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The notion of epistemic dependence was formulated by John Hardwig in 1985 to try and convince epistemologists that intellectual authority can constitute a justification for belief and knowing and provide new question about our epistemic self and our understanding of link between knowledge and knower. Epistemic dependence is based upon two premises, one states that there are good reasons to believe something if you have good reasons to believe someone else has good reason to believe it and therefore there c an be good reasons to believe something without evidence regarding the truth of the proposition. The second premise states that the expert is the epistemic superior of the layman, in the areas where the expert has their expertise, and due to this it can be sometimes rational to refuse to think for one¶s self. Hardwig then applies these premises to the concept of knowledge and shows that the relationship between expert and layman is crucial to the scientific and scholarly pursuit of knowledge. Hardwig starts by accepting the fact that you can have knowledge of certain things and that he shall restrict himself to only talk about these propositions. He claims that evidence, sound arguments or factual information, is what most people would answer if asked what a re good reasons to believe a proposition?. He also makes the claim that this evidence is not always available for everyone to obtain and that for most people some types of evidence would be impossible for them to understand. The following hypothetical situation is supposed imagine A has good reasons to believe that p and B has no evidence to believe that p but B does have good reasons to believe that A has good reason to believe that p, the question is then asked whether B has good reasons to believe p. Har dwig believes that B does have good
Hardwig does accept the fact that if someone cannot understand the reasons an expert gives. The second part of the epistemic dependence starts by accepting that there are experts in certain areas and by showing how the idea that someone can only hold rational beliefs of the things that they know themselves and not via dependency on someone else¶s knowledge.reasons to believe p but not because he has evidence establishing the truth of p but evidence that A is better informed in p and has conducted the inquiry necessary to have evidence to believe p. they cannot themselves know who the experts are and therefore must rely on the ranking of experts. He states that there are many things which you can escape epistemic dependence of the experts but to never rely on experts in every field would leave you with views which are mainly unrelated. is just not true. But. also he accepts when this is not possible rational deference is not possible. µB can either believe that p either because B has good reasons to believe that A has good reasons to believe that p or because B has good reasons to believe that C has good reasons to believe that A has good reasons to believe that p. we must still conclude that B¶s belie f that p is rationally justified. in either . irrational and untested beliefs. so it is rational to sometimes depend on other people¶s knowledge as we believe more than we can ever be fully informed about. Now Hardwig explains tha t this is easy to accept when the inquiry necessary is simple enough that anyone can easily understand A¶ s reasons that p but when the inquiry necessary is so complex that an average person could not check A¶s reasons. His reason for this is the fact that if we don¶t we must conclude that most of the worlds knowledge is based on ir rational or nonrational beliefs and that as a complex culture learns more the less rational the beliefs in t hat knowledge are.
The Journal of Philosophy. 2. Hardwig notes that these Ad hominems are only important when it comes to the relation to layman and the expert and not between peers. covering for peers. ¶1 Hardwig goes on to explain why the layman is inferior to the expert and even if the layman does not trust a certain expert¶s belief that p he must still accept that the expert is rationally superior. A has good reason to believe that P and 3. due to the fact that peers can test the an argument on its own basis and the Ad hominems will be shown up. refusing to accept mistakes in his work or conforming to social pressure. P is true. He 1 J. Hardwig. if the layman acknowledges the expert as an expert. Now Hardwig accepts this is not the best definition of knowledge as you can satisfy 1 and 2 and not 3 and instead focuses on the second premise A has good reasons to believe that P. p342 . B cannot have sufficiently good reason not to believe that p or to believe that not p. like having a bias. A believes that P.case.1985. are valid or not. given by the layman. µEpistemic Dependence¶. The tripartite definition of knowledge works on 3 basis 1. Hardwig concludes his essay on epistemic dependence by analysing the word knowledge in the standard tripartite definition and applying the first two parts of the argument to this. Hardwig also points out the B can have good reasons to believe that A has good reasons to believe that p even if p isn¶t true be cause experts can still be wrong. Hardwig points out that there are certain Ad hominems that expert can commit which allow the layman to rationally refuse to defer to the experts. This does not mean the layman cannot gives objections to a theory but only that the expert is the only person who can say whether the arguments. and cannot rationally choose to defer what the expert says. Hardwig concludes from this that sometimes it is irrational to think for oneself and sometimes it is rational to depe nd on others in certain areas.
