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Unformatted text preview: Philosophy Knowledge Lecture Notes The study of knowledge is called epistemology The big questions in epistemology are: 1. What exactly is knowledge? 2. What can we know about the world? The Nature of Knowledge 1. Acquaintance Knowledge a. I know Vinny, he’s a good friend of mine. 2. Interrogative Knowledge a. I know when the printing press was invented b. when, why, where, what 3. Instrumental Knowledge a. I know how to ride a bike 4. Factual Knowledge a. I know that George Washington was the first president of the United States b. KNOWLEDGE, know THAT c. some people think that interrogative knowledge can be reduced to factual knowledge The Traditional Theory of Knowledge A person knows p if and only if i. the person believes p ii. p is true iii. the person is justified in believing p a person knows p if and only if 1. the person believes p (believing that certain statements are true) 2. p is true (can’t know that George Washington was the first president, without George Washington actually was not the actual president) a. truth and belief is not enough 3. the person is justified in believing a. justified = having good evidence for believing what you do b. justification reasonableness, rationality, holding that belief , has evidence, in order for belief to be justified, you must have good evidence, you must have good reasons for believing c. justification comes in degrees (I know that the butler is the murderer and Phil knows that he is the murderer too but because evidence comes in degrees, maybe I witnessed and he heard, justification comes in degrees) What can we know about the world Common sense view = we know lots of things- truths about our immediate environment- scientific truths about the natural universe- truths about the past- truths about the future o you know that the sun will rise tomorrow by sense experiences and memory- ethical truths o I know murder is wrong- truths about our own mental states o I know that I believe Obama is the president, I know that I have a headache right now- truths about the mental states of others- elementary truths about math and logic What we know about the world- sense experience- memory o I remember that I ate breakfast - you can’t know things without sense experience. o It is memory of having certain sense experience- testimony o how do I know that George Washington was the president? Somebody told you, read it in a book. o Testimony is through someone telling you or you read it in a book- Introspection o reflect in your own mental states somehow, you have strange idea, different from sense experience, because you don’t see mental states or hear yourself believing- logical reasoning o any time you perform an inference, if Obama is president, he is over thirty. You think he’s over thirty because you know that if he’s the president he ‘s over thirty- rational reflection o Two plus two is four, you know x equals x. you KNOW that two plus two is four, without using sense experience A posteriori...
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