Varieties of Pragmatic Encroachment

Acta Analytica 29 (1):25-41 (2014)
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According to a recent view, known as the 'pragmatic encroachment' thesis, an agent’s non-truth-related factors are relevant to the epistemic status of her beliefs. In particular, in addition to truth-related factors, practical factors are said to be relevant to the question whether or not true belief amounts to knowledge. Despite the intuitive appeal of the thesis, however, it is puzzling how practical factors can impact the truth-related factors that ground the epistemic status of one's beliefs. In this paper, I will distinguish between a strong and a weak sense of the way in which practical factors are said to be thus relevant. Their differences are explicated in terms of the nature and the extent to which practical factors are said to impact the epistemic status of one's beliefs. I begin by considering a strong version of the thesis that suggests principles according to which the practical rationality of one's actions is a necessary condition on knowledge and justification. Having noted an inadequacy in the formulation of such principles, the arguments in their support are subsequently stated and criticized. Finally, I identify two modest versions of the thesis of pragmatic encroachment and argue that they, too, fail to explain how practical factors can bear on the epistemic status of one's beliefs



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Hamid Vahid
Institute for Fundamental Sciences

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and practical interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - New York: Oxford University Press.
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 Action.John Hawthorne & Jason Stanley - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):571-590.

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