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Knowledge and Its Limits

Philosophy 76 (297):460-464 (2000)

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  1. Emergence of Scientific Understanding in Real-Time Ecological Research Practice.Luana Poliseli - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (4):1-25.
    Scientific understanding as a subject of inquiry has become widely discussed in philosophy of science and is often addressed through case studies from history of science. Even though these historical reconstructions engage with details of scientific practice, they usually provide only limited information about the gradual formation of understanding in ongoing processes of model and theory construction. Based on a qualitative ethnographic study of an ecological research project, this article shifts attention from understanding in the context of historical case studies (...)
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  • Does My Total Evidence Support That I’M a Boltzmann Brain?Sinan Dogramaci - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3717-3723.
    A Boltzmann Brain, haphazardly formed through the unlikely but still possible random assembly of physical particles, is a conscious brain having experiences just like an ordinary person. The skeptical possibility of being a Boltzmann Brain is an especially gripping one: scientific evidence suggests our actual universe’s full history may ultimately contain countless short-lived Boltzmann Brains with experiences just like yours or mine. I propose a solution to the skeptical challenge posed by these countless actual Boltzmann Brains. My key idea is (...)
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  • Realism and the logic of conceivability.Dominik Kauss - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3885-3902.
    On their alethic reading, formulas,, and codify three of the most basic principles of possibility and its dual. This paper discusses these formulas on a broadly epistemic reading, and in particular as candidate principles about conceivability and its dual. As will be shown, the question whether and its classical dual equivalent, as well as and hold on this reading is not only a logical one but involves a distinctively metaphysical controversy between realist and antirealist views on the relation between truth (...)
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  • What the Debasing Demon Teaches Us About Wisdom.Kevin McCain - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (4):521-530.
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  • Assertion and Practical Reasoning, Fallibilism and Pragmatic Skepticism.Christos Kyriacou - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (4):543-561.
    Skeptical invariantism does not account for the intuitive connections between knowledge, assertion, and practical reasoning and this constitutes a significant problem for the position because it does not save corresponding epistemic appearances ). Moreover, it is an attraction of fallibilist over infallibilist-skeptical views that they can easily account for the epistemic appearances about the connections between knowledge, assertion, and practical reasoning ). Call this argument ‘the argument from the knowledge norm’. I motivate and develop a Humean, pragmatist strategy for a (...)
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  • Akrasia and the Desire to Become Someone Else: Venturinha on Moral Matters.Javier González de Prado - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (5):1705-1711.
    This paper discusses practical akrasia from the perspective of the sophisticated form of moral subjectivism that can be derived from Nuno Venturinha’s remarks on moral matters.
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  • The Dispositional Nature of Phenomenal Properties.Simone Gozzano - 2020 - Topoi 39 (5):1045-1055.
    According to non-reductive physicalism, mental properties of the phenomenal sort are essentially different from physical properties, and cannot be reduced to them. This being a quarrel about properties, I draw on the categorical / dispositional distinction to discuss this non-reductive claim. Typically, non-reductionism entails a categorical view of phenomenal properties. Contrary to this, I will argue that phenomenal properties, usually characterized by what it is like to have them, are mainly the manifestation of dispositional properties. This paper is thus divided (...)
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  • Where Tracking Loses Traction.Mitchell Barrington - 2020 - Episteme:1-14.
    Tracking theories see knowledge as a relation between a subject’s belief and the truth, where the former is responsive to the latter. This relationship involves causation in virtue of a sensitivity condition, which is constrained by an adherence condition. The result is what I call a stable causal relationship between a fact and a subject’s belief in that fact. I argue that when we apprehend the precise role of causation in the theory, previously obscured problems pour out. This paper presents (...)
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  • Self-Defeating Beliefs and Misleading Reasons.Simon-Pierre Chevarie-Cossette - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (1):57-72.
    ABSTRACTWe have no reason to believe that reasons do not exist. Contra Bart Streumer’s recent proposal, this has nothing to do with our incapacity to believe this error theory. Rather, it is because if we know that if a proposition is true, we have no reason to believe it, then we have no reason to believe this proposition. From a different angle: if we know that we have at best misleading reasons to believe a proposition, then we have no reason (...)
