The light positivist side and the dark side.
Jie Gao at Edinburgh University made this comment on my “No True Scotsman” post:
“Hi Daniel, you have raised a very interesting thought. Indeed, a similar view has been argued by some other philosopher before! In the early 1990s, Crispin Sartwell attempted to call into question the traditional view that justification is a necessary condition for knowledge. He notes that we are often willing to ascribe knowledge in instances of very weak of even absent justification. Sartwell offers the example of a man who correctly believes his son is innocent of a crime in the face of overwhelming evidence against him, basing his belief solely upon the fact that the young man is his son. Sartwell claims that, in practice, we would likely say that he knows his son is innocent, despite the fact that the evidence he possesses does not support an attitude of belief. And recently, his claim has been supported by results of experiments. Davide Sackris and James Beebe report results of studies in which participants attributed knowledge to subjects who lacked good evidence but had true belief. Their paper is available here. Hope you would enjoy it! ”
I think I found it here instead.
It validates my suggested definition, and it goes further in an interesting way. People are more prone to attribute knowledge to people if they do harm than if they did good.
This reminded me of Marc Anthony’s Eulogy of Julius Cesar.
The evil that men do lives after them;the good is oft interred with their bones.
You may want to check your facts on Facebook.
1. For images, use Google in image search mode to find out whether the image is what the post claims it is. Write google.com, click “images”, click the camera icon and either upload an image or paste the url. To save your image so you can upload it, right-click the image to get a popup menu and choose “save picture”. The image usually lands in “downloads”.
2. For blogs and web-newspapers. Check the source of the post. Look it up in wikipedia.org. If it is not listed, then it is not a reliable source, and probably just a blog. If found, read what Wikipedia says about it. The best newspaper sources are those that have hundreds of full time fact checkers employed like Der Spiegel, The Guardian and The New Yorker. Most local newspapers do not have a single one employed.
4. For quotes, check wikiquote.org. I have found no other good sources.
5. For texts, just google relevant words from the new story and add the word “Hoax”. See if any source google finds is a realiable hoast. You can also check in snopes.com.
In Theaetetus, Socrates develops an account of what knowledge is which goes something like this. You have knowledge when you believe in something, that something is true and you have a justification for believing it. This is the classic account of what it means to know something.
I have a simpler description which fits better with how we think we know things today. You have knowledge when you believe in something and that something happens to be true.
I consider the addition of justification akin to a “no true Scotsman” fallacy.
I originally stated this 2012-12-10 in a philosophy discussion hosted by Coursera for the department of philosophy at EdinburghUniversity.