Hypothetical are more effective for being credible.Peter Holmes wrote: ↑Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:13 pm The Gettier problem is that some cases of justified true belief don't amount to knowledge, so the JTB definition is inadequate. But I suggest that Gettier-cases really demonstrate the muddle caused by the myth of propositions.
A Gettier-case is a story with dramatic irony. Given that the story is fictional, we Gettier-spectators know the complete situation, because we have, as it were, objective knowledge of the features of reality in the story. But the protagonist doesn't have this knowledge. Here is an example.
A woman sees a group of people and mistakes one of them, a stranger, for her friend. So she believes her friend is there. And as it happens, her friend really is there, but hidden. So what she believes is the case. But does she know her friend is there?
The point is, what happens in the story has nothing to do with propositions. The woman’s mistake does not come from a false premise. She just believes the stranger is her friend, which is not the case. And her belief that her friend is there is not propositional. Propositional belief is as muddled an idea as propositional knowledge. There are just beliefs and knowledge-claims expressed by means of propositions.
We want to say that what she believes is true, because her friend really is there. But that is the myth of propositions at work. What she mistakenly believes to be the case is a feature of reality, which is not a proposition. When we believe or know a feature of reality is the case, we do not believe or know a proposition. So we do not believe or know something that is true or false.
This has very little credibility. It's almost like it is invented to make a point regardless of common sense. It is worthless are a hypothetical unless we know how the woman has made the mistake, and how and why her real friend is "hidden".
The woman does not know her friend is there because she lacks objective knowledge of that feature of reality.
This example might have more traction if any one ever "knew" that - they did not. An example that the earth was KNOWN to be in the centre of the universe would be better. Historically it was accepted as knowledge and there was plenty of evidence and bogus ideas interpreting the evidence to justify that as a fact. This illustrates that all knowledge is built upon other ideas, which when challenged help removed the dead knowledge to make new interpretations. Knowledge has to be accompanied by its building. Belief floats on the breeze and is worthless.And afterwards, apprised of the situation and her mistake, she would not say she knew her friend was there. That is not how we use the word 'know'. She would say she believed the stranger was her friend, but was mistaken.
We say we know a feature of reality is the case only if it is, or we think it is, the case. And if it turns out not to be the case, we don’t say we have stopped knowing it. We just say we were mistaken. For example, we don’t say we stopped knowing the earth is flat.
This echoes another thread here.https://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums ... 09#p387309
Gettier-cases recycle the JTB definition's concentration on: subjective knowledge - what an individual knows - effectively ignoring objective knowledge and its justification; propositional knowledge - S knows that p - as though what we know is propositions rather than features of reality; and the truth condition - S knows that p only if p is true - which gets things back to front. Our knowing that p doesn't come from the truth of p. It comes from our knowing the feature of reality that p asserts.
There are features of reality; there is what we believe or know about them, such as that they are the case; and there is what we say about them, which may be true or false. To muddle these things up is a mistake.
But Gettier-cases also contain the solution to the Gettier problem. The protagonists believe things for reasons that don't objectively justify their beliefs, which is why their beliefs don't amount to knowledge. Objective knowledge of features of reality, which may be expressed by means of true factual assertions, frees us from subjective, epistemic isolation. It's the objective knowledge that we Gettier-spectators have.
If you're interested, there's a full discussion, under the same title as the post, at:
In which I am being attacks for the mere suggestion that faith is useless; that knowledge has to be grounded; and that it can be challenged where belief based on faith is is empty