Log in

Philosophy on LiveJournal
.:.....::. .: ..::...:::.
Back Viewing 0 - 10  
Kain aka That Evil Guy [userpic]

The Chinese Room demonstrates that outward appearance of an understanding of meaning is by no means an actual indicator of understanding.

Bona fide understanding is a main feature of conscious thinking. If something is not conscious, it is not possible for it to understand.

What goes on inside the Chinese Room is an analog of programming. AI is dependent on programming.

Thus, what AI accomplishes in fooling someone in thinking that it has any sort of comprehension of meaning, is a demonstration of a mere appearance of comprehension. It would only appear to be sentient, while being as non-sentient as any program.

The only way for anyone to demonstrate the possibility of consciousness in an AI is to demonstrate independence from programming.

There is no such demonstration. Bottom-up AI, including experiments showing the purported evolution of bottom-up AI, still requires programming.

James Camien [userpic]

I believe all bans on community members to have been lifted. Bygones and all that; and in any case, it's not like there's any water to poison these days. If people are having trouble, let me know via LJ PM.

UPDATE: I believed wrong. But now all bans are definitely rescinded.

Diary of a B+ Grade Polymath [userpic]

Heck, I don't particularly care for Kant, but this is as ridiculous an evaluation as one can find.

"Even apart from the fact that Kant’s theory of the “categories” as the source of man’s concepts was a preposterous invention, his argument amounted to a negation, not only of man’s consciousness, but of any consciousness, of consciousness as such. His argument, in essence, ran as follows: man is limited to a consciousness of a specific nature, which perceives by specific means and no others, therefore, his consciousness is not valid; man is blind, because he has eyes—deaf, because he has ears—deluded, because he has a mind—and the things he perceives do not exist, because he perceives them."


someone [userpic]

The purpose of this post is to explore the requirements to recreate a living, conscious human being on a computer, as opposed to running a functional model of a brain in software.
Prompted by Greg Egan's "Permutation City", which I'm currently reading.

I appreciate you taking time to critically examining my argument.

A neuronal activity consists largely of neurons firing, spikes propagating, and synapses forming/changing. Those things can happen either as a result of external (sensory) input coming into the brain, or feedback loops in the brain itself.

We can capture the state of the brain at any particular moment by recording all relevant parameter values. These parameters can be plugged into a functional model of the brain, together with any input signals. The model will allow us to predict (calculate) how the system is going to change, if started with those initial parameters (the real brain changes due to laws of physics, for example, if the electrical potential value in some neuron is large enough, that neuron is likely to fire; it also changes as the input signals change). The system uses analog signals, and is not governed by a global clock, so the change will be analog (gradual). There is no "next state" to speak of - the state is continuously changing. We can make "snapshots" of a real, living brain at different times, or we can calculate the state of the brain at those times. If the results are identical, we have a good model.

Calculating the state of the brain at successive points in time, given initial parameters, sensory input, and a functional model, can be considered to be an active, ongoing brain simulation. Calculating those states frequently enough can let us construct a pattern of neuronal activity, which we can then decode as specific thoughts, feelings, and motor commands intended to generate some actions. We can have a robot perform the actions, and this robot will appear alive and even "conscious". However, there's no living "being" controlling this robot. The brain state calculations could, in principle, be done on paper, because it's all just number crunching*. The calculated numbers could tell us what the real person would feel like, if this was a real person. But it's not. It's a description of a real person - a mathematical model with a bunch of parameters.

Such a robot would already be pretty impressive, but how do we create a "living being"? For that, we need to switch from performing calculations to running physical processes. We need to build a system where processes are happening "on their own". Instead of calculating the "next state", we need to let the system run so that any "next state" would develop naturally. Instead of calculating a snapshot at a particular time, we should have a system that has a continuous physical state at all times.

It's not clear how accurately we need to imitate the relevant physical processes in hardware, or if it's possible to use some software abstractions. For example, can we represent synapses as numbers stored in memory, or must they be actual physical devices, such as memristors? Do we need to generate analog voltage spikes on dedicated wires, or can we use digital data packets on a switched network between neurons?

