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The Epistemic Role of Consciousness$
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Declan Smithies

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199917662

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199917662.001.0001

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(p.345) 11 Luminosity
The Epistemic Role of Consciousness

Declan Smithies

Oxford University Press

Chapter 11 defends the thesis that some phenomenal and epistemic conditions are luminous in the sense that you’re always in a position to know whether or not they obtain. Section 11.1 draws a distinction between epistemic and doxastic senses of luminosity and argues that some conditions are epistemically luminous even if none are doxastically luminous. Section 11.2 uses this distinction in solving Ernest Sosa’s version of the problem of the speckled hen. The same distinction is applied to Timothy Williamson’s anti-luminosity argument in section 11.3, his argument against epistemic iteration principles in section 11.4, and his argument for improbable knowing in section 11.5. Section 11.6 concludes by explaining why this defense of luminosity is not merely a pointless compromise.

Keywords:   luminosity, speckled hen, anti-luminosity argument, epistemic iteration principle, KK principle, JJ principle, improbable knowing, Ernest Sosa, Timothy Williamson

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