Defeating the dogma of defeasibility
|Abstract||Ever since Gettier 1963 convinced English-speaking philosophers that justified true belief does not suffice for knowledge, many epistemologists have been searching for the elusive “fourth condition” of knowledge: the condition that must be added to justification, truth, and belief, in order to get a set of non-trivial conditions that are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for knowledge.1 The problem of finding such conditions is generally known as the “Gettier problem”. Many different fourth conditions have been proposed and subsequently counterexampled, and some philosophers have suggested that some of the other three conditions may need to be revised as well. But recently, several philosophers have suggested that the Gettier problem is insoluble, and that the theory of knowledge should proceed in a more modest way: not by trying to specify a set of non-trivial conditions that are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for knowledge, but rather by trying to figure out whatever we can about knowledge, and in particular to figure out the role that knowledge, and knowledge ascription, play in our lives. Williamson 2000 has developed an epistemological view that falls within this latter, more modest approach to the theory of knowledge, and his work has been immediately and justly influential.|
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