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Knowing and Checking: An Epistemological Investigation

New York City, New York, USA: Routledge (2019)

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  1. Sensitivity Unmotivated.Haicheng Zhao - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (4):507-517.
    Sensitivity account of knowledge states that if one knows that _p_ (via method M), then were _p_ false, one would not believe that _p_ via M. This account has been highly controversial. However, even its critics tend to agree that the account enjoys an important advantage of solving the Gettier problem—that is, it explains why Gettierized beliefs are not knowledge. In this paper, I argue that this purported advantage of sensitivity is merely illusory. The account cannot, in principle, solve the (...)
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  • A Note on Knowing and Checking.Danilo Šuster - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-15.
    I raise some questions about differentiations between methods, checking methods, and appropriate methods in terms of their modal profiles. Melchior argues that there can be sensitive checking methods which are not safe. I try to show that such methods are epistemically deficient. I introduce restricted sensitivity (RS) and investigate its checking profile. RS with respect to a proposition _p_ requires that we consider more non-p worlds (not just the closest ones) but not those which are irrelevant (outside a sphere of (...)
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  • Checking and the Argument From Inquiry.Wes Siscoe - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-10.
    In his recent book, Knowing and Checking, Guido Melchior argues that, when we attempt to check whether p, we tend to think that we do not know p. Melchior then uses this assumption to explain a number of puzzles about knowledge. One outstanding question for Melchior's account, however, is why this tendency exists. After all, Melchior himself argues that checking is not necessary for knowing, so why would we think that we fail to know that p when we are in (...)
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  • The Persuasiveness Puzzle About Bootstrapping.Guido Melchior - 2020 - Ratio 33 (1):27-36.
    This paper aims at resolving a puzzle about the persuasiveness of bootstrapping. On the one hand, bootstrapping is not a persuasive method of settling questions about the reliability of a source. On the other hand, our beliefs that our sense apparatus is reliable is based on other empirically formed beliefs, that is, they are acquired via a presumably complex bootstrapping process. I will argue that when we doubt the reliability of a source, bootstrapping is not a persuasive method for coming (...)
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  • Sensitivity, Safety, and Impossible Worlds.Guido Melchior - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):713-729.
    Modal knowledge accounts that are based on standards possible-worlds semantics face well-known problems when it comes to knowledge of necessities. Beliefs in necessities are trivially sensitive and safe and, therefore, trivially constitute knowledge according to these accounts. In this paper, I will first argue that existing solutions to this necessity problem, which accept standard possible-worlds semantics, are unsatisfactory. In order to solve the necessity problem, I will utilize an unorthodox account of counterfactuals, as proposed by Nolan, on which we also (...)
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  • Skeptical Arguments and Deep Disagreement.Guido Melchior - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-25.
    This paper provides a reinterpretation of some of the most influential skeptical arguments, Agrippa’s trilemma, meta-regress arguments, and Cartesian external world skepticism. These skeptical arguments are reasonably regarded as unsound arguments about the extent of our knowledge. However, reinterpretations of these arguments tell us something significant about the preconditions and limits of persuasive argumentation. These results contribute to the ongoing debates about the nature and resolvability of deep disagreement. The variety of skeptical arguments shows that we must distinguish different types (...)
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  • A Modal Theory of Discrimination.Guido Melchior - 2021 - Synthese 198 (11):10661-10684.
    Discrimination is a central epistemic capacity but typically, theories of discrimination only use discrimination as a vehicle for analyzing knowledge. This paper aims at developing a self-contained theory of discrimination. Internalist theories of discrimination fail since there is no compelling correlation between discriminatory capacities and experiences. Moreover, statistical reliabilist theories are also flawed. Only a modal theory of discrimination is promising. Versions of sensitivity and adherence that take particular alternatives into account provide necessary and sufficient conditions on discrimination. Safety in (...)
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  • Epistemology: 50 Puzzles Paradoxes and Thought Experiments.Kevin McCain - 2021 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    "Imaginative cases, or what might be called puzzles, paradoxes, and other thought experiments, play a central role in epistemology. A significant component of understanding epistemological debates and theories is appreciating various cases and what they are thought to show. This volume collects 50 of the most important puzzles, paradoxes, and thought experiments in contemporary epistemology and describes their significance. The volume gives each case a memorable name, describes the details of the case, explains the issue to which the case is (...)
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  • A Defense of Empiricism.Keith Lehrer - 2022 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 99 (2):239-247.
    The form of representation cannot be fully described, as Wittgenstein noted. This is because there is a non-linguistic component in the representation of truth that aesthetic experience shows us. It is the self-represented exemplar of conscious experience. On this basis, the author defends empiricism against the objection that all representation of experience is subject to error.
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  • The safe, the sensitive, and the severely tested: a unified account.Georgi Gardiner & Brian Zaharatos - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-33.
    This essay presents a unified account of safety, sensitivity, and severe testing. S’s belief is safe iff, roughly, S could not easily have falsely believed p, and S’s belief is sensitive iff were p false S would not believe p. These two conditions are typically viewed as rivals but, we argue, they instead play symbiotic roles. Safety and sensitivity are both valuable epistemic conditions, and the relevant alternatives framework provides the scaffolding for their mutually supportive roles. The relevant alternatives condition (...)
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  • Sensitivity: Checking Into Knowing?Kelly Becker - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-17.
    In this paper, I describe some of the highlights of Melchior’s checking account and then suggest that its explanatory value could be enhanced with a less analyzed concept of checking. This thought inspires a rearguard defense of sensitivity, by no means aiming to rescue it from all its well-known problems, wherein it is suggested that sensitivity fares better as a necessary condition for knowledge when all the bells and whistles with which it has been adorned over the years are stripped (...)
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  • Checking Out Checking.Peter Baumann - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-12.
    Guido Melchior’s important and rich book draws our attention to the much neglected topic of checking. There are many new leads to follow. Here, I will pick a few that seem to me to allow the most room for discussion and disagreement: the alleged modal profile of checking, the contrastive aspects of checking, and the relation of checking to closure. I will end with two smaller points worth bringing up here.
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  • Sensitivity Principle in Epistemology.Guido Melchior - 2020 - Oxford Bibliographies Online.
    Sensitivity is a modal epistemic principle. Modal knowledge accounts are externalist in nature and claim that the knowledge yielding connection between a true belief and the truthmaker must be spelled out in modal terms. The sensitivity condition was introduced by Robert Nozick. He suggests that if S knows that p, then S’s belief that p tracks truth. Nozick argues that this truth-tracking relation can be captured by subjunctive conditionals. As a first approximation, he provides the following modal analysis of knowledge: (...)
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