I tend to think that as long as we recreate the movement, transformation, and storage of important information throughout the entire system, we have a living being.

*Compare with Searle's Chineese Room Experiment.

Аркадий Малер [userpic]

В новой программе Катехон-ТВ выступает - Виктор Петрович Лега, кандидат богословия, с 1991 г. заведующий Кафедры философии Православного Свято-Тихоновского гуманитарного университета (ПСТГУ), доцент Сретенской семинарии, МГЛУ, МФТИ.

Тема - "Философия и богословие".

- значение философии в формировании христианкой теологии
- вера от слышания и вера как уверенность
- влияние Платона vs. влияние Аристотеля
- догматические проблемы в русской религиозной философии
- деструктивная роль постмодернизма

In this paper, I will analyze different approaches to the epistemology but this is not a philosophical inquiry. Rather, I am interested in what causes the difference among English and Russian philosophers working on one particular issue: consideration of Gettier’s Problem. I will provide a short survey of recent articles available in open Internet sources. As a result, I found that Russian writers tend to be very ontological in that field. Does this entail that deeper spirituality, or the proverbial “mysterious Russian soul”, is the cause for such pretentiousness? Seriously, I will try to answer why they stay far from precise analyses of details.
The classical account of knowledge is that a subject S knows a proposition p iff S believes p, the belief p is true, and S has a justification for that belief. This means that S can offer good reasons in support of why she believes p. In short, it is called the JTB Definition. It appears in Plato's dialogues and it was relevant until the mid-1960s. In 1963, a philosopher named Edmund Gettier published an article in which he showed that knowledge could not merely be justified by true belief.
Gettier’s counterexamples pushed us to revise many of very important philosophical issues. What is knowledge? What is the structure of our beliefs? What human’s thinking and reasoning entail? You do not need to be a philosopher to grasp an understanding that these epistemological issues can impact such problems as Cognitive Psychology, Artificial Intelligence, for example, possibility of existence of computer holds Turing’s test, etc. Moreover, Edmund Gettier opened a new era in epistemology named post-Gettier era. Even a historian is allowed to ask: what happened since Plato in philosophy and what occurred in paradigm of humanity after the mid-1960?
I have made a brief survey of articles available in open Internet sources. The web search system Yandex.ru has been chosen for tracing results on two queries: “Gettier case” in English and in Russian (Кейс Геттиера). Yandex.ru is powerful website in Russian speaking matters. Therefore, Russian sources have to predominate among the search results in the search engine. The first three pages of results in Yandex.ru search engine were analyzed. I considered the search result valid if it had a link to a PDF file available for free download. The following results were obtained:
· The query in English gave two students’ essays from Routledge and Northern Illinois University, three overviews of lectures from different universities, two drafts of articles for peer review, two published articles by Cognition and Sayi magazines. As a sum, there were 9 results. The articles, for example John Turri’s draft, provides analysis of different epistemological approaches such as Casual Theory of Knowledge, No False Assumptions condition, Safe condition, Sensitivity condition, Reliabilism, Fallibilism, Credital account, etc. The papers contain quotations by the authors: Hetherington S., Pritchard D., Zagzebski L., Sosa E., etc. Note - those scientists are leaders in contemporary epistemology. No Russian author has been found.
· The query in Russian gave 4 results: one overview of lectures of University of Tomsk, three published articles. The article of Olchovskiy G. considers Casual Theory of Knowledge. The article of Nikiforov A. considers semantic analysis of predicate “know”. The article of Lamberov L. provides a survey of the above approaches and shows inconsistence of given considerations. All papers are written in Russian. It is noticeable that Russian philosophers used only original article of Edmund Gettier (1963) as a foreign source inside the body of papers, even though they provide other sources in bibliographies. Therefore, the conversation is stuck on the analysis of theories that were considered in 1970-1980’s by English speaking philosophers. Russian sources dissect two original cases from the Gettier’s article and say nothing about enormous amounts of known counterexamples. In addition, the same search was conducted a year ago it produced one Russian author - Kusliy P. - who wrote an overview of other Russian authors in the field of Gettier’s problem.
Even a brief consideration shows that Russian philosophical scholars stay far away from mainstream of contemporary formal and analytical epistemology. While English-speaking scholars provide very precise, all-embracing analysis, the Russian speakers try to eliminate problems of formal epistemology by attempting to propose a full and consistent theory of Gnosis. This attempt is as successful as any general theory. As a person involved in both the Russian and the English field of information, I want to understand what causes those differences. It can be due to general reasons:
1.     Ignorance of Russian scholars due to language barrier, 70-years ideological pressure, and so on.
2.     Absence of interest towards the problem described above.
I will discuss the second alternative because the sickness of ignorance can be cured, absence of interest cannot. A contemplation of historical development of branch of Russian humanitarian and social sciences allows us to suppose that, most of the time, it was a conversation about human life, society, and soul. The Russian humanitarian and social sciences have very rarely been considered as a possible source of advantage for technology and practice. For the sake of simplicity, let us consider the following chain: since the orthodox religion considered the material world to be something that keeps our spirit from flying, there has always been a strict division between technical and humanitarian sciences. It received some development during the Soviet Union era, where philosophy became a part of ideology. The situation with humanitarian science nowadays in Russia seems to go back to the orthodox medieval times. Of course, we can find similar features in European history but they were gradually eliminated from the scientific paradigm. Now a significant benefit of interdisciplinary inquiry has become obvious. Quantum physics and the Theory of game, Epistemology and Economic science contribute to each other, sometimes in much unexpected ways. Thus, I suppose that in part, the state of the Russian analytical project in Epistemology is conditioned by misunderstanding of possible advantages of fundamental humanitarian inquiries for improvement of material products as well as for social and environmental challenges.
In conclusion, I would like to give my own translation of a well-known Mendeleev’s passage. If education begins with Socrates, we can expect brilliant technological advances. Otherwise, new “Socrates” never occurred if tutor begins with particular technical problems. It seems we forgot our own history.
Kusliy, P.S. (2011). "Knowledge, the Gettier's problem and some of the discussions in the contemporary epistemology", http://CyberLeninka.ru/article/n/znanie-problema-gettiera-i-nekotorye-diskussii-v- sovremennoy-otechestvennoy-epistemologi
Lamberov L. (2010),”Как важно быть серьёзным: О некоторых критика Геттиера”, Эпистемология & философия науки 4 (“It is important to be serious: About Gettier critique”, Epistemology and Philosophy of Science).
Nagel J., Mar R., and San Juan V. (2013) “Authentic Gettier cases: A reply to Starmans and Friedman”, Cognition 129: 666-696
Pritchard, D. (2005). Epistemic Luck. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Pritchard, D. (2007). "Anti-luck epistemology", Synthese 158: 277-297.
Reed, B. (2000). “Accidental Truth and Accidental Justification”, Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 50, No198: 57-67.
Sosa, E. (1988). “Beyond Skepticism, to the Best of Our Knowledge”, Mind 97: 153-189.
Turri J. “In Gettier’s wake”, forthcoming.
Zagzebski, L. (1994). “The Inescapability of Gettier Problems”, Philosophical Quarterly 44: 65-73.

James Camien [userpic]

So who moderates this place these days? I submitted a comment and it was marked as spam, and I don't know if anyone's about to approve it. (LJ's filters don't understand how great my viagra is.)

If people have moved on, could someone make me a mod?



Schrodinger's Cat in the Gettier's Case.
Contemporary philosophy has to consider many modern scientific issues. If we look at modern discussions, we find many new terms and concepts in philosophy. What do they really mean for our thinking in relation to the achievements of physics and mathematics?
I will discuss the classical account of knowledge, as a justified true belief, and the Gettier Problem, which showed that knowledge, cannot merely be justified true belief. The problem, which I raise here, is follow: how can affect such ideas as time and probability the analysis of propositional knowledge. Some examples of well-known Gettier's case are:

  1. You come to believe what the time is by looking at the clock in your kitchen. Usually this is a very reliable clock. Suppose the clock stopped. You come to the kitchen one morning at exactly 9 o'clock. Suppose the clock stopped exactly twenty-four hours earlier and you do not know about it. Therefore, if you look at the clock you have a justified belief that it is 9 o'clock. Do you know what time is it? You cannot know the time by looking at a stopped clock. Therefore, it is just a matter of luck that your belief is true.

