forum 6: week of 13 Feb - K & practical interests
In order to answer your question of whether the bank example works or not, I would need a less ambiguous explication of "serious epistemic possibility" - what Russell and Dorris give is not sufficient! I mean, whether something is a "serious epistemic possibility" or not makes all the difference for deciding what counts as knowledge. At least that is what I seem to get from Russell and Dorris. Hence, without an alternative explication of "serious epistemic possibility", I cannot say whether the bank example works for me or not.
As things currently stand, I have much trouble grasping the following two statements (from Russell and Dorris, page 14): "As the various stakes cases seem to show, interest destroys knowledge and indifference creates it." "conscientiousness impedes the attainment of knowledge and dogmatism supports it."
The reason why these two statements are so troubling for me is because I would say with a fairly high level of confidence that the opposite is true in scientific practice (especially statistics!): interest creates knowledge but indifference destroys it; conscientiousness does not impede the attainment of knowledge yet dogmatism has the capability to hinder it.
The bank example seems inherently unsatisfying and contradictory. It may be framed under a consistent logic, although it appears implausible. Stanley appears to be attaching importance to knowledge, where it seems an improper use of relating the two together as an argument. Also, in the fact that the bank example violates the "stability condition" Russel and Doris's argument that knowledge should be resistant to fluctuation is salient against Stanley. Introducing the lottery situation heightens this violation of the stability condition, further weakening Stanley's argument.