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WAYS OF KNOWING Quassim Cassam 1 I know that the laptop on which I am writing these wor s is ust!

" #ow o I know$ I can see that it is ust!" Seeing that it is ust! is a wa! o% knowing that it is ust!" #ow come$ Accor ing to what I&m going to call the entailment 'iew( )S sees that *& entails )S knows that *& an it is onl! +ecause this is so that seeing that the laptop is ust! ,uali%ies as a wa! o% knowing that it is ust!" Generali-ing %rom this( the entailment 'iew conclu es that ./ing that * is a wa! o% knowing that * i% an onl! i% )S .s that *& entails )S knows that *&" It&s not i%%icult to see that this can&t +e right" 0here are cases in which )S .s that *& entails )S knows that *& +ut in which ./ing that * is not a wa! o% knowing that *" For e1ample( regretting that * is not a wa! o% knowing that * e'en i%( as some claim( )S regrets that *& entails )S knows that *&"1 An ( o% course( )S knows that *& entails )S knows that *&( +ut knowing that * is presuma+l! not a wa! o% knowing that *" 2,uall!( there are cases in which )S .s that *& oes not entail )S knows that *& +ut in which ./ing that * is a wa! o% knowing that *" 3ea ing it in his auto+iograph! is surel! a wa! o% knowing that Quine was +orn in Akron +ut )I rea that Quine was +orn in Akron& oesn&t entail )I know that Quine was +orn in Akron&" In cases o% the %irst kin ./ing that * oesn&t count as a wa! o% knowing that * +ecause( espite the entailment( the o+ser'ation that S .s that * %ails to e1plain how S knows that *" In cases o% the secon kin it is possi+le to e1plain how S knows that * +! o+ser'ing that S .s that * e'en though there is no entailment %rom ./ing that * to knowing that *"

All o% this points to an e1planator! conception o% wa!s o% knowing" Accor ing to this conception( which is the one that I want to %lesh out an e%en here( ./ing that * is a

wa! o% knowing that * 4ust i% it is possi+le satis%actoril! to e1plain how S knows that * +! pointing out that S .s that *" 0his allows seeing that * to count as a wa! o% knowing that * i% it is true that( as Snow on puts it( we treat it as )totall! unpro+lematic that someone&s knowle ge that * can +e e1plaine +! sa!ing that the! saw that *& 516678 9:1;" #owe'er( it is not o+'ious that our treating such e1planations as totall! unpro+lematic commits us to thinking that )S sees that *& entails )S knows that *&" < 2'en i% this entailment hol s( it is a %urther ,uestion whether it e1plains the e1planator! link +etween )sees that *& an )knows that *&" 0he other si e o% the coin is that regretting that * is not a wa! o% knowing that * +ecause it is unaccepta+le to e1plain someone&s knowle ge that * on the +asis that the! regret that *" It remains unaccepta+le e'en i% )S regrets that *& entails )S knows that *&" 0he e1planator! conception is i%%erent %rom some other conceptions o% wa!s o% knowing( inclu ing the one e%en e +! Williamson in Knowle ge an its =imits" I will sa! more a+out these i%%erences +elow" It is closer to the i ea that wa!s o% knowing are wa!s o% coming to know" One might think( %or e1ample( that seeing that m! laptop is ust! is a wa! o% coming to know that it ust! 5assuming that this is something that I on&t know alrea !;( an that that is wh! it makes sense to e1plain m! knowle ge that the laptop is ust! +! pointing out that I can see that it is" As we will see( howe'er( e'en the notion o% a wa! o% coming to know oesn&t ,uite capture what the e1planator! conception o% wa!s o% knowing is getting at"9 I might +e a+le to e1plain how I know that * +! sa!ing )I remem+er that *& +ut it is rarel! appropriate to escri+e remem+ering that * as a wa! o% coming to know that *"

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0he e1planator! conception o% wa!s o% knowing an o% the link +etween seeing an knowing raises a lot o% ,uestions" #ere are the three that I want to iscuss8 1" Is it true that someone&s knowle ge that * can +e unpro+lematicall! e1plaine +! sa!ing that the! see 5or percei'e; that *$ Call this the ,uestion o% perception" I% the answer to this ,uestion is )no&( then either seeing that * is not a wa! o% knowing that * or the e1planator! conception o% what it takes %or seeing that * to +e a wa! o% knowing that * is no goo " <" Are perceptual e1planations o% one&s knowle ge > ones that appeal to what one percei'es to +e the case/ superior to ones that appeal to what one has rea or hear in con'ersation$ 0his is the ,uestion o% priorit!" 9" I% is it true that someone&s knowle ge that * can +e satis%actoril! e1plaine +! sa!ing that the! see that *( what makes it true$ I% it is not the %act that )S sees that *& entails )S knows that *& what other e1planation is there$ ?ore generall!( what makes an e1planation o% S&s knowle ge that * a satis%actor! e1planation$ Call this the ,uestion o% e1planation" 0he o+'ious thing to sa! a+out the %irst ,uestion is that it all epen s on what )*& is" 0ri'iall!( m! knowle ge that * cannot +e unpro+lematicall! e1plaine +! sa!ing that I see that * i% * is not a proposition that can +e percei'e to +e true"@ I% * is a proposition like )m! laptop is ust!& then it is more plausi+le that m! knowle ge can +e e1plaine +! pointing out that I see that *( though e'en this might +e ispute " 0here is more on this issue in part <" On the ,uestion o% priorit!( suppose that someone tells me that m! laptop is ust!" )#e tol me& can +e 4ust as goo an e1planation o% m! knowle ge that the laptop is ust! as )I can see that it is&" Ne'ertheless( it is argua+le that there is still a sense in which

perceptual e1planations ha'e a kin o% %inalit! that other e1planations lack" Again( there is more on this +elow( in part <" 0he ,uestion o% e1planation is trick!" A minimalist woul sa! that 5a; +! an large we ha'e no trou+le istinguishing +etween satis%actor! an unsatis%actor! e1planations o% a person&s knowle ge an that 5+; nothing makes an e1planation a satis%actor! e1planation +e!on our willingness to accept it" 0he implication is that no %urther e1planation can +e or nee s to +e gi'en as to wh! we accept the e1planations that we accept an re4ect the ones that we re4ect" 0here are goo an +a e1planations +ut our e1planations cannot themsel'es +e e1plaine A the! ha'e no eeper rationale" ?inimalism shoul there%ore +e interprete as re4ecting the ,uestion o% e1planation or as en!ing that it is one to which a su+stanti'e or in%ormati'e answer can +e gi'en"B Another option is re uctionism" 0his sa!s that it is possi+le to gi'e an in%ormati'e answer to the ,uestion o% e1planation +ut onl! on the +asis o% an anal!sis o% the concept o% knowle ge into more +asic concepts" 0he i ea is that 5a; we can&t sa! in general terms what makes a particular e1planation o% someone&s knowle ge that * a goo e1planation unless we ha'e an account o% what it is to know that * an that 5+; to gi'e an account o% what it is to know that * one nee s to come up with non/circular necessar! an su%%icient con itions %or knowing that *" In e%%ect( there%ore( what the re uctionist is sa!ing is that the concept o% knowle ge is e1planatoril! prior to the concept o% a wa! o% knowingA we un erstan what knowing is an on that +asis can %igure out what counts as a wa! o% knowing" I will ha'e more to sa! a+out minimalism an re uctionism in part @" 0he response to the ,uestion o% e1planation that I want to e%en is neither minimalist nor re uctionist though it is much closer in spirit to the %ormer than to the latter" Cut let&s not get ahea o%

oursel'es" 0here are man! other issues that nee to +e tackle +e%ore getting roun to the ins an outs o% minimalism an re uctionism" 0he ne1t part will sa! a +it more a+out the ,uestions o% perception an o% priorit! an will also e%en the claim that the entailment 'iew %ails to pro'i e a satis%actor! response to the ,uestion o% e1planation" *art 9 will +ring the e1planator! account o% wa!s o% knowing into sharper %ocus +! comparing it with Williamson&s account" Finall!( part @ will tr! to e'elop a response to the ,uestion o% e1planation that keeps hol o% what is right a+out minimalism while a'oi ing its e1cesses" < =et&s start with the ,uestion o% perception" We ha'e alrea ! seen that a person&s knowle ge that * can&t +e unpro+lematicall! e1plaine +! sa!ing that he sees that * i% * is not the sort o% proposition that can +e percei'e to +e true" 0his is complicate +ecause it isn&t alwa!s o+'ious what can an cannot +e percei'e to +e the case" I% I&m aske how I know that someone is angr! I might sa! that I can see that he is" Cut can I literall! see that a person is angr!$ D I% not then the propose e1planation %ails" 2'en i% one concentrates on apparentl! more straight%orwar cases perceptual e1planations won&t alwa!s +e success%ul" Suppose that m! answer to the ,uestion )#ow o !ou know that !our laptop is ust!$& is )I can see that it is&" 0his won&t +e unpro+lematic i% it is too ark or there is something in the wa!" I% it is too ark then I on&t see that the laptop is ust!A perceptual e1planations onl! work i% the con itions are right" Cut once it is agree that I see that * then nothing more nee s to one to e1plain how I know that *" E In this sense the answer to the ,uestion o% perception is )!es&" 0ri'iall!( m! knowle ge that * can&t +e e1plaine +! re%erence to the %act that I see that * i% I can&t see that *" It oesn&t %ollow that it can&t +e unpro+lematicall! e1plaine in this wa! in cases in which I can an o see that *"

Ne1t( the ,uestion o% priorit!" Compare these e1changes8 5A; Question8 how o !ou know that *$ Answer8 I can see that *" Question8 !es( +ut o !ou reall! know that *$ 5C; Question8 how o !ou know that *$ Answer8 I rea that *" Question8 !es( +ut o !ou reall! know that *$ 0he secon ,uestion in 5A; is o in a wa! that the secon ,uestion in 5C; is not" I% I accept

that !ou see that * then there is no room %or the %urther challenge ) o !ou reall! know$&( unless this is a wa! o% ,uestioning whether !ou reall! see that *" Cut I can accept that !ou rea that * an still ask whether !ou reall! know that *" I might want to know( %or e1ample( where !ou rea that *" I% !ou re'eal that !ou rea it in a ta+loi then what I ought to +e worr!ing a+out is not whether !ou rea that * +ut whether !ou there+! know that *" 0his is not to en! that rea ing that * can +e a wa! o% knowing that *" An! sane account o% wa!s o% knowing ha +etter accept that( %or e1ample( it is possi+le %or one to know that Quine was +orn in Akron +! rea ing his auto+iograph!" 0he point o% comparing 5A; an 5C; is not to suggest that non/perceptual e1planations are no goo +ut to raw attention to the %act that perceptual e1planations o% a person&s knowle ge ha'e a kin o% %inalit! that man! other e1planations lack" 0he! are not open to the same challenges( an this is one sense in which the answer to the ,uestion o% priorit! is )!es&" On this account( scepticism can still get going i% there are reasons %or thinking that we can ne'er simpl! see that *( where * is a proposition a+out non/ps!chological realit!" 7 For e1ample( in his work on scepticism Strou makes a lot o% the )anthropological %act& that )human +eings get much o% their knowle ge o% the worl somehow %rom sense/perception& 5<:::+8 1<6;" #e argues that )the i%%icult! comes in philosoph! when we tr! to see e1actl!

how sense/perception works to gi'e us knowle ge o% the worl & 5<:::a8 B;" #is i ea is that what makes it har to un erstan how sense/perception works to gi'e us knowle ge o% the worl is the assumption that we on&t percei'e the worl aroun us( at least not irectl!" I% the irect o+4ects o% perception are i eas or sense ata then )it seems at least possi+le to percei'e what we o without there+! knowing something a+out the things aroun us& 5Strou <:::a8 B/D;" It is not in ispute here that )whoe'er sees that * there+! knows that *& 5Strou <::@8 1DE;" What is in ispute is whether an!one oes e'er actuall! see that *" 0his puts no pressure at all on the i ea that i% one sees that * nothing %urther nee s to +e one to e1plain how one knows that *" In ee ( %ar %rom putting pressure on this i ea Strou &s iscussion assumes that such e1planations reall! are %ine" #ow( then( is the e%%icac! o% perceptual e1planations o% knowle ge to +e accounte %or$ One 'iew is that the answer to the ,uestion o% e1planation is that S&s knowle ge that * can +e e1plaine +! sa!ing that S sees that * +ecause( an onl! +ecause( )S sees that *& entails )S knows that *&" ?ore generall!( the i ea is that )+! ./ing that *& is a satis%actor! answer to )#ow oes S knows that *$& i% an onl! i% )S .s that *& entails )S knows that *&" Is this right$ One issue is whether it is true that )S sees that *& entails )S knows that *&" Another is whether( e'en i% it is true( it is the entailment that accounts %or the e1planator! link +etween seeing an knowing" 0he claim that )S sees that *& entails )S knows that *& is contro'ersial" 6 For e1ample( suppose that S sees that it raining +ut oesn&t +elie'e that it is raining +ecause he has the mistaken +elie% that his senses are ecei'ing him" Isn&t this a case in which S sees that it is raining +ut oesn&t know that it is raining$ Intuitions 'ar! +ut suppose %or the sake o% argument we grant that the +est escription o% the case is that it is one in which S oesn&t

see that it is raining an that )S sees that *& oes in ee entail )S knows that *&" 1: Foes this account %or the e1planator! link +etween seeing an knowing$ 0he %irst thing to sa! is that it is not true that %or )+! ./ing that *& to +e a goo answer to )#ow oes S know that *$& it must +e the case that )S .s that *& entails )S knows that *&" ?! knowle ge that Quine was +orn in Akron can +e e1plaine +! sa!ing that I rea it in his auto+iograph! e'en though )I rea that *& har l! entails )I know that *&" 0his oesn&t pro'e that the e1planator!

connection speci%icall! +etween seeing that * an knowing that * is not ue to the %act that the %ormer entails the latter +ut it oes put pressure on this i ea" A +etter approach woul +e to sa! that )+! ./ing that *& is an accepta+le answer to )#ow o !ou know that *$& when ./ing that * is what gi'es one the knowle ge that *" As the Quine e1ample shows( this can +e so whether or not )S .s that *& entails )S knows that *&" Another wa! o% +ringing out the irrele'ance o% entailment is to notice that there are man! e1amples in which something o% the %orm )S .s that *& entails that S knows that * +ut in which )+! ./ing that *& woul +e a +a answer to )#ow oes S know that *$&" As we ha'e alrea ! notice ( )+! regretting that *& is not an accepta+le response to this ,uestion e'en though )S regrets that * entails )S knows that *&" What is more( this is not an isolate case" As Gnger points out( there are man! sentences o% the %orm )S 'er+s that *& that entail their correspon ing simple knowle ge sentences"11 )S a mits that *& entails )S knows that *&" )S re'eals that *& entails )S knows that *&" An ( o% course( )S knows that *& entails )S knows that *&" Yet none o% these knowle ge/entailing sentences can properl! +e use to e1plain how S knows that *" So entailment is a ou+le irrele'anceA %or a sentence o% the %orm )S 'er+s that *& to pro'i e a satis%actor! response to )#ow oes S know that *$& it is neither necessar! nor su%%icient that )S 'er+s that *& entails )S knows that *&"

Gi'en that the entailment 'iew %ails to gi'e a con'incing answer the ,uestion o% e1planation what woul +e a +etter answer$ I will come +ack to this ,uestion in part @" In the meantime( there are some other points that are worth noting" So %ar( I ha'e taken it that wa!s o% knowing are propositional attitu es( that is( that a person&s wa! o% knowing that * is something o% the %orm )S .s that *&" Yet there are in%ormati'e answers to )#ow o !ou know that *$& that aren&t o% this %orm" Consi er this e1change %rom Austin8 )0here&s a +ittern at the +ottom o% the gar en& )#ow o !ou know$& )I was +rought up in the %ens"&1< Ceing +rought up in the %ens is not a wa! o% knowing that there is a +ittern at the +ottom o% the gar en +ut this is not something that the e1planator! conception nee s to en!" It can point out that i% ./ing is a wa! o% knowing that * then it shoul make sense to sa! things like )S ./e an there+! knew that *&" Cut it oesn&t make sense to sa! that S was +rought up in the %ens an there+! knew that there is a +ittern at the +ottom o% the gar enA e,uall!( )+! +eing +rought up in the %ens& is not an accepta+le answer to )how o !ou know that there&s a +ittern at the +ottom o% !our gar en$&" 0he ,uestion to which it is an accepta+le answer is )how are !ou in a position to know a+out +itterns$&" Now consi er this e1change8 )?! cigarette lighter is un er the esk& )#ow o !ou know$& )I can see it& #ere( )I can see it& is an answer to )how o !ou know that !our lighter is un er the esk$&" )C! seeing it& is an appropriate response to this ,uestion( an !ou can also report that I saw

it un er the esk an there+! knew that it is un er the esk" Seeing the lighter is un er the esk is there%ore a wa! o% knowing that that is where it is espite the %act that seeing the lighter un er the esk is 5a; not a propositional attitu e an 5+; oesn&t entail that I know that the lighter is un er the esk" I can see the lighter there an !et not know that it is un er the esk +ecause I %ail to recogni-e it" Ne'ertheless( seeing the lighter un er the esk is( in the right circumstances( a wa! o% knowing that it is un er the esk" 0he e1planator! conception o% wa!s o% knowing has no pro+lems with an! o% this" It has alrea ! re4ecte that i ea that genuine e1planations o% one&s knowle ge that * must entail that one knows that * an it has no particular interest in e%en ing the i ea that wa!s o% knowing must +e propositional attitu es" In ee ( it takes the cigarette lighter ialogue as showing wh! such a claim woul +e in e%ensi+le" When it comes to what counts as a wa! o% knowing the e1planator! conception is prett! rela1e " 0he most that it insists on is that wa!s o% knowing are e1pressi+le +! sentences o% the %orm )S 'er+s&"19 It oesn&t insist that a satis%actor! e1planation o% someone&s knowle ge that * must alwa!s +e something o% the %orm )S 'er+s that *&" It oesn&t insist on this +ecause it wants to allow that rea ing +ooks an talking to people are also wa!s o% knowing a+out the worl aroun us" In this respect( an in some others too( the e1planator! conception( with its %ocus on what it is to e1plain how someone knows( is much less restricti'e than some other nota+le accounts o% wa!s o% knowing" In particular( it is much less restricti'e than Williamson&s account( an it is to this account that I now want to turn" 9 Williamson +rings wa!s o% knowing into his iscussion o% the nature o% knowing +! means o% an analog!8

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HCIompare the state o% knowing with the propert! o% +eing coloure ( the colour propert! which something has i% it has i% it has an! colour propert! at all" I% something is coloure ( then it has a more speci%ic colour propert!A it is re or green or""""Although that speci%ic colour ma! happen to lack a name in our language( we coul alwa!s intro uce such a name( perhaps pointing to the case as a para igm" We ma! sa! that +eing coloure is +eing re or green orJ( i% the list is un erstoo as open/en e ( an the concept is coloure is not i enti%ie with the is4uncti'e conceptJ"" Similarl!( i% one knows that A then there is a speci%ic wa! in which one knowsA one can see or remem+er orJ that A" Although that speci%ic wa! ma! happen to lack a name in our language( we coul alwa!s intro uce such a name( perhaps pointing to the case as a para igm" We ma! sa! that knowing that A is seeing or remem+ering orJ that A( i% the list is un erstoo as open/en e ( an the concept knows is not i enti%ie with the is4uncti'e concept 5<:::8 9@;" 0he relationship +etween +eing coloure an +eing( sa!( re is a etermina+le/ eterminate relationship so the implication o% this passage is that the same is true o% the relationship +etween knowing an speci%ic wa!s o% knowing" On this account( seeing that * is a )wa!& o% knowing in something like the sense in which +eing re is a )wa!& o% +eing coloure " Ceing re woul n&t count as a wa! o% +eing coloure i% it were not the case that )K is re & entails )K is coloure &" C! the same token( ./ing that * woul n&t count as what Williamsons calls a )wa! o% knowing& that * i% it were not the case that )S .s that *& entails )S knows that *&" 0o this e1tent Williamson can agree with the entailment 'iew" On the other han ( there is nothing in his iscussion that commits him to thinking that it is su%%icient %or ./ing that * to +e a wa! o% knowing that * that )S .s that *& entails )S knows

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that *&" So his 'iew o% wa!s o% knowing isn&t the entailment 'iewA he oesn&t ha'e to sa! that regretting that * is a wa! o% knowing that *"1@ #ow oes Williamson&s conception o% wa!s o% knowing i%%er %rom the e1planator! conception$ 0he thing to +ear in min here is that wa!s o% knowing in Williamson&s sense must +e %acti'e stati'e attitu es" An attitu e is %acti'e )i% an onl! i%( necessaril!( one has it onl! to truths& 5<:::8 9@;" Attitu es that constitute states rather than processes are stati'e" So( %or e1ample( remem+ering is a state whereas pro'ing is a process" In these terms( the +asic i ea is that )knowing is the most general %acti'e stati'e attitu e( one which one has to a proposition i% one has an! %acti'e stati'e attitu e to it at all& 5<:::8 9@;" 0hus( )i% !ou see that it is raining( then !ou know that it is raining" I% !ou remem+er that it was raining( then !ou know that it was raining&5<:::8 9E;" It shoul now +e apparent that there are se'eral interrelate respects in which Williamson&s conception o% wa!s o% knowing is much more restricti'e than the e1planator! conception" For Williamson wa!s o% knowing are 5a; attitu es 5+; stati'e( an 5c; entail knowle ge" 0he e1planator! conception accepts none o% these restrictions" It has alrea ! emerge that the e1planator! account re4ects 5a; an 5c;" It also re4ects 5+;" 0here are circumstances in which )+! pro'ing it& or )+! working it out& will +e accepta+le answers to )#ow o !ou know that *$& e'en though )pro'e& an )work out& aren&t stati'e" *ro'ing that * can +e a wa! o% knowing that *( at least as %ar as the e1planator! conception is concerne " A %urther i%%erence +etween the two conceptions concerns the principle that i% one knows that * there must +e a speci%ic wa! in which one knows" For Williamson this is as in isputa+le as the claim that i% something is coloure it must ha'e a more speci%ic colour

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propert!" Is something similar true on the e1planator! conception$ 0hat is( i% one knows that * must there +e an in%ormati'e answer to the ,uestion )#ow o !ou know that *$&$ I% not then one can know that * without there +eing what the e1planator! conception calls a )wa! o% knowing that *&" 0he issue that comes to min here is sel%/knowle ge" It has +een argue that( as #ampshire puts it( )he who reports that he is currentl! e1periencing a certain sensation cannot intelligi+l! +e aske how he knows that he is& 516E68 <7</9;" 0his is an occasion when the ,uestion )#ow o !ou know& woul +e )at least a+sur ( an perhaps unintelligi+le& 516E68 <7<;" 0he reason is that )it is alrea ! shown( in the grammar an 'oca+ular! o% the statement& that the person making it )is in the +est possi+le position to know that his statement is true& 516E68 <79;" I% the ,uestion )#ow o !ou know that !ou are in pain$& isn&t intelligi+le then it is not one to which there is an intelligi+le answer" In that case it looks as though one can know that one is in pain without there +eing a wa! in which one knows it" 0he most straight%orwar response to this woul +e to en! that he who reports that he is currentl! e1periencing a certain sensation cannot intelligi+l! +e aske how he knows that he is" What is true is that this ,uestion is con'ersationall! inappropriate +ut that is a i%%erent matter" It&s not that the ,uestion lacks an answer +ut that the answer is so o+'ious as to make the ,uestion pointlessA I know that I am in pain +! %eeling it" 0hat is m! )wa! o% knowing&" A i%%erent response woul +e to re4ect the claim that one can properl! +e sai to know that one is in pain"1B I% one knows that one is in pain the ,uestion )#ow o !ou know$& woul nee to ha'e an in%ormati'e answer +ut )+! %eeling it& is not an in%ormati'e answer" Finall!( one might 4ust accept that one can know that one is currentl! e1periencing

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a certain sensation without there +eing an! wa! in which one knows it( an! suita+le answer to the ,uestion )#ow o !ou know$&" 0his is not the place to eci e +etween these three responses" For all that has +een sai so %ar the e1planator! conception o% wa!s o% knowing isn&t committe to re4ecting the thir response"1D On this conception( the i ea that one can know that * e'en i% there isn&t a wa! in which one knows it isn&t as o+'iousl! para o1ical as it woul +e on Williamson&s conception" It isn&t as para o1ical %or the simple reason that the e1planator! conception oesn&t regar the relationship +etween knowing an wa!s o% knowing as a etermina+le/ eterminate relationship" 0his is what makes it possi+le %or it to +e so much less restricti'e than Williamson&s conception" One woul onl! think that one can&t know without there +eing a speci%ic wa! in which one knows( or that wa!s o% knowing must +e %acti'e stati'e attitu es( i% one is committe to the etermina+le/ eterminate mo el" An one goo reason not to commit onesel% to this mo el is that one can then a%%or to +e more rela1e a+out what counts as a wa! o% knowing" I% )wa!s o% knowing& aren&t eterminates o% a etermina+le what are the!$ One i ea is that the! are wa!s o% coming to know" Wh!( %or e1ample( is )I can see that *& o%ten an in%ormati'e response to )#ow o !ou know that *$&$ Cecause seeing that * is a wa! o% coming to know that *" 0he same goes %or rea ing that *" 3ea ing in his auto+iograph! that Quine was +orn in Akron is a wa! o% coming to know that he was +orn in Akron( an it is surel! this that makes it accepta+le to e1plain m! knowle ge that Quine was +orn in Akron +! sa!ing that I rea it in his auto+iograph!" Yet there are also cases in which one&s wa! o% knowing that * nee n&t +e one&s wa! o% coming to know that *" #ow o I know that I spent last !ear in Ken!a$ I remem+er" Is that how I came to know that I spent last !ear in

1@

Ken!a$ No" Yet the e1planator! conception must allow that remem+ering that * is a wa! o% knowing that *A it must allow this +ecause sa!ing that I remem+er spen ing last autumn in Ken!a e1plains how I know" 0his is not to en! that a goo man! o% the wa!s o% knowing that the e1planator! conception recogni-es are also wa!s o% coming to know" Nor is it to en! that remem+ering that * can sometimes +e a wa! o% coming to know that *" Still( the %act remains that it won&t +e accurate( on the e1planator! conception( to e%ine wa!s o% knowing as wa!s o% coming to know" 21plaining how someone knows an %iguring out how the! came to know are two i%%erent things( an it is +! re%erence to the %ormer rather than the latter that wa!s o% knowing shoul +e un erstoo " 0his takes us straight +ack to some o% the ,uestions that I raise in part 1" In particular( it seems that the e1planator! conception owes us an account o% what it takes %or a gi'en response to the ,uestion )#ow o !ou know$& to count as a satis%actor! response" Gi'en the wi e range o% responses to this ,uestion that woul or inaril! +e regar e as accepta+le 5e'en the range o% responses o% the )S 'er+s that *& %orm;( an o+'ious ,uestion is8 what uni%ies them$ What makes them all accepta+le$ 0his is the ,uestion o% e1planation so now woul +e a goo time to return to this ,uestion" @ ?inimalism sa!s that 5a; +! an large we ha'e no trou+le istinguishing +etween goo an +a e1planations o% our knowle ge an that 5+; nothing makes an e1planation a satis%actor! e1planation +e!on our willingness to accept it" Neither claim is plausi+le" 0he istinction +etween accepta+le an unaccepta+le e1planations is %ar %rom straight%orwar ( an we o%ten ha'e trou+le rawing it" For e1ample( i% someone claims that mugging people on the tu+e is wrong it&s not clear what woul +e an accepta+le answer to )#ow o !ou

1B

know$&( assuming that this ,uestion e'en makes sense For e1ample( woul )I can see that it is& +e an accepta+le answer$ I% not( what woul +e accepta+le$ 0hese are some o% the har ,uestions that keep moral philosophers +us! an the! +ring out the o+'ious point that while it is sometimes o+'ious whether a particular response to )#ow o !ou know$& is satis%actor! o%ten it isn&t" 0he secon component o% minimalism is also too strong" Consi er these e1changes8 5C; Question8 how o !ou know that !our laptop is ust!$ Answer8 I can see that it is" 5F; Question8 how o !ou know that !our laptop is ust!$ Answer8 I imagine that it is" 0he o+'ious thing to think is that in normal circumstances 5C; pro'i es a +etter answer to its ,uestion than 5F;" I% minimalism is right then this assessment has no eeper rationaleA it&s 4ust a +rute %act that we accept )+! seeing it& as a +etter answer than )+! imagining it& an that is all there is to it" Cut this isn&t all there is to it an the i%%erence in accepta+ilit! oes ha'e a eeper rationale" 0he o+'ious rationale is that perception is relia+leA it

pro uces )a high ratio o% true +elie%s& 5Gol man 166<8 1D:;" In contrast( imagination oesn&t pro uce a high ratio o% true +elie%sA +! an large( it oesn&t e'en pro uce +elie%s let alone ones that are largel! true" So it is har l! surprising that we on&t usuall! %in )+! imagining it& an accepta+le answer to )how o !ou know$& Wh! oes relia+ilit! matter$ 3elia+ilists ha'e a rea ! ma e answer to this ,uestion" Simple relia+ilism sa!s that a person S knows that * i% an onl! i% * is true( S +elie'es that *( an S&s +elie% that * is cause +! a relia+le process" Gi'en that knowle ge re,uires relia+ilit! it makes per%ect sense %or us to think that 5C; is in +etter shape than 5F;" 0he aim

1D

is to e1plain how someone knows that * an the suggestion is that a goo e1planation will nee to +e groun e in a goo account o% what it is to know that *" I% relia+ilism gi'es such an account then it e1plains wh! some e1planations are +etter than othersA speci%icall!( it makes it plausi+le that issues o% relia+ilit! can +e use to screen out +a e1planations an to 'in icate goo ones" We ha'e now arri'e at a %orm o% re uctionism" 3emem+er that re uctionism is the 'iew 5a; we can&t sa! what makes a particular e1planation o% someone&s knowle ge that * a goo e1planation unless we ha'e an account o% what it is to know that * an that 5+; to gi'e an account o% what it is to know that * one nee s to come up with non/circular necessar! an su%%icient con itions %or knowing that *" 0he relia+ilist criti,ue o% minimalism can +e seen as en orsing +oth claims" 3elia+ilism gi'es con itions %or knowing that are suppose to +e non/circular( necessar!( an su%%icient" It assesses 5C; an 5F; on the +asis o% these con itions an sa!s that it woul n&t +e possi+le to e1plain wh! 5C; is +etter than 5F; other than on this +asis" 0his is a re uctionist approach to the ,uestion o% e1planation as well as a %orm o% re uctionism a+out knowle ge" What( i% an!thing( is wrong with this$ One ,uestion is whether relia+ilism comes up with con itions %or knowing that are genuinel! su%%icient" It&s not i%%icult to think o% cases in which S&s true +elie% that * is cause +! a relia+le process +ut in which S still oesn&t know that *"1E On re%lection( howe'er( this oesn&t matter %or the purposes o% e1plaining wh! 5C; is in +etter shape than 5F;" What matters is that relia+ilit! is necessar! %or knowle ge( not whether relia+ilism pro'i es a e,uate necessar! an su%%icient con itions %or knowing" As long as relia+ilit! is necessar! %or knowle ge we are alrea ! ha'e a rationale %or liking 5C; +ut not 5F;" 0his is where re uctionism goes wrong" C! insisting

1E

on necessar! an su%%icient con itions as the +asis o% a satis%actor! response to the ,uestion o% e1planation it makes itsel% 'ulnera+le to arguments %or the h!pothesis that )the concept knows cannot +e anal!se into more +asic concepts 5Williamson <:::8 99;" 17 0hese

arguments ma! or ma! not +e con'incing +ut it is unwise to make e'er!thing epen on %in ing an anal!sis o% the concept o% knowle ge" Cetter to stick with necessar! con itions an to e1plain wh! 5C; is +etter than 5F; on this +asis" So %ar so goo +ut now consi er this e1ample8 when ?!stic ?oll! sees in her cr!stal +all that * it is almost alwa!s the case that *" She has ne'er seen 5in the or inar! sense; m! laptop +ut asserts that it is ust!" 0his lea s to the %ollowing e1change8 52; Question8 how o !ou know that m! laptop is ust!$ Answer8 I can see in m! cr!stal +all that it is" Is this answer accepta+le$ I% not it nee s to +e e1plaine wh! not" 16 Cut the e1planation cannot +e that ?oll!&s cr!stal/+all ga-ing %ails to eli'er a su%%icientl! high ratio o% true +elie%s" 21 h!pothesi it oes" So this looks like a case in which we can&t screen out an intuiti'el! unaccepta+le answer to )#ow o !ou know$& 4ust on the +asis o% relia+ilit!" So it seems that we still lack a satis%actor! answer to the ,uestion o% e1planation" Sophisticate relia+ilists like Gol man react to these sorts o% cases +! arguing that %or a +elie% to count as knowle ge it must +e 4usti%ie as well as cause +! a relia+le process" So perhaps ?oll! hasn&t e1plaine how she knows that m! laptop is ust! +ecause she hasn&t pointe to an!thing that 4usti%ies her +elie% that it is ust!" 2'er!thing now epen s on what it is %or a +elie% to +e 4usti%ie " For Gol man a 4usti%ie +elie% is one that is )o+taine through the e1ercise o% intellectual 'irtues& 5166<8 1BE;" 0hese )inclu e +elie% %ormation +ase on sight( hearing( memor!( reasoning in certain Lappro'e M wa!s( an so

17

%orth& 5166<8 1B7;" 0he intellectual 'ices inclu e )%orming +elie%s +! guesswork( wish%ul thinking( an ignoring contrar! e'i ence& 5i+i ";" So the i ea woul +e that ?oll!&s +elie%s aren&t 4usti%ie +ecause %orming +elie%s +! cr!stal +all ga-ing is a 'ice" Cut wh!$ When relia+ilists e1plain their istinction +etween intellectual 'irtues an intellectual 'ices the! o so )+! re%erence to relia+ilit!& 5i+i ";" In that case( it looks as though the! ought to +e prepare to a cr!stal +all ga-ing that pro uces a high ratio o% true +elie%s to our list o% to 'iew ?oll!&s +elie%s as 4usti%ie as long as there is no

intellectual 'irtues an un ermining e'i ence"<:

0o a'oi this result one might insist that the placing o% speci%ic intellectual 'irtues an 'ices in their respecti'e categories is +ase on more than 4ust relia+ilit!" 0o see how this might go consi er this passage8 I propose to i enti%! the rele'ant intellectual 'irtues 5at least those rele'ant to 4usti%ication; with +elie%/%orming capacities( %aculties( or processes that woul +e accepte as answers to L#ow oes K know$M" In answer to ,uestions o% this %orm( it is common to repl! L#e saw itM( L#e hear itM( L#e remem+ers itM( L#e in%ers it %rom such/an /such e'i enceM( an so %orth" 0hus( +asing +elie% on seeing( hearing( memor! an 5goo ; in%erence are in the collection o% what %olk regar as

intellectual 'irtues" Consi er( %or contrast( how anomalous it is to answer the ,uestion L#ow oes K know$M with LC! guess/workM( LC! wish%ul thinkingM( or LC! ignoring contrar! e'i enceM" 0his in icates that these mo es o% +elie% %ormation > guessing( wish%ul thinking( ignoring contrar! e'i ence/ are stan ar l! regar e as intellectual 'ices" 0he! are not wa!s o% o+taining knowle ge( nor wa!s o% o+taining 4usti%ie +elie% 5Gol man 166<8 1D</9;"

16

0he point is this8 when it comes to the classi%ication o% 'irtues an 'ices we on&t start with a +lank can'ass an %igure out %rom %irst principle whether( sa!( +asing +elie% on perception is a 'irtue rather than a 'ice" 3ather( we +egin with a list o% e1emplar! 'irtues an e'aluate no'el +elie% %orming processes on the +asis o% how similar the! are to the e1emplar! 'irtues"<1 Casing +elie% on perception is an e1emplar! 'irtue( an it is true that we woul n&t +e 4usti%ie in regar ing it as such i% it i n&t eli'er a high ratio o% true +elie%s" Cut the ultimate +asis %or classi%!ing the 'irtues as 'irtues is surel! that we take them to +e wa!s o% knowing" Casing +elie%s on perception is an e1emplar! intellectual 'irtue precisel! +ecause percei'ing is an e1emplar! wa! o% knowing" I% this is right there is no hope o% sa!ing what counts as an intellectual 'irtue in purel! non/epistemic terms" 0he intellectual 'irtues on&t 4ust eli'er a high ratio o% true +elie%sA one can imagine cr!stal +all ga-ing oing that" 0he %un amental point a+out the intellectual 'irtues is that the! are also( as Gol man himsel% acknowle ges( )wa!s o% o+taining knowle ge&" We ha'e now come %ull circle" 0he original ,uestion was8 what makes )+! ./ing that *& an accepta+le answer to )#ow o !ou know that *$& i% it isn&t simpl! the %act that ./ ing that * pro uces a high ratio o% true +elie%s$ Answer8 ./ing that * must also 4usti%! the +elie% that * an it woul n&t o that unless +asing +elie%s on ./ing is an intellectual 'irtue" Cut wh! is this mo e o% +elie% %ormation 'irtuous$ Answer8 +ecause )+! ./ing that *& is an accepta+le answer to )#ow o !ou know$&" 0he circularit! o% this e1change starts to make minimalism look like a serious option again" Where minimalism goes wrong is in claiming that nothing use%ul can +e sai a+out the +asis on which ./ing that * counts as a wa! o% knowing that *" What now seems much more plausi+le( howe'er( is that the notion o% a wa! o% knowing can&t ultimatel! +e e1plaine in more +asic terms" I% this is the point o%

<:

minimalism then we shoul +e minimalistsA we coul 4ust as well call minimalism anti/ re uctionism( that is( anti/re uctionism a+out wa!s o% knowing" #ere is one wa! o% e'eloping this suggestion8 when we 4u ge that one e1planation o% S&s knowle ge that * is +etter than another we raw on our %un amental i ea o% what it is to know that *" 3e uctionism is right to this e1tent" Cut our %un amental conception o% what it is to know that * is itsel% an e1planator! conception" We concei'e o% knowle ge as something whose possession +! someone can properl! +e e1plaine in some wa!s an not others( epen ing on the proposition known" So( %or e1ample( we think o% S&s knowle ge that * as something that can properl! +e e1plaine +! re%erence to what S has percei'e or remem+ere or pro'e orJ"( an that is wh! percei'ing( remem+ering( pro'ing( an so on all count as wa!s o% knowing" 0his relates to an i ea that Snow on mentions in the conte1t o% a iscussion o% the link +etween percei'ing an knowing" 0he i ea( which Snow on oesn&t actuall! en orse( is that this link e1plains the content o% the concept o% knowle ge to the e1tent that )our %un amental un erstan ing o% knowle ge is as what is !iel e +! perception in certain circumstances& 516678 9:1;" 0his makes it intelligi+le that we treat it as unpro+lematic( in man! cases( that someone&s knowle ge that * can +e e1plaine +! sa!ing that he sees that *" Cut this is not re uctionism" In ee ( it turns re uctionism on its hea " 3e uctionism takes it that the concept o% knowle ge is e1planatoril! prior to the concept o% a wa! o% knowing( that is( that we %igure out what counts as a wa! o% knowing on the +asis o% a prior un erstan ing o% the concept o% knowle ge" What we now ha'e is the suggestion that the content o% the concept o% knowle ge is itsel% %i1e +! re%erence to the notion o% a wa! o% knowing"<<

<1

0his is close to minimalism since it makes no attempt to groun our %un amental un erstan ing o% knowle ge in an!thing eeper" We woul n&t think that knowle ge is what is !iel e +! perception i% we i n&t think that perception is relia+le +ut we ha'e alrea ! seen that this isn&t enough to istinguish percei'ing %rom some %orms o% cr!stal +all ga-ing" 0he connection +etween knowle ge an perception is primiti'e rather than one that can +e e1plaine on the +asis o% an anal!sis o% the concept o% knowle ge in terms o% notions like relia+ilit!" #a'ing sai that( it also nee s to +e acknowle ge that we o+'iousl! on&t think o% knowle ge onl! as what is !iel e +! perception in certain circumstances" We also think o% it as what is !iel e +! man! other things( inclu ing testimon!( reasoning( calculation( in%erence to the +est e1planation( an so on" 0o sa! that it is )!iel e & +! these things is to sa! that one&s knowle ge that * can +e e1plaine +! re%erence to such non/perceptual sources" Again( relia+ilit! has something to o with it +ut isn&t the whole stor!" A +etter +et is to characteri-e knowle ge irectl! +! re%erence to the multiplicit! o% wa!s o% knowing that can in turn +e use to e1plain how someone knows" Fo we now ha'e an answer to the ,uestion o% e1planation$ Yes an no" Yes( in the sense that the istinction +etween goo an +a e1planations o% a person&s knowle ge has +een shown to +e groun e in an account o% what it is to know" No( +ecause the propose account o% what it is to know helps itsel% to the intuiti'e istinction +etween goo an +a answers to the ,uestion )#ow oes S know$&" We can sa! something a+out what makes a goo answer a goo answer an what makes a +a answer a +a answer +ut there are limits" Ce!on a certain point we ha'e to %all +ack on accepte e1amples o% goo an +a answers an classi%! less straight%orwar cases +! comparing them with our e1emplars" I% this isn&t e1actl! minimalism then it is certainl! 'er! close to it"<9

