Basing Relations

  • Geogre S. Pappas
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series in Philosophy book series (PSSP, volume 17)


Much of what a person knows at any time is based on evidence the person has, or perhaps has had. More generally, most of a person’s knowledge at any time is based on reasons that the person has or has had. But what is it for knowledge to be based on evidence or reasons? A complete answer to this question requires a full theory of inferential knowledge, something I will not try to provide here. Instead, I will examine three notions of basing, each of which, under some interpretation, seems necessary for knowing on the basis of evidence or reasons.


Base Relation Justify Belief Correct Place Brain Event Inferential Knowledge 
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  1. M. Swain, ‘Epistemic Defeasibility,’ American Philosophical Quarterly, 11, (1974)Google Scholar
  2. G. Pappas & M. Swain, eds., Essays on Knowledge and Justification, ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1978 )Google Scholar
  3. K. Lehrer, ‘Knowledge, Truth and Evidence,’ in M. Roth & L. Galis, eds., Knowing, ( New York: Random House ), 1970, p. 56Google Scholar
  4. Swain, ‘Reasons, Causes and Knowledge,’ op. cit., pp. 229–230. Compare G. Harman, Thought, (Princeton: Princeton University Press ), 1973, Chapter 2Google Scholar
  5. Lehrer, ‘Knowledge, Truth and Evidence’ in Roth & Galis, op. cit., p. 56. Compare Lehrer, Knowledge, ( London: Oxford University Press ) 1974, pp. 156–157Google Scholar
  6. Elsewhere, Lehrer notes this point; see Knowledge, pp. 156–157Google Scholar
  7. J. Swanson & L. Foster, eds., Experience and Theory, (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press), 1970Google Scholar
  8. See J. Pollock, ‘The Structure of Epistemic Justification,’ American Philosophical Quarterly, Monograph Series, # 4, (1970), pp. 64–66. Compare Pollock’s account of implicit reasons in Knowledge and Justification, ( Princeton: Princeton University Press ), 1974Google Scholar

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© D. Riedel Publishing Company 1979

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  • Geogre S. Pappas

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