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Guido Melchior
University of Graz
  1.  35
    Sensitivity, Safety, and Impossible Worlds.Guido Melchior - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-17.
    Modal knowledge accounts that are based on standards possible-worlds semantics face well-known problems when it comes to knowledge of necessities. Beliefs in necessities are trivially sensitive and safe and, therefore, trivially constitute knowledge according to these accounts. In this paper, I will first argue that existing solutions to this necessity problem, which accept standard possible-worlds semantics, are unsatisfactory. In order to solve the necessity problem, I will utilize an unorthodox account of counterfactuals, as proposed by Nolan, on which we also (...)
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  2. The Heterogeneity Problem for Sensitivity Accounts.Guido Melchior - 2015 - Episteme 12 (4):479-496.
    Offering a solution to the skeptical puzzle is a central aim of Nozick's sensitivity account of knowledge. It is well-known that this account faces serious problems. However, because of its simplicity and its explanatory power, the sensitivity principle has remained attractive and has been subject to numerous modifications, leading to a of sensitivity accounts. I will object to these accounts, arguing that sensitivity accounts of knowledge face two problems. First, they deliver a far too heterogeneous picture of higher-level beliefs about (...)
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  3.  27
    The Persuasiveness Puzzle About Bootstrapping.Guido Melchior - 2020 - Ratio 33 (1):27-36.
    This paper aims at resolving a puzzle about the persuasiveness of bootstrapping. On the one hand, bootstrapping is not a persuasive method of settling questions about the reliability of a source. On the other hand, our beliefs that our sense apparatus is reliable is based on other empirically formed beliefs, that is, they are acquired via a presumably complex bootstrapping process. I will argue that when we doubt the reliability of a source, bootstrapping is not a persuasive method for coming (...)
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  4. Skepticism: The Hard Problem for Indirect Sensitivity Accounts.Guido Melchior - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (1):45-54.
    Keith DeRose’s solution to the skeptical problem is based on his indirect sensitivity account. Sensitivity is not a necessary condition for any kind of knowledge, as direct sensitivity accounts claim, but the insensitivity of our beliefs that the skeptical hypotheses are false explains why we tend to judge that we do not know them. The orthodox objection line against any kind of sensitivity account of knowledge is to present instances of insensitive beliefs that we still judge to constitute knowledge. This (...)
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  5. Is Epistemological Disjunctivism the Holy Grail?Guido Melchior - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien, Vol. 86-2012 90:335-346.
    Pritchard argues that epistemological disjunctivism seems plainly false at first sight, but if it were right, it would represent the “holy grail of epistemology” (1), a view that allows us “to have our cake and eat it too” (3). This prospect motivates Pritchard to develop and defend an account that prima facie might seem simply false. It is disputable whether ED really seems plainly false at first sight or whether this intuition is based on a particular philosophical tradition. However, in (...)
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  6. A Generality Problem for Bootstrapping and Sensitivity.Guido Melchior - 2014 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):31-47.
    Vogel argues that sensitivity accounts of knowledge are implausible because they entail that we cannot have any higher-level knowledge that our beliefs are true, not false. Becker and Salerno object that Vogel is mistaken because he does not formalize higher-level beliefs adequately. They claim that if formalized correctly, higher-level beliefs are sensitive, and can therefore constitute knowledge. However, these accounts do not consider the belief-forming method as sensitivity accounts require. If we take bootstrapping as the belief-forming method, as the discussed (...)
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  7. Easy Knowledge, Closure Failure, or Skepticism: A Trilemma.Guido Melchior - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (2):214-232.
    This article aims to provide a structural analysis of the problems related to the easy knowledge problem. The easy knowledge problem is well known. If we accept that we can have basic knowledge via a source without having any prior knowledge about the reliability or accuracy of this source, then we can acquire knowledge about the reliability or accuracy of this source too easily via information delivered by the source. Rejecting any kind of basic knowledge, however, leads into an infinite (...)
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  8.  66
    Epistemic Luck and Logical Necessities: Armchair Luck Revisited.Guido Melchior - 2017 - In Smiljana Gartner Bojan Borstner (ed.), Thought Experiments between Nature and Society. A Festschrift for Nenad Miščević. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 137-150.
