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Research Graduate School of Philosophy PhD ceremonies

Luck and justification

Internalism, externalism and kinds of luck
PhD ceremony:J.A.M. (Job) de Grefte
When:September 07, 2017
Start:16:15
Supervisor:prof. C. Dutilh Novaes
Co-supervisor:prof. dr. A.J.M. (Jeanne) Peijnenburg
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Philosophy

This thesis concerns the question: what is knowledge? Traditionally, it has been thought that in order to know that p, one must have some justification for one’s belief that p. This book is an investigation into  the relation between this justification condition and kinds of epistemic luck. It is argued that the vexed debate between so-called internalists and externalists about epistemic justification can be recast in terms of luck.

In the first part of the thesis, an account of luck is developed, and the various kinds of luck relevant in epistemology are discussed. In the second part of the thesis it is argued that internalist concepts of justification typically eliminate one kind of luck, reflective luck, but not another kind of luck, veritic luck. The situation is converse for externalist concepts of justification: they typically eliminate veritic luck, but not reflective luck. In the final chapter of the thesis an original view is developed concerning the relation between epistemic justification and the various kinds of epistemic luck, and discuss some implications.