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    Tok3 Tok3 Presentation Transcript

    • The Nature of Knowledge
      Knowledge as justified true belief
    • The definition of knowledge
      Knowledge as justified true belief
      3 elements
      1. Truth
      2. Belief
      3. Justified
    • Truth
      The most obvious thing that distinguishes knowledge from belief is truth
      If you know something, then what you claim to know must be true
      If you believe it, then it may be true or false
      This is why you cannot know that pigs have wings, or that Rome is the capital of France
      Truth is independent of what anyone happens to believe is true, and believing something to be true doesn’t make it true
      When we say something is true we usually mean it is ‘beyond reasonable doubt’
    • Belief
      Truth is an objective requirement for knowledge
      Belief is the subjective requirement for it
      Knowledge and belief can be thought of in terms of a continuum with unjustified beliefs at one end of the continuum, beliefs for which there is some evidence in the middle, and beliefs which are ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ at the other end
    • Belief – knowledge continuum
      -10 -5 0 +5 +10
      Impossible Unlikely Possible Probable Certain
      BELIEF KNOWLEDGE
    • 3 examples of various kinds of belief
      A vague belief – I may vaguely believe that eating tomatoes helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, but have no idea where I came across this idea and readily abandon it in the light of counter-evidence
      A well supported belief – I may believe that Smith killed Jones, and be able to give evidence for my belief, but still be unwilling to say that I know that this is the case
      A belief that is beyond is reasonable doubt – I may find the evidence which supports the claim that the Americans landed on the moon in 1969 so convincing and the counter-evidence of conspiracy theorists so flimsy that I am willing to say that I know the Americans landed on the moon
    • And the point is?
      The important thing is to try to develop as reasonable and well-supported a set of beliefs as possible
      Where on the belief knowledge continuum would you put the following propositions
      P26 lagemaat - Read out and students to place a post it arrow on continuum - Discuss
    • Justification
      In order to be able to say that you know something you must be able to justify your belief
      We usually justify our knowledge claims by appealing to one of the 4 ways of knowing
      1. Someone told me (language)
      2. I saw it (perception)
      3. I worked it out (reason)
      4. Its intuitively obvious (emotion)
      However there is a difference between reliable justification and unreliable justification
      Consider the following – Chewbacca defence
    • Levels of Knowledge
      There is more we can say about knowledge than simply that it is justified true belief.
      For a start there are different levels of knowledge. You may have a basic grasp, a good understanding or a complete mastery over a subject.
    • Knowledge and information
      Drilling random facts into someone’s mind may be good for quiz shows but it does not lead to genuine understanding
      Genuine knowledge of a subject is gained from an understanding of how different strands of information come together to form a meaningful whole
      Using an analogy – Information is to knowledge as bricks are to a building. While you cannot have a building without bricks, a building is more than just a heap of bricks. In the same way – You cannot have knowledge without information but knowledge is more than just a heap of information
    • Second-hand knowledge
      Isaac Newton (1642-1727) once remarked ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’ – Discuss
      Our ability to communicate with each other means we are able to pass on our beliefs and practices from one generation to the next in the form of culture
      Second-hand knowledge is known as knowledge by authority and is acquired through
      cultural tradition
      School
      Internet
      Expert opinion
      News media
    • Cultural Tradition
      The culture we grow up in has a strong influence on the way we see the world
      We have a natural attachment to our own beliefs and practices
      Letters from an Indian Judge to an English Gentlewoman – carry out activities
    • School
      Schools [play a key role in the transmission of knowledge
      14,000 hours of school gives you not only mastery of subject areas but provides lessons for life
      Education v Indoctrination
      What is the difference between education and indoctrination – what problems arise as a result?
      Discuss the following youtube clip
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_znfn0GJe0&feature=PlayList&p=A2ED994E3CA7F3EA&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=10
    • Internet
      The internet provides information in a fast and accessible way
      However…
      Be careful of ‘urban legends’
    • Read and discuss Brecht’s Galileo
      P42-44
      Theory of knowledge
      Richard van de Lagemaat
    • Conclusion
      Knowledge is defined as justified true belief
      The difference between knowledge and belief is one of degree rather than kind
      Knowledge consists of more than just jumbled isolated facts
      Its various parts are related to one another in a systematic way – think of the way a text book is organised
      Detail and context provides a deeper understanding of an area of knowledge
      Knowledge comes to us second-hand on the authority of other people
      Despite obvious benefits we need to be use our judgement in determining what or who to believe
    • Belief
      Where does belief end and knowledge begin?
      Truth
      Can we ever be certain of the truth?
      Information
      What is the difference between knowledge and information?
      Linking Questions
      The Nature of Knowledge
      Context
      Does knowledge depend on context?
      Authority
      To what extent should we accept knowledge by authority?
      Justification
      What distinguishes a good justification from a bad one?