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Knowledge and its Limits$
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Timothy Williamson

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256563

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019925656X.001.0001

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A State of Mind

A State of Mind

(p.21) 1 A State of Mind
Knowledge and its Limits

Timothy Williamson

Oxford University Press

The chapter proposes the view that knowing is a mental state. It is a factive mental state, in the sense that only truths are known; by contrast, believing is a non‐factive mental state, because both truths and falsehoods are believed. Knowledge is the most general factive mental state, of which perception and memory are sub‐species. Knowledge cannot be given an analysis as a combination of belief, truth, and other factors. Rather, belief is to be understood in terms of knowledge in a way similar to what are known as disjunctive accounts of perception; to believe something is, roughly, to act as though one knew it; a successful belief is knowledge.

Keywords:   analysis, belief, factive, Knowledge, memory, mental state, perception, truth

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