Knowledge and its Limits

Knowledge and its Limits

3.86 (95 ratings by Goodreads)
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Knowledge and its Limits presents a systematic new conception of knowledge as a fundamental kind of mental state sensitive to the knower's environment. It makes a major contribution to the debate between externalist and internalist philosophies of mind, and breaks radically with the epistemological tradition of analysing knowledge in terms of true belief. The theory casts light on a wide variety of philosophical issues: the problem of scepticism, the nature
of evidence, probability and assertion, the dispute between realism and anti-realism and the paradox of the surprise examination. Williamson relates the new conception to structural limits on knowledge which imply that what can be known never exhausts what is true. The arguments are illustrated by rigorous
models based on epistemic logic and probability theory. The result is a new way of doing epistemology for the twenty-first century.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 19mm | 526g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 019925656X
  • 9780199256563
  • 193,314

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. A State of Mind ; 2. Broadness ; 3. Primeness ; 4. Anti-Luminosity ; 5. Margins and Iterations ; 6. An Application ; 7. Sensitivity ; 8. Scepticism ; 9. Evidence ; 10. Evidential Probability ; 11. Assertion ; 12. Structural Unknowability ; Appendices ; Bibliography ; Index
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Review quote

'radical and challenging . . . without question and important exercise of the "let me show you a new way of looking at things" kind; something we sorely need in epistemology' * Frank Jackson, Australasian Journal of Philosophy * 'the best book in epistemology to come out since 1975' * Keith DeRose, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science * Williamson provides a battery of considerations designed to convince us that the concept of knowledge is the most central and vital member of the family of epistemological concepts ... If Williamson is right, we shall be forced to admit that much recent epistemology is ill-conceived... He also makes important contributions to our understanding of the nature of mind and the relationship of mind to world. Knowledge and its Limits is striking throughout for its
clarity, originality of thought, technical sophistication and philosophical breadth ... Careful study of this work will be richly rewarded. * Brian McLaughlin and John Hawthorne, Times Literary Supplement *
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About Timothy Williamson

Timothy Williamson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.
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Rating details

95 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 32% (30)
4 38% (36)
3 21% (20)
2 4% (4)
1 5% (5)
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