Gettier

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Re: Gettier

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:09 pm

KT wrote:And my point is precisely that the meaning you say is the point, is not really meaningful to us. It isn't really useful.


I have to wonder, how is it not useful to understand the meaning that people ascribe to the word "knowledge"? I am of the opposite opinion. I think it is very much useful for the simple reason that it facilitates communication.

I did mention in one of my first posts in this thread that I understood T did not stand for a criterion, that is was a more metaphysical category here.


I am not sure what "metaphysical category" means. Indeed, I do not even know what the word "metaphysics" means. But I do know what the word "true" means.

There is T in JTB for the simple reason that a belief must be true in order to be categorized as knowledge. Without it, you get a meaning that is broader than the one we intuitively assign to the word "knowledge". In other words, you get an incorrect definition of the word "knowledge".

How can we determine whether any given belief can be categorized as knowledge or not is a separate concern.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:25 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:
KT wrote:And my point is precisely that the meaning you say is the point, is not really meaningful to us. It isn't really useful.


I have to wonder, how is it not useful to understand the meaning that people ascribe to the word "knowledge"? I am of the opposite opinion. I think it is very much useful for the simple reason that it facilitates communication.
And I am critical of it because I think it confuses the issue. First, it looks like there are three criteria. Second, it seems to indicate that from our vantage truth and justification are different things. From our vantage. I do understand that something can be well justified and false. But in situ we don't know when that is.

I did mention in one of my first posts in this thread that I understood T did not stand for a criterion, that is was a more metaphysical category here.


I am not sure what "metaphysical category" means. Indeed, I do not even know what the word "metaphysics" means. But I do know what the word "true" means.
From Stanford's online philosopy encyc.... and re: my use of metaphysical earlier in the thread.

Most epistemologists have found it overwhelmingly plausible that what is false cannot be known. For example, Hillary Clinton did not win the 2016 US Presidential election. Consequently, nobody knows that Hillary Clinton won the election. One can only know things that are true.

Sometimes when people are very confident of something that turns out to be wrong, we use the word “knows” to describe their situation. Many people expected Clinton to win the election. Speaking loosely, one might even say that many people “knew” that Clinton would win the election—until she lost. Hazlett (2010) argues on the basis of data like this that “knows” is not a factive verb.[2] Hazlett’s diagnosis is deeply controversial; most epistemologists will treat sentences like “I knew that Clinton was going to win” as a kind of exaggeration—as not literally true.

Something’s truth does not require that anyone can know or prove that it is true. Not all truths are established truths. If you flip a coin and never check how it landed, it may be true that it landed heads, even if nobody has any way to tell. Truth is a metaphysical, as opposed to epistemological, notion: truth is a matter of how things are, not how they can be shown to be. So when we say that only true things can be known, we’re not (yet) saying anything about how anyone can access the truth. As we’ll see, the other conditions have important roles to play here. Knowledge is a kind of relationship with the truth—to know something is to have a certain kind of access to a fact.[3]
I think you could also use the term 'ontological'.

There is T in JTB for the simple reason that a belief must be true in order to be categorized as knowledge.

But that is simply NOT true. We categorize things as knowledge that turn out to be false, precisely because we can only judge justification and not truth.

Without it, you get a meaning that is broader than the one we intuitively assign to the word "knowledge". In other words, you get an incorrect definition of the word "knowledge".
No, you get an accurate one. We decide that knowledge are those things that are very well justified that have not been falsified. We know that it may turn out that some of this knowledge, precisely as in the history of science may turn out to later be shown to be false or partially false. But if we are rigorous the benefits of this heuristic outweigh the faults.

And guess what, that is precisely how science functions. It allows that some of what we consider knowledge today will turn out to not be true.

the JTB definition is of course the goal, but then we cannot classify anything using it. It is intended to be true and justified, but we cannot be sure.

And notice what you wrote here....


There is T in JTB for the simple reason that a belief must be true in order to be categorized as knowledge.
This is not how science works. And you cannot apply the jtb in science. But you can apply jb with no current falsification.

It must not be known to be false, which is another way of saying that the justification is very good and not contradicted.

Absolute time/space turned out to be false, however it was a useful model. It was knowledge for a long time.

