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Chapter_2_Epistemology_

Chapter_2_Epistemology_ - What is Knowledge Is Knowledge...

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Unformatted text preview: What is Knowledge? Is Knowledge Possible? What Ought we to Believe? Knowledge, Skepticism, and Belief Epistemology Epistemology or the theory of knowledge inquires into the nature, possibility, and scope of knowledge. What is knowledge? Can I have knowledge? Of what subject matters can I have knowledge? Also considers issues of justification (having evidence and reasons for belief) and the “ethics of belief.” Three Kinds of Knowledge 1. Knowledge by acquaintance 2. Skill knowledge 3. Propositional knowledge . We’re concerned with propositional knowledge, and from this point forward when we say “knowledge” we mean “propositional knowledge.” Click icon to add picture “A Brain in a Vat”- John L. Pollock Can you think of any possible way to test whether or not you’re a brain in a vat? Would going to a clinic and having your brain removed The Problem of Skepticism A nonskeptic (or dogmatist) claims that knowledge about a certain subject matter or domain is not only possible but is in fact something individuals typically possess. Skepticism about knowledge involves at a minimum the refusal to grant that there is knowledge. Don’t confuse skepticism with a claim of ignorance (a current lack of knowledge)—they are different. Theoretical Skepticism Practical Skepticism Denies that there is knowledge. Also called Cartesian skepticism. Withholds belief about whether or not there is knowledge. Also called Pyrrhonian skepticism. Two Types of Skepticism Local Skepticism Global Skepticism Skepticism about knowledge of some domains but not others Skepticism about all all subject matters, including, or course, philosophy How is this consistent? Two More Types of Skepticism What is Knowledge? Attempting to define propositional knowledge. We need necessary conditions (conditions that must be met) for knowing some proposition. We need a list of necessary conditions that jointly constitute a sufficient condition (a condition that is enough) for knowledge. The traditional conception of knowledge has three parts: S knows that p = def: 1. S believes p (the belief condition) 2. p is true (the truth condition) 3. S is justified in believing p (the justification condition) RenÉ Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy René Descartes Born March 31, 1596 Died February 11, 1650 “Father of Modern Philosophy” Meditations on First Meditation I Motivation: We have lots of false beliefs, and we’ve...
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Chapter_2_Epistemology_ - What is Knowledge Is Knowledge...

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