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

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Published on 10 Jan 2015
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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
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