This is our situation, in the middle of things and fallible. We must classify things as knowledge even while acknowledging that some of them will turn out not to be true.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:27 am

Fixed Cross wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Fixed Cross wrote:Exactly right.
Why an epistemology must be at once a verifiable ontology.
.

What's the verifiable ontology of jtb.?
What ontologies does it rule out?

None, that I know of.

How did science move through a range of ontologies in the last 200 years if there has been a verifiable ontology (that is one) at the base of science and jtb? Or did science not follow jtb? Or something else

Science is not an ontology but a method.
Well, precisely. So why does scientific epistemology need a verifiable ontology? Can it not, for example, have several? Can it not use one that is not verified, but stimulates research? That everything is physical has been an ontology in science for a long time. It is not verified. In fact they keep changing the criteria for what is considered physical. And yet it has been productive. I happen to think it is not a complete, and in that sense it is a false, ontology. But it is chugging along happily with an unverfied ontology.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:58 pm

KT wrote:But that is simply NOT true. We categorize things as knowledge that turn out to be false, precisely because we can only judge justification and not truth.


If you say that a false belief is "knowledge", that does not mean that you're using the word "knowledge" to mean something other than "justified true belief", it may simply mean (and in most cases, it does mean) that you mistakenly believe that a false belief is a true belief. That's what happens in practice. The meaning of the word reamins the same, what changes is our perception of whether the belief in question is true or false.

No, you get an accurate one. We decide that knowledge are those things that are very well justified that have not been falsified. We know that it may turn out that some of this knowledge, precisely as in the history of science may turn out to later be shown to be false or partially false. But if we are rigorous the benefits of this heuristic outweigh the faults.


That's not true.

If you point with your finger at a horse and say "This is a unicorn!" does that mean that the meaning that you assign to the word "unicorn" is that of a horse? Of course not. It may simply mean that you're using the word to represent something that cannot be represented by that word.

the JTB definition is of course the goal, but then we cannot classify anything using it. It is intended to be true and justified, but we cannot be sure.


Not sure why you think we can't classify beliefs using JTB. Is it because of the possibility that our classifications might be wrong? I don't think that's a problem with JTB.

we can only judge justification and not truth


You keep saying this, but is it really true?

Suppose that Socrates believes that "Unicorns exist." How do you verify that his belief is knowledge? Since knowledge is justified true belief, you have to verify that his belief is BOTH justified and true. In other words, you have to check off both J and T. But how do you do that? First, you have to ask him to justify his claim (or you have to figure out his rationale on your own) and determine whether his justification is a good one or a bad one. So let's say you ask Socrates to justify his belief. He tells you that, because he saw a bunch of unicorns once, he can conclude that unicorns exist. This is a very simple argument that is obviously valid, so you have no choice but to conclude that Socrates is justified in believing that unicorns exist. But that's not enough to conclude that his belief is knowledge. You also need to check off T. And how do you that? You can do it any number of ways but let's say that, for the purpose of this example, you decide to do it by spending certain amount of time looking for unicorns. At the end of your inquiry, you conclude that Socrates's belief is false, since you did not find a single unicorn. Thus, you can conclude, Socrates's belief, while justified, is not true, which means that it's not a piece of knowledge.

The process is relatively the same when examining our own beliefs (instead of other people's beliefs) it's just not very obvious that it is.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Fixed Cross » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:53 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:]Well, precisely. So why does scientific epistemology need a verifiable ontology? Can it not, for example, have several? Can it not use one that is not verified, but stimulates research? That everything is physical has been an ontology in science for a long time. It is not verified. In fact they keep changing the criteria for what is considered physical. And yet it has been productive. I happen to think it is not a complete, and in that sense it is a false, ontology. But it is chugging along happily with an unverfied ontology.

Well actually science moves directly from epistemology to technology.

Its epistemology, as in certainty, pertains to: what works.

Note that science has an epistemology of method, not of "being", which would have to be an ontology.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:41 pm

I think Nietzsche's true insight, specially regarding epistemology, is genealogy. Even for something as pure and simple as will to power, Nietzsche viewed himself strictly, understood himself, the same way as Newton did: as standing on the shoulders of giants.

Newton's main achievement was also very simple and very pure.

At no point did he think: "I am at an absolute threshold of knowledge, which is accessible purely by virtue of being knowable."

Thus the whole dissection of logic which promethean once so elegantly described.

