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What Else Justification Could Be1

Noûs 44 (1):10-31 (2010)

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  1. Possibility, Necessity and Probability: A Meditation on Underdetermination and Justification. [REVIEW]Elia Zardini - 2013 - Erkenntnis 79 (3):639-667.
    After providing some historical and systematic background, I introduce the structure of a very natural and influential sceptical underdetermination argument. The argument assumes that it is metaphysically possible for a deceived subject to have the same evidence that a non-deceived subject has, and tries to draw consequences about justification from that assumption of metaphysical possibility. I first variously object to the transition from the assumption to its supposed consequences. In the central part of the paper, I then critically consider some (...)
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  • Belief, Credence, and the Preface Paradox.Alex Worsnip - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):549-562.
    ABSTRACTMany discussions of the ‘preface paradox’ assume that it is more troubling for deductive closure constraints on rational belief if outright belief is reducible to credence. I show that this is an error: we can generate the problem without assuming such reducibility. All that we need are some very weak normative assumptions about rational relationships between belief and credence. The only view that escapes my way of formulating the problem for the deductive closure constraint is in fact itself a reductive (...)
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  • Reasoning and Deducing.Markos Valaris - 2018 - Mind 128 (511):861-885.
    What exactly is reasoning? While debate on this question is ongoing, most philosophers seem to agree on at least the following: reasoning is a mental process operating on contents, which consists in adopting or revising some of your attitudes in light of others. In this paper, I argue that this characterisation is mistaken: there is no single mental phenomenon that satisfies both of these conditions. Instead, I characterise two distinct mental phenomena, which I call ‘deducing’, on the one hand, and (...)
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  • Normality, Safety and Knowledge.Markos Valaris - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Knowledge Out of Control.Markos Valaris - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (3):733-753.
    According to a thesis famously associated with Anscombe'sIntention, knowledge is a necessary condition of intentional action: when acting intentionally, we know what we are doing. Call this the Agential Knowledge thesis. The Agential Knowledge thesis remains, of course, controversial. Furthermore, as even some of its proponents acknowledge, it can appear puzzling: Why should acting intentionally require knowing what you are doing? My aim in this paper is to propose an explanation and defence of the Agential Knowledge thesis, based on the (...)
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  • Induction, Normality and Reasoning with Arbitrary Objects.Markos Valaris - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4).
    This paper concerns the apparent fact — discussed by Sinan Dogramaci and Brian Weatherson — that inductive reasoning often interacts in disastrous ways with patterns of reasoning that seem perfectly fine in the deductive case. In contrast to Dogramaci's and Weatherson's own suggestions, I argue that these cases show that we cannot reason inductively about arbitrary objects. Moreover, as I argue, this prohibition is neatly explained by a certain hypothesis about the rational basis of inductive reasoning — namely, the hypothesis (...)
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  • Induction, Normality and Reasoning with Arbitrary Objects.Markos Valaris - 2017 - Ratio 30 (2):137-148.
    This paper concerns the apparent fact — discussed by Sinan Dogramaci and Brian Weatherson — that inductive reasoning often interacts in disastrous ways with patterns of reasoning that seem perfectly fine in the deductive case. In contrast to Dogramaci's and Weatherson's own suggestions, I argue that these cases show that we cannot reason inductively about arbitrary objects. Moreover, as I argue, this prohibition is neatly explained by a certain hypothesis about the rational basis of inductive reasoning — namely, the hypothesis (...)
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  • On What Inferentially Justifies What: The Vices of Reliabilism and Proper Functionalism.Chris Tucker - 2014 - Synthese 191 (14):3311-3328.
    We commonly say that some evidence supports a hypothesis or that some premise evidentially supports a conclusion. Both internalists and externalists attempt to analyze this notion of evidential support, and the primary purpose of this paper is to argue that reliabilist and proper functionalist accounts of this relation fail. Since evidential support is one component of inferential justification, the upshot of this failure is that their accounts of inferential justification also fail. In Sect. 2, I clarify the evidential support relation. (...)
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  • Leslie on Generics.Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2493-2512.
    This paper offers three objections to Leslie’s recent and already influential theory of generics :375–403, 2007a, Philos Rev 117:1–47, 2008): her proposed metaphysical truth-conditions are subject to systematic counter-examples, the proposed disquotational semantics fails, and there is evidence that generics do not express cognitively primitive generalisations.
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  • Does Luck Exclude Knowledge or Certainty?Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2020 - Synthese 197 (6):2387-2397.