  2. A farmer looks into a field through a window. He sees what looks very much like a sheep. Nevertheless, it is not a sheep. He is looking at a big hairy dog. It happens that at that moment there is a sheep hidden from to a farmer's view behind the big hairy dog. Does he know that there is a sheep in the field?

  There is a general schema to constructing a Gettier's case. You take a belief which is justified but where ordinarily the belief would be false. Moreover, you add to the case a matter of luck, which makes your belief true. We can imagine a huge number of Gettier’s cases. We may note that JTB considers knowledge as an object with propositional structure. Classic first and second ordered logics have not enough instruments to take in account time-dependence and probabilistic features of many ordinary events. Therefore, many modifications of classic logics occurred: quantum logic, fuzzy logic, etc. We do not need to consider wider field of logic, rather we may ask what the object, which a proposition can describe is?
     I want to remind of an example known as “The Schrodinger's Cat". It is a thought experiment posed by the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger in 1935. It illustrates the problem of the Uncertainty Principle that incompatible conjugate properties cannot be defined for the same time and place in microcosm. This illustration applies to everyday objects. The particular case is a cat, a flask of poison and a radioactive source placed in a black box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decay), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison that kills the cat. The atom's decay is a probabilistic process. Is the cat alive inside the box? Any physicist would say that the system is in the uncertain state. Literally, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. We will not know the condition of the cat until the moment when we open the box. It gives us the simple thought that the state of a probabilistic system is unknown until we take a measure of the system. Before this moment, every state of the system is only probable.
 Let us slightly change this experiment. There is an experimenter and another person. They are looking at the black box. The experimenter knows about the equipment in the box; the other person does not. The person sees the experimenter put the cat inside the box. Does the person know the cat is in the box? He could be justified in his belief that the cat is in the box because he saw it. If the experimenter opens the box, the cat is probably alive if any atoms have not decayed. Therefore, it may be true. It seems to be the case, which “looks like” the Gettier's case.
     Thus, the question is: if we discribe a Gettier’s case do we really open “a box with a cat”? In other words, when I add to the discription any kinds bad or good luck (see Zagzebski, 1994) do I make a probabilistic event has occurred? Contextual analysis of Lottery paradox and Preface paradox shows that it is possible to make very fast shift in a context by adding very small piece of information (see Evnine, 1999).
    May be in Gettier’s cases even when we assume that for an agent all events are happened, these events can have different epistemic state due to objective probabilistic character of the situation. Suppose, my friend has a flight from Londin to NY. I know he should have landed in a particular moment but I have no confirmation about that fact. After a while I get phone call from him. It is permissible to say that I know friend’s status when I get the call. Moreover, before that the proposition “my friend landed” doesn’t make sense for me but, of course, it does for the crew mambers and airports service.
    Many attempts to add a condition to the JTB which captures a lot of counterexamples use the language of formal epistemology. For example, sensitivity and safety conditions use the term “nearby possible world” (see Pritchard, 2007). I aim to consider other approuch and take Tarski’s account of Theory of Truth. Contextualism provides the explanation that a knowledge-ascriber’s context determine standards for knowledge. Moreover, different contexts entail possibility of different truth value for proposition (see Brendel and Jager, 2004).Further, contextualism builds constraints along degree of salience for an agent to get a mistake in the particular context. We can choose other way for attribution   epistemic states for different contexts by using Tarski’s account and  build recursive scheme. Thus, in a Gettier’s case an agent operates with proposition p : “ a sheep is at the field”. The p is false. In the other hand, an outside observer uses meta-language where p is true.

