There seem to be cases of justified true belief that still fall short of in Edmund Gettier’s paper, “Is Justified True Belief. As Gettier indicates at the beginning of this selection, he is concerned with a person’s believing that proposition to be true, and that person’s justification in the . of knowledge. Initially, that challenge appeared in an article by Edmund Gettier , published in The Justified-True-Belief Analysis of Knowledge. Gettier.

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What exactly is the difference? What does it take to know something? Knowledge seems to be more like a way of getting at the truth. More particularly, the project of analysing knowledge is to state conditions that are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for propositional knowledge, thoroughly answering the question, what does it take to know something? A proposed analysis consists of a statement of the following form: S knows that p if and only if jwhere j indicates the analysans: It is not enough merely to pick out the actual extension of knowledge.

Even if, in actual fact, all cases of S knowing that p are cases of jand all cases of the latter are cases of the former, j might fail as an analysis of knowledge. For example, it might be that there are possible cases of knowledge without jor vice versa.

A proper analysis of knowledge should at least be a necessary truth. Consequently, hypothetical thought experiments provide appropriate test cases for various analyses, as we shall see below. Even a tue biconditional linking knowledge to some state j would probably not be knowoedge for an analysis of knowledge, although just what more is required is a matter of some controversy. According to some theorists, to analyze knowledge is literally to identify the components that make up knowledge—compare a chemist who analyzes a sample to learn its chemical composition.

On this interpretation of the project of analyzing knowledge, the defender of ks successful analysis of knowledge will be committed to something like the metaphysical claim that what it is for S to know p is for some list of conditions involving S and p to obtain.

Other theorists think of the analysis of knowledge as distinctively conceptual —to analyse knowledge is to limn the structure of the concept of knowledge.

On one version of this approach, the concept knowledge is literally composed of more basic concepts, linked together by something like Boolean operators. Consequently, an analysis is subject not only to extensional accuracy, but to facts about the cognitive representation of knowledge and other epistemic notions. In practice, many epistemologists engaging in the project of analyzing knowledge leave these metaphilosophical interpretive questions unresolved; getier analyses, and counterexamples thereto, are often proposed without its being made explicit whether the claims are intended as metaphysical or conceptual ones.

In many cases, this lack of specificity may be legitimate, since all parties tend to agree that an analysis of knowledge ought at least to be extensionally correct in all metaphysically possible worlds. As we shall see, many theories have been defended and, especially, refuted, on those terms.

The attempt to analyze knowledge has received a considerable amount of attention from epistemologists, particularly in the late 20 th Century, but no analysis has been widely accepted. Some contemporary epistemologists reject the assumption that knowledge is susceptible to analysis.

According to this analysis, justified, true belief is necessary and sufficient for knowledge. Much of the twentieth-century literature on the analysis of knowledge took the JTB analysis as its starting-point.

It became something of a convenient fiction to suppose that this analysis was widely accepted throughout much of the history of philosophy. In fact, however, the JTB analysis was first articulated in the twentieth century by its attackers. Most epistemologists have found it overwhelmingly plausible that what is false cannot be known.


Consequently, nobody knows that Hillary Clinton won the election. One can only know things that are true.

Many people expected Clinton to win the election. Not all truths are established truths. If you flip a coin and never check how it landed, it may be true that it landed heads, even if nobody has any way to tell.

Truth is a metaphysicalas opposed to epistemologicalnotion: Knowledge is a kind of relationship with the truth—to know something is to have a certain kind of access to a fact. The belief condition is only slightly more controversial than the beljef condition.

The general idea behind the belief condition is that you can only know what you believe. Failing to believe something precludes knowing it. Outright belief is stronger see, e. Although initially it might seem obvious that knowing that p requires believing that pa few philosophers have argued that knowledge without belief is indeed possible.

Suppose Walter comes home after work to find out that his house has burned down. Critics of the belief condition might argue that Walter knows that his house has burned down he sees that it hasbut, as his words indicate, he does not believe it. A more serious counterexample has been suggested by Colin Radford Suppose Albert is quizzed on English history.

One of the questions is: The fact that he answers most of the questions correctly indicates that he has actually learned, and never forgotten, such historical facts.

Since he takes a and b to be true, Radford holds that belief is not necessary for knowledge. But either of a and b might be resisted.

Edmund L. Gettier, “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?”

