Knowledge Without Evidence

José L. Zalabardo

in Scepticism and Reliable Belief

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199656073
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191742132 | DOI:
Knowledge Without Evidence

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This chapter presents an account of non-inferential knowledge. It argues that non-inferential knowledge can take two forms. The first is truth tracking. The chapter follows Sherrilyn Roush in using a probabilistic construal of the notion, but the specific account that I defend differs in important respects from Roush’s. Truth tracking is construed here as a high tracking ratio (p(Bel(A) | A) / p(Bel(A) | ~A)), and a high level of safety (p(A | Bel(A))). The chapter considers how the theory can handle the standard counterexamples to tracking accounts. The second form that non-inferential knowledge can take is knowledge by default. The chapter argues that for standing beliefs, that don’t result from the operation of a cognitive mechanism, truth is a sufficient condition for knowledge.

Keywords: non-inferential knowledge; basic knowledge; knowledge by default; truth-tracking; probability; sensitivity; adherence; safety; Sherrilyn Roush; closure

Chapter.  18401 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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