     This approuch captures many counterexampels in relation to the environmental luck. But close inspection shows that clock - example (1)  still doesn’t solved. Actually, it reveals that time is really crucial element of substence of luck. Coincidence of events occurs in time and when the time is matter of coincidence we rather have a pure paradox. The Tarski’s T-schema is working properly with assertion of the form “S knows that ⌐p at t¬ iff p at t”. When we consider Russell’s clock case the situation is follow: “S knows that ⌐t at t¬ iff t”. As we see T-schema doesn’t bring matter of fact in this case but as far as I understand this is only one countrexample which can reflect complexity of obtaining knowledge about time itself.

In conclusion, note that our assumptions presupposes that such ideas as luck, probablility, coincidence, etc. can affect substance of agent’s epistemic state.  In favor of that, we can turn to some convincing examples from physics and mathematics.  Thus, the narrative of Gettier’s cases forms some kind of analogy of a “liar sentence” and, hence, can be captured by Tarski’s truth account.

someone [userpic]

Let's say we figured out how to simulate a human brain on a computer. We have build a highly realistic virtual world, where simulated people live.

Compare two situations:
1. There are real people on the other side of our world, who experience a real rain (but we, on this side of the world, can't experience that rain directly).
2. There are simulated people who experience a simulated rain, which is real to them.

The simulated people have real consciousness, and are indistinguishable from real people if viewed within their virtual world. They can even control a robotic human-like bodies in the real world.
Can we say the simulated people are real?

What if we regard the virtual world to be an extension of the real world, just like the "New World" (the Americas) was considered to be an extension of the Old World? In that case, the virtual rain experienced by virtual people is just as real as the rain experienced by the real people on the other side of the real world.
Can we say the rain in the virtual world is real?

The Probabilistic argument.

On the other hand, the implication that mere passing of time in some cases may even create some luck sounds doubtful. One may object that consideration of time intervals and S’s actions involves even more implicit assumptions. Especially, the question is still not clarified in the light of obvious intuition that someone could be “gettiered” by Russell’s clock, in principle. It seems we have to do better.

If a statement makes sense then this can be translated from one language to another. In order to answer on a possible objection I will try to draw an analogy between the forms of Gettier’s and lottery’s cases and the mathematical language of the Theory of probability. If this attempt is success we’ll get the corresponding consistent statements.

Note that a probability P is a measure of the chance that an event will occur. The P is a priori prognosis, before the fact. If an event happened then we may ask what was the probability of the event in past? Same characteristic has conditional probability. The probability of an event A given that the event B occurred is the forward probability. We can determine the a posteriori reversed probability P (B given A) as if the event A occurred then P is the probability that one of possible condition B had place. Thus, this issue is also about past events and therefore this can be expressed in terms of forward probabilities using Bayes’s Rule.

Next, I will consider possible interpretations of three probabilistic cases: P (A), P (A and B), P (A given that B).

The simple case P (A) shows the chance that an event A will occur. It is the form of the lottery’s case, for example. Can we ask about degree of cognoscibility of possible future results of a throw of the dice and tossing the coin? Can I know more authentically that tomorrow I will see a car accident than a fall of a meteorite? Since we are discussing that “S knows that p” and “p is truth” these events are equally unknowable despite the fact that the probabilities are not equal. The prognosis is not the fact exclude only one possibility when P (A) = 1. The probability of a future single event does not indicate that it is knowable if P (A) < 1. But iff P (A) = 1 we can assert that the event will definitely happen and therefore we know it now. Note that the case P (A) = 1 does not depend from a degree of luck rather from the presence some sort of luck.

Because of that the version of the safety principle proposed by Duncan Pritchard, (SP**), seems to work properly in lottery’s style cases:

S’s belief is safe iff in most nearby possible worlds in which S continues to form her belief about the target proposition in the same way as in the actual world, and in all very close nearby possible worlds in which S continues to form her belief about the target proposition in the same way as in the actual, the belief continues to be true (see Pritchard (2007: 290-2)).

