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

Philosophical Studies 165 (1):1-27 (2013)

Authors
Brent G. Kyle
United States Air Force Academy
Abstract
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
Keywords Knowledge  Thick concepts  Thick terms  Gettier problem  Analysis  Epistemic luck  Veritic luck
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9919-2
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemic Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Thick Concepts and Sociological Research.Gabriel Abend - 2019 - Sociological Theory 37 (3):209-233.

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