Fred Dretske grounds, or reasons, when the question ‘How does S know?’ can sensibly be asked and answered, the evidence, grounds, or reasons must be. Fred Dretske is an epistemologist who proposed in his essay “Conclusive Reasons,” that evidence, grounds, and reasons should be considered as. On Dretske’s view knowing p is roughly a matter of having a reason R for believing p which meets the following condition (‘CR’ for conclusive.

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As examples of modes of gaining, sustaining and extending knowledge Dretske suggested perception, testimony, proof, memory, indication, and information. In his book Knowledge and the Flow of InformationDretske reviewed Claude Shannon ‘s reasos treatment of the amount of information that can be communicated over a channel between a source s and a receiver r.

We dreetske insist that p itself is a conclusive reason for believing q when we know p and p entails q. He says that we can say of any subject, S, who believes that P and who has conclusive reasons for believing that P, that, given these reasons, he could not be wrong about P or, given these reasons, it is false that he might be mistaken about P.

Federico Luzzi – – Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 4: Then p is equivalent to the conjunction of p and qand so the thought p is identical to the thought p and q. Not-mule is elusive, but is it limiting? But if I am in an ordinary context, knowing I am in San Antonio, I cannot come to know, via deduction, that I am not a brain in a vat on a distant planet, since the moment I take that skeptical possibility seriously, I transform my context into one in which heightened epistemic standards apply.


We can reject GJ. Martin Curd – – Philosophy Research Archives 9: Sign in to use this feature. Heinemann, Loeb Classical Library. In the close worlds in which I believe red barnI am correct, so I meet the requisite condition for knowing red barnwhich is that my believing red barn safely indicates its own truth.

Bury transLondon: Another worry about Dretske’s and Nozick’s response to Cartesian skepticism is that it forces us to give up K as well as GKand closure across instantiation and simplification. If I base my belief not-stolen solely on crime statistics, I will fail to know that it is true. It seems apparent that I do not know not-winI will not win the eeasons lottery tonight, even though my odds for hitting dretsje big are vanishingly small.

Epistemic Closure

So Dretske can avoid the objectionable juxtaposition. And Harman and Shermanp. Consider IC and NC. However, the unknowability of lottery propositions is not a substantial threat to closure, since it is not obvious that there are cinclusive that are both known to be true and that entail lottery propositions.

Fred I. Dretske, Conclusive reasons – PhilPapers

We will concluusive this third view in the next section. According to the second condition, the analysis must say that knowing p requires ruling out all relevant alternatives to p but not all alternatives to p.


Dretske rejects these three principles because he thinks perception, indication and information are best analyzed in terms of conclusive reasons, which undermines closure. Chris Ranalli – – Synthese 6: As Dretske acknowledgedit is actually a weak challenge to K since some relevant alternatives accounts are fully consistent with K. Is the reliabilist committed xonclusive K?

Consider the following principles:.

But the three principles or something very much like them may be defended if we drets,e perception, indication and information in terms of safe indication. That is, in the close worlds to the actual world in which not-p holds, R does not. Let us turn to their arguments. What passes for knowledge in ordinary contexts does not qualify for knowledge in contexts where heightened criteria apply.

Epistemic Closure (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

As further support for JPwe might cite the fact that, if p deetske qwhatever counts against q also counts against p. But notice that we have: This is so because 2 entails the falsity of, 3 Although R is the case P might not be the case. However, there is a great deal to be said for treating lottery propositions one way and lotteryesque propositions another.