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  • Knowing Is Not Enough.Martin Montminy - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (2):286-295.
    I consider the rule of assertion according to which knowledge is sufficient for epistemically proper assertion. I examine a counterexample to this rule recently proposed by Jennifer Lackey. I present three responses to this counterexample. The first two, I argue, highlight some flaws in the counterexample. But the third response fails. The lessons I draw from examining these three responses allow me to propose two counterexamples to the sufficiency rule that are similar to Lackey’s but avoid its problems.
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  • Against Interpretability: a Critical Examination of the Interpretability Problem in Machine Learning.Maya Krishnan - 2020 - Philosophy and Technology 33 (3):487-502.
    The usefulness of machine learning algorithms has led to their widespread adoption prior to the development of a conceptual framework for making sense of them. One common response to this situation is to say that machine learning suffers from a “black box problem.” That is, machine learning algorithms are “opaque” to human users, failing to be “interpretable” or “explicable” in terms that would render categorization procedures “understandable.” The purpose of this paper is to challenge the widespread agreement about the existence (...)
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  • XIII—Dutch BookandAccuracy Theorems.Anna Mahtani - forthcoming - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society.
    Dutch book and accuracy arguments are used to justify certain rationality constraints on credence functions. Underlying these Dutch book and accuracy arguments are associated theorems, and I show that the interpretation of these theorems can vary along a range of dimensions. Given that the theorems can be interpreted in a variety of different ways, what is the status of the associated arguments? I consider three possibilities: we could aggregate the results of the differently interpreted theorems in some way, and motivate (...)
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  • On Justifications and Excuses.B. J. C. Madison - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4551-4562.
    The New Evil Demon problem has been hotly debated since the case was introduced in the early 1980’s (e.g. Lehrer and Cohen 1983; Cohen 1984), and there seems to be recent increased interest in the topic. In a forthcoming collection of papers on the New Evil Demon problem (Dutant and Dorsch, forthcoming), at least two of the papers, both by prominent epistemologists, attempt to resist the problem by appealing to the distinction between justification and excuses. My primary aim here is (...)
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  • On the Coherence of Dignāga’s Epistemology: Evaluating the Critiques of Candrakīrti and Jayarāśi.Ethan Mills - 2015 - Asian Philosophy 25 (4):339-357.
    I discuss two critiques of Dignāga’s epistemology, one from Candrakīrti and another from Jayarāśi. I argue that they are two versions of what I call the core problem: if the content of Dignāga’s epistemology were correct, two fundamental beliefs within this epistemological theory could not be established or known to be true, as Dignāga claims they are. In response to objections found within the classical Indian tradition as well as several plausible contemporary objections, I then argue that the core problem (...)
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  • An Epistemic Puzzle About Knowledge and Rational Credence.Manuel Pérez Otero - 2020 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 32 (3-4):195-206.
    I present some puzzling cases regarding knowledge and its relation to rational credence. They seem to entail a failure of an apparently correct principle: if S knows P, then the epistemic justi...
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  • Evidential Support and Best Explanations.Earl Conee - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):71-85.
    The essay seeks the best combination of internal and external factors in the evidential support that we can have for a proposition. After identifying the combination, the essay criticizes views according to which our evidence supports propositions in virtue of the propositions explaining the evidence to us.
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  • Moral Fixed Points and Conceptual Deficiency: Reply to Ingram (2015).Kyriacou Christos - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2017 (3):1-9.
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  • Certainty and Assertion.Jacques-Henri Vollet - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    It is widely held that assertions are partially governed by an epistemic norm. But what is the epistemic condition set out in the norm? Is it knowledge, truth, belief, or something else? In this paper, I defend a view similar to that of Stanley (2008), according to which the relevant epistemic condition is epistemic certainty, where epistemic certainty (but not knowledge) is context-sensitive. I start by distinguishing epistemic certainty, subjective certainty, and knowledge. Then, I explain why it’s much more plausible (...)
