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Gbor Forgcs, Tihamr Margitay, Zsolt Ziegler Dept. of Philosophy and the History of Science 1111 Budapest, Egry J. st. 1. E 610. [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] www.filozofia.bme.hu Reliabilism Knowledge, truth, and belief Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk What is knowledge? Knowledge: propositional knowledge (knowing-that), non-propositional knowledge (knowing-how) (E.g. I can swim, I know how to drive a car with manual transmission) Knowledge is a special kind of belief-state Propositional knowledge is justified true belief, that is, s knows that p if, and only if s believes that p

s is justified in believing that p p is true Justification supplies reasons for the belief that p. (It is a matter of degree.) This definition captures pretty much of what we require of knowledge. 02/03/20 Epistemology S knows that p, if and only if... Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk 1. Belief: S believes p. 2. True: p is true. If it is incorrect then - no matter what else is good or useful about it - it is

not knowledge. It can feel to the believer as if it is true, but it doesn't matter. If the belief is mistaken, it would be knowledge, no matter how much it might feel to the believer like knowledge. 3. Justification: p is justified. p needs to be well supported, being based on evidence or some other kind of rational justification. The belief, even if it is true, may as well be a lucky guess. 02/03/20 Epistemology Gettier-cases 02/03/20 Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk Edmund Gettier challenged this traditional account of knowledge.

He used counterexamples. He described possible situations in which all of these conditions obtain, but we wouldn't count it as knowledge. Therefore, knowledge is not justified true belief. Epistemology Gettier's original example Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk Smith and Jones have applied for the same job. Smith has been told by the company president that Jones will win the job. Smith has observed that Jones has 10 coins in his pocket.

He infers that whoever will get the job has ten coins in their pocket. But Smith, who will actually get the job, has ten coins in his pocket. Nevertheless, neither of those facts was known by Smith. Smith has a justified and true belief: Whoever gets the job has ten coins in his pocket. But Smith doesn't have knowledge. "Smith" and "Whoever gets the job" are not freely interchangable 02/03/20 Epistemology Other examples Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk A modified version of Gettier's second example Smith believes that one of his colleagues has a Ford. He has good reasons for believing this: Jones always had a Ford, and Smith has seen him recently in a Ford.

But Jones's Ford was stolen yesterday, and he drives a rented car. Nonetheless, one of Smith's other colleagues, Brown has a Ford. But Smith doesn't know these facts. He has a justified and true belief (One of my colleagues has a Ford), but he doesn't have knowledge. 02/03/20 Epistemology Internalist and externalist theories of justification Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk The rise of internalist-externalist debate is due to Gettier's article. What are the relevant factors of justification?

Internalism: 02/03/20 (1) Knowledge requires justification and (2) the nature of this justification is completely determined by a subjects internal states or reasons. Externalism: denies at least one of these commitments: (1) either knowledge does not require justification or (2) the nature of justification is not completely determined by internal factors alone. Epistemology Internalism Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk

Internalism: justification of a proposition is completely determined by ones internal states. Internal states: ones bodily states, ones brain states, ones mental states (if these are different than brain states), or ones reflectively accessible states. Foundationalism and coherentism are internalist theories. The justification is in my head. The justifiability of p depends only on my internal states (my beliefs and non-propositional states, such as experiences). A p belief is justified, if the subject has good (sufficient) evidences of p. 02/03/20 Epistemology Internalism Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk

Internal states as either reflectively accessible states or mental states. Therefore, according to internalism I need to have an access to the factors which make my belief justified. Crucial point: A person either does or can have a form of access to the basis for knowledge or justified belief. The subject is (is able to) aware of the ground, basis of her knowledge or justified belief. (And we can ask for justification: how do you know that... ) 02/03/20 Epistemology Externalism Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk Justification depends on additional factors that are external to a person. The facts that determine a beliefs justification include external

facts such as 02/03/20 whether the belief is caused by the state of affairs that makes the belief true, whether the belief is counterfactually dependent on the states of affairs that makes it true, whether the belief is produced by a reliable belief producing process. Epistemology Justification without awareness Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk Causal origins of ones beliefs are not, in general, reflectively accessible. (causal theory of justificaton) Externalists deny that one always can have (reflective) access to the basis for one's knowledge and justified belief. I don't need to know the basis of my

knowledge or justified belief. If my belief is produced by (for example) reliable process, then my belief is justified, even if I'm not aware the facts which make my belief justified. (Example: Testimonial knowledge. I can't remember the evidences on which my belief that 'Napoleon lost at Waterloo'. But I don't need to remember, if my belief was proced by reliable processes.) 02/03/20 Epistemology The structure of Gettier cases Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk Each Gettier case contains a belief which is true and well justified without being knowledge. Two important features of Gettier cases: 02/03/20 1)

Fallibility: The justification is fallible (there can be mistakes). It gives strong reasons to believe p, but leaves open the possibility of the beliefs being false. Justification indicates strongly that the belief is true, without proving conclusively that it is. 2) Luck: The well (but fallibly) justified belief is true by luck. There are odd circumstances in the case, which make the existence of that justified and true belief unexpected. Epistemology Possible solutions Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk 1) Infallibility: There is no fallible justification. In Gettier cases the subject doesn't have a justified belief, because it is (and can be) mistaken. Justified belief = If p belief is justified, then it is impossible for p to be false.

Contradiction: justification can lead to false beliefs We don't allow that ones having fallible justification for a belief that p could ever adequately satisfy JTBs justification condition. In Gettier cases the subjects don't have knowledge, since they don't have a real (infallible) justification. 02/03/20 Epistemology Problem with infallibility Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk It is a drastic and mistaken solution. In ordinary situations we think that we have knowledge, yet we rarely (if ever) possess infallible justification of a belief. If we accept that infallible condition, then we can have knowledge only if

we cannot be mistaken. But there are very few things (if any), which are infallible. The infallibilist conception of justification leads to sceptical conclusions: we don't know anything at all. 02/03/20 Epistemology Possible solutions Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk 2) Eliminating false evidence The subject lacks knowledge, because he is relying upon false evidence. He has luckily derived a true belief, p from a false belief and this is because he doesn't have knowledge. Smith includes in his evidence ('the president told me that..') the false belief that Jones will get the job. If Smith had lacked that evidence, he would not have

inferred belief p. If so, he wouldn't have had a justified and true belief, which failed to be knowledge. JTB must be modified: no belief is knowledge if the persons justificatory support for it includes something false. 02/03/20 Epistemology Problems with eliminating false evidence Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk A Gettier case can be formulated, when there is no false belief at all. Suppose: Smith has a belief: The president of the company told me that Jones would get the job. 02/03/20

Suppose: Smith doesn't infer to: Jones will get the job. His belief (together with Jones has ten coins in his pocket) also supports this true belief that: whoever will get the job has ten coins in their pocket. Therefore this solution is not useful. Probably, there is always some false evidence being relied upon, at least implicitly. If there is some falsity among the beliefs you use, but if you do not wholly remove it or if you do not isolate it from the other beliefs you are using, then you don't have knowledge. Therefore, we have again the threat of scepticism. Epistemology Possible solutions Gettier examples demonstrated that, a subject can obtain true beliefs with very solid grounds and yet the agent could still easily have been wrong.

It is only by luck or coincidence that the agents source of justification leads to true belief. Epistemic luck: The justification leads to true belief by coincidence. 02/03/20 Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk To have a proper theory about knowledge, we have to eliminate the epistemic luck. Epistemology Appropriate causality Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk 3) Eliminating inappropriate causality What is the connection between the justification, believing in the proposition, the truth of proposition, and knowledge?

Goldman's response: Knowledge = true belief which is caused in an appropriate way. In Gettier cases, S doesn't have knowledge, because his true belief is caused in an abnormal way. Knowledge is constituted by two factors. The true belief AND the way as it was formed by a causal process constitute knowledge. 02/03/20 Epistemology Causal theory of knowledge 02/03/20 Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk Alvin Goldman's causal theory of knowledge:

S knows p, if and only if: the same fact which makes p true causes S's belief p. The fact that makes p true must be included in the causal process which produces the belief p. There is an appropriate causal relation between the belief p and fact which makes p true. Epistemology Gettier examples and causal theory Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk In Gettier cases, the subject doesn't have knowledge, because the causal connection between the facts which make the belief true, and his belief is missing.

Gettier I.: Smith believes that the person who will get the job has 10 coins in his pocket, not because the facts which make his belief true: Smith (will) get the job. ; Smith has 10 coins in his pocket. Why Smith does believe this? Because he believes that Jones will get the job (because the president told that), and Jones has 10 coins in his pocket. He has evidences for these beliefs, but these facts are not relevant to the truth of the original belief (the person who will get the job, has 10 coins in his pocket.) 02/03/20 Epistemology Gettier cases and the causal theory Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk Modified version of Gettier's second case: One of my collegues has a Ford.

This proposition is true, because Brown has a Ford (but Smith doesn't know this). But this fact plays no role in his belief forming process. Smith believes this, because he believes that Jones has Ford. There is no causal connection between the fact which makes his belief true, and his belief. 02/03/20 Epistemology Perception Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk By perception we can acquire knowledge by causal processes.

If the perceived object (Stoczek building) causes my belief that It is the Stoczek building in front of me., and my belief is true, then I know that it is the Stoczek building. In memory, there is a causal relation between my present mental state (I can remember that..) and a past experience. I believe that 'I have seen the Stoczek building this morning', because I have actually seen the Stoczek building. 02/03/20 Epistemology Appropriate causal connection? Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk Problem: What is an appropriate causal connection? We can construct a case that is similar to the original Gettier cases and uses the notion of causal connection Suppose: Smith believes that one of his colleagues owns a Ford, because Mr. Black has told him that Jones has bought a new Ford.

And Mr. Black usually doesn't lie. But in this case Mr. Black remembers wrong, he has seen Brown buying a new Ford. In this case: Smith's belief One of my colleagues has a Ford has a certain kind of causal relation with the fact which makes it true (Brown has Ford), but in this case Smith doesn't have knowledge. 02/03/20 Epistemology Reliabilist theory Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk Reliabilism: An improved version of causal theory. Appropriate causal connection - > reliable cognitive process Causal theory: local theory of knowledge. It gives an answer to the question: whether the specific cause of a true belief is sufficient for knowledge.

Reliabilism: general theory of knowledge. Question: whether the general belief-forming process by which S formed the belief that p would produce a high ratio of true beliefs. Whether a process is reliable in general or not? 02/03/20 Epistemology Founding Insight of Reliabilism Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk Knowledge attribitions can be underwritten by a believers reliability, even when the believer is not in a position to offer reasons for her belief. It is not a simple contradiction of the JTB account, rather a generalization of it. Reasoning takes place as one potentially reliable process among

others. 02/03/20 Epistemology Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk 02/03/20 So in order to give a proper account of reliablism, we must search for examples, where S is not in a position to reason with her reliability Examples: industrial chicken sexers and superblindsight. Tension: insist that blind but still a reliable reporter of visual perception There is a red square in front of me. One cannot account for a belief if one is not in a position to give reasons for it. Why do you believe that p?

Beliefs are propositionally contentful can serve as premises or conclusions of inferences. Epistemology Conceptual blindspot Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk The failure to realize the limitation of explanatory powers of reliability know how is mixed with know that. We might teach a parrot or a thermostat to react to a certain state of affairs. However we cannot state that they are having beliefs, because their utterances asserting those beliefs is not a move in the game of giving and asking for reasons. They are not applying a concept. Although we started by trying to rule out the criterion of justification, we see that it inevitably returns in reliablism.

02/03/20 Epistemology Red barn argument Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk In barn facade county there are 999 fake barns and only one real barn. Stangin in front of the only real one we utter There is a red barn. Would our reliable distinguisher of red barns produce knowledge? What distinguishes reliable processes from unrealiable ones in different circumstances is external to the subjects own belief and to their connection to their causal antecedents. 02/03/20 Epistemology Conclusion Internalist and Externalist accounts

02/03/20 Infallibility, Elimination of false evidence, and proper causal connection Causal theory Difference in what gets explanatory status of internal vs. external factors Gettier cases and possible solutions. Filozfiai s Tudomnytrtnet Tanszk Problem of appropriate causality Reliabilist theory Founding insight Conceptual blindspot

Status accounted for beliefs (conceptual content) Red Barn example Epistemology

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