Apr 14, 2017 • Philosophy Colloquium: Guido Melchior


Fri, 04/14/2017 - 15:00 to 17:00


The Spring 2017 Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Guido Melchior (University of Graz). The title of Professor Melchior's talk is "Explaining Closure Puzzles."  (Abstract below.)

Friday, Apr 14, 3-5pm, Maloney Seminar Room, Social Sciences 224.


Explaining Closure Puzzles

S’s belief that p is sensitive if in the nearest possible worlds where p is false, S does not believe that p. In this paper, I investigate how this sensitivity principle can contribute to explaining and solving closure puzzles where S intuitively knows an ordinary proposition p, knows that p entails an anti-deception or anti-lottery proposition q, but intuitively still fails to know that q. First, I show that in the discussed cases, S has sensitive evidence concerning p but strongly insensitive evidence concerning q. I will argue that in contexts of checking, when we raise the question whether a proposition is true and deliberate about methods for settling this question, we think that we cannot know via a method that is strongly insensitive with respect to this proposition. Then I show that this fact explains best our intuition that S knows that p but fails to know that q. The provided explanation of our knowledge intuitions is compatible with different proposed solutions to closure puzzles, such as moderate and strict invariantism, contextualism, and subject-sensitive invariantism.

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