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Case Study on JTB model Assignment PDF

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STUDENT ID: 1807822What is an analysis of knowledge? Does Gettier succeed in showing that knowledge cannotbe analysed as justified true belief?This essay will tackle the problem of analysing knowledge and whether such a concept can beanalysed. The focus will be directed towards Gettier’s critique of the justified-true-belief (“JTB”)model for knowledge. By assessing responses from Harman and Pritchard, I will argue that – althoughGettier does not succeed in demonstrating the model as false – the paper is influential in identifyingthe need to revise the definitions of the conditions stated in the JTB model.“All men by nature desire to know”i. Aristotle’s quote underpins the human quest for knowledge butthis in turn requires a definition for such a concept. Within epistemology, this analysis of knowledgeconcerns the identification of “conditions that are individually necessary and jointly sufficient forpropositional knowledge”ii. This can be expressed as,S knows that Piffx1, x2, ... , xnWhereby each individual condition is required – with its removal leading to the collapse of the model– but cannot hold on its lonesome. The project of this analysis is to produce a model that includes allcases which account for “knowledge” while excluding those that do not.In 1963, Edmund Gettier published a paperiiito argue the alleged incoherency of one of the mostwidely known theories on what constitutes knowledge: the JTB model, which states that,S knows that Piff(1)P is true[“Truth” condition](2)S believes that P, and[“Belief” condition](3)S is justified in believing that P[“Justification” condition]Gettier’s argument hinges on his two cases that demonstrate the three conditions “are true for someproposition, though it is at the same time false that the person in question knows that proposition”(Gettier, 1963). In other words, S’s“knowledge” is inferred from a justified false belief.Gettier’s case is as follows: suppose Smith and Jones are at a job interview and Smith holds withstrong evidence that,(a)Jones is the man who will get the job, and Jones has 10 coins in his pocket.Such a proposition entails that,(b)The man who will get the job has 10 coins in his pocket.Given Smith has strong evidence for (b), acknowledges its entailment from (a), believes theproposition is true and it is in fact true, naturally, it follows that as Jones has 10 coins in his pocketJones will get the job. Yet, ponder that, in fact,(c)Smith is the man who will get the job, and is unaware that he also has 10 coins in hispocketAs such (b) remains true although (a) is now false. As demonstrated, Smith knows (b) – under theJTB model since it satisfies all three conditions. However, equally, Smith does not know (b) is truesince the belief is based on inference from (a) without recognising the number of coins in his ownpocket; falsely believing Jones to be the man who will get the job.These ‘Gettier cases’ can be replicated with a similar structure to highlight the possibility for S to bejustified in believing a falsehood since, by luck, something that is true may be correctly deduced from
STUDENT ID: 1807822What is an analysis of knowledge? Does Gettier succeed in showing that knowledge cannotbe analysed as justified true belief?a false belief. As a consequence, Gettier concludes that the JTB model is inadequate and does not“state a sufficient condition for someone’s knowing a given proposition” (Gettier, 1963).In order to respond to Gettier, one may seek to simply defend the JTB tri-partite analysis by arguing Sis not justified or that S has knowledge. Yet, in Gettier’s example this response appears rather weaksince it does not rectify the issue Gettier raises with the JTB model concerning justified false beliefs.Thus, it is more appropriate to amend the analysis by adding another necessary condition or revisingone of the three original conditions. Gilbert Harman inThought(1973)ivalludes to the addition of thefollowing condition,(4)S’s belief that P is not inferred from any falsehood.This can be also seen to state that there is no wrong move in S’s logical reasoning as the justificationrests on “no-false-lemmas”. With the addition of(4), Gettier’s example ceases to be a problem as itno longer sufficiently constitutes knowledge.However, Harman’s notion of an intact chain of reasoning rests upon the involvement of inference.Yet, there are arguably Gettier cases – take Alvin Goldman’sBarn Facades– providing no knowledgeeven when JTB and(4)are met. Suppose Henry has “no doubt about the identity of” a barn and isdriving through an area “full of papier-mâchéfacsimiles of barns”. Postulate now that Henry sees andidentifies a barn. Yet, by luck, the object is a genuine barn. Regardless if it were a façade, Henrywould form the same belief and “we would be strongly inclined to withdraw the claim that Henryknowsthis object is a barn” (Goldman, 1976)v.Goldman’s example meets condition(4)since Henry’s belief that it is barn is not falsely justified andthus an example of a Gettier case resistant to Harman’s modification. Alas, more worryingly, it is anexample that jeopardises the ability for Harman’s modification to act as a general solution as Gettiercases can be merely adapted.This point was developed further, in 1994, by Linda Zagzebski who suggested – after decades offailed attempts1in resolving the Gettier problem – that JTB+Xmodels of knowledge2would alwaysfall prey to a Gettier case. The “general rule” requires, first, for a case where S holds a belief meetsJTB-Xbut then, secondly, have the belief true by luck. Even though the “belief is true ... it is notknowledge” (Zagzabeski, 1994)vi. More damningly though, the Gettier problem is left unresolved andappears to have succeeded in showing that knowledge cannot be analysed as JTB or even at all.Nevertheless, there is an important aspect that Zagzbeski touches on which may assist in refutingGettier: epistemic luck. Duncan Pritchard argues that, on further reading, the “Gettier problem isconcerned with determining what the anti-luck condition on knowledge is” (Pritchard, 2018)vii.Pritchard’s primary focus is on how a belief is formed and whether certain formations, based upon adistinctive type of luck, undermine knowledge. This can be seen as a revision of the conditions withinthe JTB model, particularly the “truth condition”.Thus, for Pritchard, this anti-luck condition is an amalgamation of an account of luck and sense ofwhen “knowledge is incompatible with luck” (Pritchard, 2018). Pritchard viewsluckas a “modalnotion” whereby any event,E, “could very easily have not occurred” keeping relevant initialconditions. He then combines this account with his concept of vertic epistemic luck where it is a1Ironically, Goldman admits his own earlier “casual analysis cannot handle the [Barn-Façade] problem either”(Goldman, 1976)2WhereXis a set of conditions independent from JTB
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