Tracking, Competence, and Knowledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article notes that in attempting to account for the conditions for knowledge, externalists have proposed that the justification condition be replaced or supplemented by the requirement that a certain modal relation be obtained between a fact and a subject's belief concerning that fact. It assesses attempts to identify such a relation. It focuses on an account labeled "Cartesian-tracking." This accounts for the relation in the form of two conditionals: If a person S believes a proposition P>P; and if P>S believes P. This article suggests that the second conditional should be abandoned as a requirement and that the first one, equipped with its modifications, can offer promising results in connection with skepticism. It argues that if the first conditional is modified and coupled with the requirement that S's belief be "virtuous", it can illuminate the nature of propositional knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Epistemology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199892068
ISBN (Print)9780195301700
StatePublished - Sep 2 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Cartesian-tracking
  • Externalists
  • Knowledge
  • Modal relation
  • Skepticism


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