Hawthorne’s Lottery Puzzle and the Nature of Belief

Philosophical Issues 17 (1):120-122 (2007)
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Abstract
In the first chapter of his Knowledge and Lotteries, John Hawthorne argues that thinkers do not ordinarily know lottery propositions. His arguments depend on claims about the intimate connections between knowledge and assertion, epistemic possibility, practical reasoning, and theoretical reasoning. In this paper, we cast doubt on the proposed connections. We also put forward an alternative picture of belief and reasoning. In particular, we argue that assertion is governed by a Gricean constraint that makes no reference to knowledge, and that practical reasoning has more to do with rational degrees of belief than with states of knowledge.
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