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Is Justified True Belief Really Knowledge? So, you think you found some truth in the traditional concepts that knowledge is true belief? Well, I just might have to burst your bubble and join up with Edmond L. Gettier's famous counterexample's to these particular beliefs. Gettier, published these ambitious counterexamples in a June 1963 article entitled, "Is Justified Knowledge True Belief."The traditional concepts of knowledge seem to hold that the following three stipulations are jointly sufficient in verifying the claim that S knows p ( where S is some entity with the capacity for knowing and p is some proposition or claim): (i) p is true, (ii), S believes that p, and (iii), S is justified in believing that p. Gettier's counterexamples demonstrate situations in which justified true belief does not lend to the yield of knowledge. Before stating his cases, Gettier is quick to note two points; The first being "it is possible for a person(S) to be justified in believing a proposition(p) that is in fact false." And secondly, for any time S is justified in believing p, and p entails q which S then deduces from p and is then justified in believing q.

This means that if a person(S) is justified in believing a false proposition, then they are justified in believing other false propositions or propositions that turn out to be true based on false propositions. Gettier, provides two cases, using two subjects(Smith and Jones), that are directly pertaining to two falicies inherent within the traditional beliefs of knowledge. In the first case, Gettier supposes that the two subjects(Smith and Jones) are both applying for a certain job and that Smith has strong evidence that Jones will get the job and that Jones also has ten coins in his pocket. This proposition could be verified if Smith was assured by the president of the company that Jones would get the job and also that Smith had recently counted the number of coins in Jones' pocket. From this proposition you can then go on to deduct that "The man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket." Gettier then supposes that Smith sees this and is justified in believing so. Now here's the contradiction, imagine that unknown to Smith, he is actually the one who will receive the job and that also unknown to Smith, he coincidentally also has ten coins in his pocket

This leaves the proposition that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket to be true but the earlier proposition stating that Jones will receive the job to be false. But, since Smith came to this true proposition by using the count of coins in Jones' pocket and not his own, he is uncertain as to how many coins are in his pocket. Since Smith could still get the job regardless of the number coins in his pocket, the preposition that Smith believed to be true, is actually uncertain. Even though Smith started with a proposition that he believed to be true and was justified in doing so, he still ended up with propositions that are indeed false. Simply put, you cannot derive truth or knowledge from propositions that are in fact false. In the second case, Gettier offers a similar case in which Smith believes in a true proposition but is unaware of it being true.

The case starts by Smith having strong evidence for Jones owning a ford, given that Jones has owned a Ford automobile for as long as Smith can remember. Then let's suppose that Smith has an acquaintance, Brown, whom Smith is ignorant of Brown's whereabouts. Smith then randomly selects three locations and constructs the following three propositions: 1.) Either Jones owns a ford or Brown is in Boston, 2.) Either Jones owns a ford or Brown is in Barcelona, 3.) Either Jones owns a ford or Brown is in Brest-Litovsk. Imagine Smith realizes the entailment of these three propositions from the first proposition, (Jones owns a ford) and accepts them as true. Smith has correctly inferred these three propositions from a proposition in which he has strong evidence for. But since Smith chose the three locations at random, he has no idea where Brown is.

Gettier then asks the reader to consider two more conditions: The first being that Jones presently is driving a rental car and does not own a ford and secondly, that coincidentally and unknown to Smith, Brown happens to be in Barcelona. This would lead to the second inferred proposition to be true even though Smith does not know that it is true. It follows that (i.) prop. 2 is true, (ii.) Smith believes that prop. 2 is true, and (iii.) Smith is justified in believing that prop.

2 is true. Smith has just derived knowledge from propositions that indeed happen to be true, but Smith is completely unaware of prop. 2 indeed being fact. And since Smith is ignorant to the light of actual fact, this situation cannot be interpreted that justified true belief is knowledge since Smith is unaware of the actual truth of the first premise. Even though prop. 2 is indeed true, Smith does not know this and therefore does not hold to all three premises of justified true belief being knowledge, and therefore has come to no conclusion of knowledge. In Gettier's two famous cases, he is not offering any answers as to how knowledge can be gained or justified, but rather, is just showing that justified true belief is not sufficient reasoning for attaining knowledge.

