Volume IV, Issue 1, 2013
KNOWLEDGE ESSENTIALLY BASED UPON FALSE BELIEF (pages 7–19)
ABSTRACT: Richard Feldman and William Lycan have defended a view according to which a necessary condition for a doxastic agent to have knowledge is that the agent’s belief is not essentially based on any false assumptions. I call this the no-essential-false-assumption account, or NEFA. Peter Klein considers examples of what he calls “useful false beliefs” and alters his own account of knowledge in a way which can be seen as a refinement of NEFA. This paper shows that NEFA, even given Klein’s refinement, is subject to counterexample: a doxastic agent may possess knowledge despite having an essential false assumption. Advocates of NEFA could simply reject the intuition that the example is a case of knowledge. However, if the example is interpreted as not being a case of knowledge, then it can be used as a potential counterexample against both safety and sensitivity views of knowledge. I also provide a further case which, I claim, is problematic for all of the accounts just mentioned. I then propose, briefly, an alternative account of knowledge which handles all these cases appropriately.
THE COUNTERPART ARGUMENT FOR MODAL SCEPTICISM (pages 21–29)
ABSTRACT: Surely, it is possible that you believe falsely about this-or-that modal matter. In light of the various ways the world could be arranged, it is plausible that there is a nearby possible world, which would be almost identical to the actual world, if it were actualized, where you and your modal counterpart disagree over modal belief p. You might be tempted to think that your modal belief is true, while hers is not. It is not clear why this is so; after all, you would each have the same evidence, cognitive abilities etc., if you were both actualized. This point generalizes to all of your modal beliefs, this seems to strongly imply that the probability that you have true modal beliefs appears inscrutable. Thus, you have some reason to withhold belief, on modal matters.
LOGIQUE ET GRAMMAIRE DANS LA DÉFINITION DU VERBE COPULATIF (pages 31–51)
ABSTRACT: Our objective in this paper is to clearly highlight the linguistic status of the copulative verb, especially with regard to the copula verb to be, with an eye on tracing the influences of Logic on its approach as a syntactic entity and also on emphasizing the details that led to an eclectic definition. This epistemological approach aims at placing an emphasis on the subject of the diachronic and interdisciplinary copulative verb, in order to observe the way in which the conclusions from the level of the logical approach were transferred to the one of the linguistic approach and also to avoid the misuse of a series of concepts that were established either in a different domain or in the same domain, but at a different level. The main emphasis falls on defining the linguistic predicate through the grammatical tense.
SUBJECTIVISM IS POINTLESS (pages 53–68)
ABSTRACT: Epistemic objectivists and epistemic subjectivists might agree that inquiry pursues epistemic virtues (truth, knowledge, reason, or rationality) while disagreeing over their objectivity. Objectivists will evaluate this disagreement in terms of the epistemic virtues objectively construed, while subjectivists will not. This raises a rhetorical problem: objectivists will fault subjectivism for lacking some objective epistemic virtue, whereas subjectivists, by rejecting objectivity, won’t see this as a fault. My goal is to end this impasse by offering a new solution to the rhetorical problem. My strategy is to identify a common-ground virtue valuable to objectivists and subjectivists but unavailable to subjectivism. The virtue is usefulness. Subjectivism can be useful only if it relies upon the very objective epistemic virtues it rejects; so it cannot be useful. Whether or not subjectivism has any objective epistemic virtues, it may be rejected as pointless.
PROPOSITIONAL MEMORY AND KNOWLEDGE (pages 69–83)
ABSTRACT: According to the epistemic theory of propositional memory, to remember that p is simply to retain the knowledge that p. Despite the apparent plausibility of this theory, many putative counterexamples have been raised against it. In this paper, I argue that no clear-cut counterexample to the claim can be proposed since any such attempt is confronted with an insurmountable problem. If there is to be a clear-cut counterexample to the claim, it must be either a case in which one does not believe that p though he remembers that p, or a case in which one remembers that p but his belief that p is somehow unwarranted. I examine a number of putative counterexamples of both types, and show that in neither way can we describe a clear-cut case in which one remembers that p while not knowing that p.
THE PERSISTENT PROBLEM OF THE LOTTERY PARADOX: AND ITS UNWELCOME CONSEQUENCES FOR CONTEXTUALISM (pages 85–100)
ABSTRACT: This paper attempts to show that contextualism cannot adequately handle all versions of ‘The Lottery Paradox.” Although the application of contextualist rules is meant to vindicate the intuitive distinction between cases of knowledge and non-knowledge, it fails to do so when applied to certain versions of “The Lottery Paradox.” In making my argument, I first briefly explain why this issue should be of central importance for contextualism. I then review Lewis’ contextualism before offering my argument that the lottery paradox persists on all contextualist accounts. Although I argue that the contextualist does not fare well, hope nevertheless remains. For, on Lewis’ behalf, I offer what I take to be the best solution for the contextualist and argue that once this solution is adopted, contextualism will be in a better position to handle the lottery paradox than any other substantive epistemological theory.
THE PERMISSIBILITY SOLUTION TO THE LOTTERY PARADOX – REPLY TO LITTLEJOHN (pages 103–111)
ABSTRACT: According to the permissibility solution to the lottery paradox, the paradox can be solved if we conceive of epistemic justification as a species of permissibility. Clayton Littlejohn has objected that the permissibility solution draws on a sufficient condition for permissible belief that has implausible consequences and that the solution conflicts with our lack of knowledge that a given lottery ticket will lose. The paper defends the permissibility solution against Littlejohn’s objections.
ON THE NECESSITY OF THE EVIDENTIAL EQUALITY CONDITION FOR EPISTEMIC PEERAGE (pages 113–123)
ABSTRACT: A popular definition of epistemic peerage maintains that two subjects are epistemic peers if and only if they are equals with respect to general epistemic virtues and share the same evidence about the targeted issue. In this paper I shall take up the challenge of defending the necessity of the evidential equality condition for a definition of epistemic peerage from criticisms that can be elicited from the literature on peer disagreement. The paper discusses two definitions that drop this condition and argues that they yield implausible verdicts about the instantiation of the epistemic peerage relation.
INFINITISM AND AGENTS LIKE US: REPLY TO TURRI (pages 125–128)
ABSTRACT: In a recent paper, “Infinitism and Epistemic Normativity,” we have problematized the relationship between infinitism and epistemic normativity. Responding to our criticisms, John Turri has offered a defense of infinitism. In this paper, we argue that Turri’s defense fails, leaving infinitism vulnerable to the originally raised objections.