Tracking, Competence, and Knowledge

Ernest Sosa

in The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195130058
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833481 | DOI:
Tracking, Competence, and Knowledge

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In “Tracking, Competence, and Knowledge,” Ernest Sosa notes that in attempting to account for the conditions for knowledge, externalists have proposed that the justification condition be replaced or supplemented by the requirement that a certain modal relation be obtained between a fact and a subject's belief concerning that fact. While assessing attempts to identify such a relation, he focuses on an account labeled “Cartesian‐tracking”, which accounts for the relation in the form of two conditionals. (A) If a person S believes a proposition P → P (B) P → S believes P.

Sosa suggests that (B) be abandoned as a requirement, and that (A), equipped with his modifications, can offer promising results in connection with skepticism. He argues that modified (A) coupled with the requirement that S's belief be “virtuous” can illuminate the nature of propositional knowledge.

Keywords: Cartesian‐tracking; competence; externalism; justification; knowledge; modal relation; propositional knowledge; skepticism; Ernest Sosa; tracking; virtuous belief

Chapter.  10746 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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