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UT PHL 301 - Knowledge

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PHL 301 1st Edition Lecture 6Outline of Last Lecture II.Particular vs. universal III.Plato’s purposeIV.Plato’s enemiesa. Parmenidesb. Sophistsc. Heraclitusd. SkepticsV. Forms: the visible world and the intellectual worldOutline of Current LectureII.Plato’s view on knowledgea.Internalismb.ExternalismIII.Plato’s problem with axioms and FoundationalismIV.Responses to the abovea.Classical foundationalismb.Direct realismc.CoherentismCurrent LectureKnowledge implies truth, and is a kind of belief. Plato’s view on this is that knowledge is equal to “true belief.” However, this is a bit inaccurate. An example of a false positive would be asports fan guessing which team is going to win and claiming “they knew it all along” when the team actually wins. It is true that they won, and it was a belief that the fan held, but the fan didn’t really know it all along, he or she simply guessed. In accordance with this, Plato changes his definition of knowledge to “warranted true belief.” Then, the issue of warrant arises. A beliefto an internalist would be a kind of mental state that knowledge is. The external counterpart is that a belief connects that mental state to the world. The issue is where does warrant lie, in theinternal, or the external belief?These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor’s lecture. GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes, not as a substitute.Foundationalism introduces the idea that we must give explanations of prior thigns we know. For example, A because B, and B because C, and C because D, where D is a “given” or an “axiom” that does not need to be, or simply cannot be, proven any further. However, Plato has an issue with axioms. He argues that the above is not plausible because it rests on the assumption that knowledge depends on things we do not know. Either the chain keeps going infinitely, or it is cyclical, where A depends on B, which depends on C, which depends on A. Plato claims that this exerts the fact that we do not actually know anything solidly. There are a few different viewpoints in response to Plato’s claim. Classical foundationalists would say that the given things justify themselves, e.g., A because B because C because C. Descartes supports this in his famous words, “I think, therefore I am.” He cannot prove that he thinks, except for the idea that someone who could not think would not be able to say the words “I think.” Proponents of direct realism say that sensations can justify knowledge without being knowledge themselves. For example, if you see that the sky is blue, you have no further way of proving that it is blue. You just have the feeling that it is. This is not knowledge, but rather a sortof sensation.On the other hand, Coherentism states that knowledge has no foundation and no axioms. Rather than a level of ultimate justification, a web of interconnected knowledge must exist according to the Coherentist


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