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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 75, 2018

Theories of Knowledge and Epistemology

Murray Clarke
Pages 63-68

Dual-Process Theory and Epistemic Intuition

In this paper, I seek an account of the nature of epistemic intuition. Given the resources of Dual-Process Theory in Psychology, I argue that the intuitions of elite epistemologists, such as Fred Dretske, are not a priori, pre-theoretic, insights. Instead, they are a posteriori insights into the phenomena of knowledge, not the concept of knowledge. Dretske intuitions are technical, modal intuitions about hypothetical counterfactual cases using System II reflections. Such intuitions depended on thinking about the implications of laws of nature in particular circumstances and were used to defend Dretske’s reliable indicator account of knowledge. That account suggested that one must have conclusive reasons when one has empirical knowledge that P.

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