Indeed, if we take the set of all very close nearby possible worlds as a sample space comprised of the collection of all possible outcomes then we get the certain event, P (A) = 1. Here the event A is “that p is true”. Moreover, there is no vagueness about “very close nearby possible worlds”. They differ from the actual world only in the results of the experiment “that p”.

Can we draw some information about events then P (A) <1? We saw that they are likely epistemic unknowable but we can estimate the chance of S to be involved in the process of cognition of the event A in future. It will play important role in next cases.

There is some kind of coincidence in the Gettier’s cases or using Zagzebski’s account there is the coincidence of “good luck” and “bad luck” (see Zagzebski 1994, 66 p). We may describe that in two ways. Either there is conjunction of two events A and B or there is the event A given the condition event B. Implicitly we tend to look on those situations as indistinguishable. But if we take an event B as a condition then the other event A occurs either simultaneously or later. As we saw conditioning can work in an unexpected way. We have by definition of conditioning probability that P (A given that B) = P (A and B) / P (B), 0 < P (B) < or = 1. Therefore, always                P (A given that B) = or > P (A and B). Note, that the probability here rather describes the chance for S to be “gettiered”. Certainly, it is more likely that S is “gettiered” by already stopped clock than the coincidence that S consults clock in a very same moment of stop. The participant of the Gettier’s cases operates in time and consequently the estimation of probability helps us to assess the likely degree of friendliness of epistemic environment.

We can assert that in some Gettier’s cases the mere passing of time makes the environment epistemic risky or unsafe. Moreover, we can strictly say that if there is a Gettier’s case as the coincidence a good luck event and a bad luck event then it is more likely that the one event occurred earlier than the other. This statement corresponds with the Bayes’s Rule for reversed probability as well.

Thus, we show from the probabilistic point of view that in some cases the mere passing of time keeps the degree of epistemic luck; in the others it even arises this degree.

There may still be an objection. Why we don’t care about epistemic environment in a lottery’s style case? The answer can be given as follows: we have limited class of cases by the restriction that P (A) =1. It eliminates the influence of the circumstances because there are certain events.

The other class of cases includes more possibilities. In the case of coincidence, events could not happen but they happened by describing of case. This class of cases include also events that happened certainly but coincidence with another event doesn’t occur necessarily. For example, I know that tomorrow will be sunrise. I don’t know that I will see it for sure. On the other hand, today I saw sunrise and I knew that there was sunrise and I saw it. In addition there is another case that today was sunrise even if I didn’t see it because I was sleeping.

The scheme for constructing definition.

As we’ve seen, the parameter “a moment of time t” has deep and counterintuitive connection with luck in some important cases and it can be taken as the boundary condition for the definition of knowledge. Thus, all situations that “S knows that p” are divided into two types. Either S knows in the moment t that p (t) or S knows in the moment t that it will be that p (t + dt), dt > 0.

In order to establish the working model which can be diagnosed we draw two principles. One is modification of Prtchard’s safety principle: S’s belief is safe iff in all nearby possible worlds in which S continues to form her belief about target proposition in the same way as in the actual world the belief continues to be true. As the consequence of this principle there is safety condition (SC): S knows that p if S’s belief is safe.

The second useful principle lies at the base of the argument of the creditable approach to the account of knowledge and follow variation of ability conditions (AC): S knows that p if S believes the truth because of the exercise of S’s relevant cognitive abilities.  

Thus, the scheme for definition of knowledge is formed in a following way:

  1. If S knows that p (t) then apply ability condition (AC)

  2. If S knows that will be p (t + dt), dt > 0 then apply safety condition (SC).

In addition, note that there are several types of epistemic luck: content-, capacity-, evidential- and doxastic epistemic luck. Despite the fact that some of them contain coincidences they are all compatible with knowledge (see Pritchard (2005), p. 140). But veritic epistemic luck is only one bad sort of luck for knowledge. It may be worth to consider two types of veritic luck. The probabilistic veritic luck overtime and afflicts future events. The coincidental veritic luck afflicts the current events. As we’ve seen, it is not at all easy to make proper intuitive evaluation of the sort and degree of those types of luck.

