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Lackey, Jennifer. Why We Don’t Deserve Credit for Everything We Know
2009, Synthese 158(3): 345-361.
Added by: Jie Gao
Abstract: A view of knowledge - what I call the Deserving Credit View of Knowledge (DCVK) - found in much of the recent epistemological literature, particularly among so-called virtue epistemologists, centres around the thesis that knowledge is something for which a subject deserves credit. Indeed, this is said to be the central difference between those true beliefs that qualify as knowledge and those that are true merely by luck - the former, unlike the latter, are achievements of the subject and are thereby creditable to her. Moreover, it is often further noted that deserving credit is what explains the additional value that knowledge has over merely lucky true belief. In this paper, I argue that the general conception of knowledge found in the DCVK is fundamentally incorrect. In particular, I show that deserving credit cannot be what distinguishes knowledge from merely lucky true belief since knowledge is not something for which a subject always deserves credit.

Comment: This is an important paper in the literature on virtue epistemology. It argues that one formulation of the virtue epistemology in terms of the Credit View is very problematic. It is suitable for both lower- and upper-division of undergraduate courses on epistemology.

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