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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 Notes

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Steve Joordens

rd th PHLA10 – Lecture 9 Notes October 23 and 25 , 2012 Knowledge and Justification Chapters 12 What is Knowledge? Chapter 12: Pages 147 - 155 Epistemology  Epistemology: Part of philosophy that tries to evaluate the commonsense idea that we have knowledge and that we are rationally justified in the beliefs we have.  Philosophical skepticism: Claiming that we don’t have knowledge, or that our beliefs aren’t rationally justified. Three Kinds of Knowledge 1. Know How: Knowledge of how to do something  Example: S knows how to ride a bicycle. 2. Object Knowledge (Know Who): Knowledge of a person, place, or thing.  Example: S knows the president of the United States 3. Propositional Knowledge (Know That): Knowledge if a proposition is either true or false.  Example: S knows that the Rocky Mountains are in North America. Requirements for Knowledge  Knowledge requires two necessary conditions: an objective (truth) and subjective (belief) side. They aren’t sufficient. o A fact is objective if its truth doesn’t depend on the way anyone’s mind is. o Truth: Knowing whether something is true or not.  For S to know that p, p must be true. o A fact is subjective, it isn’t objective; it’s a belief. o Belief: The state which represents the world’s current ‘configuration’  For S to know that p, S must believe that p is true.  The belief-desire explanation system: Every action can be explained in terms of two mental states: beliefs and desires o Example: John went to the fridge and got a beer  Desire: John wanted a beer o Desire: The mental state which represents the world as we wish it to become (the goal)  Belief: John believed beer was in the fridge  Rationality: The ability to use beliefs to generate actions which transform the world to desired state o You can’t know something if you don’t believe it PHLA10 – Lecture 9 Notes October 23 and 25 , 2012 Knowledge and Justification Chapters 12 True Belief isn’t Sufficient for Knowledge  Plato argued that sometimes people trick others into believing things; sometimes those things happen to be true.  People who have been duped in this way have true beliefs, but they don’t
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