The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction

By Dwayne H. Mulder; J. D. Trout et al. | Go to book overview

4
Truth

The previous chapter examined the nature of belief because belief is a prerequisite for knowledge. To know that P (for any proposition, P), we must believe that P. The next essential condition for knowledge is truth. We know that P only if P is true. Some people object, after first hearing this restriction on knowledge. They think about people in the past who believed, for example, that the earth is stationary at the center of the universe. They realize that many of our ancestors had no indication that the earth is moving at a considerable velocity through space. These people think that because our ancestors had no sign of the earth's motion and were hence responsible and rational in their belief, we should honor and respect their rationality by giving their belief the honorific label "knowledge." They hold that, because our ancestors were rational, and because we would have believed the same thing had we been in their place, our ancestors should not be denied their claim to knowledge.

In keeping with a lesson of Chapter 1, the denial of our ancestors' claims to know that the earth is stationary is not a criticism

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The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • 1- Epistemology: A First Look 1
  • Explaining Knowledge 23
  • 3- Belief 41
  • 4- Truth 59
  • 5- Justification and Beyond 77
  • 6- Sources of Knowledge 101
  • 7- Rationality 123
  • 8- Skepticism Some Species of Skepticism 149
  • 9- Epistemology And Explanation 165
  • Glossary 187
  • References 193
  • Further Reading 199
  • Index 207
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