Contingency, but only contingency, gives insight into knowledge. That is why vegetables don't know thoughts.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:44 pm

The same way planets are formed. By building up.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:55 am

Fixed Cross wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:]Well, precisely. So why does scientific epistemology need a verifiable ontology? Can it not, for example, have several? Can it not use one that is not verified, but stimulates research? That everything is physical has been an ontology in science for a long time. It is not verified. In fact they keep changing the criteria for what is considered physical. And yet it has been productive. I happen to think it is not a complete, and in that sense it is a false, ontology. But it is chugging along happily with an unverfied ontology.

Well actually science moves directly from epistemology to technology.

Its epistemology, as in certainty, pertains to: what works.

Note that science has an epistemology of method, not of "being", which would have to be an ontology.
I agree, though most scientists and their groupies do not seem to realize it is a pragmatism they believe in. What works. In fact I have been tempted several times to bring up the idea of 'what works' as opposed to 'the truth' in parts of this thread, so I am glad you brought it in.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:59 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:You keep saying this, but is it really true?

Suppose that Socrates believes that "Unicorns exist." How do you verify that his belief is knowledge? Since knowledge is justified true belief, you have to verify that his belief is BOTH justified and true. In other words, you have to check off both J and T. But how do you do that? First, you have to ask him to justify his claim (or you have to figure out his rationale on your own) and determine whether his justification is a good one or a bad one. So let's say you ask Socrates to justify his belief. He tells you that, because he saw a bunch of unicorns once, he can conclude that unicorns exist.
Sigh. That's a terrible justification. That justification does not pass most people's sense of what is justified. And if fact whatever you do to see if something is true which Socrates must do also or HIS belief is not meeting the criteria, is looking at justification. And, as I have said, is there anything that shows the belief is false.

Further there is a difference between what is rational for a person to believe and what is to be considered knowledge. It may be quite rational for me to consider something knowledge that I cannot demonstrate to others.

If we are evaluating someone else's belief, then we are looking to see if it should be considered knowledge in general.

And when you evaluate a belief, someone elses, you do

NOT

look to see if it is true.

You look to see if it is justified. Exactly as scientists do. They check the protocols. They repeat them.

There is no list of truths they can check.

Now if you want to say one can directly check with 'obvious' things. Like is someone bald. Sure one can look at the person and see for oneself. Here the justification is as close to truth as we get. That kind of direct observing is no help with things like your unicorn example. Further, we also can be wrong. Further that person may have Hollywood makeup or we have been hypnotized. IOW there is always an asterisk. Even direct looking at is a kind of justification.

When I too looked at the man I also saw no hair.

Unless you are making claims to some kind of absolute knowing that is infallible, we are always talking about justification.

And when people talk about jtb in relation to knowledge they do not mean that any justification means one can check of J. Opinions vary on what one must do to have a good J, but they are always looking for a good J. And that J always stands inside other knowledge. What do we know in general and how would this idea fit with what we know. (tentatively, in the scientific way)

Here's other way to show the problem of your counterexample:

Let's say some Native americans who live on the East Coast of the US talk to others about these white men with ships the size of hills who could kill game with magical fire from their hands or whatever. Any part of that. (because you stacked the deck by choosing unicorns) they are correct. They did see these people, they did see the ships. The other native americans do not believe them, despite it being justified (accorrding to you). So they try to check the truth. Well, the ships are gone. They find no evidence.

But those first natives were correct. They did see Europeans. Unfortunately their justification is not one that carries over to be strong enough for non-witnesses. This does not mean they are wrong, obviously. But it means that their sighting cannot, according to most versions of jtb become part of general knowledge. Even though, it turns out, it was true.

But there was no way to check if it was true. And there is no way in general to see if something is true beyond what is looking into justification.

Yes, one can try to find MORE justification than the person in question offers us. We can seek to make the justification stronger. But we are always looking at justification. We are not looking at truth.

unless we want to claim direct aboslute knowledge.

The kinds of things one looks at as justification are the only things one can look at when one is trying to decide if it is true.

