The2 - The "Discrimination and Counterfactuals" Strategy...

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The "Discrimination and Counterfactuals" Strategy This fourth approach rests upon the contention that in the "barn-variety" cases, one does not have knowledge because one does not - by hypothesis - have the ability to distinguish between the barn that one is actually seeing and a mere facsimile that one might have been seeing. When, then, does one have knowledge according to this fourth approach? What is required in addition to justified, true belief? The answer is that one needs to ask whether, if the situation had been different in certain ways - such that the belief in question would have been false - one would have noticed the difference, and would, as a consequence, not have had the belief in question. What one has to consider, then, is whether certain counterfactuals are true or false. What is a counterfactual? Basically, it's an if-then statement which implies that the antecedent, the "if" clause is false, and which makes an assertion about how the world would have been different if - contrary to fact - the "if" clause had been true. Illustration: Consider some salt that's not in water, and a piece of chalk that's not in water. One can ask what would happen if each were now in water. And the answer is that if the salt were in water, it would be dissolving, whereas the piece of chalk would not be dissolving. What determines whether a given counterfactual is true or false? That's a complicated
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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The2 - The "Discrimination and Counterfactuals" Strategy...

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