Abominable KK Failures

Mind 128 (512):1227-1259 (2019)
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Abstract

KK is the thesis that if you can know p, you can know that you can know p. Though it’s unpopular, a flurry of considerations has recently emerged in its favour. Here we add fuel to the fire: standard resources allow us to show that any failure of KK will lead to the knowability and assertability of abominable indicative conditionals of the form ‘If I don’t know it, p’. Such conditionals are manifestly not assertable—a fact that KK defenders can easily explain. I survey a variety of KK-denying responses and find them wanting. Those who object to the knowability of such conditionals must either deny the possibility of harmony between knowledge and belief, or deny well-supported connections between conditional and unconditional attitudes. Meanwhile, those who grant knowability owe us an explanation of such conditionals’ unassertability—yet no successful explanations are on offer. Upshot: we have new evidence for KK.

Author's Profile

Kevin Dorst
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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