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PHLA10H3 Lecture Notes - Mutatis Mutandis

Course Code
William Seager

of 4
Week 7 class 1 & 2 notes
William james version of the wager
-pragmatism: truth = the useful
-for most beliefs, evidence matters
-for some, there is no evidential grip
-the provide a (vital benefit)
-they are low cost evidentially
Clifford’s reply
It is wrong to believe with out evidence because we will stop trying to test things and we will loose our ability
to try and prove things, and thus go back into a state of savagery
The Problem of Evil
If god is omniscient, he knows there is evil
If god is omni-benevolent, he abhors evil
If god is omni-potent he can eliminate what he abhors
Therefore there is no evil if god exists
But there is evil
Therefore god does not exist
Possible reply – if we were created by aliens, would we worship the? Would they count as god?
Soul improving evil
-evil makes us stronger people
Sense of accomplishments
But there is too much soul improving evil
-soul destroying evil? Cant get over what occurred
The free will defense
-people are free beings and sometimes do evil
Why cant we do good?
Why didn’t god make the world where everyone does good things?
The problem of natural evil
-natural evil are evils that are not the result of the free will of any agent
Ex. Earthquakes, famine and disease etc.
Replies: the ways of god are mysterious
Reduce natural evil to willed evil
-minions of satan
Knowledge and Justification
What is the difference between knowledge and belief
Why is knowledge important
-security, planning and building
Necessary and sufficient conditions
-necessary conditions
-when (if x then y) is true the y is a necessary condition for x
Eg. Living in Canada is a necessary condition for living in Toronto
-a “perfect adaptation“ gives both necessary and sufficient conclusions for some thing
-eg. A prime number is greater than 1 divisible by only 1 and itself
knowledge implies belief
-the belief-desire explanation system (folk psych)
-every action can be explained in terms of two mental states: beliefs and desires
eg. John went to the fridge & 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 the mental state which represents the world as we wish it to become (goal)
- belief state which represents the worlds currentconfiguration”
- rationality is the ability to use beliefs to generate actions which transform the world to desired state
-knowledge implies belief
Ex. If S knows that P, then S believes that P
Knowledge implies truth
Ex. That is, if S knows that P, then P is true
-you can only rely on something if its true
-I know it leaves at 4:51: true
Belief and truth are necessary
-but they are not sufficient
Eg. Ground hog story, we believe if it sees his shadow you get more winter,
Believe but not necessary true
True belief BUT NOT knowledge
Belief and Truth are necessary conditions or knowledge
But are not sufficient
Something more needed besides truth and believing to turn belief into knowledge
--call this justification
Evidential reasons
-based on argument/something we know directly
Sobers moral analogy
-we sometimes ask if actions were morally justified
-- in one sense of this idea, one is morally justified if ones actions do not violate any of your duties or
if one has the right to do the action
-perhaps there is a similar sense of “espistemic justification”
-one is epistemically justified if one “has a right to believe or if one has fulfilled the duties oneowes
to ones belief (of there formation)
-can one make a mistake and still be morally justified (one certainly can in the moral realm)
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 epistemically virtuous person is one who does the right thing in the realm of belief
-what the “right way to form beliefs is however hard to say
JTB theory of knowledge
S knows that P if and only if
1. P is true
2. S believes that P
3. S is justified in believe that P
The JTB theory explains a great number of knowledge claims and explains may failure of knowledge
Eg. I know I live in Toronto
its true I believe it and there is justification
-I don’t know that snow is black (false)
-I don’t know that alien life exists (lack of justification)
-I don’t know? ( I don’t believe?)
But the JTB theory seems to fail in some cases