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4 October 2014. Author: Criticism

Proposition of fact topics for a essay

Activity: Creating a Proposition of Fact, Value, or Policy

  1. Choose four of these topics or create your own.
  2. For each topic, create a proposition of fact, of value, and of policy on the same topic. Airport security
    Stem cell research
    Body piercing
    Honor classes
    Funding presidential campaigns
    Changing the electoral college system
    Judging the Olympics
    Sentencing juveniles in adult court
    Saving the environment
    Vegetarian lifestyle
    Funding for Olympic athletes
    Banning fraternities and sororities on campus
    Delinquent dads/child support
    World AIDS crisis
    Part-time students

Activity: Analyzing Speeches by Types of Propositions, Fallacies, and Audience Adaptation

  1. Choose a topic of interest to you from The Douglass Archive at Read the speech and record the following:
    Speech title:
    Type of proposition (fact, value, policy):
    Main proposition of speech (in the words of the speech or paraphrased):

Can you find examples of any of these fallacies?

  • Attack on the person (ad hominem)
  • Reduction to the absurd (reductio ad absurdum)
  • Either/or false cause (post hoc ergo propter hoc)
  • Appeal to authority (argumentum ad verecundiam)
  • Bandwagon appeal (argumentum ad populum)
  • Peruse The Congressional Record. at and choose a speech, preferably one by your senator or representative. Read the speech and record the following:

    Speeches to Congress are often to persuade. Describe or quote from the speech to illustrate how the speaker performed any of the following methods of adapting to the audience.

    • Establishing common ground
    • Organizing for expected response
    • Adapting to hostile audience by showing understanding
    • Adapting to hostile audience by the use of appropriate humor
  • Activity: Analyzing Cultural Variations in Persuasion

    Lustig, Myron W. and Jolene Koester. 2002. Cultural variations in persuasion. In Intercultural competence: Interpersonal communication across cultures. 4th ed. (pp. 243—253). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

    Persuasion, as Chapter 14 illustrates, hinges on one's perception of reasoning, evidence, logic, and credibility. An easy mistake for speakers to make is to assume that what is reasonable and logical to them is also reasonable and logical to everyone else. It just isn't so, as Myron W. Lustig and Jolene Koester illustrate in this excerpt from their book, Intercultural Competence. With fascinating intercultural examples, they describe particular approaches to preferred choices of reason, logic, and evidence across cultures. What is often called common sense might better be called culture sense. You will find this information applicable as you strive to adapt to the audience, choose evidence, use reasoning, and establish your credibility in a way that is pertinent to the cultural context in which you are speaking.

    1. Can you think of situations where stories provide the strongest evidence?
    2. Describe how various cultures place different values on physical evidence and testimony.
    3. Distinguish among the key characteristics of quasilogical style, presentation style, and analogical style. By which style are you most likely to be persuaded?
    4. Besides the Jesse Jackson example in the reading, can you think of other examples where audience and speaker styles clashed?
    5. How can the information in this reading help you prepare and present your persuasive messages?

    Placebos Proposition Fact Proposition Placebos Actual Benefits Essay - 2176 Words

    Placebos Proposition Fact Proposition Placebos Actual Benefits Essay

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    Proposition Fact (Proposition: Placebos actual benefits patients) 1. You defend a proposition fact relevant significant a future proposition policy, argue values policies essay. IMPORTANT. 2. The essay carefully strucutured standard parts a formal essay.

    Proposition of Fact

    Placebos can have actual benefits to patients

    Placebos are sham or fake treatments that are given to patients, in place of actual treatment. A doctor can decide to issue this kind of treatment to a patient depending on a number of reasons. Placebos have become very common forms of treatments especially in schools and have been proven to be effective in many cases. The fact that placebos have been proven to be effective has led to many researches that are carried out to find out how they work, and to what extent they are effective Everitt, 2006.

    Most of the researches have resulted to positive reports that the placebos do have actual benefits to patients. In support of this, this paper will highlight various tests and experiments that have been carried out on people to show that the placebos are effective. The paper will particularly highlight blind and double-blind trials that have been conducted to show how placebos have benefits to patients.

    The key terms to be used in this paper are placebos, actual benefits, and patient. As defined above, placebos are defined as shams or fake treatment given to patients in place of actual medication, but the expected results are that the patient gets relief just as the one actual medication was administered. Actual benefits can be defined as the results that a patient enjoys after a certain medication or treatment is given to them Plotnik & Kouyoumdjian, 2010.

    An actual benefit can be relief from pain or flu. A patient is a person who is not well and needs some medication. There are situations where a patient can be termed as being sick just because they have thought about and actually have internalized the idea of not being well. This is the basic idea on which the use of placebos is based. Therefore, so long as the patient has positive thoughts, the placebos are anticipated to have actual benefits on the patient.

