forum 6: week of 13 Feb - K & practical interests

Fragment of a discussion from Course talk:Phil440A
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I liked the bank example as a way to approach the issue of indifference in knowledge. But, I think that the exact knowledge that caring/indifference caused was misleading in this paper. In the example of Trust Fund Richie not caring about whether the bank is open on Saturday, he chooses not to go to the bank on Friday because he knows that even if the bank is closed on Saturday, he won't face severe consequences. So when he decides not to go to the bank on Friday he doesn't have any knowledge that the bank will be open on Saturday, he simply has knowledge that the consequences won't effect him. This indifference does not reduce or increase his knowledge of whether the bank will be open. However, in the high stakes example with Hannah and Sarah -when Hannah decides that she does not know whether the bank will be open on Saturday, and she chooses to go to the bank- the consequences of not having the cheque deposited in time does weaken her knowlege. The high stakes in this case prevent her from being able to know with complete certaintly that the bank will be open on Saturday, and cause her to go the bank on Friday instead. For these reasons, I think that high stakes can reduce one's knowledge, but I do not think it entails that low stakes increase one's knowledge.

23:06, 14 February 2012