Knowledge and True Belief at Theaetetus 201a–c

Authors
Tamer Nawar
University of Groningen
Abstract
This paper examines a passage in the Theaetetus where Plato distinguishes knowledge from true belief by appealing to the example of a jury hearing a case. While the jurors may have true belief, Socrates puts forward two reasons why they cannot achieve knowledge. The reasons for this nescience have typically been taken to be in tension with each other . This paper proposes a solution to the putative difficulty by arguing that what links the two cases of nescience is that in neither case do the jurors act from an epistemic virtue and that doing so is a necessary condition of knowledge. Appreciating that it is a necessary condition of knowledge that it be the result of an epistemic agent's agency in a distinctive way provides a satisfying solution to the difficulty Burnyeat detected and also does justice to an otherwise neglected aspect of Plato's epistemology: his talk of cognitive capacities and virtues and his focus on what it is that is active and passive in epistemic processes.
Keywords Plato  Theaetetus  epistemology  knowledge  true belief  jury  perception  agency  active perception
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DOI 10.1080/09608788.2013.822344
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Credit.Jennifer Lackey - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (1):27 - 42.
The Folly of Trying to Define Truth.Donald Davidson - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (6):263-278.

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Citations of this work BETA

Platonic Know‐How and Successful Action.Tamer Nawar - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):944-962.

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