• Jonathan L. Kvanvig ‘The Epistemic Paradoxes’


The four primary epistemic paradoxes are the lottery, preface, knowability, and surprise examination paradoxes. The lottery paradox begins by imagining a fair lottery with a thousand tickets in it. Each ticket is so unlikely to win that we are justified in believing that it will lose. So we can infer that no ticket will win. Yet we know that some ticket will win.
In the preface paradox, authors are justified in believing everything in their books. Some preface their book by claiming that, given human frailty, they are sure that errors remain, errors for which they take complete responsibility. But then they justifiably believe both that everything in the book is true, and that something in it is false.
The knowability paradox results from accepting that some truths are not known, and that any truth is knowable. Since the first claim is a truth, it must be knowable. From these claims it follows that it is possible that there is some particular truth that is known to be true and known not to be true.
The final paradox concerns an announcement of a surprise quiz next week. A Friday test will not be a surprise, yet, if the test cannot be on Friday, it cannot be on Thursday either. For if it has not been given by Wednesday night, and it cannot be a surprise on Friday, it will not be a surprise on Thursday. Similar reasoning rules out all other days of the week as well; hence, no surprise quiz can occur next week. On Wednesday, the teacher gives a quiz, and the students are taken completely by surprise.

1 Lottery and Preface Paradoxes

2 Knowability Paradox

3 The Surprise Examination Paradox

私としてはKnowability Paradoxが一番興味深い。この論文は辞典の一項目として書かれたもの。