Gettier Problems

Robert J. Fogelin

in Pyrrhonian Reflections on Knowledge and Justification

Published in print December 1994 | ISBN: 9780195089875
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833238 | DOI:
Gettier Problems

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This chapter examines Gettier's objections to defining knowledge as justified true belief – the so‐called Gettier problems. In response to these objections, a distinction is drawn between two kinds of justification. A person can be justified in coming to believe that p if he has been epistemically responsible in doing so. This is how Gettier understands justification. A person can also be justified in the sense that he commands grounds or reasons that establish the truth of p. Knowledge claims are, however, sensitive to levels of scrutiny. What counts as adequate grounds in one context may not in another because of its nonstandard features. Gettier problems in all their forms arise when a person, S, responsibly judges that p, but in a context where we, who are privy to information S lacks, see that his grounds do not meet the standards appropriate for the situation he in fact is in.

Keywords: adequate grounds; belief; epistemic responsibility; Gettier; Gettier problem; justification; knowledge; scrutiny

Chapter.  6373 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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