Hardwig.1985. If we choose the former we can keep our of epistemological independence but we will have to change our concept of knowledge and learn t o accept that knowledge can be passed without the evidence being passed or we can 2 J. The experiment on charm particles took many years and hundreds of people to complete and no -one person could have done it on their own as it spanned different sections of expertise and the amount of time it would take one person to collect data would be so long that the data collect first would be useless by the time the last data collected. µEpistemic Dependence¶. E and D know P. µA knows that M. p348 . C knows O and if N and O then P. If there isn¶t you could write the phase µB has good reasons to believe that A has good reasons to believe that P¶ as µB knows that A knows that P¶. Hardwig uses the example of the re search done on charm particles to show that knowledge may either be passed vicariously or that community is the only on with knowledge.states that there must be a progression from A ha ving good reasons to believe that P to A knows that P. The Journal of Philosophy. D knows that B knows N.¶ 2 Hardwig claims that there are only two conclusions you can take from this either knowledge can be passed vicariously and you can know some thing without possession of the evidence for it or that knowledge is held by the whole community and not by individuals. B knows that N. but this doesn¶t seem initially right. C knows that A knows M and if M then O.
In conclusion its seems that most of the knowledge that we claim to know does not fit into the definition of knowledge that most of us would agree on but as Webb as shown trust is not only crucial in knowledge but in speech as well. so it seems that while we might not think of knowledge in terms of trust we cannot escape the fact that trust is foundation that holds all of language and knowledge together. Words 1380 . that only the holder of the truth of p can ever know that p.accept the latter but we lose our epistemological independence while keeping our concept of knowledge.
µWhy I Know About As Much As You: A Reply to Hardwig¶. 363 -375 Webb.Bibliography Hardwig. µEpistemic Tit for Tat¶ The Journal of Philosophy. The Journal of Philosophy. µThe Role of Trust in Knowledge¶. The Journal of Philosophy. 1985. The Journal of Philosophy. 693 708 Blais. 260-270 . µEpistemic Dependence¶. 1987. M. M. 1993. J. 335 -349 Hardwig. J 1991. O.
From this Smith makes the proposition (2) The man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. Due to this Smith makes the following conjunctive proposition: (1) Jones is the man who will get the job. two men going for the same job. and Jones has ten coins in his pocket. and (iii) S is justified in believing that P. S knows that P IFF (i) P is true (ii) S believes that P. for which Smith has strong evidence for. Smith has been told by the president of the company that Jones will get the job. This definition of knowledge was seen as the correct definition of knowledge until the 1960¶s when Edward Gettier. Gettier states that in fact S mith was given the wrong . Gettier claims that as 2 is being derived from 1. So if someone was sick and had no medical training and belie ved that they would be fine it would not be classed as knowledge due to the fact that there is no justified reason to believe it. Gettier¶s first example is of Smith and Jones. Smith can be justified in believing 2. and Smith has beforehand counted ten coins in Jones¶ pocket. Socrates contemplates what knowledge actually is. an American philosopher. A formal way of writing Plato¶s definition of knowledge is the tripartite definition which list three components to knowledge.Is Knowledge Justified True Belief? In Theaeteus written by Plato. truth. belief and justification. argued that reason alone was not enough to justify belief into knowledge. Gettier believes that the tripartite definition does not give an accurate description of knowledge and constructs t wo examples where all three parts of the tripartite definition are met but in which we would say that S did not know that P. he concludes that it is true belief justified by reason.
