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Williamson on Defining Knowledge

Williamson on Defining Knowledge Abstract In his outstanding book Knowledge and its Limits (2000), Williamson (a) claims that we have inductive evidence for some negative theses concerning the prospects of defining knowledge, like this: knowing cannot be defined in accordance with a determinate traditional conjunctive scheme; (b) defends a theory of mental states, mental concepts and the relations between the two, from which we would obtain additional, not merely inductive, evidence for this negative thesis; and (c) presents an alternative (non-traditional-conjunctive) definition of knowledge. Here I consider these issues and extract two relevant conclusions: (i) Williamson's theory of states and concepts only supports the negative thesis because this theory would explain too much, since it imposes implausible necessary limitations on possible uses of concepts and linguistic expressions. So, there is no appropriate non-inductive evidence for the negative thesis. (ii) Williamson's own definition of knowledge is at risk. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Episteme Cambridge University Press

Williamson on Defining Knowledge

Episteme , Volume 19 (2): 17 – Jun 1, 2022

Williamson on Defining Knowledge

Episteme , Volume 19 (2): 17 – Jun 1, 2022

Abstract

Abstract In his outstanding book Knowledge and its Limits (2000), Williamson (a) claims that we have inductive evidence for some negative theses concerning the prospects of defining knowledge, like this: knowing cannot be defined in accordance with a determinate traditional conjunctive scheme; (b) defends a theory of mental states, mental concepts and the relations between the two, from which we would obtain additional, not merely inductive, evidence for this negative thesis; and (c) presents an alternative (non-traditional-conjunctive) definition of knowledge. Here I consider these issues and extract two relevant conclusions: (i) Williamson's theory of states and concepts only supports the negative thesis because this theory would explain too much, since it imposes implausible necessary limitations on possible uses of concepts and linguistic expressions. So, there is no appropriate non-inductive evidence for the negative thesis. (ii) Williamson's own definition of knowledge is at risk.

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Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press
ISSN
1750-0117
eISSN
1742-3600
DOI
10.1017/epi.2020.27
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract In his outstanding book Knowledge and its Limits (2000), Williamson (a) claims that we have inductive evidence for some negative theses concerning the prospects of defining knowledge, like this: knowing cannot be defined in accordance with a determinate traditional conjunctive scheme; (b) defends a theory of mental states, mental concepts and the relations between the two, from which we would obtain additional, not merely inductive, evidence for this negative thesis; and (c) presents an alternative (non-traditional-conjunctive) definition of knowledge. Here I consider these issues and extract two relevant conclusions: (i) Williamson's theory of states and concepts only supports the negative thesis because this theory would explain too much, since it imposes implausible necessary limitations on possible uses of concepts and linguistic expressions. So, there is no appropriate non-inductive evidence for the negative thesis. (ii) Williamson's own definition of knowledge is at risk.

Journal

EpistemeCambridge University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2022

Keywords: analysis; mental concepts; factive states; true belief; conjunctive concepts; evidence

References