Knowledge, Bets, and Interests

Brian Weatherson

in Knowledge Ascriptions

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693702
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741265 | DOI:
Knowledge, Bets, and Interests

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This chapter argues that the interest-relativity of knowledge cannot be explained by the interest-relativity of belief. The discussion starts with an argument that knowledge plays a key pair of roles in decision theory. It is then argued that knowledge cannot play that role unless knowledge is interest-relative. The theory of the interest-relativity of belief is reviewed and revised. That theory can explain some of the cases that are used to suggest knowledge is interest-relative. But it can’t explain some cases involving ignorance, or mistake, about the odds at which a bet is offered. The paper ends with an argument that these cases require positing interest-relative defeaters, which affect whether an agent knows something without affecting whether she believes it, or is justified in believing it.

Keywords: interest-relativity; knowledge; decision theory; action

Chapter.  14994 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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