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Simon Goldstein
Australian Catholic University
  1. The normality of error.Sam Carter & Simon Goldstein - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (8):2509-2533.
    Formal models of appearance and reality have proved fruitful for investigating structural properties of perceptual knowledge. This paper applies the same approach to epistemic justification. Our central goal is to give a simple account of The Preface, in which justified belief fails to agglomerate. Following recent work by a number of authors, we understand knowledge in terms of normality. An agent knows p iff p is true throughout all relevant normal worlds. To model The Preface, we appeal to the normality (...)
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  2. Probability for Epistemic Modalities.Simon Goldstein & Paolo Santorio - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (33).
    This paper develops an information-sensitive theory of the semantics and probability of conditionals and statements involving epistemic modals. The theory validates a number of principles linking probability and modality, including the principle that the probability of a conditional If A, then C equals the probability of C, updated with A. The theory avoids so-called triviality results, which are standardly taken to show that principles of this sort cannot be validated. To achieve this, we deny that rational agents update their credences (...)
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  3. Fragile Knowledge.Simon Goldstein - 2022 - Mind 131 (522):487-515.
    This paper explores the principle that knowledge is fragile, in that whenever S knows that S doesn’t know that S knows that p, S thereby fails to know p. Fragility is motivated by the infelicity of dubious assertions, utterances which assert p while acknowledging higher-order ignorance whether p. Fragility is interestingly weaker than KK, the principle that if S knows p, then S knows that S knows p. Existing theories of knowledge which deny KK by accepting a Margin for Error (...)
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  4. Mighty Knowledge.Bob Beddor & Simon Goldstein - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (5):229-269.
    We often claim to know what might be—or probably is—the case. Modal knowledge along these lines creates a puzzle for information-sensitive semantics for epistemic modals. This paper develops a solution. We start with the idea that knowledge requires safe belief: a belief amounts to knowledge only if it could not easily have been held falsely. We then develop an interpretation of the modal operator in safety that allows it to non-trivially embed information-sensitive contents. The resulting theory avoids various paradoxes that (...)
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  5. Conditional Heresies.Fabrizio Cariani & Simon Goldstein - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):251-282.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  6. Counterfactual Contamination.Simon Goldstein & John Hawthorne - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
    Many defend the thesis that when someone knows p, they couldn’t easily have been wrong about p. But the notion of easy possibility in play is relatively undertheorized. One structural idea in the literature, the principle of Counterfactual Closure (CC), connects easy possibility with counterfactuals: if it easily could have happened that p, and if p were the case, then q would be the case, it follows that it easily could have happened that q. We first argue that while CC (...)
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  7. Believing Epistemic Contradictions.Beddor Bob & Simon Goldstein - 2018 - Review of Symbolic Logic (1):87-114.
    What is it to believe something might be the case? We develop a puzzle that creates difficulties for standard answers to this question. We go on to propose our own solution, which integrates a Bayesian approach to belief with a dynamic semantics for epistemic modals. After showing how our account solves the puzzle, we explore a surprising consequence: virtually all of our beliefs about what might be the case provide counterexamples to the view that rational belief is closed under logical (...)
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  8. Free Choice and Homogeneity.Simon Goldstein - 2019 - Semantics and Pragmatics 12:1-48.
    This paper develops a semantic solution to the puzzle of Free Choice permission. The paper begins with a battery of impossibility results showing that Free Choice is in tension with a variety of classical principles, including Disjunction Introduction and the Law of Excluded Middle. Most interestingly, Free Choice appears incompatible with a principle concerning the behavior of Free Choice under negation, Double Prohibition, which says that Mary can’t have soup or salad implies Mary can’t have soup and Mary can’t have (...)
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  9. Epistemic Modal Credence.Simon Goldstein - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (26).
    Triviality results threaten plausible principles governing our credence in epistemic modal claims. This paper develops a new account of modal credence which avoids triviality. On the resulting theory, probabilities are assigned not to sets of worlds, but rather to sets of information state-world pairs. The theory avoids triviality by giving up the principle that rational credence is closed under conditionalization. A rational agent can become irrational by conditionalizing on new evidence. In place of conditionalization, the paper develops a new account (...)
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  10. Losing Confidence in Luminosity.Simon Goldstein & Daniel Waxman - 2020 - Noûs:1-30.
    A mental state is luminous if, whenever an agent is in that state, they are in a position to know that they are. Following Timothy Williamson’s Knowledge and Its Limits, a wave of recent work has explored whether there are any non-trivial luminous mental states. A version of Williamson’s anti-luminosity appeals to a safety- theoretic principle connecting knowledge and confidence: if an agent knows p, then p is true in any nearby scenario where she has a similar level of confidence (...)
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  11. Contextology.Simon Goldstein & Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-31.
    'Contextology' is the science of the dynamics of the conversational context. Contextology formulates laws governing how the shared information states of interlocutors evolve in response to assertion. More precisely, the contextologist attempts to construct a function which, when provided with just a conversation’s pre-update context and the content of an assertion, delivers that conversation’s post-update context. Most contextologists have assumed that the function governing the evolution of the context is simple: the post-update context is just the pre-update context intersected with (...)
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  12. A Theory of Conditional Assertion.Simon Goldstein - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (6):293-318.
    According to one tradition, uttering an indicative conditional involves performing a special sort of speech act: a conditional assertion. We introduce a formal framework that models this speech act. Using this framework, we show that any theory of conditional assertion validates several inferences in the logic of conditionals, including the False Antecedent inference. Next, we determine the space of truth-conditional semantics for conditionals consistent with conditional assertion. The truth value of any such conditional is settled whenever the antecedent is false, (...)
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    Sly Pete in Dynamic Semantics.Simon Goldstein - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-17.
    In 'Sly Pete' or 'standoff' cases, reasonable speakers accept incompatible conditionals, and communicate them successfully to a trusting hearer. This paper uses the framework of dynamic semantics to offer a new model of the conversational dynamics at play in standoffs, and to articulate several puzzles posed by such cases. The paper resolves these puzzles by embracing a dynamic semantics for conditionals, according to which indicative conditionals require that their antecedents are possible in their local context, and update this body of (...)
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  14. Knowledge from multiple experiences.Simon Goldstein & John Hawthorne - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1341-1372.
    This paper models knowledge in cases where an agent has multiple experiences over time. Using this model, we introduce a series of observations that undermine the pretheoretic idea that the evidential significance of experience depends on the extent to which that experience matches the world. On the basis of these observations, we model knowledge in terms of what is likely given the agent’s experience. An agent knows p when p is implied by her epistemic possibilities. A world is epistemically possible (...)
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