Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
patrik 7-2321

The Gettier counterexamples to Justified True Belief as knowledge

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

5 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

Are there observations that provide such a basis? I would guess that it is the process of observing others who come to conclusions they consider true (but we know are not), or looking back on historical beliefs which were held to be true at the time, yet we now know are not or were not true.

So we say that this belief -- considered "knowledge" once -- was not "real" knowledge; that it was never knowledge at all. And we introduce the idea of "true" because when we say that we know a thing, we should not like to one day find that we had been mistaken. We want "knowledge" that will never suffer the fate of the other people we've observed, and adding "truth" to the definition of knowledge is meant to guarantee this. (And so among Objectivists, we might find the... interesting phenomenon of tooth-and-nail disagreement -- to the last degree of any given subject -- and yet no indication on any side that he might be the one mistaken; since everyone personally holds his own knowledge as true, he has no further burden to consider the possibility of his own error.)

But such an idea would not have helped the person who held an errant belief in the past, or someone who holds errant beliefs today, to reach any conclusion other than that his justified beliefs are knowledge. (For a man has no way of knowing what is "true" apart from the process which justifies beliefs in the first place.) Again: an individual (any individual) can do no better than to believe what is warranted by the evidence he has access to and such reasoning as he is capable of performing.

If that isn't sufficient for "knowledge," then nothing is.

Don, the above suggest you have not considered certain other intentions that could lend a different evaluation of the reasons other hold for rejecting the belief that knowledge and truth cannot be seperated the way that belief and truth and knowledge and justification can.  

One such alternative motivation, a primarily first person one for me is, having beleived many things personally that I later came to realize where not true. 

Another is the realization that defining knowledge according to belief apart from corresponence to fact is the defining charachteristic of the primacy of consciousness and is a subjectivist theory of epistemology.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Plasmatic said:

Don, the above suggest you have not considered certain other intentions that could lend a different evaluation of the reasons other hold for rejecting the belief that knowledge and truth cannot be seperated the way that belief and truth and knowledge and justification can.  

One such alternative motivation, a primarily first person one for me is, having beleived many things personally that I later came to realize where not true. 

Another is the realization that defining knowledge according to belief apart from corresponence to fact is the defining charachteristic of the primacy of consciousness and is a subjectivist theory of epistemology.

 

Pretty much this. I was going to respond to someone else about the "omniscient perspective" argument.
 

The problem with this argument is that you can apply it to concepts of "truth" and "reality" just as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gettier seperates justification from Knowledge, not truth from knowledge, such as has been done in this thread.

One can believe something true and not have a justified reason for that belief. That is why JTB often brings luck into the discussion. 

Someones could take as justification "because momma said so", while the belief is that A is A....Does the person in this case know A is A?

 

Edited by Plasmatic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Grames said:

Newtonian physics is a perfect example for this discussion.  Newtonian physics was and continues to be true whenever relativistic or quantum considerations don't apply or are negligible.  Newtonian physics is not now and never was nor will ever be falsified, it was merely "special cased" into a broader theory.  It was an expansion of knowledge to learn cases that Newtonian physics did not predict correctly, not a loss of knowledge.  For example, Einstein predicting correctly the amount of precession in the orbit of Mercury was an important test and justification for accepting the General Theory of Relativity as true.  See Wikipedia Tests of General Relativity for more context.  Out of 574 arcseconds per century of measured precession it is Newtonian physics that accounts for 531 of them and Relativity is not a substitute theory that provides another way to get those 531, it merely explains 43 of the difference between 574 and 531 which was previously a mystery.

 

It most certainly does not continue to be true. It may continue to be a useful fiction, but it is anything but true.

Quote

 Out of 574 arcseconds per century of measured precession it is Newtonian physics that accounts for 531 of them and Relativity is not a substitute theory that provides another way to get those 531, it merely explains 43 of the difference between 574 and 531 which was previously a mystery.

 

This sort of thing completely downplays the fact that Newtonian physics makes fundamental claims about the universe that are flat-out false, such as the existence of absolute simultaneity or a force of gravity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

Don, the above suggest you have not considered certain other intentions that could lend a different evaluation of the reasons other hold for rejecting the belief that knowledge and truth cannot be seperated the way that belief and truth and knowledge and justification can. 

I don't understand this sentence, can you rephrase it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

Gettier seperates justification from Knowledge, not truth from knowledge, such as has been done in this thread.

How was that done?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I don't understand this sentence, can you rephrase it?

"Don, the above suggest you have not considered certain other possible intentions that could lend a different evaluation of the reasons others hold for rejecting the belief that knowledge and truth cannot be seperated the way that belief and truth and knowledge and justification can. "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, SpookyKitty said:

It most certainly does not continue to be true. It may continue to be a useful fiction, but it is anything but true.

You have zero understanding of what you say.  Classical Mechanics is used in roughly 99% of all the applied sciences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, New Buddha said:

You have zero understanding of what you say.  Classical Mechanics is used in roughly 99% of all the applied sciences.

