Anti-intellectualism, egocentrism and bank case intuitions
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Salience-sensitivity is a form of anti-intellectualism that says the following: whether a true belief amounts to knowledge depends on which error-possibilities are salient to the believer. I will investigate whether salience-sensitivity can be motivated by appeal to bank case intuitions. I will suggest that so-called third-person bank cases threaten to sever the connection between bank case intuitions and salience-sensitivity. I will go on to argue that salience-sensitivists can overcome this worry if they appeal to egocentric bias, a general tendency to project our own mental states onto others. I will then suggest that a similar strategy is unavailable to stakes-sensitivists, who hold that whether a true belief amounts to knowledge depends on what is at stake for the believer. Bank case intuitions motivate salience- but not stakes-sensitivity.
KeywordsAnti-intellectualism Bank cases Egocentric bias Epistemic contextualism
I am grateful to Jie Gao, Dirk Kindermann, Jennifer Nagel, Jonathan Schaffer, the reading group Sprachphilosophie Berlin (most notably Emanuel Viebahn and Julia Zakkou), the members of the Forschungskolloquium in Hamburg, audiences in St Andrews and Cambridge and an anonymous referee for very helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
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