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Williamson on Knowledge$
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Patrick Greenough and Duncan Pritchard

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287512.001.0001

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Williamson's Casual Approach to Probabilism

Williamson's Casual Approach to Probabilism

Chapter:
(p.122) 8 Williamson's Casual Approach to Probabilism
Source:
Williamson on Knowledge
Author(s):

Mark Kaplan (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287512.003.0009

The Requirement of Total Evidence enjoins you to proportion your beliefs to the support they receive from your total evidence. How exactly are we to understand what it is asking you to do? In Knowledge and its Limits Timothy Williamson offers the following proposal. Your total evidence is just the totality of what you know. The support p receives from your total evidence is just the conditional probability of p on your entire body of knowledge. The Principle of Total Evidence thus enjoins you to have a degree of belief in p equal to the conditional probability of p on your entire body of knowledge. Williamson thinks that there is a kind of belief that comes in degrees — he calls it ‘outright belief’ — that is not to be identified with subjective probabilities. And it is degrees of outright belief that he means the Requirement of Total Evidence to constrain. This chapter discusses how Williamson's proposal is deeply flawed.

Keywords:   Timothy Williamson, probabilism, Knowledge, outright belief

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