David Rose and Jonathan Schaffer take this route. The justification condition is the topic of the next section. Why is condition iii necessary? Why not say that knowledge is true belief? The standard answer is that to identify knowledge with true belief would be implausible because a belief might be true even knowlede it is formed improperly.

The Analysis of Knowledge

Suppose justiried William flips a coin, and confidently believes—on no particular basis—that it will land tails. For William to know, his belief must in some epistemic sense be proper or appropriate: For example, if a lawyer employs sophistry to induce a jury into a belief that happens to be true, this belief is insufficiently well-grounded to helief knowledge.

There is considerable disagreement among epistemologists concerning what the relevant sort of justification here consists in. Internalists about bbelief think that whether a belief is justified depends wholly on states in some sense internal to the subject.

Conee and Feldman present an example of an internalist view. Given their not unsubstantial assumption that what tru a subject has is an internal matter, evidentialism implies internalism. Propositional justification concerns whether a subject has sufficient reason to believe a given proposition; [ 9 ] doxastic justification concerns whether a edmnud belief is held appropriately. The precise relation between propositional and doxastic justification is subject to controversy, but it is uncontroversial that the two notions can come apart.

Suppose that Ingrid ignores a great deal of excellent evidence indicating that a given neighborhood is dangerous, but superstitiously comes to believe that the neighborhood is dangerous when she sees a black cat crossing the street. Since knowledge is a particularly successful kind of belief, doxastic justification is a stronger candidate for being closely related knowpedge knowledge; the JTB theory is typically thought to invoke doxastic justification but see Lowy This view is sometimes motivated by the thought that, when we consider whether someone knows that por wonder which of a group of people knowoedge that poften, we are not at all interested in whether the relevant subjects have beliefs that are justified; we just want to know whether they have the true belief.

For example, as Hawthorne One could allow that there is a lightweight sense of knowledge that requires only true belief; another option is to decline to accept the intuitive sentences as true at face value. In what follows, we will set aside the lightweight sense, if indeed there be one, and focus on the stronger one.


Gettier Problems

Few contemporary epistemologists accept the adequacy of the JTB analysis. Although most agree that each element of the tripartite theory is necessary for knowledge, they do not edmnd collectively to be sufficient.

There seem to be cases of justified true belief that still fall short of knowledge.

Here is one kind of example:. Imagine that we are seeking water on a hot day. We suddenly see water, or so we think. In fact, we are not seeing water but a mirage, but when we reach the spot, we are lucky and find water right there under a rock.

The Analysis of Knowledge (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Can we say that we had genuine knowledge of water? The answer seems to be negative, for we were just lucky. This example comes from the Indian philosopher Dharmottara, c. The 14 th -century Italian philosopher Peter of Mantua presented a similar case:. Let it be assumed that Plato is next to you and you know him to be running, but you mistakenly believe that he is Socrates, so that you firmly believe that Socrates is running.

However, let it be so that Socrates is in fact running in Rome; however, you do not know this. Gettier presented two cases in which a true belief is inferred from a justified false belief. He observed that, intuitively, such beliefs cannot be knowledge; it is merely lucky that they are true.

Since they appear to refute the JTB analysis, many epistemologists have undertaken to repair it: Above, we noted that one role of the justification is to rule out lucky guesses as cases of knowledge. A lesson of the Gettier problem is that it appears that even true beliefs that are justified can nevertheless be epistemically lucky in a way inconsistent with knowledge.

Epistemologists who think that the JTB approach is basically on the right track must choose between two different strategies for solving the Gettier problem. The first is to strengthen the justification condition to rule out Gettier cases as cases of justified belief.

There are examples of Gettier cases that need involve no inference; therefore, there are possible cases of justified true belief without knowledge, even though condition iv is met. Suppose, for example, that James, who is relaxing on a bench in a park, observes an apparent dog in a nearby field.

Suppose further that the putative dog is actually a robot dog so perfect that it could not be distinguished from an actual dog by vision alone. Given these assumptions, d is of course false. And since this belief is based on ordinary perceptual processes, most epistemologists will agree that it is justified.

If so, then the JTB account, even if supplemented with ivgives us the wrong result that James knows d.

Suppose there is a county in the Midwest with the following peculiar feature. The landscape next to the road leading through that county is peppered with barn-facades: Observation from any other viewpoint would immediately reveal these structures to be fakes: Suppose Henry is driving along the road that leads through Barn County.

Naturally, he will on numerous occasions form false beliefs in the presence of barns. Since Henry has no reason to suspect that he is the victim of organized deception, these beliefs are justified.