On Mentioning Belief-Formation Methods in the Sensitivity Subjunctives

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Abstract

According to the sensitivity account of knowledge, S knows that p only if S’s belief in p is sensitive in the sense that S would not believe that p if p were false. The sensitivity condition is usually relativized to belief-formation methods to avoid putative counterexamples. A remaining issue for the account is where methods should be mentioned in the sensitivity subjunctives. In this paper, I argue that if methods are mentioned in the antecedent, then the account is too strong to accommodate inductive knowledge; if methods are mentioned in the consequent, then the account is too weak to eliminate some luckily true beliefs from the realm of knowledge. Therefore, the strategy to relativize the sensitivity condition is undermined by inductive knowledge and some luckily true beliefs.

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Bin Zhao
Peking University

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