pp 1–18 | Cite as

Knowledge without safety

  • Haicheng ZhaoEmail author


The safety principle is the view that, roughly, if one knows that p, p could not easily have been false. It is common for safety theorists to relativize safety to belief-formation methods. In this paper, I argue that there is no fixed principle of method-individuation that can stand up to scrutiny. I examine various ways to individuate methods and argue that all of them are subject to serious counterexamples. In the end, I conclude by considering some alternative ways to preserve the insight behind safety without invoking a fixed principle of method-individuation.


Safety Method-safety Virtue epistemology Virtue-theoretic safety 



For helpful comments and discussions, I am grateful for Peter Baumann, Quan Jin, Minghe Li, Joe Salerno, Katherine Sweet, Chong Yuan, Yiling Zhou, two anonymous referees for Synthese, and especially, John Greco.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySaint Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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