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  • Externalism and Exploitability.Nilanjan Das - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    According to Bayesian orthodoxy, an agent should update---or at least should plan to update---her credences by conditionalization. Some have defended this claim by means of a diachronic Dutch book argument. They say: an agent who does not plan to update her credences by conditionalization is vulnerable (by her own lights) to a diachronic Dutch book, i.e., a sequence of bets which, when accepted, guarantee loss of utility. Here, I show that this argument is in tension with evidence externalism, i.e., the (...)
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  • Inexact Knowledge 2.0.Sven Rosenkranz & Julien Dutant - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (8):1-19.
    Many of our sources of knowledge only afford us knowledge that is inexact. When trying to see how tall something is, or to hear how far away something is, or to remember how long something lasted, we may come to know some facts about the approximate size, distance or duration of the thing in question but we don’t come to know exactly what its size, distance or duration is. In some such situations we also have some pointed knowledge of how (...)
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  • A Minimality Constraint on Grounding.Jonas Werner - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (5):1153-1168.
    It is widely acknowledged that some truths or facts don’t have a minimal full ground [see e.g. Fine ]. Every full ground of them contains a smaller full ground. In this paper I’ll propose a minimality constraint on immediate grounding and I’ll show that it doesn’t fall prey to the arguments that tell against an unqualified minimality constraint. Furthermore, the assumption that all cases of grounding can be understood in terms of immediate grounding will be defended. This assumption guarantees that (...)
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  • The Epistemic Norms of Intra-Scientific Testimony.Mikkel Gerken - 2015 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 45 (6):568-595.
    What is the epistemic position that a scientist must be in vis-à-vis a proposition, p, to be in a good enough epistemic position to assert that p to a fellow scientist within the scientific process? My aim is to provide an answer to this question and, more generally, to connect the epistemological debates about the epistemic norms of assertion to the debates about the nature of the scientific process. The question is important because science is a collaborative enterprise based on (...)
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  • Introduction.Daniel Star - forthcoming - In The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  • The Place of Reasons in Epistemology.Kurt Sylvan & Ernest Sosa - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity.
    This paper considers the place of reasons in the metaphysics of epistemic normativity and defends a middle ground between two popular extremes in the literature. Against members of the ‘reasons first’ movement, we argue that reasons are not the sole fundamental constituents of epistemic normativity. We suggest instead that the virtue-theoretic property of competence is the key building block. To support this approach, we note that reasons must be possessed to play a role in the analysis of central epistemically normative (...)
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  • Pragmatic Reasons for Belief.Andrew Reisner - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press.
    This is a discussion of the state of discussion on pragmatic reasons for belief.
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  • Reasons for Belief and Normativity.Glüer-Pagin Kathrin & Wikforss Åsa - 2017 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press.
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  • A Priori Perceptual Entitlement, Knowledge‐First.Mona Simion - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):311-323.
    Tyler Burge notably offers a truth‐first account of perceptual entitlement in terms of a priori necessary representational functions and norms: on his account, epistemic normativity turns on natural norms, which turn on representational functions. This paper has two aims: first, it criticises Tyler Burge's truth‐first a priori derivation on functionalist and value‐theoretic grounds. Second, it develops a novel, knowledge‐first a priori derivation of perceptual entitlement. According to the view developed here, it is a priori that we are entitled to believe (...)
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  • On behalf of a bi-level account of trust.J. Adam Carter - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2299-2322.
    A bi-level account of trust is developed and defended, one with relevance in ethics as well as epistemology. The proposed account of trust—on which trusting is modelled within a virtue-theoretic framework as a performance-type with an aim—distinguishes between two distinct levels of trust, apt and convictive, that take us beyond previous assessments of its nature, value, and relationship to risk assessment. While Sosa, in particular, has shown how a performance normativity model may be fruitfully applied to belief, my objective is (...)
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  • A Case for Weak Safety.Niklaas Tepelmann - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (4):545-569.
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  • A Counterfactual Theory of Epistemic Possibility.Brandon Carey - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (4):525-544.
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  • Knowledge Second.Adam Bjorndahl - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (4):471-487.
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  • Keep Things in Perspective: Reasons, Rationality, and the A Priori.Daniel Whiting - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (1):1-22.
    Objective reasons are given by the facts. Subjective reasons are given by one’s perspective on the facts. Subjective reasons, not objective reasons, determine what it is rational to do. In this paper, I argue against a prominent account of subjective reasons. The problem with that account, I suggest, is that it makes what one has subjective reason to do, and hence what it is rational to do, turn on matters outside or independent of one’s perspective. After explaining and establishing this (...)
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  • Introduction.Emma Borg, Sarah A. Fisher, Nat Hansen, Antonio Scarafone & Marat Shardimgaliev - forthcoming - Ratio.
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  • XII—The Distinction in Kind Between Knowledge and Belief.Maria Rosa Antognazza - forthcoming - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society.
    Drawing inspiration from a well-attested historical tradition, I propose an account of cognition according to which knowledge is not only prior to belief; it is also, and crucially, not a kind of belief. Believing, in turn, is not some sort of botched knowing, but a mental state fundamentally different from knowing, with its own distinctive and complementary role in our cognitive life. I conclude that the main battle-line in the history of epistemology is drawn between the affirmation of a natural (...)
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  • Perspectival Externalism Is the Antidote to Radical Skepticism.Lisa Miracchi - 2017 - Episteme 14 (3):363-379.
    ABSTRACTHilary Putnam provides an anti-skeptical argument motivated by semantic externalism. He argues that our best theorizing about what it takes to experience, think, and so on, entails that the world is much as we take it to be. This fact eliminates the possibility of radical skeptical scenarios, where from our perspective everything seems as it does in the actual case, but we are widely and systematically mistaken. I think that this approach is generally correct, and that it is the most (...)
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  • Easy Knowledge, Closure Failure, or Skepticism: A Trilemma.Guido Melchior - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (2):214-232.
    This article aims to provide a structural analysis of the problems related to the easy knowledge problem. The easy knowledge problem is well known. If we accept that we can have basic knowledge via a source without having any prior knowledge about the reliability or accuracy of this source, then we can acquire knowledge about the reliability or accuracy of this source too easily via information delivered by the source. Rejecting any kind of basic knowledge, however, leads into an infinite (...)
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  • Perceptual Consciousness Plays No Epistemic Role.Jacob Berger - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):7-23.
    It is often assumed that perceptual experience provides evidence about the external world. But much perception can occur unconsciously, as in cases of masked priming or blindsight. Does unconscious perception provide evidence as well? Many theorists maintain that it cannot, holding that perceptual experience provides evidence in virtue of its conscious character. Against such views, I challenge here both the necessity and, perhaps more controversially, the sufficiency of consciousness for perception to provide evidence about the external world. In addition to (...)
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  • Do You See What I Know? On Reasons, Perceptual Evidence, and Epistemic Status.Clayton Littlejohn - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):205-220.
    Our epistemology can shape the way we think about perception and experience. Speaking as an epistemologist, I should say that I don’t necessarily think that this is a good thing. If we think that we need perceptual evidence to have perceptual knowledge or perceptual justification, we will naturally feel some pressure to think of experience as a source of reasons or evidence. In trying to explain how experience can provide us with evidence, we run the risk of either adopting a (...)
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  • Perceptual Evidence: Against the View of the Vulgar.Richard Fumerton - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):120-131.
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  • Perception, Discrimination, and Knowledge.Laura Frances Callahan - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):39-53.
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  • A Puzzle About Enkratic Reasoning.Jonathan Way - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Enkratic reasoning – reasoning from believing that you ought to do something to an intention to do that thing – seems good. But there is a puzzle about how it could be. Good reasoning preserves correctness, other things equal. But enkratic reasoning does not preserve correctness. This is because what you ought to do depends on your epistemic position, but what it is correct to intend does not. In this paper, I motivate these claims and thus show that there is (...)