    Modal knowledge accounts like sensitivity or safety face a problem when it comes to knowing propositions that are necessarily true because the modal condition is always fulfilled no matter how random the belief forming method is. Pritchard models the anti-luck condition for knowledge in terms of the modal principle safety. Thus, his anti-luck epistemology faces the same problem when it comes to logical necessities. Any belief in a proposition that is necessarily true fulfills the anti-luck condition and, therefore, qualifies as (...)
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  9.  68
    Sensitivity has Multiple Heterogeneity Problems: A Reply to Wallbridge.Guido Melchior - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (4):1741-1747.
    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 (...)
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  10.  23
    Insensitive and Unsafe Knowledge.Guido Melchior - 2011 - In Epistemology: Context, Values, Disagreement. Papers of the 34th International Wittgenstein Symposium. pp. 196-198.
    Sensitivity and safety are modal concepts of knowledge. A person’s belief that p is sensitive if and only if in the closest possible world where p is false S does not believe that p. A person’s belief that p is safe if and only if in most near-by possible worlds in which S continues to form her belief that p in the same way as in the actual world the belief continues to be true. Robert Nozick claims that sensitivity is (...)
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  11.  22
    Knowledge and Representations: Explaining the Skeptical Puzzle.Guido Melchior - 2017 - In C. Limbeck-Lilienau and F. Stadler (ed.), The Philosophy of Perception and Observation. Papers of the 40th International Wittgenstein Symposium. pp. 150-152.
    (*This paper was awarded the Elisabeth and Werner Leinfellner Award 2017 for outstanding contributions.) -/- This paper provides an explanation of the skeptical puzzle. I argue that we can take two distinct points of view towards representations, mental representations like perceptual experiences and artificial representations like symbols. When focusing on what the representation represents we take an attached point of view. When focusing on the representational character of the representation we take a detached point view. From an attached point of (...)
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  12.  20
    Skeptical Doubting and Mindful Self-Reflection.Guido Melchior - 2013 - In Mind, Language and Action. Papers of the 36th International Wittgenstein Symposium. pp. 274-276.
    The skeptic argues that we cannot have any external world knowledge because we cannot know that we are not brains in a vat. The intuitive appeal of this skeptical argument is essentially based on the comprehensibility of the process of skeptical doubting, where we focus our attention on our experiences and experience-based beliefs and raise questions about the sources of these experiences. I propose that skeptical doubting is an instance of a mental attitude that contemporary psychology characterizes as mindfulness. I (...)
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  13.  89
    Epistemic Contextualism: A Defense, Written by Peter Baumann. [REVIEW]Guido Melchior - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien.
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  14.  89
    Baseless Knowledge.Guido Melchior - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 17 (50):211-231.
    It is a commonly held view in contemporary epistemology that for having knowledge it is necessary to have an appropriately based belief, although numerous different views exist about when a belief’s base is appropriate. Broadly speaking, they all share the view that one can only have knowledge if the belief’s base is in some sense truth-related or tracking the truth. Baseless knowledge can then be defi ned as knowledge where the belief is acquired and sustained in a way that does (...)
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  15. Skepticism: Lehrer Versus Mooreanism.Guido Melchior - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (1):47-58.
    I will compare Lehrer’s anti-skeptical strategy from a coherentist point of view with the anti-skeptical strategy of the Mooreans. I will argue that there are strong similarities between them: neither can present a persuasive argument to the skeptic and both face the problem of easy knowledge in one way or another. However, both can offer a complete and self-explanatory explanation of knowledge although Mooreanism can offer the more natural one. Hence, one has good reasons to prefer Mooreanism to Lehrer’s anti-skeptical (...)
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  16. Handbuch Erkenntnistheorie.Martin Grajner & Guido Melchior (eds.) - 2019 - Metzler.
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  17.  62
    Knowing and Checking: An Epistemological Investigation.Guido Melchior - 2019 - New York City, New York, USA: Routledge.
    This book is primarily about checking and only derivatively about knowing. Checking is a very common concept for describing a subject’s epistemic goals and actions. Surprisingly, there has been no philosophical attention paid to the notion of checking. In Part I, I develop a sensitivity account of checking. To be more explicit, I analyze the internalist and externalist components of the epistemic action of checking which include the intentions of the checking subject and the necessary externalist features of the method (...)
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