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Williamson on Knowledge$
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Patrick Greenough and Duncan Pritchard

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287512.001.0001

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Cognitive Phenomenology, Semantic Qualia, and Luminous Knowledge

Cognitive Phenomenology, Semantic Qualia, and Luminous Knowledge

(p.237) 14 Cognitive Phenomenology, Semantic Qualia, and Luminous Knowledge
Williamson on Knowledge

Neil Tennant (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that thinkers have cognitive homes with the following minimal chattels: when they are in a state of understanding, with respect to any sentence, that it is meaningful for them (as a representation of how things are), then they indeed know (or at least are in a position to know) that they are in that state. That is to say, the condition of having a given declarative sentence be meaningful for one is luminous. The case to be made here will not be taking issue with Williamson on anti-realist grounds. Rather, it will take issue with him by adducing a kind of knowledge on the part of any agent that, simply by virtue of his having it, must be knowledge that he knows he has. The knowledge in question is therefore luminous, in Williamson's sense. And it is not subject to any kind of Sorites-based scepticism at higher order. It is knowledge to the effect that one grasps a given sentence as meaningful; as making a declarative statement. In order to pick up the trail to such knowledge, we have to turn to ‘the other place’.

Keywords:   game-theoretical semantics, luminous knowledge, cognitive phenomenology, Moorean propositions, Fregean thoughts, linguistic behaviorism, sensibility, understanding, sensory qualia, semantic qualia

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