Synthese

, Volume 184, Issue 1, pp 109–114 | Cite as

Quantum probabilities and the conjunction principle

Article
  • 109 Downloads

Abstract

A recent argument by Hawthorne and Lasonen-Aarnio purports to show that we can uphold the principle that competently forming conjunctions is a knowledge-preserving operation only at the cost of a rampant skepticism about the future. A key premise of their argument is that, in light of quantum-mechanical considerations, future contingents never quite have chance 1 of being true. We argue, by drawing attention to the order of magnitude of the relevant quantum probabilities, that the skeptical threat of Hawthorne and Lasonen-Aarnio’s argument is illusory.

Keywords

Quantum probabilities Conjunction principle Skepticism 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Chi M. T. H., Ohlsson S. (2005) Complex declarative learning. In: Holyoak K. J., Morrison R. G. (eds) The Cambridge handbook of thinking and reasoning. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 371–399Google Scholar
  2. Christensen D. (2004) Putting logic in its place. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Douven I. (2006) Assertion, knowledge, and rational credibility. Philosophical Review 115: 449–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Douven I. (2007) A pragmatic dissolution of Harman’s paradox. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74: 326–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Douven I. (2008) Knowledge and practical reasoning. Dialectica 62: 101–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Douven I. (2009) Assertion, Moore, and Bayes. Philosophical Studies 144: 361–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Douven I., Uffink J. (2003) The preface paradox revisited. Erkenntnis 59: 389–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Foley R. (1992) The epistemology of belief and the epistemology of degrees of belief. American Philosophical Quarterly 29: 111–124Google Scholar
  9. Hawthorne, J., & Lasonen-Aarnio, M. (2009, in press). Knowledge and objective chance. In P. Greenough & D. Pritchard (eds.), Williamson on knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Kyburg H. (1970) Conjunctivitis. In: Swain M. (eds) Induction, acceptance and rational belief. Reidel, Dordrecht, pp 55–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Landauer T. K. (1986) How much do people remember? Some estimates of the quantity of learned information in long-term memory. Cognitive Science 10: 477–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Makinson D. (1965) The paradox of the preface. Analysis 25: 205–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Williamson T. (2000) Knowledge and its limits. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  14. Williamson, T. (2009, in press). Reply to John Hawthorne and Maria Lasonen-Aarnio. In P. Greenough & D. Pritchard (eds.), Williamson on knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyUniversity of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Institute for History and Foundations of ScienceUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations