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Abstract: Epistemologists generally agree that the stringency of intuitive ascriptions of knowledge is increased when unrealized possibilities of error are mentioned. Non-sceptical invanantists (Williamson, Hawthorne) think it a mistake to yield in such cases to the temptation to be more stringent, but they do not deny that we feel it. They contend that the temptation is best explained as the product of a psychological bias known as the availability heuristic. I argue against the availability explanation, and sketch a rival account of what happens to us psychologically when possibilities of error are raised.
Comment: Nagel is one of the prominent epistemologists who bring relevant psychological researches to philosophical debates. In this paper, Nagel proposes a psychological account of intuitive judgments that motivate epistemic contextualism for defending invariantism. The paper is very useful for courses of methodology of philosophy and teachings on contextualism in courses on epistemology.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format