Advertisement

Synthese

, Volume 196, Issue 3, pp 1167–1186 | Cite as

Global safety: how to deal with necessary truths

  • Jaakko HirveläEmail author
Article

Abstract

According to the safety condition, a subject knows that p only if she would believe that p only if p was true. The safety condition has been a very popular necessary condition for knowledge of late. However, it is well documented that the safety condition is trivially satisfied in cases where the subject believes in a necessary truth. This is for the simple reason that a necessary truth is true in all possible worlds, and therefore it is true in all possible worlds where it is believed. But clearly, all beliefs concerning necessary truths do not amount to knowledge. The safety theorists have attempted to deal with the problem caused by necessary truths by restricting the safety condition to purely contingent truths and by globalizing the safety condition to a set of propositions. Both of these solutions are problematic. The principal aim of this paper is to develop a version of the safety condition that is able to deal with cases featuring necessary truths.

Keywords

Safety Necessary truths Virtue epistemology Generality problem D. Pritchard T. Williamson 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank audiences at Uppsala, Tampere and Helsinki where this paper was presented. Thanks also to Matti Eklund, Jani Hakkarainen, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Jaakko Kuorikoski, Markus Lammenranta, Tuukka Tanninen, Peter Schulte and two anonymous referees at Synthese whose comments helped me improve this paper.

References

  1. Ball, B. (2016). Knowledge, safety, and questions. Unisinos Journal of Philosophy, 17(1), 58–62.Google Scholar
  2. Bogardus, T. (2014). Knowledge under threat. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 88(2), 289–313. doi: 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2011.00564.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bogardus, T., & Marxen, C. (2014). Yes, safety is in danger. Philosophia, 42, 321–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Broncano-Berrocal, F. (2014). Is safety in danger? Philosophia, 42(1), 63–81. doi: 10.1007/s11406-013-9467-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carter, J. A. (2016). Robust virtue epistemology as anti-luck epistemology: A new solution. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 97(1), 140–155. doi: 10.1111/papq.12040.
  6. Clark, A., & Chalmers, D. J. (1998). The extended mind. Analysis, 58(1), 7–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coffman, E. J. (2007). Thinking about luck. Synthese, 158(3), 385–398. doi: 10.1007/s11229-006-9046-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Conee, E., & Feldman, R. (1998). The generality problem for reliabilism. Philosophical Studies, 89, 1–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dretske, F. (1970). Epistemic operators. The Journal of Philosophy, 67(24), 1007–1023. doi: 10.2307/2024710.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gaultier, B. (2014). Achievements safety and environmental epistemic luck. Dialectica, 68(4), 477–497. doi: 10.1111/1746-8361.12081.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Goldman, A. (1976). Discrimination and perceptual knowledge. Journal of Philosophy, 73, 771–791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goldman, A. (1986). Epistemology and cognition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Greco, J. (2007). Worries about Pritchard’s safety. Synthese, 158(3), 299–302. doi: 10.1007/s11229-006-9040-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Greco, J. (2010). Achieving knowledge: A virtue theoretic account of epistemic normativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Greco, J. (2012). A (Different) virtue epistemology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 85(1), 1–26. doi: 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2011.00567.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Greco, J. (2016). Knowledge, virtue, and safety. In M. A. Fernández Vargas (Ed.), Performance epistemology—Foundations and applications (pp. 51–61). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hawthorne, J. (2006). Metaphysical Essays. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hirvelä, J. (forthcoming). On virtue, credit and safety. Grazer Philosophische Studien.Google Scholar
  19. Hookway, C. (1996). The presidential address: Questions of context. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 96, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Karjalainen, A., & Morton, A. (2003). Contrastive knowledge. Philosophical Explorations, 6(2), 74–89. doi: 10.1080/10002003058538741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Littlejohn, C. (2014). Fake barns and false dilemmas. Episteme—A Journal of Individual and Social Epistemology, 11(4), 369–389. doi: 10.1017/epi.2014.24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Luper, S. (2006). Restorative rigging and the safe indication account. Synthese, 153(1), 161–170. doi: 10.1007/s11229-005-6399-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Neta, R., & Rohrbaugh, G. (2004). Luminosity and the safety of knowledge. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 85(4), 396–406. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0114.2004.00207.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pritchard, D. (2005). Epistemic luck. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pritchard, D. (2007). Anti-luck epistemology. Synthese, 158(3), 277–297. doi: 10.1007/s11229-006-9039-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pritchard, D. (2012). Anti-luck virtue epistemology. Journal of Philosophy, 109(3), 247–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pritchard, D. (2015). The modal account of luck. In D. Pritchard & L. Whittington (Eds.), The philosophy of luck. London: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pritchard, D. (2016). Anti-luck virtue epistemology and epistemic defeat. Synthese, pp. 1–13, doi: 10.1007/s11229-016-1074-4.
  29. Riggs, W. (2007). Why epistemologists are so down on their luck. Synthese, 158(3), 329–344. doi: 10.1007/s11229-006-9043-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Roland, J., & Cogburn, J. (2011). Anti-luck epistemologies and necessary truths. Philosophia, 39(3), 547–561. doi: 10.1007/s11406-010-9295-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schaffer, J. (2004). From contextualism to contrastivism. Philosophical Studies, 119(1), 73–103. doi: 10.1023/B:PHIL.0000029351.56460.8c.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schaffer, J. (2007). Knowing the answer. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 75(2), 383–403. doi: 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2007.00081.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sosa, E. (1991). Knowledge in perspective—selected essays in epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sosa, E. (1999). How to defeat opposition to moore. Philosophical Perspectives, 13, 141–154.Google Scholar
  35. Sosa, E. (2007). A virtue epistemology: Apt belief and reflective knowledge (Vol. I). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sosa, E. (2010). How competence matters in epistemology. Philosophical Perspectives, 24(1), 465–475. doi: 10.1111/j.1520-8583.2010.00200.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Turri, J. (2016). Knowledge as achievement, more or less. In M. A. Fernández Vargas (Ed.), Performance epistemology—foundations and applications (pp. 124–134). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Williamson, T. (1994). Vagueness. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Williamson, T. (2000). Knowledge and its limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Williamson, T. (2009a). Reply to Alvin Goldman. In P. Greenough & D. Pritchard (Eds.), Williamson on knowledge (pp. 305–312). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Williamson, T. (2009b). Reply to John Hawthorne and Maria Lasonen-Aarnio. In P. Greenough & D. Pritchard (Eds.), Williamson on knowledge (pp. 313–329). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Zagzebski, L. (1996). Virtues of the mind: An inquiry into the nature of virtue and the ethical foundations of knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art StudiesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

Personalised recommendations