Sensitivity and inductive knowledge revisited

Dialectica (forthcoming)
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The orthodox view about sensitivity and induction has it that beliefs formed via induction are insensitive. Since inductive knowledge is highly plausible, this problem is usually regarded as a reductio argument against sensitivity accounts of knowledge. Some adherents of sensitivity defend sensitivity against this objection, for example by considering backtracking interpretations of counterfactuals. All these extant views about sensitivity and induction have to be revised, since the problem of sensitivity and induction is a different one. Regardless of whether we allow backtracking interpretations of counterfactuals, some instances of induction yield insensitive beliefs whereas others yield sensitive ones. These results are too heterogenous for providing a plausible sensitivity-account of inductive knowledge. Induction remains a serious problem for sensitivity accounts of knowledge.

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Guido Melchior
University of Graz


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