Yes, someone can have a belief that is founded on a blurry video tape of the woods. And someone who wants to evaluate the evidence can go to the woods and look for footprints or fur on twigs, but this is all just more justification. Reasons to believe. There is no other process to determine truth. They is no other category of evidence. Person B can look for more justification for person A's belief, but that is simply finding more justification or finding counterevidence. There is no...well, I have looked at the justification and now I will check the truth.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Magnus Anderson » Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:58 pm

KT wrote:That's a terrible justification. That justification does not pass most people's sense of what is justified.


Well, I might be able to come up with a better example. But is it really necessary?

And if fact whatever you do to see if something is true which Socrates must do also or HIS belief is not meeting the criteria, is looking at justification.


We're examining Socrates's belief that unicorns exist, not our belief that unicorns do not exist (and that Socrates's belief is not knowledge.)

The question is whether Socrates's belief is knowledge, not whether our beliefs are knowledge.

And when you evaluate a belief, someone elses, you do

NOT

look to see if it is true.


We do. When we set out to search for unicorns, we're not looking at Socrates's account of why we he thinks what he thinks (which is what justification is), we're comparing his belief against the world.

You look to see if it is justified. Exactly as scientists do. They check the protocols. They repeat them.


Justification is an account of why we think what we think. When you want to verify that Socrates's belief is justified, what you do is you look at the manner in which he formed that belief. You ask: why does Socrates believe what he believes? is he justified in believing what he's believing? You're not comparing his belief against the world (precisely, against the portion of reality that his belief is trying to depict), what you're doing is comparing the manner in which he arrived at his belief against certain standards of proper way of thinking. You want to make sure that he's thinking properly. If he's thinking properly, he's justified.

Unless you are making claims to some kind of absolute knowing that is infallible, we are always talking about justification.


I am not sure why you keep mentioning that beliefs are fallible. I believe it's unnecessary. The fact that we might be wrong about which beliefs are knowledge and which are not does not make Plato's theory of knowledge useless and/or false.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:05 pm

Another way to come at this is to think of it in terms of your own criteria for your own belief.

I believe X. Check
I look to see if my belief is justified. Check.
I look to see if it is true. Now wait a minute....anything I would do here, to check if it is true, should already be present in my justification, or I was lazy or confused.

There is no knew type of category of activity I can engage in when shifting from checking justification to checking if it is true.

If you still think there is, well, we can have this discussion again in a few years. Perhaps one of us will have shifted or found better ways of framing our positions.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Magnus Anderson » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:41 pm

Another way to come at this is to think of it in terms of your own criteria for your own belief.

I believe X. Check
I look to see if my belief is justified. Check.
I look to see if it is true. Now wait a minute....anything I would do here, to check if it is true, should already be present in my justification, or I was lazy or confused.


You're confusing the self that is evaluating (your present self) with the self that is being evaluated (your past self.)

You are evaluating your past self. Here's how it goes:

Your past self believes X. Check!
You look to see if your past self is justified in believing X. Check!
You look to see if X is true. No, whatever you do here MUST NOT BE, and if you do it properly, it WON'T BE present in your past self's justification.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Fixed Cross » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:48 pm

Still KP has a point which is that "true belief" and "justified belief" - are both, besides idiotic phrases, either the same or nonsensical ideas.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:52 am

Fixed Cross wrote:Still KP has a point which is that "true belief" and "justified belief" - are both, besides idiotic phrases, either the same or nonsensical ideas.
Good you went blunt. 'Idiotic. ' It's part of the bureaucratic end of philosophy. Neat abstract mundanish phrases. And while I understand their need to do this, my trying to bridge is problematic. I enter the bureaucratic language and try to critique it from within. Sort of loses the fight right at the outset. Better a response like this from the outside.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Magnus Anderson » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:33 pm

What's idiotic about these phrases?
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Re: Gettier

Postby Fixed Cross » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:41 pm

The idiocy runs deep, even into the syntax.
At the very least "true belief" is a very unstable phrase, suggesting rather a belief that is truly held than a belief in a truth.

But in general, KP is right that to entertain these terms even to refute them is to submit to them and this is to make everything very murky.

Why is something idiotic? It is always hard to explain.
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Re: Gettier

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:05 am

What if it's not these phrases that are idiotic but people who think they are idiotic?

Nothing personal. You just insulted those phrases, and because they can't defend themselves on their own, I thought, why not defend them on their behalf?

You don't think that phrases have honor? You think you can just call them idiotic and get away with it?

Not so fast, Sir.
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