Professor: Dr Amy Lund
René Descartes (1596–1650) is widely regarded as the father of modern philosophy. Famously, Descartes defines knowledge in terms of doubt (page 147). While distinguishing rigorous knowledge and grades of conviction, Descartes writes: “I distinguish the two as follows: there is conviction when there remains some reason which might lead us to doubt, but knowledge is conviction based on a reason so strong that it can never be shaken by any stronger reason. “ First of all, as soon as we think that we correctly perceive something, we are spontaneously convinced that it is true. Now if this conviction is so firm that it is impossible for us ever to have any reason for doubting what we are convinced of, then there are no further questions for us to ask: we have everything that we could reasonably want. For the supposition which we are making here is of a conviction so firm that it is quite incapable of being destroyed; and that conviction is clearly the same as the most perfect certainty. It might therefore seem clear; whatever else is the case that Descartes conceives of knowledge as advancing truth. It is not inconsistent to hold that we're pursuing the truth, even succeeding in establishing the truth, and yet to construe the conditions of success in terms of the certainty of our conviction.
On the other hand, Elliot Sober, have three definitions of knowledge. The first definitions (page 142) and in (page 164) where the Reliability Theory is explained: For any individual S and any proposition p, S knows that p if and only if: 1. S believes that p
2. p is true
3. S is justified in believing that p
This he calls the "JTB Theory" (pg. 142) - knowledge is Justified True Belie. Second definition:
For any individual S and any proposition p, S knows that p if and only if: 1. S believes that p
2. p is true
3. It is logically impossible for S to be mistaken about the truth of p. That...
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