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Saving safety from counterexamples

Synthese 197 (12):5161-5185 (2018)

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  1. Degrees of Doxastic Justification.Moritz Schulz - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (6):2943-2972.
    This paper studies degrees of doxastic justification. Dependency relations among different beliefs are represented in terms of causal models. Doxastic justification, on this picture, is taken to run causally downstream along appropriate causal chains. A theory is offered which accounts for the strength of a derivative belief in terms of (i) the strength of the beliefs on which it is based, and (ii) the epistemic quality of the belief-forming mechanisms involved. It is shown that the structure of degrees of justification (...)
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  • Sensitivity, Safety, and Epistemic Closure.Bin Zhao - 2022 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (1):56-71.
    It has been argued that an advantage of the safety account over the sensitivity account is that the safety account preserves epistemic closure, while the sensitivity account implies epistemic closure failure. However, the argument fails to take the method-relativity of the modal conditions on knowledge, viz., sensitivity and safety, into account. In this paper, I argue that the sensitivity account and the safety account are on a par with respect to epistemic closure once the method-relativity of the modal conditions is (...)
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  • Safety and Unawareness of Error-Possibility.Haicheng Zhao - 2021 - Philosophical Papers 50 (1-2):309-337.
    In this paper, I first seek a relatively plausible formulation of the safety principle. To this end, I refute a recent form of safety by Duncan Pritchard and then defend another weaker form of safe...
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  • Knowledge From Falsehood, Ignorance of Necessary Truths, and Safety.Bin Zhao - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (2):833-845.
    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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  • Knowledge without safety.Haicheng Zhao - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3261-3278.
    The safety principle is the view that, roughly, if one knows that p, p could not easily have been false. It is common for safety theorists to relativize safety to belief-formation methods. In this paper, I argue that there is no fixed principle of method-individuation that can stand up to scrutiny. I examine various ways to individuate methods and argue that all of them are subject to serious counterexamples. In the end, I conclude by considering some alternative ways to preserve (...)
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  • Inductive Knowledge and Lotteries: Could One Explain Both ‘Safely’?Haicheng Zhao & Peter Baumann - 2021 - Ratio 34 (2):118-126.
    Safety accounts of knowledge claim, roughly, that knowledge that p requires that one's belief that p could not have easily been false. Such accounts have been very popular in recent epistemology. However, one serious problem safety accounts have to confront is to explain why certain lottery‐related beliefs are not knowledge, without excluding obvious instances of inductive knowledge. We argue that the significance of this objection has hitherto been underappreciated by proponents of safety. We discuss Duncan Pritchard's recent solution to the (...)
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  • Epistemic Closure, Necessary Truths, and Safety.Bin Zhao - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (4):391-401.
    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 belief in the target proposition when evaluating whether a belief is safe or not. In this paper, it is argued that if we only examine the belief in the target proposition, then the account fails to account for why beliefs in necessary truths could fall short of (...)
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  • Better Virtuous Than Safe.Haicheng Zhao - 2019 - Synthese 198 (8):6969-6991.
    According to the safety principle, if one knows that p, then one’s belief in p could not easily have been false. In this paper, I pose a dilemma for safety theorists by asking the following question: In evaluating whether or not a belief is safe, must we only examine the error-possibilities of the same belief as formed in the actual world? If ‘yes’, safety meets a familiar objection regarding necessary truths and the objection also extends to contingent propositions. If ‘no’, (...)
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  • A Dilemma for Globalized Safety.Bin Zhao - 2021 - Acta Analytica 37 (2):249-261.
    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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  • A Case for Weak Safety.Niklaas Tepelmann - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (4):545-569.
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  • Basic Knowledge and the Normativity of Knowledge: The Awareness‐First Solution.Paul Silva - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (3):564-586.
    Many have found it plausible that knowledge is a constitutively normative state, i.e. a state that is grounded in the possession of reasons. Many have also found it plausible that certain cases of proprioceptive knowledge, memorial knowledge, and self-evident knowledge are cases of knowledge that are not grounded in the possession of reasons. I refer to these as cases of basic knowledge. The existence of basic knowledge forms a primary objection to the idea that knowledge is a constitutively normative state. (...)
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  • The Explanationist and the Modalist.Dario Mortini - forthcoming - Episteme:1-16.
    Recent epistemology has witnessed a substantial opposition between two competing approaches to capturing the notion of non-accidentality in the analysis of knowledge: the explanationist and the modalist. According to the latest advocates of the former, S knows that p if and only if S believes that p because p is true. According to champions of the latter, S knows that p if and only if S's belief that p is true in a relevant set of possible worlds. Because Bogardus and (...)
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  • A New Solution to the Safety Dilemma.Dario Mortini - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-17.
    Despite the substantial appeal of the safety condition, Kelp has raised a difficult challenge for safety-theoretic accounts of knowledge. By combining Gettier-style fake barn cases with epistemic Frankfurt cases, he concludes that no formulation of safety can be strong enough to predict ignorance in the former and weak enough to accommodate knowledge in the latter. In this note, my contribution is two-fold. Firstly, I take up Kelp’s challenge and I show that, once properly understood, safety successfully rises to it. Secondly, (...)
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  • Making a Difference in Virtue Epistemology.Fabian Hundertmark & Steven Kindley - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11213-11229.
    Virtue Reliabilism holds that knowledge is a cognitive achievement—an epistemic success that is creditable to the cognitive abilities of the knowing subject. Beyond this consensus, there is much disagreement amongst proponents of virtue reliabilism about the conditions under which the credit-relation between an epistemic success and a person’s cognitive abilities holds. This paper aims to establish a new and attractive view of this crucial relation in terms of difference-making. We will argue that the resulting theory, Difference-Making Virtue Epistemology, can deal (...)
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  • The Possibility of Epistemic Nudging.Thomas Grundmann - forthcoming - Social Epistemology:1-11.
    Typically, nudging is a technique for steering the choices of people without giving reasons or using enforcement. In benevolent cases, it is used when people are insufficiently responsive to reason. The nudger triggers automatic cognitive mechanisms—sometimes even biases—in smart ways in order to push irrational people in the right direction. Interestingly, this technique can also be applied to doxastic attitudes. Someone who is doxastically unresponsive to evidence can be nudged into forming true beliefs or doxastic attitudes that are propositionally justified. (...)
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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 and Truth-Closeness.Sven Bernecker - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (4):1623-1638.
    The paper makes two points. First, any theory of knowledge must explain the difference between cases of knowledge from falsehood and Gettier cases where the subject relies on reasoning from falsehood. Second, the closeness-to-the-truth approach to explaining the difference between knowledge-yielding and knowledge-suppressing falsehoods does not hold up to scrutiny.
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  • Against global method safety.Sven Bernecker - 2020 - Synthese 197 (12):5101-5116.
    The global method safety account of knowledge states that an agent’s true belief that p is safe and qualifies as knowledge if and only if it is formed by method M, such that her beliefs in p and her beliefs in relevantly similar propositions formed by M in all nearby worlds are true. This paper argues that global method safety is too restrictive. First, the agent may not know relevantly similar propositions via M because the belief that p is the (...)
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  • Safety, Closure, and Extended Methods.Simon Goldstein & John Hawthorne - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    Recent research has identified a tension between the Safety principle that knowledge is belief without risk of error, and the Closure principle that knowledge is preserved by competent deduction. Timothy Williamson reconciles Safety and Closure by proposing that when an agent deduces a conclusion from some premises, the agent’s method for believing the conclusion includes their method for believing each premise. We argue that this theory is untenable because it implies problematically easy epistemic access to one’s methods. Several possible solutions (...)
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