Knowledge as a thick concept: explaining why the Gettier problem arises

Philosophical Studies 165 (1):1-27 (2013)
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The Gettier problem has stymied epistemologists. But, whether or not this problem is resolvable, we still must face an important question: Why does the Gettier problem arise in the first place? So far, philosophers have seen it as either a problem peculiar to the concept of knowledge, or else an instance of a general problem about conceptual analysis. But I would like to steer a middle course. I argue that the Gettier problem arises because knowledge is a thick concept, and a Gettier-like problem is just what we should expect from attempts at analyzing a thick concept. Section 2 is devoted to establishing the controversial claim that knowledge is thick, and, in Sect. 3, I show that there is a general problem for analyzing thick concepts of which the Gettier problem is a special instance. I do not take a stand on whether the Gettier problem, or its general counterpart, is resolvable. My primary aim is to bring these problems into better focus

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Brent G. Kyle
United States Air Force Academy

Citations of this work

Thick Ethical Concepts.Pekka Väyrynen - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Thick Concepts as Social Factors of Oppression on Moral Decisions and Injustice.Ozan A. Altinok - 2022 - Chinese Journal of Contemporary Values 9 (No. 4): pp. 116–128. Translated by Yue QI.
"Knowledge First" and Its Limits.Tammo Lossau - 2022 - Dissertation, Johns Hopkins University

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Philosophical explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Epistemology and cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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