forum 10: week of March 19 - second order knowledge

Fragment of a discussion from Course talk:Phil440A
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I think this question fundamentally rests on one's definition of knowledge. Most conceptions of knowledge involve truth and belief + some other factor. But what is it to believe in something? Must we be conscious of every belief, or are there areas (e.g. intuitions) which we do in fact make use of and believe in, but do not conscious reflect on or Take the example of the chicken-sexer that we discussion in 220. The chicken-sexer knows the gender of chicks. His ability to pick out chicks based on their gender is overwhelming and is not something that can randomly occur. Let's call the chicken-sexer Bob. Bob definitely knows that sex of the chicks. We know that Bob knows the sex of the chicken because of objective evidence such as the fact that his ability is more than mere chance. If we can say we know, then Bob should know of his ability as well. After all, he should know himself better than we do. But does Bob really know that he knows how to sex chickens? There seems to be something lacking altogether in granting that Bob knows. He has intuitions, ungathered thoughts. We can say he really knows?

03:45, 19 March 2012