I want to extend a very special thanks to Sven Bernecker, EJ Coffman, Wayne Davis, John Greco, Thomas Grundmann, Richard Fumerton, Jennifer Lackey, Ram Neta, Duncan Pritchard, Baron Reed, and John Turri, for extensive comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Thanks belong as well to the commentators-at-large at the Rutgers Epistemology workshop: Imogen Dickie, Adam Elga, Pascal Engel, and Baron Reed (again). In addition, I am grateful to the many others with whom I have had helpful discussions of these matters: Mahrad Almotahari, Charity Anderson, Murat Aydede, Elke Brendel, Tony Brueckner, Lenny Clapp, Juan Comesaña, Julien Dutant, Anne Eaton, Mylan Engel, Evan Fales, Carrie Figdor, Alicia Finch, Amy Flowerree, Wolfgang Freitag, Alvin Goldman, Stephen Grimm, Ali Hasan, David Hilbert, Frank Hofmann, Carrie Ichikawa-Jenkins, Jonathan Ichikawa-Jenkins, Jenz Kipper, Peter Klein, Joachim Korvath, Greg Landini, Tony Layden, Lauren Leydon-Hardy, Dom Lopes, Tristam McPherson, Adam Morton, Ted Poston, Graham Priest, Geoff Pynn, Laura Schroeter, Sally Sedgewick, Ori Simchen, Ernie Sosa, Kent Staley, David Stern, Jim Stone, Eleanor Stump, and Jonathan Vogel. Finally, I also thank the other members of those colloquium audiences at Northern Illinois University, the 2013 Rutgers Epistemology Conference, St. Louis University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Illinois-Chicago, the University of Iowa, and the University of Melbourne, where I presented earlier versions of this paper as a talk.
Epistemic Entitlement and Luck†
Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2014
© 2014 Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, LLC
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Volume 91, Issue 2, pages 273–302, September 2015
How to Cite
Goldberg, S. (2015), Epistemic Entitlement and Luck. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 91: 273–302. doi: 10.1111/phpr.12083
- Issue online: 4 SEP 2015
- Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2014
The aim of this paper is to defend a novel characterization of epistemic luck. Helping myself to the notions of epistemic entitlement and adequate explanation, I propose that a true belief suffers from epistemic luck iff an adequate explanation of the fact that the belief acquired is true must appeal to propositions to which the subject herself is not epistemically entitled (in a sense to be made clear below). The burden of the argument is to show that there is a plausible construal of the notions of epistemic entitlement and adequate explanation on which the resulting characterization of epistemic luck, though admittedly programmatic, has several important virtues. It avoids difficulties which plague modal accounts of epistemic luck; it can explain the conflicting temptations one can feel in certain alleged cases of epistemic luck; it offers a novel account of the value of knowledge, without committing itself to any particular analysis of knowledge; and it illuminates the significance for epistemology of the phenomenon of epistemic luck itself.