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Lecture 6

Lecture 6

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University of Ottawa
Daniel Kofman

Sept. 24, 2013 Attempts to answer Gettier: causal theory, relevant alternatives -Gettier’s counterexample is based on sufficient conditions JTB (justified true belief) Recap: The structure of GCEs (Gettier’s Counter Examples): i. S justifiably believes P ii. - P (P is false) (So S justifiably believes a false premise). Assumption: internal justification fallible iii. (P  Q) – P is sufficient for Q, but not necessary for P iv. Q (happens to be true, ‘luckily’ i.e. not in virtue of following from P; recall: iii does not say P is necessary for Q; something else may produce Q while P is false). ex: P P  Q Therefore, Q v. S (validly) infers Q from P vi. S justifiably believes Q and Q is true, but S does not know Q 1. How to cook up a GCE in 3 easy steps: 1.1 - Take an ordinarily justified belief say on basis of ordinary perception, normally reliable testimony, general background knowledge. 1.2 - Invent circumstances in which the ordinary justification this time fails: trick, deception, optical illusion, usually reliable sources is lying or mistaken, etc. (Zagzebski’s 1 accident) 1.3 - Note: S now has false belief. Do NOT serve this up as a CGE or your dinner guests will choke. Further preparation, treat this false belief as a lemma, and invent an nd inference from it to something that happens to be true (Zagzebski’s 2 accident). Note: Easiest (and most banal) way to do 1.3 is Gettier’s own: law of addition: Disjoin statement that turns out true by chance to the false belief of 1.2. This is a GCE with a false lemma. Trickier exercise: make a Feldman-style GCE with no false lemma. Homework: come up with a Gettier example EXAMPLE: I believe there is a deer in the field. But what I take to be a deer is in fact a tree. However, my belief is valid because there is a deer in the field, but I don’t see it because it’s behind the tree. Therefore JTB is justified but it does not constitute knowledge. What appears to be a window is really a TV screen relaying recorded images of the outside from a week ago. You look, and form the justified belief: ‘It is raining’. As a matter of fact this is also true. 2. Replies to Gettier generally take one of two forms: th 2.1 – Adding 4 condition to JTB 2.2
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