The diagnosis.

The consideration of proposing frame for definition depends on our attitude towards to the understanding of the word “know”. If we tend that one cannot know about wining in the fair lottery even though the chances to win could be either 1% or 99% then safety condition has advance in the lottery case and in the case of superstitiously unreliably formed belief. In recent literature is reviewed in detail.

We have to pay attention to the cases that S in the moment t knows that p (t). By way of illustration, consider the case of Henry in Barn Façade Country but using pervious methodological intuitions about describing of case. Let’s suppose that Henry is at the border of Barn Façade Country which consist 99 fake barns and one real barn. The real barn placed randomly somewhere along the Henry’s road and the probability for every position is 1/100. If Henry will take a look randomly only one time on one of barn façades what are the chance for him to be “gettiered”? Note that if Henry will normally look at a barn façade and form a false belief that he is looking at the barn this is nothing to worry about. We want to evaluate the chance that he will look at the one real barn. Suppose that probability that Henry will look at the façade number N is 1/100 for every N then we have situation with two random value and the chance for Henry to be “gettiered” is 1/100 * 1/100 or 0,0001. Let’s change the circumstances that this country consists 50 fake barns and 50 real barns distributed randomly and equiprobably and probability for any position has a real barn or fake barn is ½. In this case the chance for Henry to be “gettiered” is 1/100 * ½ or 0,002. So, despite of friendliness of environment where fake barns are less common the chance to be involved in Gettier’s case is even higher. Those chances will change dramatically if we change slightly any probability. So, different describing or understanding of case can implicitly change the chances. This illustration demonstrates that the safety condition has a strong claim that p has to be true in all nearby possible worlds. This claim put us immediately in position that we cannot know about any uncertain event even if it happened already or happens right now before us.

So, we need abandon the safety condition to other alternatives. It can be ability condition or may be someone can propose more precise developing of definition in case of S knows that p (t). Indeed, if Henry deserved the credit by getting out from his car and taking precise consideration of his environment then we can account him as a knower. It seems as very strong demand to form researching strategy for a knower but really we know only a little using usual cognitive patterns in supposing of existence of unusual circumstances.

Of course, still many objections could be imagined. There are cases as meeting of a protagonist of a case with “epistemic demon” who changes any circumstances. The demon set a clock, change a data and equipment and so forth. I cannot provide entire consideration of “demon’s cases” exclude one notation that methodologic intuition appeals to be careful in the possible degree of idealization in counterexamples because it easy put us before a row of infinite sceptic demands. Anyway, further I will discuss one counterexample proposed by Pritchard which can be associated with the safety condition or ability condition as well.

Archie is a professional archer. He goes to the shooting range, picks a target, and takes a shot. Suppose that unbeknownst to Archie, he is shooting at the only target at the shooting range that is not equipped with a hidden forcefield that would repel any arrow fired at it. There are two events in this case. The first event is “Archie in the moment t chooses the right target”. The second event is “Archie is shooting the target”. At the first event Archie didn’t use properly his cognitive ability because he didn’t check the shooting range. If we suppose that it is a sports qualification with special service at the field and the service makes possible the sabotaged targets then we are in a situation where “an epistemic demon” has able to eliminate any our knowledge. If Archie just came with friends into forest to take some fun by shooting targets then it is acceptable for him to prepare carefully the shooting range. The second event is considering easily. Archie knows that he will hit the target iff from that location (relevant initial conditions) he will do it in all nearby possible worlds. Actually, even it is counterintuitive Archie’s arching ability doesn’t need to be explore deeply in this case.


Eventually, we can assert that common intuition about sort and degree of luck is misleading in some important cases. There are crucial distinctions in degree of luck in cases of coincidence of events and conditioned events. It is not always obvious how they can be detected in descriptions of counterexamples. One of the methods for detecting degree of luck is to consider the passing of time and thus to be able to form the scheme for definition of knowledge by using the time axis. Therefore it is possible to make noncontradictory definition consisting of different epistemic intuitions.

Back Viewing 0 - 10