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September 15, 2014 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #613681
In 1963, Edmund Gettier published a three page paper entitled “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge”. Until that time, the accepted philosophy was that in order to be considered as having knowledge of something, you need 1)To believe that it is true 2)To be justified in believing that it is true 3)It actually has to be true. Gettier proved that these three conditions alone do not necessarily equal knowledge. He gave an example: Chaim and Yoely (names changed to protect identities) apply for the same job. Chaim believes that Yoely will get the job. Not only that, Chaim has strong justification for believing that Yoely will get the job. Chaim also happened to notice that Yoely has 10 coins in his pocket. Gettier posits that using deductive reasoning, Chaim would be justified in believing that the one who will get the job will have 10 coins in his pocket. Now let’s say that Chaim will end up getting the job. And unbeknownst to Chaim, he also happened to have ten coins in his pocket. According to the pre-Gettier philosophy, it can be said that Chaim KNEW that that the one who would get the job would have ten coins, because he believed it, he was justified in believing it, and it was actually true. Gettier’s objection is that this cannot be called knowledge since Chaim didn’t know that he had ten coins – he only knew that the jobreceiver would have ten coins based on the premise that Yoely would get the job which turned out to be a false premise. Thus Gettier proved that the aforementioned three conditions are not enough to make something “knowledge”.
Here’s my question on Gettier: Gettier’s whole question comes about because he says that based on deductive reasoning, Chaim was justified in believing that the one who would get the job would have ten coins. But that is not true. All Chaim was justified in believing was that Yoely would get the job and THAT IF YOELY WOULD ACTUALLY GET THE JOB THEN THE ONE WHO GOT THE JOB WOULD HAVE TEN COINS. He had no justification to extrapolate from there that WHOEVER would get the job would have ten coins. Therefore, even the pre-Gettier philosophers would not consider this “knowledge” and Gettier’s question never starts.September 16, 2014 1:27 am at 1:27 am #1032779HaLeiViParticipant
Tosafos on Amud Beis answers this.September 16, 2014 1:31 am at 1:31 am #1032780HaLeiViParticipant
So we must extrapolate that Gettier might have understood philosophy, but not logic.September 16, 2014 3:06 am at 3:06 am #1032781
I was just wonedering if I missed a basic step or something, because his question doesn’t make sense to me.September 16, 2014 8:05 am at 8:05 am #1032782
The law of transitivity of identity is that if a bears resemblance to b and b bears resemblance to c, then a bears some resemblance to c. in this case, to follow through with the law would be to say that a, Yoeli will get the job, b, Yoeli has ten coins in his pocket and c, the person who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. these three ideas are interdependent. the belief that Yoeli will a, get the job and b, has the ten coins in his pocket results in the transitive conclusion that the person who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. in the afformentioned example, the justified true belief in question is that the person who will eventually get the job. the law of transitivity is what gives chaim the justifiability to conclude as such. he has assumed, apparently justifiably, that yoeli will get the job and that yoeli has ten coins in his pocket. armed with these two pieces of information, he can justifiably assume that the person who will eventually get the job has ten coins in his pocket. it is this belief which is under discussion. we can call this belief “p.” In the original laws for defining knowledge, we need three things, for p to be true, for chaim to believe that p is true and for him to be justified in doing so. in our case, p is eventually true because even know it was based on false assumptions, namely that Yoeli would get the job, it was true. the person who got the job had ten coins in his pocket. the other two conditions are also met, he was justified (by the law of transitivity of identity in believing b to be true and the final condition, he believed b to be true. therefore, gettier is justified in asking his question.
this is an idea which is difficult to convey in writing but bear with me while i try one more time to talk it all the way through. Gettier poses that the three conditions of knowledge, ie, believing p to be true, being justified in believing its true and it eventually being true, are insufficient as a definition of knowledge. to illustrate this insufficiency, he poses the example in the OP. In this example, P, is the belief. (That the person who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket.) Chaim believes it to be true. condition one met.
Chaim is justified in believing it to be true. (as he has employed the law of transivity of identity and since he believes Yoeli will get the job and that Yoeli has ten coins in his pocket, he is justified in believing that the winner will have ten coins in his pocket.) Condition two met.
