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Knowing and Checking: An Epistemological Investigation

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

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  1. 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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  • A modal theory of discrimination.Guido Melchior - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    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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  • 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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  • 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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