• Cheshire
    47
    The theory of knowledge that serves as the foundation of philosophy is flawed. Like, many incorrect answers the popular theory of knowledge leads to infinite regression and makes an assumption that all knowledge must exist in the mind of an agent. And lastly, the JTB definition of knowledge does not correspond to the facts in so much as it can not account for the errors that are present in any body of knowledge. To define away this objection is to deny the reality of human error.

    A thing that is knowledge can exist as the content of a book. The book does not have to believe it or justify it, only contain it. So, knowledge may exist without being believed or justified.

    Knowledge 'ought to' be true, but often it is not, because of the mistakes we make in our understanding of the facts.

    Change my mind.
  • SophistiCat
    465
    The theory of knowledge that serves as the foundation of philosophy is flawed.Cheshire

    This reminds me of Russel's famous conundrum: "The present king of France is bald."

    Anyway, the most charitable reading of your post suggests that you are dissatisfied with the JTB theory of knowledge because it does not fully reflect the way the word "knowledge" is used in the natural language (English language, at least). This would have been a valid objection if an English language dictionary gave "justified true belief" as the only definition of the word "knowledge." Like many words, the meaning of "knowledge" as exemplified by actual use is heterogeneous and will not be captured by a single, compact definition. But JTB was not meant to serve as a general definition - it was to be a technical definition for use in analytical epistemology. So we can talk about whether it is a useful definition (and many have challenged it before you, most famously, Gettier).
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Change my mind.Cheshire

    JTB is all about how to differentiate between knowledge claims...
  • Sam26
    984
    Knowledge 'ought to' be true, but often it is not, because of the mistakes we make in our understanding of the facts.Cheshire

    You're conflating one's statement that something is true, or is a piece of knowledge, with the definition of knowledge. When someone states that he or she knows that something is the case, as in JTB, someone else may come along and ask, "How do you know?" - and it's at this point that you demonstrate your knowledge. If it turns out that you cannot demonstrate, i.e., justify your claim, then it's not knowledge. This is why justification is important, because people sometimes think they're claims are knowledge, but when examined closely we see that they're not.

    So the idea that people make mistakes as you say, is built into the idea of what it means to have knowledge. Doubting or being skeptical is built into the language of epistemology. If it weren't, then we could infer that someone has knowledge simply by their claim to knowledge. So when someone claims to know that such and such is the case, we want to know how they justify their claim, because people often do make factual mistakes.

    So epistemology does in fact account for error. The definition is quite different though, viz., it says that a belief that someone claims is true, in order for it to be knowledge it must be properly justified. There is no error in the concept, only in people's claims. Again, the two are quite different.

    A thing that is knowledge can exist as the content of a book. The book does not have to believe it or justify it, only contain it. So, knowledge may exist without being believed or justified.Cheshire

    Knowledge is made up of beliefs, they are particular kinds of beliefs, viz., beliefs that are true and justified. A book may contain beliefs that fit this definition, so in that sense a book may contain knowledge, but only in so far as the book represents the beliefs of someone.

    Knowledge is a success word, it accomplishes a purpose, that of being true. Knowledge is not a matter of simply saying something is true, it requires that the belief be correct.

    Epistemological statements occur with in a rule-governed activity, viz., language.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Knowledge 'ought to' be true, but often it is not...Cheshire

    If it ain't true, then it ain't knowledge.
  • Cheshire
    47


    I greatly appreciate the charitable read and I agree. So long as JTB isn't meant to actually describe the real world and is only maintained for the purpose of an exercise I suppose I no longer object. Thank you for the reference to Gettier; I'm aware my arguments or causal assertions must appear quite naive.

    Do you think you could produce an example of these two different types of knowledge? The general and the technical?

    I suppose I'm agreeing with Gettier in a sense, but avoiding his objection. He's saying hey your system doesn't work because it can produce mistaken knowledge. I'm saying some knowledge is mistaken.
  • Cheshire
    47
    I agree , the theory of JTB is consistent within itself. However, I think I can maintain that it is always the case some of our ideas will be believed, justified, and taken as truth, but in error none the less. The theory says that wasn't 'actual knowledge': I'm instead claiming that some knowledge is always false while being taken as you say to be correct, so a better theory of knowledge would acknowledge that we know many things and some of what we know is wrong. I understand using the term knowledge without the assumption of truth has to be maddening in this context, but I believe it is a better approximation to the facts.

    You're conflating one's statement that something is true, or is a piece of knowledge, with the definition of knowledgeSam26

    Yes, except it isn't conflation if it is accurate.

    If some knowledge is always held in error, then all knowledge cannot be true.
  • Cheshire
    47
    If it ain't true, then it ain't knowledge.creativesoul

    You have never known something and then later found out it was incorrect?
  • Michael
    7.2k
    In such a case you didn’t actually have knowledge; you just mistakenly thought you did.
  • Cheshire
    47
    Knowledge is a success word, it accomplishes a purpose, that of being true. Knowledge is not a matter of simply saying something is true, it requires that the belief be correct.Sam26

    I think knowledge intends the success of being correct, but realistically it turns out to be rational conjecture that hasn't been proven wrong yet. So, if you wanted to augment JTB with or F, then I would be satisfied for today.
  • Cheshire
    47
    In such a case you didn’t have knowledge; you just mistakenly thought you did.Michael

    Which I'm claiming is always going to be the case, so why not just acknowledge that some knowledge will eventually be proven wrong.
  • Michael
    7.2k
    It’s not always going to be the case. Sometimes the things I think I know are true, and so I really do know them.

