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Knowledge, Justification and Normative Coincidence


  • Thanks to audiences at the University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh and Queen’s University, Belfast. Particular thanks to Adam Carter, Aaron Cotnoir, Dylan Dodd, Davide Fassio, Andreas Fjellstad, Allan Hazlett, Ben Jarvis, Jesper Kallestrup, Federico Luzzi, Aidan McGlynn, Walter Pedriali and Duncan Pritchard.


Say that two goals are normatively coincident just in case one cannot aim for one goal without automatically aiming for the other. While knowledge and justification are distinct epistemic goals, with distinct achievement conditions, this paper begins from the suggestion that they are nevertheless normatively coincident—aiming for knowledge and aiming for justification are one and the same activity. A number of surprising consequences follow from this—both specific consequences about how we can ascribe knowledge and justification in lottery cases and more general consequences about the nature of justification and the relationship between justification and evidential probability. Many of these consequences turn out to be at variance with conventional, prevailing views.