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The analysis of knowledge: conceptual approach

Journal: The Digital Scholar: Philosopher’s Lab (Vol.3, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 117-134

Keywords : Gettier problem; analysis of knowledge; reliabilism; apriorism; social epistemology; analytic epistemology;

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The paper considers the problem of analysis of knowledge in analytic philosophy. The author proposes a detailed review of Gettier's article Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? In order to clarify the main characteristics of conceptual analysis as a philosophical method, the author examines Ayer's book The Problem of Knowledge. It supports the argument that it is possible to clarify the concept of knowledge without relying on historical or sociological studies of knowledge. As the first possible response to the Gettier problem, the author considers a “no-false-premise” solution. Even though it allows to see why Gettier's cases are instances of true justified beliefs and not of knowledge, this solution is not apt to analyse non-inferential kinds of knowledge. Then reliabilism and the casual theory of knowledge are studied. They are better suited to analyse non-inferential kinds of knowledge but remain vulnerable to other objections. The author then examines the defeasibility analysis of knowledge. Unlike other responses to the Gettier problem, this kind of analysis succeeds in solving it but only at a cost of establishing a too tight connection between truth and justification, which contradicts Gettier's note that there can be a false yet justified belief. Finally, Zagzebski's article The Inescapability of Gettier Problems is discussed to clarify the connection between different components of the definition of knowledge. At the conclusion, some of the merits of conceptual analysis for epistemology are discussed which would otherwise be lost if it is substituted with historical and sociological methods of study of knowledge.

Last modified: 2020-09-03 23:03:39