P is true. The winner (albeit not the person chaim originally thought would win) has ten coins in his pocket. Condition three met.
And this is exactly the point of Gettiers question. It is true that all of the three conditions were met, but yet by virtue of the fact the the justification, although justifiable at the time of thinking it, was false and so with this flaw in Chaims thinking, how can we still consider that he KNEW that P would be true. The fact is that his thought process was flawed and the outcome cannot vindicate his original thought because it was flawed. As such he concludes that there must be a revised definition of knowledge and Chaims belief in P cannot be considered KNOWLEDGE of P.
On a side note, an original prediction coming true cannot be used to support the original thinking of it. If i flip a coin and say i know it will land on heads, everyone will agree that i have a 50 percent chance of getting it right, and so the fact that it eventually happened cannot have any bearing on the original statement of knowledge. The original definition of knowledge doesnt rely only on the outcome, it uses it in a combination of three conditions, but as explained above, it cant even be used as one of three. The fact that is was true has to be an irrelevant fact.
Please feel free to ask any questions if you feel like my answer lacked sufficient explanation.
Good luck 😉September 16, 2014 8:19 am at 8:19 am #1032783
one more thing to more spicifically address your question, when a is like b and be is like c, we can reasonably assume a is like c and cut out be alltogether. Your question is on this and not on Gettier. The law means that he believes a, that Yoeli will get the job and B, that Yoeli has ten coins in his pocket, therfor he believes c, that the person who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. he doesnt believe that that person must have ten coins in his pocket, he doesnt mean to make ten coins a prerequisite of hiring, he just believes as a coincidental fact that the person who will hired will have the coins. (because he believes a and b, so cut out b and youre left with c, that the person who will hired will have ten coins in his pocket.)September 16, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #1032784
*specificallySeptember 16, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm #1032785
Thank you for the response. My issue with what you are saying is that the statement (p) of “I believe that the one who will get the job will have ten coins” is essentially just a synonymous way of saying “I believe that Yoely will get the job”. If you would ask Chaim the following question: “If someone other than Yoely will end up getting the job, do you believe that he will have ten coins?” Chaim would certainly say “no”. Chaim is justified to believe that Yoely will get the job and that therefore the one who gets the job will have ten coins but he is not justified in believing that WHOEVER will get the job will have ten coins. However, since Chaim never entertained the possibility of someone other than Yoely getting the job, the belief was expressed in broader terms.
But I can hear that there is a difference between saying “the one who will get the job will have ten coins” and “whoever will get the job will have ten coins” so you might be right. It also could be that I am essentially saying the same thing as Gettier (namely the reason why it wouldn’t be considered knowledge) just that I am saying that the pre-Gettier philosophers would agree.September 16, 2014 2:06 pm at 2:06 pm #1032786
in answer to your question, i would suggest the following distinction. Gettiers issue is with the definition of knowledge whereas yours is with the transistive laws. agreed that the final conclusion, that the winner has ten coins in his pocket, is based on the previous two conclusions, that Y will win and that Y has 10 coins in his pocket. However the law makes it that statement c, that the winner has ten coins in his pocket, a standalone conclusion – even though its only derived from the first two. with that in mind, C now has a final statement, that the winner will have ten coins in his pocket. it is this statement which we are discussing where or not he KNOWS that. the three laws would suggest that C did KNOW that the winner will have ten coins in his pocket. He believed it to be true, he had reason to believe it would be true and it was true. Gettier has no issue with Chaim’s arrival to the conclusion that the winner will have ten coins in his pocket, he just questions the definitions of knowledge. common sense dictates that he clearly didnt know that the winner would have ten coins in his pocket because he thought someone else would win, the fact that it was true is a coincidence. in short, we KNOW that Chaim did not KNOW, yet without common sense, purely following the rules of knowledge, Chaim did in fact KNOW – and therein lies Gettiers problem.September 16, 2014 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #1032787
“Gettier has no issue with Chaim’s arrival to the conclusion that the winner will have ten coins in his pocket”