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  • Knowledge Is Not Enough.Jennifer Ellen Nado - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (4):658-672.
    Discussions of the role of intuition in philosophical methodology typically proceed within the knowledge-centred framework of mainstream analytic epistemology. Either implicitly or explicitly, the primary questions in metaphilosophy frequently seem to revolve around whether or not intuition is a source of justification, evidence, or knowledge. I argue that this Standard Framework is inappropriate for methodological purposes: the epistemic standards that govern inquiry in philosophy are more stringent than the standards that govern everyday cognition. The experimentalist should instead view her criticisms (...)
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  • What Scientific Progress Is Not: Against Bird’s Epistemic View.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):241-255.
    This paper challenges Bird’s view that scientific progress should be understood in terms of knowledge, by arguing that unjustified scientific beliefs (and/or changes in belief) may nevertheless be progressive. It also argues that false beliefs may promote progress.
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  • Information Versus Knowledge in Confirmation Theory.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2012 - Logique Et Analyse 226:137-149.
    I argue that so-called 'background knowledge' in confirmation theory has little, if anything, to do with 'knowledge' in the sense of mainstream epistemology. I argue that it is better construed as 'background information', which need not be believed in, justified, or true.
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  • Empirical Evidence Claims Are a Priori.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2013 - Synthese 190 (14):2821-2834.
    This paper responds to Achinstein’s criticism of the thesis that the only empirical fact that can affect the truth of an objective evidence claim such as ‘e is evidence for h’ (or ‘e confirms h to degree r’) is the truth of e. It shows that cases involving evidential flaws, which form the basis for Achinstein’s objections to the thesis, can satisfactorily be accounted for by appeal to changes in background information and working assumptions. The paper also argues that the (...)
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  • Norms of Testimony in Broad Interdisciplinarity: The Case of Quantum Mechanics in Critical Theory.Rasmus Jaksland - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-27.
    While much interdisciplinarity brings together proximate fields, broad interdisciplinarity sees integration between disciplines that are perceived to be non-neighboring. This paper argues that the heterogeneity among disciplines in broad interdisciplinarity calls for stricter epistemic norms of testimony for experts that act as translators between the disciplines than those suggested for intra-scientific testimony. The paper is structured around two case studies: the affective turn in social theorizing and the use of quantum mechanics in critical theory as exemplified by Vicky Kirby’s use (...)
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  • The Ethics of Believing Out Loud.Heather Spradley - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
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  • Closure Scepticism and The Vat Argument.Joshua Rowan Thorpe - 2017 - Mind:fzw035.
    If it works, I can use Putnam’s vat argument to show that I have not always been a brain-in-a-vat (BIV). It is widely thought that the vat argument is of no use against closure scepticism – that is, scepticism motivated by arguments that appeal to a closure principle. This is because, even if I can use the vat argument to show that I have not always been a BIV, I cannot use it to show that I was not recently envatted, (...)
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  • Internalism, Factivity, and Sufficient Reason.Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa - 2018 - In Veli Mitova (ed.), The Factive Turn in Epistemology. Cambridge University Press.
    How radical is the idea that reasons are factive? Some philosophers consider it a dramatic departure from orthodoxy, with surprising implications about the bearing of the external world on what credences it’s reasonable to have, what beliefs are epistemically appropriate, and what actions are rational. I deny these implications. In the cases where external matters imply differences in factive states, there will inevitably be important weaker factive states in common. For example, someone who knows it is raining has many factive (...)
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  • Dretske on Knowledge Closure.Steven Luper - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (3):379 – 394.
    In early essays and in more recent work, Fred Dretske argues against the closure of perception, perceptual knowledge, and knowledge itself. In this essay I review his case and suggest that, in a useful sense, perception is closed, and that, while perceptual knowledge is not closed under entailment, perceptually based knowledge is closed, and so is knowledge itself. On my approach, which emphasizes the safe indication account of knowledge, we can both perceive, and know, that sceptical scenarios (such as being (...)
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