<<

32F232NC2S Austin( N" =" 516E6;( )Other ?in s&( in *hilosophical *apers ( 9r 2 ition 5O1%or 8 O1%or Gni'ersit! *ress;" Cassam( Q" 5<::E;( 0he *ossi+ilit! o% Knowle ge 5O1%or 8 O1%or Gni'ersit! *ress;" Cassam( Q" 5%orthcoming;( in F" *ritchar an *" Greenough 5e s"; Williamson on Knowle ge 5O1%or 8 O1%or Gni'ersit! *ress;" Fretske( F" 516D6;( Seeing an Knowing 5=on on8 3outle ge O Kegan *aul;" Gol man( A" 5166<;( )2pistemic Folkwa!s an Scienti%ic 2pistemolog!&( in =iaisons8 *hilosoph! ?eets the Cogniti'e an Social Sciences 5Cam+ri ge( ?ass"8 0he ?I0 *ress;" #ampshire( S" 516E6;( )Some Fi%%iculties in Knowing&( in 0" #on erich an ?" Curn!eat 5e s"; *hilosoph! As it Is 5#armon sworth8 *enguin;" Snow on( *" F" 51667;( )Strawson on the Concept o% *erception&( in =" #ahn 5e "; 0he *hilosoph! o% *" F" Strawson 5Chicago an =asalle8 Open Court;" Strou ( C" 5<:::a;( )Scepticism an the *ossi+ilit! o% Knowle ge&( in Gn erstan ing #uman Knowle ge 5O1%or 8 O1%or Gni'ersit! *ress;" Strou ( C" 5<:::+;( )2pistemological 3e%lection on Knowle ge o% the 21ternal Worl &( in Gn erstan ing #uman Knowle ge 5O1%or 8 O1%or Gni'ersit! *ress;" Strou ( C" 5<::@;( )*erceptual Knowle ge an 2pistemological Satis%action&( in N" Greco 5e "; 2rnest Sosa an his Critics 5O1%or 8 Clackwell;" Gnger( *" 516EB;( Ignorance8 A Case %or Scepticism 5O1%or A Claren on *ress;" Williamson( 0" 5<:::;( Knowle ge an its =imits 5O1%or 8 O1%or Gni'ersit! *ress;"

<9

Gnger is someone who thinks that this entailment hol s" See Gnger 16EB8 1B7" 0hanks to *aul Snow on %or making this point in iscussion" 0im Williamson pointe this out in response to an earlier 'ersion o% this paper" Imagine that the proposition is a+out the istant past or something that is too small to +e percei'e " 0he minimalist&s worr! a+out the ,uestion o% e1planation is that it threatens a regress" We can sa! that

<

one thing K e1plains some other thing Y +ut i% we ask what e1plains the %act K e1plains Y then wh! can&t we also ask what e1plains the e1planation o% the e1planator! link +etween K an Y$
D

For a e%ence o% the 'iew that the answer to this ,uestion is )!es&( see the chapter on other min s in

Cassam <::E"
E

I take it that this is the point that Snow on is making in the passage ,uote a+o'e" I&m not suggesting that this is the onl! route to scepticism" See Williamson <:::8 9E/7 %or %urther iscussion" 0his is +asicall! Fretske&s 'iew" See Fretske 16D68 1<6" See Gnger 16EB8 1B7/D<" Austin 16E68 E6" 0his is Gnger&s terminolog!" See Gnger 16EB8 1B@" #e oesn&t ha'e to sa! this e'en i% )regrets& is what he a calls a %acti'e mental state operator 5F?SO;"

1:

11

1<

19

1@

)Knows& is an F?SO +ut knowing that A isn&t a wa! o% knowing that A" It&s not clear( in an! case( whether Williamson thinks that )regrets& is an F?SO"
1B

0his is Wittgenstein&s 'iew" 0hough( %or reasons that I on&t ha'e the space to go into here( I think that the e1planator! conception

1D

shoul go %or the %irst response"


1E

Imagine that the cause is a per%ectl! relia+le %orm o% clair'o!ance" See Cassam( %orthcoming( %or a critical iscussion o% Williamson&s arguments %or this h!pothesis"

17

16

Actuall!( it&s not completel! clear that the answer is unaccepta+le" I% we are tempte to en orse it I

suggest that that is +ecause we are thinking o% seeing in a cr!stal +all as a peculiar %orm o% seeing"
<:

As Gol man asks( )i% 'irtues an 'ices are selecte on the +asis o% relia+ilit! an unrelia+ilit!(

respecti'el!( wh! oesn&t a h!pothetical case intro ucing a no'el relia+le process in uce an e'aluator to a that process to his list o% 'irtues an eclare the resulting +elie% 4usti%ie $& 5166<8 1D:;"

Categorial conser'atism is one %actor8 people ispla! a pre%erence %or entrenche categories( an )merel! imaginar! cases o not e1ert much in%luence on categorial structures& 5i+i ";"
<1

For a suggestion along these lines see Gol man 166<8 1BE/7" Williamson can +e rea as proposing something like this( e1cept that his conception o% wa!s o%

<<

knowing isn&t the e1planator! conception" See Williamson <:::8 9@"


<9

0hanks to Ciara Fairle!( *aul Snow on an 0im Williamson %or 'er! help%ul comments on an earlier ra%t o% this paper"