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Certainty is necessary for knowledge

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL 550
Professor
David Checkland
Semester
Winter

Description
PHL550First EssayFeb122014Topic 1 In Rosenbergs First Conversation Skip and Gemma discuss whether certainty is necessary for knowledge beginning page 11 and end up discussing a lottery with long odds Briefly summarize the lottery argument and critically evaluate whether it has the implication argued for by SkipIf Skip is right what implications might there be and are they acceptableIn this essay I will be discussing a debate that begins in The First Conversation from Jay Rosenbergs Three Conversations About Knowing on the issue of whether knowledge requires certainty This debate develops out of Skip and Gemmas dialogue on methodic doubt or Cartesian skepticism which basically is the systematic doubting of all beliefs and knowledge claims in order to find those we can be certain of and this will likely come into play when examine into further details Skip and Gemma move from this into the discussion of whether certainty is required for knowledge This begins with Skip stating You cant know something unless youre certain that its true to which Gemma agrees that knowledge requires certainty Rosenberg 11 The discussion moves to Skip asking whether Gemma is certain and hence actually knows what she had for breakfast to which he qualifies that something is certain only if theres no possibly way to be mistaken about it Rosenberg 12 Gemma holds that she can be certain that she had a bagel for breakfast as she notes that something is certain just in case there is no actual reason to doubt it and she holds she has no reason to doubt this Rosenberg 12 This is where we now begin to get to the root of what is being debated between the two how much can we actually know about the world or things that exist around us Gemma thinks she can know all sorts of things such as them both wearing blue shirts and that the azaleas are in bloom as she points out To know for certain that something is true all one needs to do is eliminate any realistic grounds for doubting it Rosenberg 13 She qualifies this Since theres no reason to suppose that either my eyesight or my memory is defective I conclude that I not only know 1
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