Knowledge from Indicators

Alan Millar

in The Nature and Value of Knowledge

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199586264
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723360 | DOI:
Knowledge from Indicators

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This chapter develops an account of clinching evidence in relation to knowledge from indicators, such as knowing that it has rained recently from the wetness of outdoor surfaces. A standard way of understanding such cases, in terms of reliance on a covering generalization, is resisted. An alternative view is presented in terms of abilities to recognize the significance of the indicator phenomenon in question. These abilities are found to be closely analogous to perceptual-recognitional abilities as discussed in the previous chapter. An account is given of detached standing knowledge — standing knowledge of, e.g., geographical facts, on the part of subjects who have lost touch with the source of information from which they acquired the knowledge. It is argued that our recognitional abilities are informed by understandings but that not all the elements of these understandings have the status of knowledge; this is not taken to be problematic.

Keywords: detached standing knowledge; evidence; generalizations; knowledge from indicators; perceptual-recognitional abilities; understandings

Chapter.  9362 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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