    Historical Background of the use of Placebos

    In the ancient days, the Greek medicine and the humoral medicine that was used during the Middle Age era did not appreciate that use of words could cause or cure diseases. At the time, people did not also know that the mind and body were related and they could determine the general health being of a human being. The first placebo was administered to an individual who was a hypochondriac. The individual was given an empty enema, but the treatment proved effective to the individual. This happened back in 1580 and it marked the beginning of the use of placebos Physicians, 2008()

    Several changes and improvements were made in medical research, but the researchers still did not appreciate the role that the brain played in the general health status of a human being. However, they did not fail to acknowledge that placebos were an effective form of treatment and this inspired more studies to define how the placebo works. The first medical scientist to apply the blind trial was Benjamin Franklin Shapiro & Shapiro, 2000.

    Benjamin carried out to the test to show the power of hypnosis. In his test, Benjamin was able to show that by hiding a hypnotist behind a curtain, the subjects reacted based on what they thought was happening, and not what was actually happening. Following his findings, other several medical researches have been conducted since then to study conventional medicines Thompson, 2005()

    In the present day, medical ethics suggest that a patient is told of the type of medication that is being administered to them. This is to get rid of the deceptive use associated with placebos. However, the ethics recognize the importance to build a good rapport with a patient, so as to ensure that there is a favorable environment from where a doctor can interact with their patient. A good environment influences positive results of the medication administered to a patient, be it placebo or actual medication Physicians, 2008()

    The placebo effect can be described as an interaction of the body and mind resulting from treatment. If the body of the patient registers some changes after the administration of placebos, it is suggested that the change occurs only in the patient's mind Media ()

    This is the main observation and once it is made, one may separate the state of mind of the patient as a result of using the placebos. As a matter of fact, an encounter with a doctor can result to a particular state of mind. The state of mind can either be that one is expecting get well, or one feels safe around the health provider or any other psychological feeling that there may be. Hence, the modern definition of placebo effect that it is a change in a person's health status which results from the symbolic impact of a healing intervention.

    There are certain psychological mechanisms that are said to contribute to the placebo effect. One is the expectancy and the other is conditioning. Expectancy can be defined as the act or state of believing that a positive change will occur in the body. On the other hand, conditioning is defined as the state of being in a situation that happened in the past where positive body change was recorded.

    It has been evidenced that when a patient has expectations of getting pain relief, the body can produce endorphins, which are natural morphine-like chemicals present in the brain and they produce analgesia. In a past study, patients who were in pain after a surgery were injected with a narcotic painkiller into their intravenous tubing. The patients said they felt two times as much pain relief as when the same medication was administered to them but when hidden, meaning that the patients did not know that a drug had been administered to them. In the very way, if a drug that is known to negatively affect the benefits of endorphins, then the placebo effect can be reversed.

    The issue on placebos is discussed in the present day since many doctors have appreciated that people may be in a sick state due to a number of reasons. The doctors have also recognized that there is a strong connection between the body and mind, and so long as the mind is tuned to function in a particular way, then the effect is felt on the whole body. There are studies that have been carried out to test the effect of placebos on patients, and if it really is true that the placebos do have real positive effects on patients Hadden & Anchorage, 2007.

    The most common of the experiments are the blind trials and the double trials. With the changes in technology, the experiments keep getting more advanced and detailed but so far, it has been evidenced that the placebos do have a positive impact on patients.

    For the blind trials, substances that look like sugar pills are used and are administered to patients who are not aware of the kind of treatment that they are getting. Patients do not know whether they are receiving fake or actual treatment. This is intentionally done to avoid creating certain expectations that may favor one side of the results leading to physical interruptions of the test. The placebos have been proven effective in most of the cases.

    The placebos are not the only thing that is used to carry out the blind trials. Blind trails are done to test the effectiveness of prayers, the effectiveness of fluorescent bulbs on headaches, as well as mock surgeries. There are certain surgery techniques that are carried out to pass as real surgery operations and most have been proven to be successful.

    For this kind of trials, both the patients and the doctors dealing with specific patients are not made aware of the kind of treatment. This is based on the fact that a doctor's belief in the quality or value of medication or any other form of treatment can affect the way they behave when around a patient Howick, 2011.

