Analysis of the Concept of Knowledge
and Justified Belief




epistemic luck -> justification ->gettier problem -> epistemic luck

Alternative: reliabilsm (Alvin Goldman)

       output believes are justified if produced by a reliable process

    [belief-dependent processes are reliable if the output believes are usually true when the input
            beliefs are true]
           [belief-independent processes are reliable if the input beliefs are true]
        later: causal theory


what is justified belief?

external: j-reliabilsm (which is j-external) [bonjour: clairvoyance Norman]

            J-externalism: justification not directly recognizable

            causal theory of externalism (beliefs have to be caused in the right way)

internal: evidentialism

            accessability internalism

                    strong access internalism: features of beliefs that make beliefs noninferentially justified          
                    must  be potentially accessible. - But this condition is too strong, either for foundationalism   
                    as for coherentism.

            mental state internalism

            Chisholm: J-internalism: direct recognizable (S always recognizes when he has a justified      


direct recognizablility of justifieres equiv. to direct recognizablitiy of justification


Internal justification is a necessary condition of knowledge. A belief's origin in a reliable cognitive process is not sufficient for its being an instance of knowledge.

Arguments for internalism:

    role of justification

    deontological justification

Internal justification is not a necessary condition of knowledge. A belief's origin in a reliable cognitive process is sufficient for its being an instance of knowledge. Consequently, there are cases of knowledge without internal justification.

        Arguments for externalism

            justified is evaluative term

            without a reliability constraint, the connection between justification and truth becomes too tenuous

            rules out belief-systems consisting of mostly justified, but false beliefs (evil deceiver)

            animals have knowledge



knowledge (belief) rests on foundation of noninferential knowledge (beliefs)

1)  to be justified to belief P on the basis of B one has to be justified to belief B

2) Principle of Inferential Justification:
To be justified in believing P on the basis of E one must not only be (1) justified in believing E, but also (2) justified in believing that E makes probable P.

epistemic regress argument

1) no infinte long chain of justification (B1,2,3,..., F1,2,3,...) possible (no vicious epistemic regress)


conceptual regress argument


Inferential justification: Infallible belief (S's belief that P entails that P is true)

can I believe having a pain without having the pain (or vice versa)?

proposal: noninferential justification lies in truthmaker for the proposition believed


direct acquaintance theory (Russell)

    Sellars' objection: there is no "given" element in experience

    direct acquaintance presupposes strong correspondence conception of truth


Infinitism (Peter Klein): nothing vicious about the epistemic regress



The problem of the external world

Sense data theory (act-object-theory):

arguments from perceptual relativity (coin), illusion (stick in water), and hallucination (dream)

    no experimental difference between veridical and non-veridical experience?

    status of sense-data: do they persist in time? do they exist without perceiving? public/private?

    problem of dualism

argument from natural science

    causal account: perceptual process

Adverbial theory:

    the act of perceiving is the perception, the state; no object (external or internal) )is needed


both theories: what we are immediately aware of is never an external object