Smith has strong evidence to believe that Jones owns a Ford as he has seen him drive one many times and recently offered Smith a ride in a Ford. (2) Either Jones owns Ford or Brown is in Boston (3) Either Jones owns Ford or Brown is in Barcelona (4) Either Jones owns Ford or Brown is in Brest -Litovsk Each of these propositions is entailed by 1 and as Smith has strong evidence to believe 1 he believes 2. John Dancy in his book µIntroduction to Contemporary Epistemology¶ explains that there are three ways to salvage the tripartite definition firstly show that Gettier¶s examples do not work. or . Jones and Brown. 3 and 4 as well. Smith believes 3 and Smith is justified in believing 3 but Smith does not know 3. Due to this all three condition of the tripartite definition of knowledge are met 3 is true. Due to these exampl es many people have tried to salvage the tripartite definition but no one has come up with an adequate revision which everyone else agrees on. Gettier again points out 2 others conditions first Jones does not own a Ford and secondly Brown is in fact in Barcelona. from this Smith makes the fo llowing proposition: (1) Jones owns a Ford Smith¶s other friend Brown is in a location unknown to Smith so Smith picks three places at random and constructs the following propositions.information about Jones getting the job and unknown to him he also has ten coins in his pocket at that time. accept Gettier¶s examples and add clauses to the tripartite definition to make it work. The second of Gettier¶s examples is of Smith. As Smith believes 2 is true it fulfils all the criteria of the tripartite definition and according to that Smith knows the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. Gettier argues that Smith does not know this his reasons for being justified in believing 2 arise from him knowing the amount of coins in Jones¶ pocket and it is just luck which makes the proposition a lso true about him.
if they were known. The problem with this response is trying to figure out what makes reasons co nclusive. Secondly. The second response to Gettier¶s example is the response from defeasibility. which states that there were truths that could have been known which would have ended the justification of Smith¶s belief. The fourth response is from conclusive reasons. The reason there may be so many different ways is due to the fact that we don¶t know exactly is wrong with the tripa rtite definition we just know that Gettier¶s examples seem to show that something is wrong. he claims that this theory is maybe too harsh on its definition of knowledge and it makes it likely that it would be impossible to have m uch or not any knowledge at all with this example. which states that you can have knowledge from justified belief if that belief is from a reliable method. and as man is fallible it seems unlikely that he has created a perfect method which is always reliable. This would have added a fourth clause to the tripartite definition stating that for knowledge indefeasible justification is required. firstly you can change Gettier¶s example enough to not involve inferential knowledge. which states that for knowledge justified true belief be based upon conclusive reasons. Dancy discusses 5 ways in which the tripartite definition may be salvaged each of which is not perfect and all have flaws. One problem with this method is that you cannot be certain whether a method is wrong in theory or whether the person who used the method applied it wrong.finally accept Gettier¶s example and change the tripartite definition so the examples don ¶t work anymore. The first response to Gettier¶s examples is the response from the presence of relevant falsehood. The third response is from reliability. one solution to this is to say beliefs A -D are . Dancy is quick to point out that this theory is fl awed on to two points. which states that if your initial belief is false you can be just ified in believing any propositions which are inferred from it. This would fix the tripartite definition by adding a fourth clause which states that nothing can be known which is inferred by false beliefs.
which states that S¶s belief in P must be caused by P. Omar dies from a heart attack and then a madman who is passing by cuts off his head. According to Goldman Causal Theory Kasim does not know that Omar is dead because his decapitation was not the cause of his death and as the truth did not cau se the belief it is not knowledge according to Goldman. Kasim is walking past later and sees Omar¶s dead body and head and concludes that Omar is dead. It seems that knowledge is a very hard word to define and this may be because we use the term is so many different ways that one definition may not work for all the different ways we use it. Now this does deal with Gettier¶s examples but it also makes knowledge an extremely rare thing. The fifth response is Goldman¶s Causal Theory. The tripartite definition of knowledge is useful but not perfect so we still have no conclusive way of defining what knowledge is. James Chase was the first to point out this problem and gave the following to prove his point. which is justified by him seeing the body and the head separate. Words 1340 . It seems that justified true belief is the closest we can get to knowledge but the issue philosophers have seems not to be with the question µwhether justified true belief is knowledge?¶ but rather what constitutes as a justified true belief and until that question is answered we will still be arguing about whether we can have knowledge or not. There are many flaws to this response firstly you can know something even if you belief wasn¶t caused b y that truth.conclusive reasons for E which means that A -D could not be true if E was true. as we never have conclusive reasons in that sense in the empirical realm.
pp 78 -112 . 1985. µIs justified True Belief Knowledge?¶. pp133-46 Dancy. Macmillan. Knowledge & Belief.) (1967).Bibliography Gettier. 2 Hamlyn. Blackwell ch. Oxford. reprinted in Griffiths. Oxford. µThe Theory of Knowledge¶. D W 1970. First published in Analysis. A P (ed. London. Oxford University Press. µIntroduction to Contemporary Epistem ology¶. E L. J. Vol 23 1963 Oxford: Blackwell.
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