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  • Epistemology - Definition of Knowledge (Part 1)
    • Defining knowledge
      • Practical knowledge
        • Knowing HOW to do something.
        • A skill, a capacity to perform a task but may not be able to articulate or explain said task.
        • EXAMPLE = tying shoelaces.
      • Acquaintance Knowledge
        • Knowing OF something. (Sensual knowledge)
        • A person, place, feeling or sensation. May not be able to verbalize or explain it.
        • EXAMPLE = knowing he way to London.
      • Propositional knowledge
        • Knowing THAT something is.
        • A claim that something is true about the universe and expressing that knowledge using language.
        • EXAMPLE = 2+2=4
    • Essence
      • Weeds and water
        • WATER has a higher status than other liquids. There is a genuine difference and this lies at a molecular level. Water is H2O. If it cannot be defined as H2O, it is not water.
        • WEEDS cannot be differentiated from "good" plants and there is no underlying difference between them. Many cultures disagree about what is useful or what is good.
      • According to Locke...
        • 1. Water has a real essence and weeds do not.
        • 2. Essence is referred to as 'natural kind'
        • 3. Objects that have essence, have a real definition.
          • (Objects without a real essence cannot be objectively defined)
      • Linda Zagzebski
        • 1. It is ambiguous whether or not the concept of 'knowledge' can have definitions or a true essence.
        • 2. It is used in so many ways that it couldn't have a single essence.
        • 3. We should seek to find essence in knowledge.
    • The tripartite definition
      • JTB
        • Plato argues in Theatetus that in order to have knowledge, you must have Justified True Belief (JTB)
          • All of these conditions are necessary for 'knowledge'. Foe example, you cannot know something if it is not true. Nor can you know something if you don't believe it. And, you must be able to justify this knowledge.
    • Alternative definitions of knowledge
      • JTB+N
        • Justified true belief + no false lemmas aims to strengthen the justification element of knowledge.
        • James has knowledge if, 1. P is true, 2. James believes that P, 3. James' belief is justified, 4. James did not infer that P from anything false.
          • This means that the problem met in the Smith & Jones story  is avoided, because Smith's belief, is built from a false lemma.
      • Reliablism
        • Reliablism states that James has knowledge if, 1. P is true, 2. James believes that P, 3. James' belief that P is caused by a reliable method.
          • If you have an accurate memory, its likely that your memory will be reliable for forming true beliefs.
            • But if you form a belief by something that is unreliable, such as guessing, it would not count as knowledge even if it ends up being true.
        • This theory also supports the idea that  young children and animals can have knowledge too. Other theories, for example JTB, does not seem to allow it as a whole.
          • For example, a bird cannot know where to find food, because it cannot be justified as knowledge and the same for a baby knowing when its mother speaks.
        • You can argue against reliablism by saying that Henry in barn county's belief was based off of an unreliable source - his visual perception.
      • Virtue Epistemology
        • 1. P is true, 2. James believes that P, 3. James' true belief that P is a result of James exercising his intellectual virtues.
          • Intellectual virtues are traits that allow you to reliably form true beliefs. For example, Good memory, accurate vision and the ability to think rationally.
        • To fully differentiate this view from others, Ernest Sosa uses the following archery analogy.
          • Accurate - The shot hits the target.
            • Adroit - The archer is skillful and shoots the arrow well.
              • Apt - The arrow hits the target because it is shot well.
                • Aptness is the part that separates the reliablism and virtue epistemology because it is not enough for the belief to be true and the believer to be intellectually virtuous. For something  to qualify as knowledge, it must be true as a consequence of the latter.
        • According to this theory, Henry in barn county and his belief that "there is a barn" would not qualify as knowledge because it is not apt.
          • He may have be accurate and adroit but only got the correct answer through luck and not by using intellectual virtues.
        • This theory though, unlike reliablism, does not support children and animals having knowledge
      • Infallibilism
        • Infallibilism argues that for a belief to be knowledge, it must be true and justified in a way as to make it certain.
        • Even though Smith, in the Gettier case, has good reason for his beliefs, they are not good enough to provide certainty.
          • According to Descartes, certainty classify as the 'impossibility to doubt'.
          • In this case, Smith may have misheard the interviewer. Perhaps, hes even a brain in a vat and Jones doesn't actually exist either. Both these scenario's raise the possibility of doubt.
        • However, this theory faces a problem because it is "too strict".
          • Essentially, this theory is stating that everything fails to qualify as knowledge. Pretty much everything can be doubted and infalibilism sets the bar too high.


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