Posts Tagged ‘lotteries’

A problem for rejecting knowledge of lottery propositions

November 15, 2008

So, lots of people find it plausible to deny knowledge in the following type of case.  Let there be a fair lottery with n tickets (where n is very high, and where one and only one ticket will win).  You receive ticket i, and reason that because 1/n is so small, you believe you will lose.   Lets say you are right, and ticket is in a loser.  Most people find it emminently reasonable to reject that you know that you will lose, for various (seemingly good) reasons.

But if they do, they will also have to deny the following rather plausible principle about the value of knowledge :

Knowledge is Valuable (KIV): A rational person should never prefer to merely truly believe that p, rather than to know that p.* (more…)