# PHL232H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Foundationalism, Coherentism, Basic Belief

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PHL232 Lecture 2

Knowledge as Justified True Belief and Foundationalism vs. Coherentism about Justification

- sceptecism about a given statement is not that the statement is false, but that knowledge about the

statement is false

- not that scepticism might be true, but that you cannot truly understand knowledge without scepticism

- account of knowledge as justified true belief – from ancient times

Logic Statements

- if p then q

- can be understood as the equivalent of not both – p and not q

- conditional – working as a bouncer example (let in those who meet the conditions)

- if wearing glasses, also wearing a hat

- person – no glasses, they automatically get in

- condition stands that ONLY those with glasses must also wear a hat

- if p then q conditions – if first then second – truth table

p q p q

T T T

T F F

F T T

F F T

Sceptical Argument and Truth Table

- p is a claim

- q is the possibility of a sceptical hypothesis

- for the truth table – can see why the sceptical argument works

- claim 3: “If I know that p then q, then I know that p, I know that q” is itself a conditional

- need to determine which of claims 1, 2, or 3 to reject – from that you can determine the nature of knowledge

The “Justified True Belief” Account of Knowledge

- for S to count as knowing that p is both necessary and sufficient that

•S believes that p

•S’s belief that p is true

•S’s belief that p is justified

- any one of the conditions is not sufficient on its own – but jointly are sufficient

- sufficient condition:

•p is sufficient for q: p q

•the “if, then” statement

•intuitively – the truth of p is enough to guarantee the truth of q

- necessary condition:

•p is necessary for q: q p

•intuitively – since the truth of q is enough to guarantee the truth of p, it cannot be true without p

being true as well

Foundationalism (“the pyramid”)

- called the “pyramid” view – two tenets

- some basic beliefs and every other belief (every belief that is not basic) is justified by the fact that it is built

upon more basic beliefs

- (a) some beliefs are basic – whether they are justified does not depend on whether any other belief is

justified