Discuss about the Condition of JTB Theory Knowledge.
This is philosophical essay concerning the Gettier and justified truth. This essay will be dived into two main parts, that is the first part of a full description of the idea of what in the past many philosopher and authors termed knowledge to be. In this case, they termed knowledge to be justified truth. The second part is a result of the getters rejection on this definition of the knowledge by traditional JBT. The second part of this essay is a discussion on the attempts by Gettier to justify his objection to justified true knowledge as the definition of knowledge.
The justified true knowledge is a theory that attempts to explain the situation and condition under which someone can or could be termed to have some knowledge of something. According to this theory, someone is termed to be knowing something if they have several conditions. They include a belief, if in fact, the person is true and if that person has been justified in that belief. A good example of the situation in this theory would be, I do believe I have two eyes, and indeed I have two eyes and for sure I have a justification of having these two eyes since I am using them to read this assignment. Therefore considering and according to justified true belief, I know I have two eyes. The developers of this theory have some explanation on the three compositions of what is termed to be knowledge. According to the truth condition, they state that what is generally false cannot be known. They use this phrase as a way of justifying the truth condition. They state that one can only know things that are true only. Moreover, according to the developers of the JTB, we use the term “knows” when describing someone or people who are very confident on issues that turn out to be wrong at long last. In addition to the justification of the truth condition, they state that it’s not important for anyone to justify or have to prove something that is true. (Gettier, 2000)
Considering the belief condition of the JTB theory of knowledge, the developers of this theory strongly feel that one cannot believe what he or she does not know. A person only believes in anything that they have a good knowledge on. If one fails to set their belief on something, it means that there is something they are not aware of. In other words, one may believe something on the condition or by virtue that they are pretty sure that it’s probably true. The developers think that knowledge without belief is impossible in many cases. (Ichikawa, 2001)
On the other hand, the theory also has the justification condition. According to this theory, we can say knowledge is true belief but this will not be the true meaning of knowledge. They state that a belief can also be true even when formed improperly. This, therefore, calls for justification of ant true belief. For instance, an example to explain this situation would be; suppose that William flips a coin, and confidently believes—on no particular basis—that it will land tails. If by chance the coin does land tails, then William’s belief was true; but a lucky guess such as this one is no knowledge. For William to know, his belief must in some epistemic sense be proper or appropriate: it must be justified. (Nozick, 2002)
Gettier's opposition to the JTB theory
Gettier is a philosopher who appears to be opposing the JTB theory on what is termed to be knowledge. To some extent, just like other contemporary epistemologists, he accepts the depth and the adequacy of the JTB analysis and agrees with the fact that the JTB elements are important for the knowledge and its definition; however, he claims they are not sufficient to justify knowledge. He opposes this theory by stating that there are cases of already justified truth that cannot be termed as knowledge. Gettier gives an example of a man he calls Smith. In this example, he claims Smith is competing with Jones for a certain job and he has been told by the company’s manager that the job is going to be awarded to Jones. He happens to know that Jones has some ten coins in his pocket, and this makes him think that any person who has some ten coins in his pocket will be awarded the job. According to Gettier, this can be termed a perfectly justified conclusion. Later on the case of Smith and Jones, the manager later awards the job to Smith and this makes him then justify his belief that anyone who has ten coins will be awarded the job since he has been awarded. Therefore his belief is true. Therefore, Gettier uses this example to oppose JTB theory in that, Smith knew that anyone who had coins with them could get the job. However, according to Gettier, it does not seem true that it’s an actual case of knowledge as we would have termed it. We cannot say Smith was correct just because of he but because in this situation he was lucky. This philosopher was trying to mean that sometimes, results of some actions is not because of the knowledge we have on that event or that activity but incidences of luck that may befall us giving a result that we expect. He states that JTB section of justification can be used to rule out the issue of luck when it comes to defining knowledge from the scene of events or activities. A lesson of the Gettier problem is that it appears that even true beliefs that are justified can nevertheless be epistemically lucky in a way inconsistent with knowledge. Gettier claims that it is possible for anything to be justified in believing a proposition even when that proposition is a fact false (Gettier E. L., 2003)
“Sometimes we can excellent evidence for some proposition (we might even think that the evidence makes the truth of the proposition obvious), and then come to find that, all of the excellent evidence notwithstanding, the proposition is not true. Secondly, he draws our attention to the fact that the propositions we are justified in believing will often logically entail other propositions. If I recognize that entailment relation, then it follows that I will also be justified in believing the proposition or proposition that is entailed.” (Gettier, 2014)
Gettier. (2000, Jan). IS justified true belief knowledge. Retrieved 11 30, 2017, from https://www.ditext.com/gettier/gettier.html
Gettier, E. (2014, nov 9). Retrieved 11 30, 2017, from philosophy: https://www.cengage.com/philosophy/book_content/1439046948_feinberg/introductions/part_2/ch05/True_Belief_Gettier.html
Gettier, E. L. (2003). Is justified true belief knowledge?
Ichikawa, J. (2001). The analysis of knowledge. Retrieved 11 30, 2017, from Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/
Nozick, R. (2002). Excerpt from philosophical explanations.