    A popular account of luck, with a firm basis in common sense, holds that a necessary condition for an event to be lucky, is that it was suitably improbable. It has recently been proposed that this improbability condition is best understood in epistemic terms. Two different versions of this proposal have been advanced. According to my own proposal :361–377, 2010), whether an event is lucky for some agent depends on whether the agent was in a position to know that the (...)
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  • When Does Evidence Suffice for Conviction?Martin Smith - 2018 - Mind 127 (508):1193-1218.
    There is something puzzling about statistical evidence. One place this manifests is in the law, where courts are reluctant to base affirmative verdicts on evidence that is purely statistical, in spite of the fact that it is perfectly capable of meeting the standards of proof enshrined in legal doctrine. After surveying some proposed explanations for this, I shall outline a new approach – one that makes use of a notion of normalcy that is distinct from the idea of statistical frequency. (...)
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  • The Logic of Epistemic Justification.Martin Smith - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3857-3875.
    Theories of epistemic justification are commonly assessed by exploring their predictions about particular hypothetical cases – predictions as to whether justification is present or absent in this or that case. With a few exceptions, it is much less common for theories of epistemic justification to be assessed by exploring their predictions about logical principles. The exceptions are a handful of ‘closure’ principles, which have received a lot of attention, and which certain theories of justification are well known to invalidate. But (...)
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  • The Hardest Paradox for Closure.Martin Smith - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):2003-2028.
    According to the principle of Conjunction Closure, if one has justification for believing each of a set of propositions, one has justification for believing their conjunction. The lottery and preface paradoxes can both be seen as posing challenges for Closure, but leave open familiar strategies for preserving the principle. While this is all relatively well-trodden ground, a new Closure-challenging paradox has recently emerged, in two somewhat different forms, due to Backes :3773–3787, 2019a) and Praolini :715–726, 2019). This paradox synthesises elements (...)
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  • Transmission Failure Explained.Martin Smith - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (1):164-189.
    In this paper I draw attention to a peculiar epistemic feature exhibited by certain deductively valid inferences. Certain deductively valid inferences are unable to enhance the reliability of one's belief that the conclusion is true—in a sense that will be fully explained. As I shall show, this feature is demonstrably present in certain philosophically significant inferences—such as GE Moore's notorious 'proof' of the existence of the external world. I suggest that this peculiar epistemic feature might be correlated with the much (...)
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  • Two accounts of assertion.Martin Smith - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-18.
    In this paper I will compare two competing accounts of assertion: the knowledge account and the justified belief account. When it comes to the evidence that is typically used to assess accounts of assertion – including the evidence from lottery propositions, the evidence from Moore’s paradoxical propositions and the evidence from conversational patterns – I will argue that the justified belief account has at least as much explanatory power as its rival. I will argue, finally, that a close look at (...)
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  • Some Thoughts on the JK-Rule1.Martin Smith - 2012 - Noûs 46 (4):791-802.
    In ‘The normative role of knowledge’ (2012), Declan Smithies defends a ‘JK-rule’ for belief: One has justification to believe that P iff one has justification to believe that one is in a position to know that P. Similar claims have been defended by others (Huemer, 2007, Reynolds, forthcoming). In this paper, I shall argue that the JK-rule is false. The standard and familiar way of arguing against putative rules for belief or assertion is, of course, to describe putative counterexamples. My (...)
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  • Knowledge, Justification and Normative Coincidence1.Martin Smith - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):273-295.
    Say that two goals are normatively coincident just in case one cannot aim for one goal without automatically aiming for the other. While knowledge and justification are distinct epistemic goals, with distinct achievement conditions, this paper begins from the suggestion that they are nevertheless normatively coincident—aiming for knowledge and aiming for justification are one and the same activity. A number of surprising consequences follow from this—both specific consequences about how we can ascribe knowledge and justification in lottery cases and more (...)
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  • Intuitionistc Probability and the Bayesian Objection to Dogmatism.Martin Smith - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3997-4009.
    Given a few assumptions, the probability of a conjunction is raised, and the probability of its negation is lowered, by conditionalising upon one of the conjuncts. This simple result appears to bring Bayesian confirmation theory into tension with the prominent dogmatist view of perceptual justification – a tension often portrayed as a kind of ‘Bayesian objection’ to dogmatism. In a recent paper, David Jehle and Brian Weatherson observe that, while this crucial result holds within classical probability theory, it fails within (...)
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  • Entitlement and Evidence.Martin Smith - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):735-753.
    Entitlement is conceived as a kind of positive epistemic status, attaching to certain propositions, that involves no cognitive or intellectual accomplishment on the part of the beneficiary — a status that is in place by default. In this paper I will argue that the notion of entitlement — or something very like it — falls out of an idea that may at first blush seem rather disparate: that the evidential support relation can be understood as a kind of variably strict (...)
