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Flashcards in Epistemology Deck (8)
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Explain ways in which you can test for a good definition

- Provide counter examples, if the definition does not disprove it then the definition is true.
- A good definition should not be circular
- A good definition should explain to us a concept which we do not understand by giving us simpler concepts which we do understand.


Can propositional Knowledge be defined?

You should aim to find a definition until you have failed to find one. You know you have failed when you cannot give the definition necessary and sufficient and conditions.


Ability Knowledge

I know how to do something, eg. I know how to ride a bike.


Explain the tripartite view.

This is the idea that knowledge is justified true belief. You know proposition x if x is true, you believe x is true and that you believe x is justified.
These 3 conditions are necessary and sufficient to knowledge.


Why justified true belief?

Truth & Belief
-Reality is described by what is true. Reality is not what is false, therefore we can only know what is true. Eg. If x is true, then you believe it.

-Justification is the reason for accepting the proposition.
- A proposition can be true but not justified, true beliefs can be formed irrationally.
- True beliefs can be lucky and correct but this does not mean that it is knowledge
- Belief needs to be formed on evidence.


Explain the part that certainty plays in the Tripartite View.

- Knowledge has to be certain but beliefs do not.
- However, the tripartite view does not say that a belief must be certain in order to be Knowledge, we have good reason to believe many things which we also have good reason to doubt.
- It is possible to have a justified false belief because the evidence was strong at the time.
- If a belief we thought was true, turns out to be false, it’s no longer knowledge.


Explain Necessary and Sufficient conditions

For a concept to be true, it must have necessary and sufficient conditions. (If X, then Y)
If Mr A is unmarried then Mr A is a bachelor. This is correct because being unmarried is a necessary condition for being a bachelor, however it is not sufficient because a bachelor must also be a man.


1. Define the second type of knowledge
2. Explain the two types of knowledge that it splits into.

1. Involves being in cognitive contact with something
2. Acquaintance Knowledge - Knowing something because of direct contact ‘I know my father’
Propositional Knowledge -Factual Knowledge that is either true of false. Eg. 2+2=4 True Propositions describe how reality is, Knowledge is a relation between a subject and some part of reality so to be part of reality is knowing what a true proposition is.