Mistuned Knowledge and the Prospects of a Lockean Unification of Epistemology

Episteme (forthcoming)
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It is generally assumed that a Lockean metaphysics of belief that reduces outright belief to degrees of confidence would immediately effect a unification of coarse-grained epistemology of belief with fine-grained epistemology of confidence. Scott Sturgeon has suggested that the unification is effected by understanding the relation between outright belief and confidence as an instance of the determinable-determinate relation. But determination of belief by confidence would not by itself yield the result that norms for confidence carry over to norms for outright belief unless belief and high confidence are token identical. We argue that this token-identity thesis is incompatible with the neglected phenomenon of “mistuned knowledge”—knowledge in the absence of rational confidence. We contend that there are genuine cases of mistuned knowledge and that, therefore, epistemological unification must forego token identity of belief and high confidence. We show how partial epistemological unification can be secured given determination of outright belief by degrees of confidence even without token-identity. Finally, we suggest a direction for the pursuit of thoroughgoing epistemological unification.
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