What matters to me stanford essay examples

What Matters To Me Stanford Essay Examples

What matters to me stanford essay examples

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What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for S to know that p? We may distinguish, broadly, between a traditional and a non-traditional approach to answering this question. False propositions cannot be known.

Therefore, knowledge requires truth. A proposition S doesn't even believe can't be a proposition that S knows. Therefore, knowledge requires belief. Finally, S's being correct in believing that p might merely be a matter of luck. Thus we arrive at a tripartite analysis of knowledge as JTB: S knows that p if and only if p is true and S is justified in believing that p.

According to this analysis, the three conditions — truth, belief, and justification — are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for knowledge. They diverge, however, as soon as we proceed to be more specific about exactly how justification is to fulfill this role.

According to TK, S's belief that p is true not merely because of luck when it is reasonable or rational, from S's own point of view, to take p to be true.

According to evidentialism, what makes a belief justified in this sense is the possession of evidence. The basic idea is that a belief is justified to the degree it fits S's evidence. NTK, on the other hand, conceives of the role of justification differently.

Its job is to ensure that S's belief has a high objective probability of truth and therefore, if true, is not true merely because of luck. One prominent idea is that this is accomplished if, and only if, a belief originates in reliable cognitive processes or faculties. This view is known as reliabilism. There are cases of JTB that do not qualify as cases of knowledge.

JTB, therefore, is not sufficient for knowledge. Cases like that — known as Gettier-cases[ 5 ] — arise because neither the possession of evidence nor origination in reliable faculties is sufficient for ensuring that a belief is not true merely because of luck.

Consider the well-known case of barn-facades: Henry drives through a rural area in which what appear to be barns are, with the exception of just one, mere barn facades.

From the road Henry is driving on, these facades look exactly like real barns. Henry happens to be looking at the one and only real barn in the area and believes that there's a barn over there. Henry's belief is justified, according to TK, because Henry's visual experience justifies his belief. According to NTK, his belief is justified because Henry's belief originates in a reliable cognitive process: Yet Henry's belief is plausibly viewed as being true merely because of luck.

Had Henry noticed one of the barn-facades instead, he would also have believed that there's a barn over there. There is, therefore, broad agreement among epistemologists that Henry's belief does not qualify as knowledge. This is known as the Gettier problem. According to TK, solving the problem requires a fourth condition.

According to some NTK theorists, it calls for refining the concept of reliability. For example, if reliability could suitably be indexed to the subject's environment, reliabilists could say that Henry's belief is not justified because in his environment, vision is not reliable when it comes to discerning barns from barn-facades. They would say that, if we conceive of knowledge as reliably produced true belief, there is no need for justification.

Reliabilism, then, comes in two forms: As the former, it views justification to be an important ingredient of knowledge but, unlike TK, grounds justification solely in reliability.

As a theory of knowledge, reliabilism asserts that justification is not necessary for knowledge; rather, reliably produced true belief provided the notion of reliability is suitably refined to rule out Gettier cases is sufficient for it. When we discuss the nature of justification, we must distinguish between two different issues: Second, what makes beliefs justified? It is important to keep these issues apart because a disagreement on how to answer the second question will be a mere verbal dispute, if the disagreeing parties have different concepts of justification in mind.

Here is an example: Tom asked Martha a question, and Martha responded with a lie.

Was she justified in lying? Jane thinks she was, for Tom's question was an inappropriate one, the answer to which was none of Tom's business. What might Jane mean when she thinks that Martha was justified in responding with a lie? A natural answer is this: She means that Martha was under no obligation to refrain from lying.

Due the inappropriateness of Tom's question, it wasn't Martha's duty to tell the truth. This understanding of justification, commonly labeled deontological, may be defined as follows: S is justified in doing x if and only if S is not obliged to refrain from doing x.

Deontological Justification DJ S is justified in believing that p if and only if S believes that p while it is not the case that S is obliged to refrain from believing that p.

