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Lecture 11

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Steve Joordens

th th PHLA10 – Lecture 11 Notes November 6 and 8 , 2012 Knowledge and Reliability Chapters 14 The Reliability Theory of Knowledge Chapter 14: Pages 170-179 Problem with Descartes’ Foundationalism  Descartes argues that knowledge is internally certifiable o Premises are either true by a priori or introspection  But knowledge isn’t ever considered in his arguments (1) I believe that p (2) My belief that p is clear and distinct. (3) Clear and distinct ideas are true (4) P o Premises (1) and (2) are internally certifiable through introspection, not knowledge  There are three elements of Descartes’ Foundationalism 1. Subjective premise: Describes what is going on in the subject’s mind 2. Objective conclusion: Claim about the world outside of the subject’s mind 3. Linking premise(s): Subjective premise is necessary for objective conclusion o But there is a link required between the inside and outside world (of subject’s mind)  Reliability Theory of Knowledge (RTK): Knowledge requires particular linking premise to be true not through introspection or a priori reasoning. The subject doesn’t need to know it is true; it just has to be true. Thermometer Analogy  Mercury column is the representation of the outside world, in other words, the subject’s mind  Reading of the temperature is what is being represented of the outside world, in other words, the actual outside world  Reliability states that is isn’t enough to only right once since could be by chance, but that there is a necessary connection between the inside and outside worlds of the subject o If reads n, then it must be n  Reliability is an objective feature. In certain cases, the thermometer can be reliable and in another not due to a set of circumstances. 1. Must be used in the right environment for it to be reliable 2. The internal makeup of the device has to be right (not broken) PHLA10 – Lecture 11 Notes November 6 and 8 , 2012 Knowledge and Reliability Chapters 14 Problem of Knowledge  Concept of causality: Needs to depend on actual relationship between subject and the environment o Hypothetical consideration that the subject’s sensory state is reliable of the environment o Considers impossibility  RTK: S knows that p,
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