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Knowledge and RealitySelected Essays$
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Colin McGinn

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199251584.001.0001

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The Concept of Knowledge

The Concept of Knowledge

(p.7) 1 The Concept of Knowledge
Knowledge and Reality

Colin McGinn (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In this essay, McGinn argues for a version of reliabilism, contending that a belief counts as knowledge just in case ‘it is produced by a method capable of yielding true beliefs in a range of relevant cases’. This view diverges from other versions of reliabilism, notably Robert Nozick's counter‐factionalist tracking theory, which, McGinn argues, ‘localizes the conditions for knowledge into a relation between the knower and a unique proposition’. Against this local analysis of propositional knowledge, McGinn presents a global reliabilism in which the notion of discrimination is basic. On McGinn's view, global reliability consists in a subject's capacity to distinguish the true from the false within a relevant class of propositions. McGinn concludes by considering the implications of his view for sceptical arguments—in particular, the claim that knowledge is not closed under known logical implication.

Keywords:   closure, counter‐factional, discriminative, Dretske, Epistemology, knowledge, Nozick, reliabilism, scepticism, tracking theory

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