Whereas when we evaluate an action, we are interested in assessing the action from either a moral or a prudential point of view, when it comes to beliefs, what matters is the pursuit of truth. The relevant kinds of obligations, then, are those that arise when we aim at having true beliefs. Exactly what, though, must we do in the pursuit of this aim?

What matters to me stanford essay examples

According to one answer, the one favored by evidentialists, we ought to believe in accord with our evidence. For this answer to be helpful, we need an account of what our evidence consists of. According to another answer, we ought to follow the correct epistemic norms.

If this answer is going to help us figure out what obligations the truth-aim imposes on us, we need to be given an account of what the correct epistemic norms are. Today, however, the dominant view is that the deontological understanding of justification is unsuitable for the purposes of epistemology. Two chief objections have been raised against conceiving of justification deontologically. First, it has been argued that DJ presupposes that we can have a sufficiently high degree of control over our beliefs.

But beliefs are akin not to actions but rather things such as digestive processes, sneezes, or involuntary blinkings of the eye. The idea is that beliefs simply arise in or happen to us.


Therefore, beliefs are not suitable for deontological evaluation. This claim is typically supported by describing cases involving either a benighted, culturally isolated society or subjects who are cognitively deficient. Such cases involve beliefs that are claimed to be epistemically defective even though it would not seem that the subjects in these cases are under any obligation to refrain from believing as they do.

What makes the beliefs in question epistemically defective is that they are formed using unreliable and intellectually faulty methods. The reason why the subjects, from their own point of view, are not obliged to believe otherwise is that they are either cognitively deficient or live in a benighted and isolated community. DJ says that such beliefs are justified.

If they meet the remaining necessary conditions, DJ-theorists would have to count them as knowledge. According to the objection, however, the beliefs in question, even if true, could not possibly qualify as knowledge, due to the epistemically defective way they were formed.

Consequently, DJ must be rejected. The technical sense is meant to make the term suitable for the needs of epistemology. What does it mean for a belief to be justified in a non-deontological sense? Recall that the role assigned to justification is that of ensuring that a true belief isn't true merely by accident. Let us say that this is accomplished when a true belief instantiates the property of proper probabilification.

We may, then, define non-deontological justification as follows: Non-Deontological Justification NDJ S is justified in believing that p if and only if S believes that p on a basis that properly probabilifies S's belief that p.

If we wish to pin down exactly what probabilification amounts to, we will have to deal with a variety of tricky issues. Those who prefer NDJ to DJ would say that probabilification and deontological justification can diverge: This is just what cases involving benighted cultures or cognitively deficient subjects are supposed to show. Reliability What makes justified beliefs justified? According to evidentialists, it is the possession of evidence.

What is it, though, to possess evidence for believing that p? Some evidentialists would say it is to be in a mental state that represents p as being true. For example, if the coffee in your cup tastes sweet to you, then you have evidence for believing that the coffee is sweet. If you feel a throbbing pain in your head, you have evidence for believing that you have a headache.

If you have a memory of having had cereal for breakfast, then you have evidence for a belief about the past: And when you clearly "see" or "intuit" that the proposition "If Jack had more than four cups of coffee, then Jack had more than three cups of coffee" is true, then you have evidence for believing that proposition.

In this view, evidence consists of perceptual, introspective, memorial, and intuitional experiences, and to possess evidence is to have an experience of that kind. So according to this evidentialism, what makes you justified in believing that p is your having an experience that represents p as being true.

Many reliabilists, too, would say that the experiences mentioned in the previous paragraph matter. However, they would deny that justification is solely a matter of having suitable experiences. Rather, they hold that a belief is justified if, and only if, it results from cognitive origin that is reliable: Reliabilists, then, would agree that the beliefs mentioned in the previous paragraph are justified.

But according to a standard form of reliabilism, what makes them justified is not the possession of evidence, but the fact that the types of processes in which they originate — perception, introspection, memory, and rational intuition — are reliable. External In contemporary epistemology, there has been an extensive debate on whether justification is internal or external.

What matters to me stanford essay examples

Internalists claim that it is internal; externalists deny it.