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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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An Application

An Application

(p.135) 6 An Application
Knowledge and its Limits

Timothy Williamson

Oxford University Press

The idea of margin for error of principles is used to analyse the Surprise Examination Paradox. Although the pupils in the story know that there will be a surprise examination, they do not know that they will know tomorrow that they will know the day after that …, because each iteration requires a further margin for error until nothing is left. A similar account is suggested for knowledge of rationality in Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. Versions of the Surprise Examination Paradox in which the pupils know only that there will not be an expected examination are used to criticize alternative accounts of the paradox.

Keywords:   error, iterationmargin, Prisoner's Dilemma, rationality, Surprise Examination Paradox

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