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Intellectual VirtuePerspectives from Ethics and Epistemology$
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Michael DePaul and Linda Zagzebski

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199252732

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199252732.001.0001

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Knowledge as Credit for True Belief

Knowledge as Credit for True Belief

(p.111) 5 Knowledge as Credit for True Belief
Intellectual Virtue

John Greco (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that by attending to the illocutionary force of knowledge attributions — specifically, that they serve to give credit to the believer for getting things right — fallibilists can assuage two problems plaguing their concept of knowledge: namely, the lottery problem and the Gettier problem. Borrowing work from Joel Fienberg on blaming, an account of credit attribution is developed that stresses the relationship between causal salience and causal responsibility. Because causal salience is context sensitive, resolutions to the lottery problem and the Gettier problem contain a significant contextual element. Just as an agent must be causally responsible in order to receive credit for athletic feats, so too must an agent's cognitive character or intellectual virtue be a necessary element to explain why an agent is deserving of credit for obtaining a true belief. This account is tested against cases relative to the above problems and ends with how this account can explain the value of knowledge.

Keywords:   causal salience, contextualism, credited true belief, fallibilism, Joel Fienberg, Gettier problem, John Greco, knowledge attributions, lottery problem, value problem

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