Tracking, Competence, and Knowledge

Ernest Sosa

in The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780195301700
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Tracking, Competence, and Knowledge

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This article notes that in attempting to account for the conditions for knowledge, externalists have proposed that the justification condition be replaced or supplemented by the requirement that a certain modal relation be obtained between a fact and a subject's belief concerning that fact. It assesses attempts to identify such a relation. It focuses on an account labeled “Cartesian-tracking.” This accounts for the relation in the form of two conditionals: If a person S believes a proposition P˃P; and if P˃S believes P. This article suggests that the second conditional should be abandoned as a requirement and that the first one, equipped with its modifications, can offer promising results in connection with skepticism. It argues that if the first conditional is modified and coupled with the requirement that S's belief be “virtuous”, it can illuminate the nature of propositional knowledge.

Keywords: knowledge; externalists; modal relation; Cartesian-tracking; skepticism

Article.  10585 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Epistemology

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