Advertisement

Philosophical Studies

, Volume 173, Issue 10, pp 2803–2821 | Cite as

Risk, doubt, and transmission

  • Rachel Elizabeth Fraser
Article

Abstract

Despite their substantial appeal, closure principles have fallen on hard times. Both anti-luck conditions on knowledge and the defeasibility of knowledge look to be in tension with natural ways of articulating single-premise closure principles (Lasonen-Aarnio in Philos Stud 157–173, 2008; Schechter in Philos Stud 428–452, 2013). The project of this paper is to show that plausible theses in the epistemology of testimony (‘transmission theses’) face problems structurally identical to those faced by closure principles. First I show how Lasonen-Aarnio’s claim that there is a tension between single premise closure and anti-luck constraints on knowledge can be extended to make trouble for transmission theses. Second, I show how Schechter’s claim that there is a tension between single premise closure and the thought that knowledge is defeasible can be extended to make trouble for transmission theses. I end the paper by sketching the consequences of this trouble for the dialectic in the epistemology of testimony.

Keywords

Epistemology of testimony Defeat Closure Luck Self-doubt 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Lizzie Fricker, John Hawthorne, Emil Moeller, and Timothy Williamson for their helpful discussion and comments. Particular thanks go to an anonymous reviewer for detailed and insightful comments on earlier drafts.

References

  1. Bird, A. (1998). Dispositions and antidotes. The Philosophical Quaterly, 48, 227–234.Google Scholar
  2. Faulkner, P. (2011). Knowledge on trust. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Graham, P. (2006). Liberal fundamentalism and its rivals. In J. Lackey & E. Sosa (Eds.), The epistemology of testimony (pp. 93–115). Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hawthorne, J. (2004). Knowledge and lotteries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Hawthorne, J., & Lasonen-Aarnio, M. (2009). Knowledge and objective chance. In P. Greenough & D. Pritchard (Eds.), Williamson on knowledge (pp. 9–108). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Lackey, J. (2008). Learning from words. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lasonen-Aarnio, M. (2008). Single premise deduction and risk. Philosophical Studies, 141(2), 157–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lasonen-Aarnio, M. (2010). Unreasonable knowledge. Philosophical Perspectives, 24(1), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lewis, D. (1997). Finkish dispositions. The Philosophical Quarterly, 47, 143–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Locke, J. (1997). An essay concerning human understanding. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  11. Schechter, J. (2013). Rational self doubt and the failure of closure. Philosophical Studies162(2), 428–452.Google Scholar
  12. Williamson, T. (2000). Knowledge and its limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Williamson, T. (2011). Improbable knowing. In T. Dougherty (Ed.), Evidentialism and its discontents (pp. 148–167). New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Wright, S. (2015). Defence of Transmission. Episteme, 12(1), 13–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Linacre CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations