Sensitivity has Multiple Heterogeneity Problems: a Reply to Wallbridge

Philosophia 45 (4):1741-1747 (2017)
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In this paper, I defend the heterogeneity problem for sensitivity accounts of knowledge against an objection that has been recently proposed by Wallbridge in Philosophia. I argue in, 479–496, 2015) that sensitivity accounts of knowledge face a heterogeneity problem when it comes to higher-level knowledge about the truth of one’s own beliefs. Beliefs in weaker higher-level propositions are insensitive, but beliefs in stronger higher-level propositions are sensitive. The resulting picture that we can know the stronger propositions without being in a position to know the weaker propositions is too heterogeneous to be plausible. Wallbridge objects that there is no heterogeneity problem because beliefs in the weaker higher-level propositions are also sensitive. I argue against Wallbridge that the heterogeneity problem is not solved but only displaced. Only some beliefs in the weaker higher-level propositions are sensitive. I conclude that the heterogeneity problem is one of a family of instability problems that sensitivity accounts of knowledge face and that Wallbridge’s account raises a further problem of this kind.
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