Four Conditions for Knowledge

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Four Conditions for Knowledge

I.

In this paper, I offer a solution to the Gettier problem by adding a fourth condition to the justified true belief analysis of knowledge. First though, a brief review. Traditionally, knowledge had been accounted for with the justified true belief analysis. To know something, three conditions had to be met: first, you had to have a belief; second, the belief had to be justified; third, this justified belief had to be true. So a justified true belief counts as knowledge. Gettier however showed this analysis to be inadequate as one can have a justified true belief that no one would want to count as knowledge.

In the first Gettier counterexample, Smith is justified in believing that Jones is the man who will get the job. Smith’s also justified in believing that Jones has ten coins in his pocket. From that he infers and has a justified belief that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. It turns out that the man who gets the job is not Jones but Smith, and Smith does in fact have ten coins in his pocket. Smith has a justified true belief that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. However, this shouldn’t count as knowledge.

In the second Gettier counterexample, Smith is justified in believing Jones owns a Ford. Therefore, he’s justified in believing Jones owns a Ford or Brown is in Barcelona. Turns out, Jones doesn’t own a Ford but Brown is in fact in Barcelona. Once again, we have an example of a justified true belief that shouldn’t count as knowledge.

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...eliefs:

(a) I’m in a community of barn facades.

(b) That looks like a barn

(q), his belief that he sees a barn, isn’t justified, though. Therefore, Dom cannot know (q). The internalism of my account is obvious. What’s required for justification of (q) is different for Henry and Dom because of each’s belief about the kind of environment he is in. It is the belief about the environment and not the environment that matters. In other words, two people could be in the exact same circumstances but what required for justification would be different because of the beliefs they have. Causal accounts of knowledge can’t account for why Henry is justified for (q), but Dom is not. My account is not a causal account; as is shown in the Dom variation above, my account has no problem accounting for the different justifications required for Dom and for Henry.

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