Dretske's Drinker

C. A. J. Coady

in Testimony

Published in print October 1994 | ISBN: 9780198235514
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597220 | DOI:
Dretske's Drinker

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Fred Dretske has raised an amusing counter‐example to a plausible epistemic principle of testimonial transmission—namely, that if someone knows something then, given that certain simple conditions hold, he or she can bring an audience to know that thing by telling them that it is so. Dretske's counter‐example concerns a wine expert, George, who knows that he was served a Bordeaux at dinner and tells Michael as much, but fails to convey his knowledge because, had he been served a Chianti, he would have thought it a Bordeaux since his geographical knowledge is faulty. Against this, it is argued that, when the example is fully characterized, the most plausible response to it is either that George did not know in the first place (and so neither did Michael as a result of transmission) or that both of them knew.

Keywords: closure; competence; Dretske; evidence; justification; knowledge; possibility; sincerity; tracking conditional; transmission

Chapter.  3686 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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