Is Justified True Belief Knowledge Paper?

Is Justified True Belief Knowledge Paper?

Gettier attempts to demonstrate through two counterexamples in his 1963 three-page paper titled "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?" that there are cases where individuals can have a justified, true belief regarding a claim but still fail to know it because the reasons for the belief, while justified, turn out to be faulty. Gettier himself notes that both of his examples involve unjustified beliefs - that is, beliefs that are not known by their holders.

In example one, Mr. Smith believes that all and only just men are free men. He bases this belief on the fact that he has never seen an unjustly held back or a slave who is not justly held back. His belief that all men are free is therefore true and justified. But since Mr. Smith has never seen an unfree man, he does not know that all men are free. In example two, Mrs. Williams believes that the sun revolves around the earth. She bases this belief on her observation that everything she observes with her own eyes confirms this hypothesis. Her belief that the sun revolves around the earth is therefore true and justified. But since Mrs. Williams has never observed an unconfirmed fact, she doesn't know that the sun revolves around the earth.

Gettier's conclusion was that although the examples show that it is possible for someone to have a true belief without knowing it, they also show that such cases are extremely rare.

What is a justified true belief?

According to the justified true belief account of knowledge, knowing something is nothing more than having a justified conviction that it is true, and it is true. Gettier's (1963) study is often regarded as undermining Plato's justified true belief (JTB) definition of knowing. According to Gettier's example, Smith goes on a picnic with a known package containing a letter from Mr. Jones. After not hearing from Smith for a while, Jones sends a second letter asking about the first. Assuming that Smith reads both letters, he comes to believe by accident that Jones wrote the letter, but he does not know this to be the case. On the JTB definition of knowledge, since Smith's belief is not justified, he doesn't know that Jones wrote the letter.

However, many have argued that Gettier's example is problematic because it involves an accidental truth belief. Some have suggested that in order for a belief to count as knowledge, it must be held with justification even if it turns out to be true by accident. Others have argued that although Gettier's example involves an accidental truth belief, it can still serve to undermine the JTB definition, since Smith might just happen to read two letters from Jones instead of only one.

The debate over Gettier's example has continued ever since it was published in 1963. It is related to but separate from the larger debate over whether evidence is necessary for knowledge.

Is knowledge a justifiable true belief?

According to them, knowledge is undefeated justified true belief—that is, a justified true belief qualifies as knowledge if and only if there is no further fact that, if the subject had known it, would have defeated her current reason for the belief.

Some philosophers argue that knowing implies believing; others deny this. But they all agree that knowledge requires at least some degree of belief, though not always equal to full-blown belief. For example, it has been argued that one cannot know a proposition without taking it to be true, so that idea seems right at least.

In addition, it must be held that knowledge does not require certainty. Even the most confident beliefs can be shown to be wrong in time, and it is therefore important not to take opinions too seriously - especially when it comes to matters such as politics or religion where changing facts are common. Finally, it has been argued that knowledge requires awareness of what one knows, so that unconscious beliefs do not qualify. This may explain why some people who suffer from memory disorders lack knowledge about certain things that recent research shows we unconsciously believe.

Some philosophers claim that knowledge is justified true belief that is caused by experience, but this is not universally accepted. Others say that knowledge is justified true belief that is not caused by experience - that is, pure knowledge is possible even if no experiences cause us to have true beliefs about anything.

About Article Author

Mary Saldana

Mary Saldana is a freelance writer and blogger. Her favorite topics to write about are lifestyle, crafting and creativity. She's been publishing her thoughts on these topics for several years now and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others.

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