Aidan McGlynn (auth.)'s Knowledge First? PDF

By Aidan McGlynn (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1137026464

ISBN-13: 9781137026460

ISBN-10: 1349439207

ISBN-13: 9781349439201

ISBN-10: 1451671962

ISBN-13: 9781451671964

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Since he takes this to be the most promising kind of attempt to supplement the truth norm of belief in order to account for epistemic assessment’s interest in whether a belief was based on good reasons, he concludes that the fundamental norm of belief is not the truth norm. He proposes that the explanation of the inward-looking focus is rather that the fundamental norm of belief requires knowledge, and believing P on the basis of good reasons is a necessary condition on knowing that P. The natural weaker proposal is that belief is governed by a norm requiring doxastic justification; one ought to believe P only if P is justified for one, and one’s belief is based on the justifying evidence.

My point in the previous paragraph isn’t spoiled by the concession that we may sometimes describe a lottery loss as unlucky, since the lottery loss is only unlucky in the sense of being unfortunate. To finesse the complication raised here, we may ask, as I did above, whether one’s losing a lottery is a matter of luck, rather than whether it is unlucky. My claim is that the lottery loss is not a matter of luck, even if we would sometimes be prepared to say it was unlucky. Once we are careful in this fashion, the asymmetry of the previous paragraph stands.

Still, even if we regard Jane as holding mistaken views about substantive issues in epistemology, it is not clear on what grounds we would regard her belief state as unreasonable or irrational – as incongruous, in my terminology. Jane seems to have a relatively stable, consistent, coherent picture of the epistemic status of lottery propositions, one that a number of epistemologists will find attractive given their views about knowledge and justification. Actually, it should be acknowledged that there is one relatively clear motivation for holding that Jane’s position is inherently rationally or otherwise normatively deficient (as Clayton Littlejohn has pointed out to me).

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Knowledge First? by Aidan McGlynn (auth.)

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