I have an issue with that. Chaim is not arriving at that conclusion; the conclusion which he is arriving at is that Yoely will be the winner and by definition he will have ten coins. It’s all based on the premise that Yoely will win whichwasn’t true, in which case one of the conditions of knowledge was lacking. We can really take this a step further: Chaim believes that Yoely will win and he is justified in this belief. So if Yoely wins, did Chaim KNOW that Yoely would win? According to the three conditions, Chaim knew. But I could apply Gettier’s argument here and say that Chaim didn’t know, because his knowledge was based on a premise which might have been false. In other words Chaim got lucky, the same way he got lucky in the case where he actually one. Being justified in a belief doesn’t make it true – if the requisite justification needs to be 100% then it would in fact be impossible for Yoely to lose if Chaim had been justified in believing that Yoely would win. So even when Yoely does win, you can’t really call it knowledge; it was a strong prediction. Now Gettier may have been alluding to this when he wrote: “First, in that sense of ‘justified’ in which S’s being justified in believing P is a necessary condition of S’s knowing that P, it is possible for a person to be justified in believing a proposition that is in fact false.”September 16, 2014 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #1032788
i know you have an issue with that, that was the point of my message. that Gettiers problem is not with the logical leap of faith required for the law of transitivity of identity but yours is. The statement, the winner will have ten coins in his pocket, is a true statement which qualifies for the third condition of knowledge. You want to ask that the statement isnt true because the winner described in the original statement is Yoeli. But without the background information that you have, if C would have just said out loud, that the winner will have ten coins in his pocket, without explaining how he came to that conclusion, wed have to check his pockets when he won and then confirm that the statement was true. the fact is that that statement is true and thats the important part of the problem. the question with that is that although all the conditions are met, we cannot suggest that Chaim knew that the winner had ten coins in his pocket as he didnt know what was in his own pocket.
As for your problem with transitive properties, consider:
A. elephants are grey
B. Steve is an elephant
The knowledge of A and B gives us the right to deduce c, that steve is grey. we can phrase this in a few different ways and still draw similar conclusions, we dont need to phrase it in every possible way. we dont need to say that steve the elephant is grey, just that steve is grey.
in the same way.
A Yoel will be the winner
B Yoel has ten coins in his pocket.
This allows us to deduce that the winner has ten coins in his pocket. at the time that this assumption is being made, we believe that Yoel will win and we are justified in beleiving so which validates the entire thought process. The conclusion to this line of thinking is that the winner has ten coins in his pocket.
was that any help?September 16, 2014 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #1032789
whats important to remember is that the idea which we are trying to prove was known was that the winner had ten coins in his pocket. what i think your asking at the end there is similar to Gettiers problem and if i understand right is the following. even though the thought process was justifiable at the time, it ended up being flawed and so the fact that it and the eventual truth were one and the same can only be described as coincidental and therefore knowledge cant be attributed by these definitions.September 16, 2014 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #1032790
“was that any help?”
Regardless of any specifics being said here, it is helpful just to be able to articulate my thoughts on the matter and have someone articulate thoughts back.
That being said, I think I disagree with your example from elephants and the application to our case. (This is all only about my second point above, forgetting my first point for the time being.) My point was that the fact that a belief is justified shouldn’t mean anything vis-a-vis knowledge unless the justification is 100% which can’t be because if it was 100% then it would be impossible to have a different outcome. So in our case, while Chaim is justified in believing that Yoely will win, it cannot be said that he KNOWS that Yoely will win. If he doesn’t KNOW that Yoely will win then a fortiori he doesn’t KNOW that the winner will have ten coins. Again, it could be this was actually Gettier’s point in which case we might be agreeing.September 16, 2014 6:33 pm at 6:33 pm #1032791
now were truly in the realms of philosophy. the very problem we’re discussing is the definition of knowing something 100%. the example never suggests that he knows who will win, just that he believes that Y will win.September 16, 2014 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm #1032792
But my point is that it doesn’t make sense to say that someone can’t be considered to have KNOWN statement P if despite his belief in, and the truth of, statement P, the conclusion was reached based on a premise which was false, yet say that one can be considered to have KNOWN statement P when there is a possibility of statement P itself not being true. Which seems to be what Gettier is saying by granting the conditions of knowledge in cases without the additional step of deductive reasoning.September 16, 2014 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #1032793
it’s not the biggest deal 😉September 17, 2014 12:56 am at 12:56 am #1032794
“it’s not the biggest deal”
What is not the biggest deal?September 17, 2014 2:13 am at 2:13 am #1032795thechoiceismineMember
Never studied philosophy before, but I fail to see how step 2 – he needs to be justified in believing what he believes- makes it knowledge. I would classify that as a level above knowledge, understanding. The first and third are enough for knowledge. You can know for certainty that something is true wothout having a justifiable reason. (Ex: My head hurts. No clue why. The justifiable reason cannot be that it hurts me. Thats the fact.)
