- In this paper I shall make a second attempt1 at providing a combined causal/defeasibility analysis of knowledge.
- According to the view that I want to suggest, a person has knowledge that h only if that person justifiably believes that h on the basis of reasons and only if the having of those reasons results from a nondefective causal ancestry.
- A causal ancestry is nondefective if and only if the belief is indefeasibly justified.
- In my previous attempt to provide such a theory, I concentrated on what I call primary knowledge. Primary knowledge is knowledge of noncompound propositions that designate occurrent, causally efficacious events or states of affairs; all other factual (or propositional) knowledge is secondary. An example of primary knowledge is my present knowledge that there is a typewriter in front of me. Examples of secondary knowledge would include my present knowledge that either there is a typewriter in front of me or Brown is in Barcelona, that all human beings are mortal, and that 2 plus 2 equals 4.
- In the present essay, I shall again concentrate on primary knowledge.
- In the final section, however, I sketch the way in which the expanded theory covers secondary knowledge, and provide a variety of illustrative examples.
Footnote 1: For the first attempt, see "Swain (Marshall) - Knowledge, Causality, and Justification".
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