    A double-blind study carried out to test the effectiveness of antidepressants shows that for patients who were given placebos, only 30% of them committed or attempted suicide. For the patients who were given actual treatment, suicide cases reported reduced by 40%. This shows that the placebos are as effective just like actual treatment is. The only setback in these tests is that they do not include a group of patients who go untreated, and so the results can be in one way not fully comprehensive or complete.

    Importance of Placebos in Research

    Both doctors and patients would want to benefit from a new type of treatment that does not have many side effects or one that is cheaper.…

    I am asked to write an essay with the - following prompt: Hume claims all of our reasoning concerning matters of fact is ultimately dependent on

    I am asked to write an essay with the following prompt: Hume claims all of our reasoning concerning matters of fact is ultimately dependent on the idea of cause and effect. Why does this pose an.

    I am asked to write an essay with the following prompt:

    Hume claims all of our reasoning concerning matters of fact is ultimately dependent on the idea of cause and effect. Why does this pose an epistemological problem, and what is Hume’s “skeptical solution” to that problem?

    The response should be based on section IV and V in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Could you please tell me the answers to the questions and evidence in the text to corroborate the thesis?

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    In Section IV of Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), Hume argues that knowledge is divided into only two categories--the relation of ideas and matters of fact. The first category can be understood through the exercise of intellect:

    Propositions of this kind are discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe. (Section IV, Part 1)

    The second category--matters of fact--relies not on the "operation of thought" but on the relationship between cause and effect, and Hume uses as one example of this relationship a man on a deserted island who comes across a pocket watch buried in the sand. He concludes, because he recognizes the object and knows it to be man-made, that man has been on the island--the cause he recognizes to be man's earlier presence on the island, and the effect is the watch he is holding. Cause and effect are in unalterable lockstep. Hume concludes that all matters of fact are understood this way. Hume goes a bit further by arguing

    that the knowledge of this relation is not, in any instance, attained by reasonings a priori ; but arises entirely from experience, when we find that any particular objects are constantly conjoined with each other.

    In other words, the cause-and-effect relationship is not understand by the "operation of thought" but by understanding that a perceived effect has to have a directly related cause.

    As good as an empirical proposition as this is, however, it has a flaw from an epistemological standpoint. Using his own example of man who finds a watch on a desert island and then "knows" that man has been there before, one could argue that, in this example, cause and effect is likely to lead to errors in knowing. Let us suppose, for example, that a shipwreck occurred far out to sea and the pocket watch somehow made it to shore without human intervention. The effect is the same, but the cause is very different, thereby rendering the conclusion completely different. In other words, the relationship between cause and effect is dependent upon understanding the cause, not the effect, and knowing a matter of fact is not solely dependent upon recognizing that there is a relationship between cause and effect. Perhaps even more important, Hume's argument in Part II that the truth derived from understanding the relationship between cause and effect is based on experience is only true if our experience leads us to the one correct conclusion. To be fair, to Hume, however, he concludes the "Doubts" section by his caveat that

    To endeavour, therefore, the proof of this last supposition by probable arguments, or arguments regarding existence, must be evidently going in a circle, and taking that for granted, which is the very point in question.

    Hume's doubts, then, lead him to the conclusion that the validity of the cause-and-effect argument is based on the perhaps faulty supposition "that the future will be conformable to the past."

    Hume attempts to resolve his doubts in Section V, Part I, by arguing that, even without vast experience, one can (1) understand the relationship between cause and effect and (2) know matters of fact (again, even without much experience) simply through the operation of Custom or Habit, which he describes thus:

    For wherever the repetition of any particular act or operation produces a propensity to renew the same act or operation, without being impelled by any reasoning or process of the understanding, we always say, that this propensity is the effect of Custom. (Section V, Part 1)

    Simply put, if one action repeatedly leads to a repetition of that action (and this must be observable rather than reasoned out), this repetitive action becomes "Custom or Habit," and this repetitive action or operation, because it is not dependent on the "operation of thought" becomes a matter of fact, observable through some level of experience. In other words, as opposed to knowing something because we understand the relationship between cause and effect, we know something because we understand that custom or habit dictates a particular result--and, as Hume concludes,

    Without the influence of custom, we should be entirely ignorant of every matter of fact beyond what is immediately present to the memory and senses. (Section V, Part 1)

    Custom or habit, then, is a source of matter-of-fact knowledge and, in a real sense, replaces the necessity of understanding, through individual experience, an understanding of the relationship between cause and effect. Knowledge of matters of fact is still based on observable experience but does not require the amount of experience that an understanding of cause-and-effect relationships does.

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