In an essay recently published in this journal (“Is Safety in Danger?”), Fernando Broncano-Berrocal defends the safety condition on knowledge from a counterexample proposed by Tomas Bogardus (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2012). In this paper, we will define the safety condition, briefly explain the proposed counterexample, and outline Broncano-Berrocal’s defense of the safety condition. We will then raise four objections to Broncano-Berrocal’s defense, four implausible implications of his central claim. In the end, we conclude that Broncano-Berrocal’s defense of the safety (...) condition is unsuccessful, and that the safety condition on knowledge should be rejected. (shrink)
Some propositions are not likely to be true overall, but are likely to be true if you believe them. Appealing to the platitude that belief aims at truth, it has become increasingly popular to defend the view that such propositions are epistemically rational to believe. However, I argue that this view runs into trouble when we consider the connection between what’s epistemically rational to believe and what’s practically rational to do. I conclude by discussing how rejecting the view bears on (...) three other epistemological issues. First, we’re able to uncover a flaw in a common argument for permissivism. Second, we can generate a problem for prominent versions of epistemic consequentialism. Finally, we can better understand the connection between epistemic rationality and truth: epistemic rationality is a guide to true propositions rather than true beliefs. (shrink)
According to epistemic utility theory, epistemic rationality is teleological: epistemic norms are instrumental norms that have the aim of acquiring accuracy. What’s definitive of these norms is that they can be expected to lead to the acquisition of accuracy when followed. While there’s much to be said in favor of this approach, it turns out that it faces a couple of worrisome extensional problems involving the future. The first problem involves credences about the future, and the second problem involves future (...) credences. Examining prominent solutions to a different extensional problem for this approach reinforces the severity of the two problems involving the future. Reflecting on these problems reveals the source: the teleological assumption that epistemic rationality aims at acquiring accuracy. (shrink)
Two principles in epistemology are apparent examples of the close connection between rationality and truth. First, adding a disjunct to what it is rational to believe yields a proposition that’s also rational to believe. Second, what’s likely if believed is rational to believe. While these principles are accepted by many, it turns out that they clash. In light of this clash, we must relinquish the second principle. Reflecting on its rationale, though, reveals that there are two distinct ways to understand (...) the connection between rationality and truth. Rationality is fundamentally a guide to the belief-independent truth, rather than a guide to acquiring true beliefs. And this in turn has important implications for current discussions of permissivism, epistemic reasons, and epistemic consequentialism. (shrink)
In this paper, I will examine an argument for fatalism. I will offer a formalized version of the argument and analyze one of the argument’s most controversial assumptions. Then, I will argue that one ought to reject the assumption that propositions about the future are true facts of the past, even if no one makes reference to such propositions.