Saturday, October 27, 2012

frustrations with reliabilism / responsibilism

I'm struggling with this module, and looking forward to getting onto more familiar ground in the next section.

If we are trying to conclude whether the justification part of JTB is fundamentally an internalist or externalist process, then the answer is "that depends on what you mean by justification". Both views are helpful in suggesting different ways to look at what we can mean by justification, but we can use the term in different ways at different times. I think we agree that a purely internalist view has its problems, so does a purely externalist. On the whole I don't think we can "narrow down" the concept of justification to this degree.

On the whole I am not happy that the reliabilsm/responsibilism or internalism/externalism debate has much further to go. I also get frustrated when the texts mainly seem to accept that Gettier's argument was a good one, the more I think about it the more I would just reject his cases as being examples of JTB, and therefore dispense with a lot of worrying about adding additional criteria.

I also think the thermometer argument is very odd, and not really all that illuminating. I think I understand what it is trying to show, but would reject the fact that we can say that we have (high-standards) knowledge of the temperature in a room by looking at a thermometer which is normally reliable. We have to allow for the fact that the thermometer might be broken, and anyone who wanted to bet their life on the outcome would I think agree.

The chicken-sexer argument is a little more helpful, but all it really shows is that sometimes the justification we give for having knowledge is not in fact the real justification that we use. This doesn't seem to be a particularly ground-breaking point.

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