notes_10 - Notes on KAIL Chapter 9 11/08/06 (B.F.) 1...

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Unformatted text preview: Notes on KAIL Chapter 9 11/08/06 (B.F.) 1 Knowledge as Justifying Belief In this section, TW points out that while S s justified beliefs need not be known by S , this doesnt imply that what justifies S s beliefs (namely, S s evidence) need not be known by S . Hes right that it doesnt follow, but on many (internalist) evidentialist views (like Feldmans), the following is not assumed: (1) If S s belief that p on the basis of E is justified (by E ), then S knows that E . What Williamson is pushing is a kind of evidentialism, but one according to which the evidential basis is itself known. TWs evidentialism is also a kind of foundationalism , since he equates S s total evidence with the totality of S s knowledge (this is his E = K thesis). Ones evidence justifies ones beliefs, and there is no further (pressing) question of what justifies ones evidence, since it is known . This does block a potential regress for internalist conceptions of evidentialism. One can ask an internalist evidentialist questions like Doesnt your evidence for p have to be supported by further evidence?. For TW, once something gets counted as evidence, it must be known, which makes such questioning otiose. That seems like an advantage. But, is it really an advantage? This is not at all obvious to me. I often find myself saying things like I believe p on the basis of my belief that q , and my belief that p is thereby a justified belief without feeling committed to the claim that I know q . Williamson seems to be assuming that the basing relation ( S believes that p on the basis of their belief that q , and said belief is thereby justified) must take knowledge for its second argument, but not necessarily for its first. Its not clear to me why we should have an asymmetric basing relation in which the second argument must be factive but the first need not be. To my mind, talk of justified (or epistemically rational) belief is sometimes entirely non-factive. As Sherri, Jim Joyce (online paper) and I have been suggesting, the internalist just seems to have a different conception of evidence and justification in mind. This is a crucial issue, since ( e.g. ) TWs discussion of scepticism trades essentially on the factivity of evidence. I already complained about that last week. Ill return to this issue again, below (in several places). 2 Bodies of Evidence In this section, TW lays down his explication of E is evidence for H for S , which is: (EV) E is evidence for H for S iff S s evidence includes E and Pr (H | E) > Pr (H) . There are two components to (EV). The first component is the inclusion of E in S s body of evidence . The second component is the support component. Ill take the second component first. Williamson explicates E supports H as E and H are positively correlated, under a suitable probability function. This way of thinking about evidential support goes back to (at least W.E. Johnson). Modern Bayesian confirmation theory has adopted a similar account, but one that isleast W....
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This note was uploaded on 08/01/2008 for the course PHIL 290 taught by Professor Fitelson during the Fall '06 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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notes_10 - Notes on KAIL Chapter 9 11/08/06 (B.F.) 1...

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