 

"Used" sure. It isn't true, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

Seriously? You being deliberately polemical? 

I really don't, so I'm asking if you'd explain, with quotes, how that was so. Your point would be clearer if you show it, as opposed to just saying it happened. For example, I don't -think- I or anyone else said or implied that truth is separable from knowledge - only that one can't promise that knowledge is true. But truth is certainly a key part of knowledge, as far as correspondence with reality is the point..

Edited by Eiuol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SK you may, or may not be aware of certain arguments about what Oist call "contextual absolutes". The contention you and Grames are discussing is related to this topic. Many are influenced by Dr. Peikoff's theory of induction as relates to this type of debate. There are Objectivist who take issue with Dr. Peikoff's theory of induction such as Prof. John McCaskey and myself. 

One of the contentions is the idea that a universal claim can be meaningfully limited to a certain context such that it does not render the epistemology that says it can contradictory and subjectivist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I really don't, so I'm asking if you'd explain, with quotes, how that was so. Your point would be clearer if you show it, as opposed to just saying it happened. For example, I don't -think- I or anyone else said or implied that truth is separable from knowledge - only that one can't promise that knowledge is true. But truth is certainly a key part of knowledge, as far as correspondence with reality is the point..

The very statement "one can't promise that knowledge is true" is an example! There is no such thing as false knowledge. Belief's that don't correspond to fact are not knowledge. A is A. Im certain of it and gaurantee that I will never observe a contradiction. I live in a raised floor house. I am certain of it and nothing could possibly make this belief false. I know it. I built every square inch of it myself...

Edited by Plasmatic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

one can't promise that knowledge is true.

Can you promise that this claim to knowledge is true: that "one can't promise that knowledge is true"?

'There are no absolutes,' they chatter, blanking out the fact that they are uttering an absolute.

        Who said that? Rudolf? — Scott Calvin in Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

Edited by dream_weaver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

There are Objectivist who take issue with Dr. Peikoff's theory of induction such as Prof. John McCaskey and myself. 

One of the contentions is the idea that a universal claim can be meaningfully limited to a certain context such that it does not render the epistemology that says it can contradictory and subjectivist.

I agree with this.

SK, see Induction without the Uniformity Principle.  I posted a link to this in another of your posts.  You might want to take time to read it.

Edited by New Buddha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

The very statement "one can't promise that knowledge is true" is an example! There is no such thing as false knowledge. Belief's that don't correspond to fact are not knowledge. A is A. 

I already asked about this when I gave my example about 200 BC, which presents my reason for saying knowledge -could- fail to correspond to reality, despite being certain in 200 BC that it is true. Refer to that post again is all. By the way, I mean promise as in promising you aren't in error, not as in being certain.

EDIT: DW, I didn't say there are no absolutes. Promise, as in, based on being omniscient.

Edited by Eiuol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I already asked about this when I gave my example about 200 BC, which presents my reason for saying knowledge -could- fail to correspond to reality, despite being certain in 200 BC that it is true. Refer to that post again is all. By the way, I mean promise as in promising you aren't in error, not as in being certain.

How is it that you do not realize you are reiterating previous statements of yours that prove that you separate truth from knowledge? I read it and it is nonsensical. You are referring to beliefs, not knowledge.

edit:

"I mean promise as in promising you aren't in error, not as in being certain." 

What could you possibly mean by this such that it makes the statement any less nonsensical as it relates to your previous sentence?

Edited by Plasmatic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Plasmatic said:

How is it that you do not realize you are reiterating previous statements of yours that prove that you separate truth from knowledge? I read it and it is nonsensical. You are referring to beliefs, not knowledge.

If it proves it, then there is a hidden premise I didn't notice. Plas, if I'm wrong, then show me, even if people who already agree with you see it fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

If it proves it, then there is a hidden premise I didn't notice. Plas, if I'm wrong, then show me, even if people who already agree with you see it fine.

If you can make the statement "one can't promise that knowledge is true" and then read the statement after its pointed out and still not get that you have separated knowledge from truth then you have a reading comprehension problem I don't know how to help you with.

On the other issue:

If one said "I promise A is A", what does that add to the question of whether or not one is justified in believing A is A because momma said so? (or if that belief constitutes knowledge in that context)

edit: the question "does knowledge entail correspondence to fact" is answered by knowing how to form the concept knowledge. 

The claim that false beliefs are knowledge obliterates the difference between true beliefs and false ones.

Edited by Plasmatic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Can you promise that this claim to knowledge is true: that "one can't promise that knowledge is true"?

'There are no absolutes,' they chatter, blanking out the fact that they are uttering an absolute.

 

43 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

EDIT: DW, I didn't say there are no absolutes. Promise, as in, based on being omniscient.

Could you restate "one can't promise that knowledge is true" in terms which encompass "promise, as in, based on being omniscient"?

