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PHLA10H3 (173)

Aashna Thakkar

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William Seager

What is knowledge? • what is the diff between knowledge and belief? ◦ What is the point in saying, i don’t believe, i know! • Why is knowledge important ◦ sense of security, planning and ' building' • skepticism ◦ position claiming we have no knowledge ◦ does the skeptic claim that we can know that skeptictism is true • know how, know who, and know what ◦ three different ways we use the word 'know' ◦ is there a common factor? Necessary and Sufficient Conditions • necessary conditions ◦ when (if x then y) us true then I is necessary condition for x ▪ ex. oxygen is a necessary condition for a match lighting, living in Canada is a necessary condition for living in Canada • Sufficient conditions ◦ when (if x then y) is true Knowledge, belief, truth • knowledge implies belief • the belief- desire explanation system (folk psych) mental states: beliefs and desires • ex. John went to the fridge and got a beer ◦ Desire: john wanted a beer ◦ Belief: john believed beer was in the fridge • altering either belief or desire alters the action • desire is a mental state which represents the world as we wish it to become (goal) • belief is the stare which represents the worlds current 'configuration' • rationality is the ability to use beliefs to generate actions which transform the world to desired state • knowledge implies belief ◦ that is, if S knows P then S believs that P ◦ can we show this ▪ suppose that S knows that snow is white ▪ now suppose that S does NOT believe that snow is white ▪ what happens is we ask him whether snow is white? ▪ Is he says 'yes' then he must believe that snow is white (so long as he in sincere) ▪ is he says 'no' then he can't know that snow is white ▪ is he says 'i don’t know' then he cant know what snow is after all • is this a good argument ◦ exam situation: a 'guess' based on knowledge you don’t know you possess? • Knowledge implies truth ◦ that is, if S knows that P then P is true ◦ can we show this? ▪ Suppose S knows that snow is white ▪ now, suppose that snow is NOT actually white ▪ But, if somebody knows something you can rely on that. If someone knows that the bus leaves at 4:15 then you can rely on that ▪ you can reply on something if you know its true. You cant rely on the bus leaving at 4:15 if it really leaves at 4:10 ▪ is snow is actually NOT white, then we cant rely on its being white ▪ so if snow is actually NOT white, then S does not know that snow is white • Belief and truth are necessary conditions of knowledge • but they are not sufficient • to show that, we need a case where somebody believes something which is true, but they don't know it ◦ ex. Groundhog day • generally speaking, sometimes when one comes to believe something by accident which just happens to be true we will have a case of true belief which is not knowledge • ex. Knowledge and Justification • is something more needed besides truth and believing to turn a belief into knolwdge? • Lets call this extra thing justification • what is justification ◦ havinga good reason for a belief ◦ what kind of reasons ▪ prudential? No (even if you accepted Pascal's Wager, you would end up believing in Gods existance but not knowing that He existed) ▪ therfor evidential reasons • based on arguement? Not necissarily (we know some things 'directly'; ex. Pains) • Sober's moral analogy ◦ we sometimes talk about whether actions where morally justified or not ▪ in one sense of this idea, on is morally justified if ones actions do not violaet an of your duties of if one has a right to do the action • perhaps there a similar sense of 'epistemic justification' ◦ one is epistimically justified is one 'has the right' to belive or if one has fulfilled the duites one 'owes' to one's beliefs (or their formation) ◦ but what are these duties? ◦ Can one make a mistake and still be justified? • We might use the idea of 'virtue' here ◦ the morally virtuous person is one who does the right thing in the realm of action • The JTB theory of knowledge ◦ S knows that P is and only if ▪ P is true ▪ S believes that P ▪ S is justified in believing that P • The JTB theory explpains a great mnat knowledge claims ◦ i know that I live in toronto ◦ why? Its true, i believe it and there is justification • The JTB theory also explains • But the JTB theory seems to fail in some cases ◦ the principles of failure ▪ one can be justified in believing
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