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Question closure to solve the surprise test


DOI: 10.1007/s11229-016-1160-7

Cite this article as:
Immerman, D. Synthese (2016). doi:10.1007/s11229-016-1160-7


This paper offers a new solution to the Surprise Test Paradox. The paradox arises thanks to an ingenious argument that seems to show that surprise tests are impossible. My solution to the paradox states that it relies on a questionable closure principle. This closure principle says that if one knows something and competently deduces something else, one knows the further thing. This principle has been endorsed by John Hawthorne and Timothy Williamson, among others, and I trace its motivation back to work by Alvin Goldman. I provide counterexamples to the principle and explain the flaw in the reasoning of those who defend it.


Surprise test Closure principle Reliabilism 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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