forum 10: week of March 19 - second order knowledge

Fragment of a discussion from Course talk:Phil440A
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Robert asked about the term "warrant". Partly it's just a fancy word for "justfied". But there are three other ideas connected with it. (They're different, so I avoid the word.)
1) externalists started using the word "justified" with an externalist flavour. So if you get your belief in a way that is usually reliable, even if it is failing to give you a true belief in this case, they call it justified. Internalists said "To hell with this; we'll use our own word, and we won't let them take it away from us."
2) it's part of a fake solution to the existence of Gettier cases. Knowledge is not the same as justified true belief, so we declare that it is the same as true belief with warrant. That is, all warranted belief needs to become knowledge is truth. But then it is utterly unclear how we are to define warrant.
3) There might be something in someone's situation that makes it reasonable to hold a belief, even though it is not part of what would traditionally justify it, for example the fact that the person who told it to you is trustworthy. Then we call this part of your warrant for the belief. (This is inconsistent with 1) - you can't have both motives for using the term. See how it's confusing.)

02:04, 18 March 2012

Re: SECOND-ORDER KNOWLEDGE Christoph Kelp and Nikolaj J.L.L. Pedersen

Excerpts: Knowledge involves belief. Belief is a propositional attitude, i.e. an attitude that a subject holds towards a proposition

principle of knowledge transmission: (KTP) KSKRP → KSP

KTP has some prominent advocates—Hintikka (1962), to mention just one. However, even if we suppose that advocates of KTP are right in maintaining that the principle holds, it is important to avoid confusion about what the principle says. In particular, although it is natural to read KTP as saying that subject S knows that P by knowing that subject R does so, the specific warrant involved in R’s knowledge is not automatically transmitted to, or inherited by, S. This can be so even if S is fully aware of what the source of R’s knowledge—and warrant—is.

I like the reference to Hintikka.

Between Staley and Cobb; and, Kelp and Pederson, it appears possible to bring the internalist knowledge of beliefs that include theology, space, time, quantum mechanics, and multiverses; together, into the externalist scrutiny of justification in scientific enquiry, with the help of Hintikka's logic.

07:35, 20 March 2012

I just wanted to talk a bit about what we discussed today the kk principle- that you can know something because you know that someone knows that. A part of me wants to say that this can't be a case of knowledge because in order to KNOW something you must have reasons or evidence for it. But then again how can we personally experience everything and know everything only through personal experience. Obviously we gain much of our knowledge through testimony. So is S knows that R knows that P is not necessary a case in which S doesn't have evidence or proof. I think S can in fact have evidence without personal experience. The fact that S even says I KNOW that R KNOWS means that obviously R is a legitimate source and expert or has enough evidence for S to be certain or to KNOW that R does in fact know it. So although S himself doesn't have the evidence and or did not collect it personally if he is in fact saying that he KNOWS R KNOWS it it is because he KNOWS that R HAS THE EVIDENCE. If R was just saying something which S was not sure about or wasn't sure that R really knew it or had good enough reason to know it then S would never say I KNOW. I feel like just the wording makes this statement correct because we are not saying that S believes that R has some reasons to know P rather we are saying that S KNOWS (he is certain because R is a reliable source etc) that R KNOWS (he has facts and evidence and experience) that R. Therefore I do think that S can in fact know that R also. His evidence may not be PERSONAL experience but his evidence is the fact that he can in fact trust R as a legitimate and reliable source.

03:19, 23 March 2012

I agree that it is appealing to be able to use testimony gain knowledge. However, I think this forces us to ask other questions, such as how do we know that one's source of information is reliable? Can we assume that if they have been a reliable source of information in the past, that we can trust them to be a reliable source in this case as well? Or is it a matter of checking to see that they have evidence to support their testimony? I guess I'm a little sceptical of second-order knowledge, when I think about how confidently one can know something based on testimony, my instinct is that one needs to see the evidence that the other person has, which leads us back to first-order knowledge.

05:44, 23 March 2012