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IPFS News Link • Science

This Simple Philosophical Puzzle Shows How Difficult It Is to Know Something

• arclein

What is knowledge? Well, thinkers for thousands of years had more or less taken one definition for granted: Knowledge is "justified true belief." The reasoning seemed solid: Just believing something that happens to be true doesn't necessarily make it knowledge. If your friend says to you that she knows what you ate last night (say it's veggie pizza), and happens to be right after guessing, that doesn't mean she knew. That was just a lucky guess?"a mere true belief. Your friend would know, though, if she said veggie pizza because she saw you eat it?"that's the "justification" part. Your friend, in that case, would have good reason to believe you ate it. The reason the Gettier problem is renowned is because Gettier showed, using little short stories, that this intuitive definition of knowledge was flawed. His 1963 paper, titled "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?" resembles an undergraduate assignment. It's just three pages long. But that's all Gettier nee