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Showing posts from January, 2013

A Question About Religious Experience and Safety Accounts of Knowledge

(Rough draft)

A number of epistemologists (Sosa, Pritchard, Williamson, et al.) have proposed that "safety" is a necessary condition for knowledge. Here's a generic formulation of the condition:

S knows that P only if S could not have easily falsely believed that P.

(where "S could not have easily falsely believed that P" is often cashed out in terms of not falsely believing P in all worlds nearby the world at which S truly believes that P.)

I'm tempted to think that something like safety is a necessary condition for knowledge, but I'm not interested in discussing the matter here. Rather, for present purposes I'm only interested in exploring whether religious experience is threatened as a basic source of warrant for Christian belief if knowledge requires safety.

Here's a first pass at conveying the worry: it's not uncommon for Christians to attribute widespread error in experience-based religious beliefs to those who have religious experienc…

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