The5 - justified. But doesn't this mean that John has an...

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The "No False or Irrational Relevant Beliefs" Approach The failure of the previous approach suggests, however, a slightly different approach that avoids the objection just set out. For I think that one can argue that the situation described in the preceding objection is one where John can have a belief that p or q that is not part of an irrational collection of beliefs only if John has a false belief. So the idea is that even if John's belief that p or q is not based upon a false belief, the having of a certain false belief is necessary if his belief system is not to be irrational. The argument goes as follows. Suppose that John believes that p or q, but does not believe that p. Suppose further that John's belief that p or q is based solely upon the reasoning set out in the preceding subsection. Thus John does not believe that p or q because of independent evidence for its being the case that q, or because q is intrinsically likely to be true. The situation is therefore one where John's belief that p or q cannot be justified unless the belief that p is
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Unformatted text preview: justified. But doesn't this mean that John has an irrational set of beliefs if he accepts the proposition that p or q, but rejects the proposition that p, given that the former belief cannot be justified unless the latter belief is justified? If this is right, then John can avoid irrationality, while believing that p or q only by also believing that p. Consequently, though John does not arrive at the belief that p or q by reasoning that makes use of the false belief that p, the latter belief is necessary if John's belief that p or q is not to be part of an irrational set of beliefs. Hence, if one holds that a justified true belief, B, cannot be a case of knowledge if either (1) B is part of a complex of beliefs that is irrational, or (2) there is some false belief in the absence of which B would be part of a complex of beliefs that would be irrational, or (3) the justification for B involves a false belief, the case described above will not be a case of knowledge....
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