Inductive Knowledge And Lotteries: Could One Explain Both ‘Safely’?

H. Zhao
Peter Baumann, Swarthmore College

Abstract

Safety accounts of knowledge claim, roughly, that knowledge that p requires that one's belief that p could not have easily been false. Such accounts have been very popular in recent epistemology. However, one serious problem safety accounts have to confront is to explain why certain lottery‐related beliefs are not knowledge, without excluding obvious instances of inductive knowledge. We argue that the significance of this objection has hitherto been underappreciated by proponents of safety. We discuss Duncan Pritchard's recent solution to the problem and argue that it fails. More importantly, the problem reaches deeper and poses a threat to any current safety accounts that require a belief's modal stability in close possibilities (as well as safety accounts that appeal to ‘normality’). We end by arguing that ways out of the problem require substantial reconstruction for a safety‐based account of knowledge.