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When Is True Belief Knowledge?$
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Richard Foley

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154725

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154725.001.0001

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Important Truths

Important Truths

(p.19) Chapter 5 Important Truths
When Is True Belief Knowledge?

Richard Foley

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers how to divide true beliefs that potentially rise to the level of knowledge from those that do not. Theories of knowledge identify a dimension for making the division. Other conditions may also need to be satisfied, but this dimension does the initial work in qualifying a true belief as a plausible candidate for knowledge. According to justification-based theories, the relevant dimension is the strength of the person's evidence. According to reliability theories, it is the degree of reliability of the processes generating the belief. For tracking theories, it is how extensive the range of counterfactual situations is in which the person's belief would track the truth. Whatever the proposed dimension, however, there is no nonarbitrary way of specifying a precise point along which a true belief becomes a credible candidate for knowledge.

Keywords:   true beliefs, justification-based theories, reliability theories, tracking theories, important truths

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