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In Defense of Sensitivity

Synthese 154 (1):53-71 (2007)

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  1. Fake Barns and False Dilemmas.Clayton Littlejohn - 2014 - Episteme 11 (4):369-389.
    The central thesis of robust virtue epistemology (RVE) is that the difference between knowledge and mere true belief is that knowledge involves success that is attributable to a subject's abilities. An influential objection to this approach is that RVE delivers the wrong verdicts in cases of environmental luck. Critics of RVE argue that the view needs to be supplemented with modal anti-luck condition. This particular criticism rests on a number of mistakes about the nature of ability that I shall try (...)
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  • Close Error, Visual Perception, and Neural Phase: A Critique of the Modal Approach to Knowledge.Adam Michael Bricker - 2021 - Theoria 87 (5):1123-1152.
    The distinction between true belief and knowledge is one of the most fundamental in philosophy, and a remarkable effort has been dedicated to formulating the conditions on which true belief constitutes knowledge. For decades, much of this epistemological undertaking has been dominated by a single strategy, referred to here as the modal approach. Shared by many of the most widely influential constraints on knowledge, including the sensitivity, safety, and anti-luck/risk conditions, this approach rests on a key underlying assumption — the (...)
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  • Knowledge From Falsehood, Ignorance of Necessary Truths, and Safety.Bin Zhao - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-13.
    According to the safety account of knowledge, one knows that p only if one’s belief could not easily have been false. An important issue for the account is whether we should only examine the target belief when evaluating whether a belief is safe or not. In this paper, it is argued that, if we should only examine the target belief, then the account fails to account for ignorance of necessary truths. But, if we should also examine beliefs in other relevant (...)
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  • Anti-Risk Epistemology and Negative Epistemic Dependence.Duncan Pritchard - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2879-2894.
    Support is canvassed for a new approach to epistemology called anti-risk epistemology. It is argued that this proposal is rooted in the motivations for an existing account, known as anti-luck epistemology, but is superior on a number of fronts. In particular, anti-risk epistemology is better placed than anti-luck epistemology to supply the motivation for certain theoretical moves with regard to safety-based approaches to knowledge. Moreover, anti-risk epistemology is more easily extendable to epistemological questions beyond that in play in the theory (...)
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  • The Skeptic's Dogmatism: A Constructive Response to the Skeptical Problem.Kaplan Levent Hasanoglu - 2011 - Dissertation,
    The problem of philosophical skepticism relates to the difficulty involved in underwriting the claim that we know anything of spatio-temporal reality. It is often claimed, in fact, that proper philosophical scrutiny reveals quite the opposite from what common sense suggests. Knowledge of external reality is thought to be even quite obviously denied to us as a result of the alleged fact that we all fail to know that certain skeptical scenarios do not obtain. A skeptical scenario is one in which (...)
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  • Possible Worlds of Doubt.Ron Wilburn - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (2):259-277.
    A prominent contemporary anti-skeptical strategy, most famously articulated by Keith DeRose, aims to cage the skeptic′s doubts by contextualizing subjunctive conditional accounts of knowledge through a conversational rule of sensitivity. This strategy, I argue, courts charges of circularity by selectively invoking heavy counterfactual machinery. The reason: such invocation threatens to utilize a metric for modal comparison that is implicitly informed by judgments of epistemic sameness. This gives us reason to fear that said modal metric is selectively cherry-picked in advance to (...)
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  • Sensitivity, Safety, and Closure.Sven Bernecker - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (4):367-381.
    It is widely thought that if knowledge requires sensitivity, knowledge is not closed because sensitivity is not closed. This paper argues that there is no valid argument from sensitivity failure to non-closure of knowledge. Sensitivity does not imply non-closure of knowledge. Closure considerations cannot be used to adjudicate between safety and sensitivity accounts of knowledge.
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  • Epistemic Risk.Duncan Pritchard - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (11):550-571.
    The goal of this paper is to mark the transition from an anti-luck epistemology to an anti-risk epistemology, and to explain in the process how the latter has advantages over the former. We begin with an account of anti-luck epistemology and the modal account of luck that underpins it. Then we consider the close inter-relationships between luck and risk, and in the process set out the modal account of risk that is a natural extension of the modal account of luck. (...)
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  • A Dilemma for Globalized Safety.Bin Zhao - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-13.
    The safety condition is supposed to be a necessary condition on knowledge which helps to eliminate epistemic luck. It has been argued that the condition should be globalized to a set of propositions rather than the target proposition believed to account for why not all beliefs in necessary truths are safe. A remaining issue is which propositions are relevant when evaluating whether the target belief is safe or not. In the literature, solutions have been proposed to determine the relevance of (...)
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  • Corroboration: Sensitivity, Safety, and Explanation.David Godden - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (1):15-38.
    Corroborative evidence may be understood as having two epistemic effects: a primary effect by which it offers direct evidence for some claim, and a secondary effect by which it bolsters the appraised probative, or evidential, value of some other piece of evidence for that claim. This paper argues that the bolstering effect of corroborative evidence is epistemically legitimate because corroboration provides a reason to count the belief based on the initial evidence as sensitive to, and safe from, defeat in a (...)
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  • The Modal Account of Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):594-619.
