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Ideas
 Experiments In Thought

The Cow In The Field

TBD

I bet you know, or at least think you know, lots of things. But do you know what it means to know things? What do we mean by knowledge?

A common idea about the nature of knowledge holds that a person has knowledge when they hold an idea that meets the following criteria: -

  • The idea the person holds is true
  • The person believes the idea to be true
  • The person is Justified in believing it to be true

This ideas is know as Justified True Belief. A person who has a justified true belief, can be said to have knowledge... or can they?

The Gettier problem

American philosopher Edmund Gettier

1963 three-page paper titled "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?"

Gettier himself was not actually the first to raise the problem named after him; its existence was acknowledged by both Alexius Meinong and Bertrand Russell, the latter of which discussed the problem in his book Human knowledge: Its scope and limits. In fact, the problem has been known since the Middle Ages, and both Indian philosopher Dharmottara and scholastic logician Peter of Mantua presented examples of it.[3]

The broken clock

The Cow in the field

The tob interview

  • The idea the person holds is true

  • The person believes the idea to be true

  • The person is Justified in believing it to be true

  • When the assumptions used to justify the belief are true.