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"Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?" by Edmund Gettier

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Traditionally knowledge was regarded by number of philosophers as justified true belief. In the article “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?”, Edmund Gettier by presenting two cases against treating knowledge as a justified true belief (JTB) does not support the idea that knowledge is JTB . Those cases prove Gettier’s argument towards the fact that knowledge is not necessary JTB but it can appear to be so.

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Although Gettier does not provide a clear definition of knowledge, he explains what knowledge is not. His three-page article, published in 1963, presents the counterarguments against the theory of knowledge of that time.

Despite Gettier was not much involved in developing this theory, his followers added good cases towards it. This process is known as Gettier case. Martin Cohen, according to Phil Sim, offered a good example: a farmer wanted to make sure that his cow is safe in the field, so went outside. He saw the shape of the cow beside a tree in the distance and returned home to make sure that the cow is safe. Then his foreman went to the field and found the cow safe, and hidden from the view behind a tree. He finds black and white pieces of paper stuck in the tree. The farmer thought it was his cow, although believed that nothing happened to his cow and it was really so. This is the example of JTB, not knowledge.

Edmund Gettier states that JTB is not a “sufficient condition for the truth of proposition” (Gettier 1). When analyzing Gettier theory Philip Sim concludes that one of the main arguments that Gettier proposed is that “lucky guesses can not constitute knowledge” (Sim1). That is the main idea that Edmund Gettier proposed in his article “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” The answer to this question as well as the problem of correct definition of knowledge is still under discussion among the number of philosophers of modern century.

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