    This essay offers a rearticulation and defence of the modal account of luck that the author developed in earlier work . In particular, the proposal is situated within a certain methodology, a component of which is paying due attention to the cognitive science literature on luck ascriptions. It is shown that with the modal account of luck properly articulated it can adequately deal with some of the problems that have recently been offered against it, and that the view has a (...)
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  • Towards an Account of Epistemic Luck for Necessary Truths.James Collin - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (4):483-504.
    Modal epistemologists parse modal conditions on knowledge in terms of metaphysical possibilities or ways the world might have been. This is problematic. Understanding modal conditions on knowledge this way has made modal epistemology, as currently worked out, unable to account for epistemic luck in the case of necessary truths, and unable to characterise widely discussed issues such as the problem of religious diversity and the perceived epistemological problem with knowledge of abstract objects. Moreover, there is reason to think that this (...)
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  • Varieties of Externalism.J. Adam Carter, Jesper Kallestrup, S. Orestis Palermos & Duncan Pritchard - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):63-109.
    Our aim is to provide a topography of the relevant philosophical terrain with regard to the possible ways in which knowledge can be conceived of as extended. We begin by charting the different types of internalist and externalist proposals within epistemology, and we critically examine the different formulations of the epistemic internalism/externalism debate they lead to. Next, we turn to the internalism/externalism distinction within philosophy of mind and cognitive science. In light of the above dividing lines, we then examine first (...)
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  • Knowledge is Believing Something Because It's True.Tomas Bogardus & Will Perrin - forthcoming - Episteme:1-19.
    Modalists think that knowledge requires forming your belief in a “modally stable” way: using a method that wouldn't easily go wrong (i.e. safety), or using a method that wouldn't have given you this belief had it been false (i.e. sensitivity). Recent Modalist projects from Justin Clarke-Doane and Dan Baras defend a principle they call “Modal Security,” roughly: if evidence undermines your belief, then it must give you a reason to doubt the safety or sensitivity of your belief. Another recent Modalist (...)
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  • Epistemology Extended.Christoph Kelp - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):230-252.
    A common presupposition in epistemology is that the processes contributing to the generation of knowledge do not extend beyond the knower's skin. This paper challenges this presupposition. I adduce a novel kind case that causes trouble for a number of even the most promising accounts of knowledge in current literature, at least so long as the presupposition is in place. I then look at a couple of recent accounts of knowledge that drop the presupposition and expressly allow the relevant processes (...)
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  • Sensitivity, Induction, and Miracles.Kevin Wallbridge - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):118-126.
    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.
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  • Amodal Completion and Knowledge.Grace Helton & Bence Nanay - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):415-423.
    Amodal completion is the representation of occluded parts of perceived objects. We argue for the following three claims: First, at least some amodal completion-involved experiences can ground knowledge about the occluded portions of perceived objects. Second, at least some instances of amodal completion-grounded knowledge are not sensitive, that is, it is not the case that in the nearest worlds in which the relevant claim is false, that claim is not believed true. Third, at least some instances of amodal completion-grounded knowledge (...)
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  • Anti-Luck Epistemology and the Gettier Problem.Duncan Pritchard - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):93-111.
    A certain construal of the Gettier problem is offered, according to which this problem concerns the task of identifying the anti-luck condition on knowledge. A methodology for approaching this construal of the Gettier problem—anti-luck epistemology—is set out, and the utility of such a methodology is demonstrated. It is argued that a range of superficially distinct cases which are meant to pose problems for anti-luck epistemology are in fact related in significant ways. It is claimed that with these cases properly understood, (...)
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  • Knowledge and Subjunctive Conditionals.Juan Comesaña - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (6):781-791.
    What relation must hold between a fact p and the corresponding belief that p for the belief to amount to knowledge? Many authors have recently proposed that the relation can be captured by subjunctive conditionals. In this paper I critically evaluate the main proposals along those lines.
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  • Sensitivity, Reflective Knowledge, and Skepticism.Daniel Immerman - 2016 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 6 (4):351-367.
    _ Source: _Page Count 17 Michael Huemer, Ernest Sosa, and Jonathan Vogel have offered a critique of the sensitivity condition on knowledge. According to them, the condition implies that you cannot know of any particular proposition that you do not falsely believe it. Their arguments rest on the claim that you cannot sensitively believe of any particular proposition that you do not falsely believe it. However, as we shall see, these philosophers are mistaken. You can do so. That said, these (...)
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  • There’s Nothing to Beat a Backward Clock: A Rejoinder to Adams, Barker and Clarke.John N. Williams - 2016 - Logos and Episteme 7 (3):363-378.
    Neil Sinhababu and I presented Backward Clock, an original counterexample to Robert Nozick’s truth-tracking analysis of propositional knowledge. Fred Adams, John Barker and Murray Clarke argue that Backward Clock is no such counterexample. Their argument fails to nullify Backward Clock which also shows that other tracking analyses, such as Dretske’s and one that Adams et al. may well have in mind, are inadequate.
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  • If There Were No Numbers, What Would You Think?Thomas Mark Eden Donaldson - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):283-287.
    Hartry Field has argued that mathematical realism is epistemologically problematic, because the realist is unable to explain the supposed reliability of our mathematical beliefs. In some of his discussions of this point, Field backs up his argument by saying that our purely mathematical beliefs do not ‘counterfactually depend on the facts’. I argue that counterfactual dependence is irrelevant in this context; it does nothing to bolster Field's argument.
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