Representative concepts: how to analyze knowledge as true belief in the face of Gettier counterexamples Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
  • Smith, Modie Christon
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
  • Gettier counterexamples purport to show that justified true belief is insufficient for knowledge and, ipso facto, that true belief is insufficient for knowledge. I develop a strategy that the proponent of the true belief analysis of knowledge can deploy to explain away Gettier counterexamples, i.e., to show how the subject in them can merely appear to believe something truly without knowing it. I suggest that the proposition that appears to be truly, non-knowingly believed in a Gettier counterexample is actually not believed at all. Rather, the subject believes a closely related, false proposition. The subject cannot believe the true proposition, I propose, because of the special nature of certain of his or her concepts-what I call "representative concepts." The reason the subject appears to believe the true proposition is that we use a true sentence to ascribe the belief in the false proposition to him or her.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Lycan, William G.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

This work has no parents.