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  • Coin Trials.Martin Smith - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (5):726-741.
    According to the JUSTIFIED FAIR COINS principle, if I know that a coin is fair, and I lack justification for believing that it won’t be flipped, then I lack justification for believing that it won’t land tails. What this principle says, in effect, is that the only way to have justification for believing that a fair coin won’t land tails, is by having justification for believing that it won’t be flipped at all. Although this seems a plausible and innocuous principle, (...)
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  • Accuracy Across Doxastic Attitudes: Recent Work on the Accuracy of Belief.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (2):201-217.
    James Joyce's article “A Nonpragmatic Vindication of Probabilism” introduced an approach to arguing for credal norms by appealing to the epistemic value of accuracy. The central thought was that credences ought to accurately represent the world, a guiding thought that has gone on to generate an entire research paradigm on the rationality of credences. Recently, a number of epistemologists have begun to apply this same thought to full beliefs, attempting to explain and argue for norms of belief in terms of (...)
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  • Epistemic Closure Under Deductive Inference: What is It and Can We Afford It?Assaf Sharon & Levi Spectre - 2013 - Synthese 190 (14):2731-2748.
    The idea that knowledge can be extended by inference from what is known seems highly plausible. Yet, as shown by familiar preface paradox and lottery-type cases, the possibility of aggregating uncertainty casts doubt on its tenability. We show that these considerations go much further than previously recognized and significantly restrict the kinds of closure ordinary theories of knowledge can endorse. Meeting the challenge of uncertainty aggregation requires either the restriction of knowledge-extending inferences to single premises, or eliminating epistemic uncertainty in (...)
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  • A Disjunctive Argument Against Conjoining Belief Impermissivism and Credal Impermissivism.Mark Satta - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-16.
    In this paper, I offer reasons to conclude that either belief impermissivism or credal impermissivism is false. That is to say, I argue against the conjunction of belief impermissivism and credal impermissivism. I defend this conclusion in three ways. First, I show what I take to be an implausible consequence of holding that for any rational credence in p, there is only one correlating rational belief-attitude toward p, given a body of evidence. Second, I provide thought experiments designed to support (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Knowing Conditionals.Daniel Rothschild & Levi Spectre - 2018 - Noûs 52 (2):473-478.
    We present a puzzle about knowledge, probability and conditionals. We show that in certain cases some basic and plausible principles governing our reasoning come into conflict. In particular, we show that there is a simple argument that a person may be in a position to know a conditional the consequent of which has a low probability conditional on its antecedent, contra Adams’ Thesis. We suggest that the puzzle motivates a very strong restriction on the inference of a conditional from a (...)
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  • If You Don't Know That You Know, You Could Be Surprised.Eli Pitcovski & Levi Spectre - 2021 - Noûs 55 (4):917-934.
    Before the semester begins, a teacher tells his students: “There will be exactly one exam this semester. It will not take place on a day that is an immediate-successor of a day that you are currently in a position to know is not the exam-day”. Both the students and the teacher know – it is common knowledge – that no exam can be given on the first day of the semester. Since the teacher is truthful and reliable, it seems that (...)
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  • The Need for Justification.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (2):201-210.
    Some series can go on indefinitely, others cannot, and epistemologists want to know in which class to place epistemic chains. Is it sensible or nonsensical to speak of a proposition or belief that is justified by another proposition or belief, ad infinitum? In large part the answer depends on what we mean by “justification.” Epistemologists have failed to find a definition on which everybody agrees, and some have even advised us to stop looking altogether. In spite of this, the present (...)
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  • Normal Knowledge: Toward an Explanation-Based Theory of Knowledge.Andrew Peet & Eli Pitcovski - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (3):141-157.
    In this paper we argue that knowledge is characteristically safe true belief. We argue that an adequate approach to epistemic luck must not be indexed to methods of belief formation, but rather to explanations for belief. This shift is problematic for several prominent approaches to the theory of knowledge, including virtue reliabilism and proper functionalism (as normally conceived). The view that knowledge is characteristically safe true belief is better able to accommodate the shift in question.
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  • Knowledge of Mathematics Without Proof.Alexander Paseau - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (4):775-799.
    Mathematicians do not claim to know a proposition unless they think they possess a proof of it. For all their confidence in the truth of a proposition with weighty non-deductive support, they maintain that, strictly speaking, the proposition remains unknown until such time as someone has proved it. This article challenges this conception of knowledge, which is quasi-universal within mathematics. We present four arguments to the effect that non-deductive evidence can yield knowledge of a mathematical proposition. We also show that (...)
