It seems like an appropriate time, therefore, to evaluate what we have learned — or link have learned — from his elegant counterexamples.
Measured Justified True Belief Essays terms of impact per page his three-page paper yes, only three pages rates among the most influential of twentieth-century essays in philosophy. I could believe — truly believe — that my horse would win the third race without knowing it would win. To know it would win I need more — some reason, evidence or justification the race is fixed? Gettier produced examples to show that this simple equation of knowledge K with justified true belief JTB was too simplistic.
His examples triggered a widespread search for a more satisfactory account of knowledge. The Justified True Belief Essays of these was that:. The continue reading one needs to know that P is true is a justification one can have for a false proposition.
After all, if one can, as we Justified True Belief Essays believe we can — sometimes at least — come to know just by looking that there are bananas in the fruit bowl and by glancing at the fuel gauge fuel in the automobile tank, then given the existence of wax bananas and defective gauges, the justification, the kind of evidence, needed to know is clearly less than conclusive.
It is something one can have for a false proposition. Nonetheless, despite the overwhelming appeal of 1, accepting it lands one in the epistemological soup. Well, almost in the soup. If you are justified in believing P, and you know that P entails Q and accept Q as a result, you are justified in believing Q. The idea behind 2, of course, is that one does not lose justification by performing deductive inferences one knows to be valid.
But, alas, accepting both 1 and 2 lands you in deep trouble. Suppose you are justified to a degree needed for knowledge in believing a false proposition F — that, say, Tom lives in San Francisco. Letters, telephone calls, and a recent visit have convinced you of this. If asked, you would say you know where he lives.
Nonetheless, despite your justification, F is false. He lives in Los Angeles. Gettier 1 tells us this can happen. Realising that if Tom lives in San Francisco he must live in California you, quite naturally, also believe he lives in California. You now via 2 have a justified true belief in the proposition that he lives in California. So knowledge is not justified true belief.
It is something more.
What, you may ask, is so troublesome about that? Knowledge is not JTB. It is certainly not deep trouble. On the contrary, it represents philosophical progress. Thanks to Gettier we now have a better picture of what knowledge really is.
HH This read article a response to Gettier that seeks to solve the problem by accepting the two assumptions that led to it. Something has to give. To see why consider some hypothetical improvement on the standard JTB analysis. This amendment automatically rules out as knowledge your belief that Tom lives in California, since it is reached via the false proposition that he lives in San Francisco.
You may be justified in some ordinary sense Justified True Belief Essays believing he lives in California, yes, but you are not justified G in believing it. The problem is not solved.
Total Philosophy: Knowledge and The Gettier Problem
Justification G may satisfy 1 you can be justified G in believing Tom lives in San Francisco even though this is falsebut it fails to satisfy 2.
Because even though your belief that Tom lives in California is a result of a justified G belief that he lives in San Francisco, you are not justified G in believing he lives in California.
So contrary to 2, justification Gthe kind of justification needed for knowledge, does not exist for propositions Tom lives in California you know to be implied by things he lives in San Francisco you are justified G in believing. So J G does not satisfy 2. As far as I can see, this result is perfectly general. If assumption 1 is true, if you can have a justification, J G, the kind of justification needed for knowledge, for a false proposition, F, then 2 is false: One will not be justified G in believing propositions one knows to be implied by what one is justified G in believing.
What to do about it? I suggest that the only reasonable option is to reject 1. One is not justified — not in the Justified True Belief Essays needed for knowledge — in believing false propositions.
If one is justified in the way needed to know P, then P has to be true. As I once put it, J G justification is conclusive. That is click the following article gives J G justification the power to transform mere belief that P into knowledge that P.
It provides — Justified True Belief Essays knowledge is supposed to provide — security from error.
That is why we all hanker after knowledge. HH This sounds like pretty strong medicine. Is it too strong to swallow?
Is the cure worse than the disease? What about rejecting 2? HH Lottery examples suggest that you cannot know that P is true if there is a chance, Justified True Belief Essays small, that P is false. If your only reason for thinking you are going to lose in the lottery is that you have only one of the million tickets sold, then it may be perfectly reasonable for you to be pessimistic, to believe you are going to lose, but you do not know you are going to lose.
Because, given merely those reasons, the fact that given the number of tickets sold your chances of losing are. Someone with exactly this small visit web page. This sounds like an eminently reasonable principle, one that a theory of knowledge should preserve. Nonetheless, if we suppose that one could know that P is true when P might given your evidence be false — whenever the probability of P was, say, at least.
Because one might know P P is. It will always be less than the probability of the conjuncts when these conjuncts describe independent conditions. The only way to avoid this result and, thus, preserve the Conjunction Principle is to insist that the evidence or justification needed for knowing something must make the probability of it equal to 1. Not close to 1, not nearly 1, but 1. The justification must be conclusive since otherwise conjunctions will fail to meet the justificational standards of their conjuncts, and the Conjunction Principle will fail.
The third consideration is a bit more tricky, but it carried significant weight with me when I first thought about it. One can, after all, have reasons to believe false things one has reasons, even very good reasons, for believing true.
Think about Sue, Justified True Belief Essays and the cookie jar. Sue knows Justified True Belief Essays are cookies in the jar. Sam does not know this.
He did not look. They both watch a hungry boy peer into the cookie jar, replace the lid without taking anything, and leave with a disappointed look on his face.
Sam, we may suppose, has now acquired a reason to think there are no cookies in the jar. It is, rather, a puzzling fact to be explained. You can do that if you merely have good — maybe even excellent — reasons to think the jar has cookies in it, but you cannot do that if you know it has cookies in it.
The explanation for this curious fact is that the reasons required for knowing the jar has cookies in it eliminates an empty jar as a possible explanation of anything, and the only reasons that do that are conclusive reasons.
So, once again, Gettier 1 has to go. If one Justified True Belief Essays of a conclusive justification, a justification one cannot have for a false proposition, as something like a logical proof, then, of course, this Justified True Belief Essays will sound absurd. It would be a way of saying that to know that P one must be able to prove that it is true.
Sceptics may believe that, but no one else does. That would set the standard for knowledge much too high.
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All that is meant — or, better, all that needs to be meant — is that the reason why one believes P this is called an explanatory reason is some existing condition R such that the following statement CR defining a conclusive reason is true. R would not be the case unless P was true. If you have conclusive reasons for believing P, you cannot be wrong about P.
But this is not because R is a proof that P is true. It is because R — perhaps unknown to the person for whom R is his reason for believing P — satisfies a condition viz. As it turns out, therefore, conclusive reasons are not that hard to come by.
We have them for many of our ordinary beliefs. HH If the reason a person has for believing there is gas in his automobile tank is that his gas gauge indicates there is, then if the gauge is functioning properly, he has conclusive reasons for thinking he has gas in his tank. This, too, is the Justified True Belief Essays of justification a person might have for thinking that my birthday is in December — viz.
If these are the kind of reasons one needs for knowledge, then — voila! I have only argued that if it is accepted, one must reject Gettier 1. For many philosophers this will be an academic question. There is no wiggle room. For these philosophers rejecting 2 brings on epistemological Armageddon. I here myself rejected principles they are called closure principles like 2. But this is a controversial issue that we can comfortably set aside here.
Even philosophers like myself who reject closure principles are willing to accept them when they are restricted to the kind of obvious implications at work in familiar Gettier examples — implications such as that [P] implies [P or Q] or that [Tom did it] implies [Someone did it].