Also how is Chaim justified in believing that the person who gets the job will have ten coins in hos pocket. He can take them out etc. It’s a silly transitive (whatever its called) because its extremely sbject to change.
Also knowledge is only worth something when you can identify what the knowledge is. Chaims “knowledge” may end up turning out true, but he didn’t realize how. Hardly qualifies as knowledge.
And btw, I’m pretty sure oyyoyoy means it shouldn’t be a big deal, because how exactly is figuring this out going to change your life other than giving you some intellectual pleasure?September 17, 2014 2:56 am at 2:56 am #1032796
How can you know something without being able to prove it (at least in your mind – granted you won’t always be able to articulate the proof)? In your example of a headache, the justification is that you feel it hurting. A justification can be a fact.
Your second paragraph is a question on the particular example, not a question on the philosophy. If it makes you happier, just change the ten coins to ten freckles.
Your third paragraph seems to be agreeing with Gettier.
Intellectual pleasure can indeed be life-changing. Especially if I write a dissertation on this topic which becomes accepted. I’ll be famous.September 17, 2014 5:53 am at 5:53 am #1032797
im sorry but the example is of the headhurting is totally missing the point. say the two of them are applying for a job in a law firm, one is a harvard graduate, the other is a retired rapper. the retired rapper can safely assume that the harvard graduate will be getting this job. he believes that the harvard graduate will get the job and he is justified in doing so, because it makes sense. in the above example, hes not guessing that the fellow has ten coins in his pocket, he has reason to believe it, make up whatever reason makes you happy.he could also just say that the winner is wearing a blue shirt and be surprised to realise that he himself is also wearing one. also, the knowledge we attempt to define is the scope of the definition. we want to know the most that it encompasses, obviously the knowledge of the other guys shirt is more of a knowledge than the statement were analysing, because like you suggest, he doesnt know it 100%, but we want to establish if the work knowledge can still be applied to it.September 17, 2014 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #1032798
I’m pretty sure oyyoyoy means it shouldn’t be a big deal, because how exactly is figuring this out going to change your life other than giving you some intellectual pleasure?
I know that’s exactly what it sounds like, but there was more to it. If i didn’t care i wudnt have called Yeshivishsocrates1 away from his studies in Mesapotamia.September 17, 2014 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #1032799
“I know that’s exactly what it sounds like, but there was more to it.”
“If i didn’t care i wudnt have called Yeshivishsocrates1 away from his studies in Mesapotamia.”
I think that was me.September 17, 2014 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm #1032800thechoiceismineMember
YS, isn’t that a different discussion: the scope of knowledge and how far you can justifiably apply your knowledge.
I thought the question was, what is the minimum requirements for something to be considered knowledge.
Anyway, Chaims “knowledge” seems similar to the concept of “niba vlo yada mah niba”.September 18, 2014 6:39 am at 6:39 am #1032801
no, that is the discussion, how to define knowledge. in philosophy, nothing is accepted if it cant be verbalised and clearly defined. having an indescribable feeling of what the work knowledge means is not enough. the point was to define it.
as for my studies in Mesopotamia, surely the decision is mine?September 18, 2014 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #1032802
Of course the decisions yours but we would be lost and insecure without you here. Wish u were here and not in mesopotamia.
So youre maskim i brought you away from your studies?September 19, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm #1032803
you know you its not hard to take me from my studies, just give me a reason and ill drop them.September 19, 2014 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #1032804
that was fun!September 22, 2014 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #1032805
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