“Losing Confidence in Luminosity” by Simon Goldstein and coauthored with Dan Waxman

A mental state is luminous if, whenever an agent is in that state, they are in a position to know that they are. Following Williamson 2000, a wave of recent work has explored whether any interesting mental states are luminous. One powerful argument against luminosity comes from the connection between knowledge and confidence: that if an agent knows p, then p is true in any nearby world where she has a similar level of confidence in p. Unfortunately, the relevant notion of confidence in the principle above is relatively underexplored.

In this paper, we remedy this gap, providing a precise theory of confidence: an agent’s degree of confidence in p is the objective chance they will act in ways that satisfy their desires if p. We use this theory of confidence to propose a variety of interesting constraints on knowledge. We argue that knowledge is not luminous, but for quite different reasons than the existing literature has considered.

Date: 17 September 2018, Monday
Time: 3pm to 5pm
Venue: Philosophy Resource Room (AS3-05-23)

About the Speaker:
Simon is a philosophy professor at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. He completed his PhD in philosophy at Rutgers University. His research is about the semantics and logic of modals and conditionals.

All are welcome

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