Edited by dream_weaver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SpookyKitty said:

When Jones enters the room, he sees a picture of a dog. Thus, he has a justified belief that the screen always shows a dog. Presumably then, if knowledge is justified belief, then Jones knows that the screen always shows a dog.

Why would that be justified?

If a person had a "thickly" justified belief (as opposed to non-rational justifications), all that matters there is that one is certain of it being the truth, despite the possibility that the specific piece of knowledge is false. So, do you mean to say that any false belief can only be the result of either poor justifications or error of reasoning? I mean, I agree that poor justification or errors of reasoning do not result in knowledge, and result in necessarily false beliefs. 

@Plasmatic, I think my use of "promise" was misunderstood, as I use promise as in "won't turn out any other way". The law of identity can't be wrong, so I can promise it that way, but this isn't the same as the metaphysical possibility of being literally delusional. I mean it the way Grames meant "guarantee" in his first post here.

" If one said "I promise A is A", what does that add to the question of whether or not one is justified in believing A is A because momma said so? "

It wouldn't be knowledge, even if it were a true belief. It would not, in fact, be justified if it was because "momma said so".

" statement after its pointed out and still not get that you have separated knowledge from truth then you have a reading comprehension problem "

Or perhaps you don't understand what I'm saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Plasmatic said:

Don, the above suggest you have not considered certain other intentions that could lend a different evaluation of the reasons other hold for rejecting the belief that knowledge and truth cannot be seperated the way that belief and truth and knowledge and justification can.  

One such alternative motivation, a primarily first person one for me is, having beleived many things personally that I later came to realize where not true. 

Another is the realization that defining knowledge according to belief apart from corresponence to fact is the defining charachteristic of the primacy of consciousness and is a subjectivist theory of epistemology.

Plasmatic,

With sincere apology, I really don't understand what you're trying to tell me. Obviously I disagree that what I've written has anything to do with "primacy of consciousness" or a "subjectivist theory of epistemology" -- though if you can demonstrate that, I'd be grateful.

But I find that 99.9% of these sorts of conversations wind up utterly in the abstract, such that I can no longer trace their relationship back to reality. I fear that even if you were to attempt such a demonstration, I wouldn't be able to follow you and we'd both wind up frustrated.

So could you do me a favor? I'd raised the example of the knowledge I claim to hold that Osama Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. Would you agree that this constitutes "knowledge"? Do you think it's right that I can say, "I know that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11"? (Or am I mistaken, and this is not, strictly speaking, "knowledge"?)

Let's work out this one case, if you wouldn't mind, so that I can see for myself what you mean.

Edited by DonAthos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

So could you do me a favor? I'd raised the example of the knowledge I claim to hold that Osama Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. Would you agree that this constitutes "knowledge"? Do you think it's right that I can say, "I know that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11"? (Or am I mistaken, and this is not, strictly speaking, "knowledge"?)

The belief that Osama Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 is only knowledge if it is true/ a fact that Bin laden was responsible for 9/11. (Whether or not I think your belief is true and therefore constitutes knowledge is irrelevant to the question of whether untrue beliefs are knowledge generally. )

I was trying to tell you that there are other reasons why one could hold that false beliefs are not knowledge other than the reasons you imputed in your analysis of the   motivations of those who hold this.

Edited by Plasmatic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

I was trying to tell you that there are other reasons why one could hold that false beliefs are not knowledge other than the reasons you imputed in your analysis of the   motivations of those who hold this.

I still don't quite follow. But let's leave "motivation" aside for the moment, if possible. I'd like to get the basics squared away first.

And if we can agree on the basics, then maybe I can more easily understand your point about motivation.

7 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

The belief that Osama Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 is only knowledge if it is true/ a fact that Bin laden was responsible for 9/11. (Whether or not I think your belief is true and therefore constitutes knowledge is irrelevant to the question of whether untrue beliefs are knowledge generally. )

All right. So let's start here:

I have a belief that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11.

This belief that I have is either 1) knowledge or 2) not knowledge. This depends on whether or not it is true that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11.

Thus far, am I correct?

If so, I guess my initial questions are:

1) Is it possible for me to determine whether my belief is knowledge or not knowledge?

2) If it is possible for me to do this, how exactly would I go about it in this case?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

@Plasmatic, I think my use of "promise" was misunderstood, as I use promise as in "won't turn out any other way". The law of identity can't be wrong, so I can promise it that way, but this isn't the same as the metaphysical possibility of being literally delusional. I mean it the way Grames meant "guarantee" in his first post here.

This does no work for you. I don't agree with Grames' claims so that doesn't help you make sense to me. 

30 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

wouldn't be knowledge, even if it were a true belief. It would not, in fact, be justified if it was because "momma said so".

And this explains the relevance of your "promise" statement how? What does not being able to promise, or guarantee truth have to do with claiming that a false belief constitutes knowledge? 

40 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Or perhaps you don't understand what I'm saying.

Im certain what you are saying is false. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×