Saturday, January 13, 2018

Something like Fake Barns

What is adequate justification for holding a belief? It depends on one's context. A true belief that was well-justified when it was formed might cease to count as knowledge within a stricter setting, such as a court-room or a laboratory. And the famous Fake Barns involve unusual contexts. And of course, one needs to be sufficiently rational. Suppose that I see a red car, in a normal road (no fake cars), for example, and so form the belief that there is a red car. But, I also have a lot of irrational beliefs that there are various objects. When there is a red car, I believe that there is, and I am unlikely to have the belief that there is a red car if there is not a red car, although I am quite likely to have some belief that there is something when there is nothing. (It is easy to think of other examples of true beliefs that might seem at first glance to be justified but which do not count as knowledge because they are held by someone who is in some way unqualified.)

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