Why Gettier Cases are misleading

Logos and Episteme 7 (1):31-44 (2016)
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that, as far as Gettier cases are concerned, appearances are deceiving. That is, Gettier cases merely appear to be cases of epistemic failure (i.e., failing to know that p) but are in fact cases of semantic failure (i.e., failing to refer to x). Gettier cases are cases of reference failure because the candidates for knowledge in these cases contain ambiguous designators. If this is correct, then we may simply be mistaking semantic facts for epistemic facts when we consider Gettier cases. This, in turn, is a good reason not to assign much, if any, evidential weight to Gettier intuitions (i.e., that S doesn’t know that p in a Gettier case).

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Moti Mizrahi
Florida Institute of Technology

References found in this work

Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?Edmund Gettier - 1963 - Analysis 23 (6):121-123.
Discrimination and perceptual knowledge.Alvin I. Goldman - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (November):771-791.
What good are counterexamples?Brian Weatherson - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 115 (1):1-31.

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