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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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Knowledge and Objective Chance

Knowledge and Objective Chance

Chapter:
(p.92) 6 Knowledge and Objective Chance
Source:
Williamson on Knowledge
Author(s):

John Hawthorne (Contributor Webpage)

Maria Lasonen‐Aarnio

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287512.003.0007

Like Williamson, we are interested in a safety condition on knowledge that ties knowledge to the presence or absence of error in close cases. This chapter explores the connections between knowledge and objective chance within such a framework. It formulates a sceptical problem that does not rely on closure. The problem relies on a prima facie plausible principle connecting chance and modal closeness, which seems to be vindicated by ordinary notions of safety and danger. According to this principle, high-chance propositions are true in close cases. This creates sceptical trouble when we consider numerous subjects, each of whom believes a different high-chance proposition, and each of whom seems to be an equally good candidate for knowing the relevant proposition.

Keywords:   Objective Chance, closure principle, knowledge, probability, safety, scepticism, Timothy Williamson

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