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Epistemology P1

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University of British Columbia
PHIL 101
Christopher Stephens

Epistemology The study of knowledge, evidence and rationality Philosophical Skepticism: Denies that we have much knowledge, or at all and questions the validity of evidence and judgment. P1: In order to know something, it must be impossible to be mistaken. P2: It’s always possible to be mistaken about P (for all a posteriori claims) Dreams? C: Hence, one doesn’t know any a posteriori P. If X is a necessary condition for Y (If Y, then X) If X is a sufficient condition for Y (If X than Y) Ex. Studying hard is a necessary condition for getting an A, if I got an A, then I studied hard, necessarily. If studying hard is sufficient for getting an A, if I study hard, than I will get an A. Justified True Belief (JTB): Account for knowledge and also the necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge. S knows that P if and only if (1) P is true (2) S believes P (3) S has evidence for P (1) and (2) are not sufficient for knowledge. True beliefs without evidence are NOT knowledge. Lucky guesses do not count as knowledge*. Gettier: argues that all (1), (2) and (3) are not sufficient for knowledge and comes up with his own counter example for JTB. Smith works in an office and has a generally reliable boss named Jones. One day, Jones comes into the office and says, “Mary will get the promotion” Smith believes: a) Mary will get the promotion, Smith also discovers that Mar
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