Philosophy Word of the Day – Edmund Gettier

American philosopher whose Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? (1963) offers counter-examples to show that even justified true belief may not be genuine knowledge in cases where that which justifies one’s belief happens not to be related directly to the truth of what one believes.

Recommended Reading: Empirical Knowledge, ed. by Paul K. Moser (Rowman & Littlefield, 1996) {at Amazon.com}; A Companion to Epistemology, ed. by Jonathan Dancy and Ernest Sosa (Blackwell, 1994) {at Amazon.com}; and Robert Audi, Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge (Routledge, 1998) {at Amazon.com}.

(Via Philosophical Dictionary)

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Dr. Doug Geivett’s Recommendations for Learning Epistemology

Here’s a fine blog post by Doug Geivett on books he recommends for gaining a good grasp of contemporary epistemology (theory of knowledge).  In his own courses, Dr. Geivett prefers

He explains:

These books complement each other nicely. The book by Robert Audi will require a tutor for most who are new to the subject. It is rich and comprehensive, and, most important, very sensible about the topics it addresses. Better than any other book I know of, this book presents the subject in a natural order that is conducive to proper progress through to thorny issues it addresses.

To anchor a course in epistemology, I’ve found that the books by Feldman and Bon Jour complement each other neatly. They are concise and readable surveys of major topics. Laurence Bon Jour adopts a method of presentation that he explains clearly at the outset. While I think the method he adopts is unfortunate, it does give readers a sense of the rootedness of trends in contemporary epistemology in the influential work of the great 17th-century philosopher René Descartes. Of special value is Bon Jour’s treatment of the contest between foundationalists and coherentists in epistemology. A convert from coherentism to foundationalism, Bon Jour excels in his exposition of this debate; yet he is also realistic about the persistent philosophical challenges raised by foundationalism . . . (continue reading)

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