A New Alternative

A New Alternative - (3) A is justified in believing that p,...

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A New Alternative? The problem with this conclusion, however, is that, as we saw earlier in section 5.1.1, Thesis 1 is exposed to a decisive objection. So perhaps one should, after all, adopt the view that it is Thesis 3 that is basic? There is, however, an alternative view that we have not yet considered. It is based upon the idea that the existence of the right sort of causal connections, while necessary, is not sufficient: one must also have justified beliefs concerning the existence of those causal connections. If this is right, then it seems that what one needs to do is, in effect, to combine the idea involved in Thesis 1 with the idea contained in the Thesis Concerning Inferentially Justified Beliefs that was set out above. The result would be an analysis of the concept of knowledge along the following lines: Person A knows that p means the same as (1) A believes that p, (2) It is true that p,
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Unformatted text preview: (3) A is justified in believing that p, and (4) Any non-deductive inferences that A makes are based upon true premises concerning causal or nomological connections between states of affairs. There is a second reason for preferring this account to the "causal connection" analysis of knowledge. For the latter has difficulty handling the case where the causal connection is an unusual one - for example, the case mentioned earlier where the presence of a piece of chalk causes a laser to produce a holographic image of a piece of chalk. The "causal connection" approach needs to appeal, at this point, to some idea of "standard" causal connections. But on the approach just suggested, there is no difficulty. As long as one's reasoning employs justified, true beliefs about causal connections, one will have knowledge, regardless of the unusual character of the causal connections in question....
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