Stick to what you know

Noûs 39 (3):359–396 (2005)
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I will be arguing that a subject’s belief that p is justified if and only if he knows that p: justification is knowledge. I will start by describing two broad classes of allegedly justified beliefs that do not constitute knowledge and which, hence, cannot be what they are often taken to be if my view is correct. It is far from clear what my view is until I say a lot more about the relevant concept or concepts of justification that concern me. The following section describes several concepts of justification that epistemologists have employed, and, in particular, identifies the two concepts of justification that I claim are coextensive with the concept of knowledge. One of those is the deontological conception of justification: I will be arguing that one ought not believe that p unless one knows that p. I imagine that the major opposition to my view will be that it is simply obvious that there are justified false beliefs, a feeling that I try to dispel in the lengthy section on concepts of justification before I finally get around to giving the main arguments in favor of my view. A view as unorthodox as mine demands more than a single argument: I offer four in the third section. Everyone allows that many people have many unjustified beliefs, and everyone has some unjustified beliefs, but such beliefs appear to be far more prevalent on my view than on more orthodox views. In the last section, I argue that unjustified beliefs, although widespread, are not quite as common as they might appear to be on my view.



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References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Philosophical explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
The structure of empirical knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Warrant and proper function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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