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  • Coherence and Deontology.Ram Neta - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):284-304.
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  • Justificação, Probabilidade E Independência.André Neiva & Tatiane Marks - 2019 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 23 (2):207-230.
    Epistemic justification has been widely accepted as both a gradational and relational notion. Given those properties, a natural thought is to take degrees of epistemic justification to be probabilities. In this paper, we present a simple Bayesian framework for justification. In the first part, after putting the model in an evidentialist form, we distinguish different senses of “being evidence for” and “confirming”. Next, we argue that this conception should accommodate the two relevant kinds of qualitative confirmation or evidential support. In (...)
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  • Knowledge and Other Norms for Assertion, Action, and Belief: A Teleological Account.Neil Mehta - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):681-705.
    Here I advance a unified account of the structure of the epistemic normativity of assertion, action, and belief. According to my Teleological Account, all of these are epistemically successful just in case they fulfill the primary aim of knowledgeability, an aim which in turn generates a host of secondary epistemic norms. The central features of the Teleological Account are these: it is compact in its reliance on a single central explanatory posit, knowledge-centered in its insistence that knowledge sets the fundamental (...)
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  • Lotteries, Knowledge, and Irrelevant Alternatives.Rachel Mckinnon - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (3):523-549.
    The lottery paradox plays an important role in arguments for various norms of assertion. Why is it that, prior to information on the results of a draw, assertions such as, “My ticket lost,” seem inappropriate? This paper is composed of two projects. First, I articulate a number of problems arising from Timothy Williamson’s analysis of the lottery paradox. Second, I propose a relevant alternatives theory, which I call the Non-Destabilizing Alternatives Theory , that better explains the pathology of asserting lottery (...)
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  • What is Good Reasoning?Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:153-174.
    What makes the difference between good and bad reasoning? In this paper we defend a novel account of good reasoning—both theoretical and practical—according to which it preserves fittingness or correctness: good reasoning is reasoning which is such as to take you from fitting attitudes to further fitting attitudes, other things equal. This account, we argue, is preferable to two others that feature in the recent literature. The first, which has been made prominent by John Broome, holds that the standards of (...)
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  • Justification as 'Would-Be' Knowledge.Aidan McGlynn - 2012 - Episteme 9 (4):361-376.
    In light of the failure of attempts to analyse knowledge as a species of justified belief, a number of epistemologists have suggested that we should instead understand justification in terms of knowledge. This paper focuses on accounts of justification as a kind of ‘would-be’ knowledge. According to such accounts a belief is justified just in case any failure to know is due to uncooperative external circumstances. I argue against two recent accounts of this sort due to Alexander Bird and Martin (...)
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  • Believing Things Unknown.Aidan McGlynn - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):385-407.
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  • Two-State Solution to the Lottery Paradox.Artūrs Logins - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3465-3492.
    This paper elaborates a new solution to the lottery paradox, according to which the paradox arises only when we lump together two distinct states of being confident that p under one general label of ‘belief that p’. The two-state conjecture is defended on the basis of some recent work on gradable adjectives. The conjecture is supported by independent considerations from the impossibility of constructing the lottery paradox both for risk-tolerating states such as being afraid, hoping or hypothesizing, and for risk-averse, (...)
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  • Choice Points for a Theory of Normality.Annina J. Loets - 2022 - Mind 131 (521):159-191.
    A variety of recent work in epistemology employs a notion of normality to provide novel theories of knowledge or justification. While such theories are commonly advertised as affording particularly strong epistemic logics, they often make substantive assumptions about the background notion of normality and its logic. This article takes recent normality-based defences of the KK principle as a case study to submit such assumptions to scrutiny. After clarifying issues regarding the natural language use of normality claims, the article isolates a (...)
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  • Cut-off points for the rational believer.Lina Maria Lissia - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-19.
    I show that the Lottery Paradox is just a version of the Sorites, and argue that this should modify our way of looking at the Paradox itself. In particular, I focus on what I call “the Cut-off Point Problem” and contend that this problem, well known by Sorites scholars, ought to play a key role in the debate on Kyburg’s puzzle. Very briefly, I show that, in the Lottery Paradox, the premises “ticket n°1 will lose”, “ticket n°2 will lose”… “ticket (...)
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  • Neuroprediction, Truth-Sensitivity, and the Law.Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen - 2014 - The Journal of Ethics 18 (2):123-136.
