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Generics, Epistemic Luck, and Knowledge

Milburn, Joseph (2015) Generics, Epistemic Luck, and Knowledge. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Philosophers generally agree that an individual cannot have knowledge that p if her belief that p is only accidentally true. A common way of putting this claim is that knowledge is incompatible with epistemic luck. After criticizing modal accounts of epistemic luck, Ioffer a novel account of knowledge precluding epistemic luck. My account appeals to generic facts concerning how human beings arrive at the truth. Given that it is a generic fact that human beings arrive at true beliefs through perception, memory, testimony, and inference (abductive, inductive, and deductive), an individual S’s belief that p is subject to epistemic luck just in case she arrives at a true belief, but fails to exemplify one of these generic facts concerning human beings. Apart from offering an account of epistemic luck that is extensionally adequate and that could be put to use in a reductive account of knowledge, my account of epistemic luck reorients epistemology away from a disembodied Cartesian rationalism towards a moderate naturalism.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Milburn, Josephjcm55@pitt.eduJCM55
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairSchafer, Karlschaferk@pitt.eduSCHAFERK
Committee CoChairSetiya,
Committee MemberMcDowell, Johnjmcdowel@pitt.eduJMCDOWEL
Committee MemberMachery, Edouardmachery@pitt.eduMACHERY
Date: 27 September 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 4 May 2015
Approval Date: 27 September 2015
Submission Date: 4 August 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 127
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Philosophy
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Generics, Epistemic Luck, The Gettier Problem, Theory of Knowledge, The Generality Problem
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2015 22:15
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:29


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