The aim of this paper is to defend a novel characterization of epistemic luck. Helping myself to the notions of epistemic entitlement and adequate explanation, I propose that a true belief suffers from epistemic luck iff an adequate explanation of the fact that the belief acquired is true must appeal to propositions to which the subject herself is not epistemically entitled (in a sense to be made clear below). The burden of the argument is to show that there is a plausible construal of the notions of epistemic entitlement and adequate explanation on which the resulting characterization of epistemic luck, though admittedly programmatic, has several important virtues. It avoids difficulties which plague modal accounts of epistemic luck; it can explain the conflicting temptations one can feel in certain alleged cases of epistemic luck; it offers a novel account of the value of knowledge, without committing itself to any particular analysis of knowledge; and it illuminates the significance for epistemology of the phenomenon of epistemic luck itself.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- History and Philosophy of Science