Sosa, Pritchard, and Vogel have all argued that there are cases in which one knows something inductively but does not believe it sensitively, and that sensitivity therefore cannot be necessary for knowledge. I defend sensitivity by showing that inductive knowledge is sensitive.
Vogel, Sosa, and Huemer have all argued that sensitivity is incompatible with knowing that you do not believe falsely, therefore the sensitivity condition must be false. I show that this objection misses its mark because it fails to take account of the basis of belief. Moreover, if the objection is modified to account for the basis of belief then it collapses into the more familiar objection that sensitivity is incompatible with closure.
In a recent paper, Melchior pursues a novel argumentative strategy against the sensitivity condition. His claim is that sensitivity suffers from a ‘heterogeneity problem:’ although some higher-order beliefs are knowable, other, very similar, higher-order beliefs are insensitive and so not knowable. Similarly, the conclusions of some bootstrapping arguments are insensitive, but others are not. In reply, I show that sensitivity does not treat different higher-order beliefs differently in the way that Melchior states and that while genuine bootstrapping arguments have insensitive (...) conclusions, the cases that Melchior describes as sensitive ‘bootstrapping’ arguments don’t deserve the name, since they are a perfectly good way of getting to know their conclusions. In sum, sensitivity doesn’t have a heterogeneity problem. (shrink)
Many current popular views in epistemology require a belief to be the result of a reliable process (aka ‘method of belief formation’ or ‘cognitive capacity’) in order to count as knowledge. This means that the generality problem rears its head, i.e. the kind of process in question has to be spelt out, and this looks difficult to do without being either over or under-general. In response to this problem, I propose that we should adopt a more fine-grained account of the (...) epistemic basing relation, at which point the generality problem becomes easy to solve. (shrink)
The peculiar case of Lehrer’s lawyer purports to describe a scenario in which a subject has a justified belief, indeed knowledge, despite the fact that their belief is not causally or counterfactually sustained by any good reasons for it. The case has proven controversial. While some agree with Lehrer’s assessment of the case, others disagree, leading to a schism among accounts of the basing relation. In this paper I aim to reconcile these camps and put simple causal and counterfactual accounts (...) of the basing relation back on the table, by arguing that Lehrer’s case is probably metaphysically impossible, but even if it isn’t, it is ambiguous between a psychologically implausible and a psychologically plausible reading, and this can account for the diverging intuitions that it generates. (shrink)
Intellectualists claim that knowing how to do something is a matter of knowing, for some w, that w is a way to do that thing. However, standard accounts fail to account for the way that knowing how sometimes seems to require ability. I argue that the way to make sense of this situation is via a ‘subject-specific’ intellectualism according to which knowing how to do something is a matter of knowing that w is a way for some relevant person to (...) do that thing, but who the relevant person is can change from context to context. If it is the utterer themselves, then knowing how will require ability, but otherwise it will not. (shrink)
This collection of original essays explores the topic of skeptical invariantism in theory of knowledge. It eschews historical perspectives and focuses on this traditionally underexplored, semantic characterization of skepticism. The book provides a carefully structured, state-of-the-art overview of skeptical invariantism and offers up new questions and avenues for future research. It treats this semantic form of skepticism as a serious position rather than assuming that skepticism is false and attempting to diagnose where arguments for skepticism go wrong. The essays take (...) up a wide range of different philosophical perspectives on three key questions in the debate about skeptical invariantism: whether the standards for knowledge vary, how demanding the standards for knowledge are, and whether the kind of evidence, reasons, methods, processes etc. that we can bring to bear are sufficient to meet those standards. Skeptical Invariantism Reconsidered will be of interest to scholars and advanced students in epistemology and philosophy of language. (shrink)