Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy 2020-21, Session 10

Knowledge, Luck and Individualised Evidence
Dario Mortini (Cogito, University of Glasgow)

4 December 2020, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia) & live-streamed

Abstract: It is intuitively impermissible to convict someone on the basis of mere statistical evidence, but it is intuitively permissible to convict someone on the basis of eye-witness testimony – evidence which is individualised to the incriminating facts. Why? What’s so special about individualised evidence? These are the main questions raised by the puzzle of statistical evidence, and while the notion of individualised evidence may hold the key to solve it, there’s still no agreement on how exactly to define it. To make progress on the problem, epistemologists have proposed accounts of individualised evidence in terms of single causal and modal anti-luck conditions on knowledge like causation (Thomson 1986), sensitivity (Enoch et al. 2012) and safety (Pritchard 2018). In this talk, I show that each of these fails as satisfactory anti-luck condition, and that such failure lends abductive support to the following conclusion: once the familiar anti-luck intuition on knowledge is extended to individualised evidence, an adequate account of individualised evidence will have to invoke knowledge directly rather than separate (and defective) anti-luck conditions on knowledge.

Free Attendance, but preregistration required: