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Of Pandas, People, and Propaganda - Essay Example

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Of Pandas, People, and Propaganda

This holds that the acquisition of knowledge can be explained by justified true belief. Justified true belief was defined by Plato in his work Theatetus. This says that in order for anyone to truly know a thing, that thing: must be true; we must believe it; and there must be sufficient evidence for it (i.e., it must be justified). "If a belief is justified, there is something which justifies it. The thing which justifies a belief can be called its justifier. If a belief is justified, then it has at least one justifier What sort of thing can be a justifier Three things that have been suggested are: beliefs only; beliefs together with other conscious mental states; and beliefs, conscious mental states, and other facts about us and our environment (which we may not have access to)" (Answers.com, 2005). Gettier posed the question: "Is justified true belief knowledge" In his paper, Gettier set forth conundrums which he believed demonstrated a fallacy with justification of belief into knowledge.
d. Jones is the man who will get the job, and Jones has ten coins in his pocket. Smith's evidence for (d) might be that the president of the company assured him that Jones would in the end be selected, and that he, Smith, had counted the coins in Jones's pocket ten minutes ago. Proposition (d) entails:
Let us
e. The man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket.
Let us suppose that Smith sees the entailment from (d) to (e), and accepts (e) on the grounds of (d), for which he has strong evidence. In this case, Smith is clearly justified in believing that (e) is true.
But imagine, further, that unknown to Smith, he himself, not Jones, will get the job. And, also, unknown to Smith, he himself has ten coins in his pocket. Proposition (e) is then true, though proposition (d), from which Smith inferred (e), is false. In our example, then, all of the following are true: (i) (e) is true, (ii) Smith believes that (e) is true, and (iii) Smith is justified in believing that (e) is true. But it is equally clear that Smith does not know that (e) is true; for (e) is true in virtue of the number of coins in Smith's pocket, while Smith does not know how many coins are in Smith's pocket, and bases his belief in (e) on a count of the coins in Jones's pocket, whom he falsely believes to be the man who will get the job" (Gettier, 1963).

Gettier demonstrated that knowledge is not acquired as simply or straight-forwardly as philosophers had assumed for over 2000 years. Factual knowledge is not as simple or self-evident as it so often seems to be. Thus, the process of learning cannot be taken for granted. Questions about learning and the acquisition of knowledge need to be posed that can apply to all disciplines, including the natural and social sciences, history, the arts, mathematics, and language. Definitive answers are hard to come by. "'What is Truth' said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer," wrote Francis Bacon in his Of Truth, Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral (Theory of Knowledge, 2005).

Philosophers have studied the topic of epistemology ever since the time of Plato. Several different theories of the learning process have gained hold in Western ...Show more

Summary

Learning and the acquisition of knowledge are two of the most ubiquitous and at once most mysterious processes in our lives. Various epistemologies explain or seek to explain the ways and means of acquiring knowledge. All of them more or less assert themselves as correct…
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Of Pandas, People, and Propaganda essay example
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