Is Justified True Belief Possible?

Epistemologiae

The only thing we can know is what we believe we know – but to know in itself is impossible. This is because there is no means of justification that is in itself not reliant on other propositions. When we try to justify any belief, we must ensure this justification is valid, and that that validation is also valid, and that that validation is also valid, ad infinitum. An infinite regress, however, is not necessarily problematic.

Consider by analogy the concept of π (pi). We use π to make calculations regarding a circle’s circumference in relation to its diameter. However we don’t actually use π in our calculations, we usually use the approximation of π, sometimes 3.14. π, however, is an irrational number whose decimal representation never ends and never settles into a consistently repeating pattern. The more decimal places we add to π, however, the more accurate our…

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Unjustified True Belief

Epistemologiae

Classroom Edit

Last Tuesday night, Professor Lockwood was leading an undergraduate seminar on the subject of Epistemology. In this lesson, the students were learning and discussing the definition of knowledge when the conversation digressed onto the Matrix and other science-fictions. Nearing the end of class, one especially enthusiastic student, Kyle, who happened to be very interested in recent advancements in technology and science, pulled out a prototype for a holographic projection device that was able to create a three-dimensional, colored hologram of the objects it scanned.

To show off his amazing gadget, Kyle asked the class to join him on one side of the room while he set the device on the middle table to scan them. After activating the device, an almost perfect mirror image of the whole class could be seen standing on the opposite side of the room – all except for Justin who was very late to the…

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