    And why “acknowledge that some knowledge will eventually be proven wrong” when we can instead acknowledge that some things we don’t actually know? The latter seems a far more reasonable approach.
  • Cheshire
    47
    ↪Cheshire It’s not always going to be the case. Sometimes the things I think I know are true, and so I really do know them.Michael

    I'm arguing that without the certainity of what is true or false apart from your "thinking" it's true or false we're left with a description of knowledge that's too idealized to be practical beyond philosophical exercises. I don't think philosophy ought to be limited by it's own definitions.

    And why “acknowledge that some knowledge will eventually be proven wrong” when we can instead acknowledge that some things we don’t actually know? The latter seems a far more reasonable approach.Michael

    I mean, yes, that's totally rational. But, technically problematic because we don't know what we don't know so to speak. I think instead of playing these word games we cut to the chase and say our knowledge contains our errors and inaccuracies. And until such a time as all errors from our knowledge have been eliminated we cannot and ought not hold that all knowledge is true. Really, it's a better mirror to how knowledge actually seems to progress. We don't so often establish the all-determinate truth of a theory, but rather find out where the error lies and improve upon it. I think Socrates would like it.
  • Cheshire
    47
    ↪Cheshire It’s not always going to be the case. Sometimes the things I think I know are true, and so I really do know them.Michael

    It's always the case "that sometimes....."
  • Cheshire
    47
    And why “acknowledge that some knowledge will eventually be proven wrong” when we can instead acknowledge that some things we don’t actually know? The latter seems a far more reasonable approach.Michael

    Because we cannot tell the difference between what we actually know and what we think we know until it's proven wrong.
  • Michael
    7.2k
    Because we cannot tell the difference between what we actually know and what we think we know until it's proven wrong.Cheshire

    It doesn't follow from this that we should talk about "wrong knowledge" rather than "not knowledge".

    I would say that if I think I know that your name is John and if I find out that it's not actually John then it's better to say that I didn't know that your name is John than to say that I knew but was wrong.
  • Cheshire
    47
    It doesn't follow from this that we should talk about "wrong knowledge" rather than "not knowledge".

    I would say that if I think I know that your name is John and if I find out that it's not actually John then it's better to say that I didn't know that your name is John than to say that I knew but was wrong.
    Michael


    Really? I can understand "I guessed your name was John and it wasn't", but if you thought you knew then, you must have had some reason; then it makes more sense to say what I knew was incorrect. To say "I thought I knew" implies a process which made you think it was indeed knowledge. It goes back to my assertion there is no observable difference between "what I know" and "what I think I know" at any given moment, so I cannot exclude the latter in my description of knowledge. I don't feel compelled to concede the matter, but I'm not sure how to expand on the idea.
  • Michael
    7.2k
    It goes back to my assertion there is no observable difference between "what I know" and "what I think I know" at any given moment, so I cannot exclude the latter in my description of knowledge.Cheshire

    There's also no observable difference between what's true and what's false at any given moment, but we don't then say that something is true just because we believe it to be so.

    We can believe that something is true even if it isn't, and we can believe that we know something even if we don't.
  • Cheshire
    47
    There's also no observable difference between what's true and what's false at any given moment, but we don't then say that something is true just because we believe it to be so.Michael

    Don't we? Every time I say something is true is just because I believe it is true. Otherwise, I'm not properly truthing.
  • Michael
    7.2k
    Don't we? Every time I say something is true is just because I believe it is true. Otherwise, I'm not properly truthing.Cheshire

    There's a difference between "I say that X is true because I believe that X is true" and "X is true because I believe that X is true". And there's a difference between "I say that I know that X is true because I believe that I know that X is true" and "I know that X is true because I believe that I know that X is true".

    I'm saying that the second in each case is false.
  • Cheshire
    47
    I'm saying that the second in each case is false.Michael

    It goes without saying I thought? It's absurd to claim one's beliefs change the truth the of the matter. I understand how it could be read that way, but I don't understand why it would be read that way.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Conflating between truth and belief...
  • creativesoul
    3.1k


    I do not agree with Sam regarding what counts as justified belief. It does not require being argued for(the act of justification) on my view.
  • Cheshire
    47
    We can believe that something is true even if it isn't, and we can believe that we know something even if we don't.Michael

    Then why would we to define our products in such an ideal sense and still expect they correspond to the facts? If knowledge is always true, then how is it our knowledge changes?
  • Cheshire
    47
    Conflating between truth and belief...creativesoul

    I'm accounting for the beliefs that have been conflated with truth. I acknowledge conflation is done in error, but because it persist it should be considered a part of our knowledge.

    No one has any problem saying knowledge is true, but suggest it can also be false and your burning down the house.
  • Cheshire
    47
    I do not agree with Sam regarding what counts as justified belief. It does not require being argued for(the act of justification) on my view.creativesoul

    It has to be arguable, but doesn't have to have been argued?
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    No one has any problem saying knowledge is true, but suggest it can also be false...Cheshire

    The suggestion is nonsense, and leads to self-contradiction.
  • Cheshire
    47
    The suggestion is nonsense, and leads to self-contradiction.creativesoul

    Compelling.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Need it be?

    You claim that one can know a false statement.

    That is nonsense.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    The president has never been Tom Cruise.

    "Tom Cruise is president" is false.

    According to your logic, we can know that statement.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    "The earth is flat,"

    "The sun revolves around the earth."

    Both of those were once thought to be true, but never were. They were called knowledge because they were believed to be true, and the evidence at our disposal at the time supported the ideas.

    According to you, they are still knowledge.

    You're conflating being justified true belief with being called such. The two are not one in the same.
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