    A recent argument by Nadelhoffer et al. defends a cautious optimism regarding the use of neuroprediction in relation to sentencing based, in part, on an assessment of the offender’s dangerousness. While this optimism may be warranted, Nadelhoffer et al.’s argument fails to justify it. Although neuropredictions provide individualized, non-statistical evidence they will often be problematic for the same reason that basing sentencing on statistical evidence is, to wit, that such predictions are insensitive to the offender’s dangerousness in relevant counterfactual situations (...)
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  • An Analysis of Absurdity.Tony Tsz Fung Lau - 2022 - Theoria 88 (5):972-981.
    Theoria, Volume 88, Issue 5, Page 972-981, October 2022.
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  • An Analysis of Absurdity 1.Tony Tsz Fung Lau - 2022 - Theoria 88 (5):972-981.
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  • The Relationship Between Belief and Credence.Elizabeth G. Jackson - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (6):1–13.
    Sometimes epistemologists theorize about belief, a tripartite attitude on which one can believe, withhold belief, or disbelieve a proposition. In other cases, epistemologists theorize about credence, a fine-grained attitude that represents one’s subjective probability or confidence level toward a proposition. How do these two attitudes relate to each other? This article explores the relationship between belief and credence in two categories: descriptive and normative. It then explains the broader significance of the belief-credence connection and concludes with general lessons from the (...)
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  • Belief, Credence, and Faith.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Religious Studies 55 (2):153-168.
    In this article, I argue that faith’s going beyond the evidence need not compromise faith’s epistemic rationality. First, I explain how some of the recent literature on belief and credence points to a distinction between what I call B-evidence and C-evidence. Then, I apply this distinction to rational faith. I argue that if faith is more sensitive to B-evidence than to C-evidence, faith can go beyond the evidence and still be epistemically rational.
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  • Belief, Credence, and Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):5073-5092.
    I explore how rational belief and rational credence relate to evidence. I begin by looking at three cases where rational belief and credence seem to respond differently to evidence: cases of naked statistical evidence, lotteries, and hedged assertions. I consider an explanation for these cases, namely, that one ought not form beliefs on the basis of statistical evidence alone, and raise worries for this view. Then, I suggest another view that explains how belief and credence relate to evidence. My view (...)
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  • Justification is Potential Knowledge.Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (2):184-206.
    This paper will articulate and defend a novel theory of epistemic justification; I characterize my view as the thesis that justification is potential knowledge . My project is an instance of the ‘knowledge-first’ programme, championed especially by Timothy Williamson. So I begin with a brief recapitulation of that programme.
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  • Basic Knowledge First.Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa - 2017 - Episteme 14 (3):343-361.
    An infuential twenty-first century philosophical project posits a central role for knowledge: knowledge is more fundamental than epistemic states like belief and justification. So-called “knowledge first” theorists find support for this thought in identifying central theoretical roles for knowledge. I argue that a similar methodology supports a privileged role for more specific category of basic knowledge. Some of the roles that knowledge first theorists have posited for knowledge generally are better suited for basic knowledge.
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  • Is Knowledge the Ability to Φ for the Reason That P?Nick Hughes - 2014 - Episteme 11 (4):457-462.
    Hyman (1999, 2006) argues that knowledge is best conceived as a kind of ability: S knows that p iff S can φ for the reason that p. Hyman motivates this thesis by appealing to Gettier cases. I argue that it is counterexampled by a certain kind of Gettier case where the fact that p is a cause of the subject’s belief that p. One can φ for the reason that p even if one does not know that p. So knowledge (...)
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  • Epistemic Feedback Loops (Or: How Not to Get Evidence).Nick Hughes - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Epistemologists spend a great deal of time thinking about how we should respond to our evidence. They spend far less time thinking about the ways that evidence can be acquired in the first place. This is an oversight. Some ways of acquiring evidence are better than others. Many normative epistemologies struggle to accommodate this fact. In this article I develop one that can and does. I identify a phenomenon – epistemic feedback loops – in which evidence acquisition has gone awry, (...)
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  • Consistency and Evidence.Nick Hughes - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):333-338.
    Williamson (2000) appeals to considerations about when it is natural to say that a hypothesis is consistent with one’s evidence in order to motivate the claim that all and only knowledge is evidence. It is argued here that the relevant considerations do not support this claim, and in fact conflict with it.
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  • Justification and the Knowledge-Connection.Jaakko Hirvelä - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (6):1973-1995.
    I will present a novel account of justification in terms of knowledge on which one is justified in believing p just in case one could know that p. My main aim is to unravel some of the formal properties that justification has in virtue of its connection to knowledge. Assuming that safety is at least a necessary condition for knowledge, I show that justification doesn’t iterate trivially; isn’t a luminous condition; is closed under a certain kind of multi-premise closure principle, (...)
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