Chapter

Insufficiency of the various analyses. The ‘No false lemma’ principle. Its rationale—and its effect

Edward Craig

in Knowledge and the State of Nature

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238799
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597237 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198238797.003.0009
 Insufficiency of the various analyses. The ‘No false lemma’ principle. Its rationale—and its effect

Show Summary Details

Preview

The practical explication suggests that all attempts to state necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge will either produce a set of conditions that is insufficient, or will achieve sufficiency only by including conditions too strong to be necessary. This is illustrated with respect to the JTB (justified true belief) analysis, reliabilism, the causal theory, and the NFL (no false lemmas) principle. For the first three, it is always possible to think of circumstances such that, even though the subject reached the belief p by the required means, she was right against all the odds, given those further circumstances. And if justification (or some other condition) is stipulated to entail the truth of p, then this imposes an impossibly strong condition or serves merely to reiterate the famous first condition for knowledge. As for NFL, this calls for a near‐omniscience on the inquirer's part, so that it is too strong to be a necessary condition for knowledge.

Keywords: causal theory; conditions for knowledge; justification; knowledge; reliabilism; true belief

Chapter.  5499 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.