Williamson on Knowledge and Evidence

Alvin Goldman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

40 Scopus citations


It is difficult to reconcile Williamson's rejection of 'decompositional' analyses with his positive proposals for an 'account' of knowledge. After arguing that epistemologists should remain interested in sufficiency conditions, this chapter challenges the sufficiency of Williamson's safety-based account. Examination of cases suggests that the safety-based account is probably inferior to two of its reliabilist 'cousins': the relevant-alternatives approach and the reliable-process approach. The remainder of the chapter offers reasons to doubt Williamson's 'evidence equals knowledge' thesis. Interpreting evidence as noninferential propositional justifiedness is at least as promising as interpreting evidence as knowledge. The case of the diffident doxastic agent - whose reluctance to believe is compatible with an abundance of evidence - helps support this claim.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWilliamson on Knowledge
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191713620
ISBN (Print)9780199287512
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Evidence
  • Justifiedness
  • Knowledge
  • Relevant alternatives
  • Reliability
  • Safety
  • Williamson


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