Alvin I. Goldman - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (November):771-791.
Gender and Philosophical Intuition.Wesley Buckwalter & Stephen Stich - 2013 - In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy, Vol.2. Oxford University Press. pp. 307-346.

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