Chapter

Two Varieties of Epistemic Luck

Duncan Pritchard

in Epistemic Luck

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199280384
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019928038X.003.0007
Two Varieties of Epistemic Luck

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I examine two species of epistemic luck that I claim are not benign and explain how they feature in the main epistemological debates. The first species of epistemic luck—what I call ‘veritic’ luck—can be handled with a modest ‘relevant alternatives’ account of knowledge that is specifically defined so that it counters this type of epistemic luck. As I explain, such a theory is essentially a version of the safety-based neo-Moorean thesis that we looked at in Ch. 3. I develop this view by considering some of the main examples that are discussed in epistemology—such as Gettier examples, the ‘lottery’ puzzle, and ‘barn façade’ examples—and show how the neo-Moorean account can in each case generate the right result. Along the way the formulation of this anti-veritic-luck thesis is refined in response to potential challenges that might be presented to the view. Significantly, however, the chapter closes by arguing that there is a second species of epistemic luck—what I call ‘reflective luck’-that is epistemically problematic and that is not dealt with by the neo-Moorean account.

Keywords: epistemic externalism/internalism; epistemic luck; epistemology; Gettier examples; lottery puzzle; neo-Mooreanism; safety, principle of; sensitivity, principle of

Chapter.  18139 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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