A Problem for the Traditional Account of Knowledge

  • Kevin McCain
Part of the Springer Undergraduate Texts in Philosophy book series (SUTP)


This chapter begins by briefly recapping what has been discovered about the traditional account of knowledge throughout the previous chapters. The traditional account of knowledge holds that one has knowledge of some proposition just in case one justifiedly believes the proposition, and the proposition is true. As earlier chapters showed, believing a proposition requires having an appropriate mental representation of the proposition, being justified in believing the proposition requires believing on it on the basis of sufficiently strong evidence, and a proposition’s being true consists of it accurately describing objective reality. After the traditional account of knowledge has been made clear, a decisive objection to that account of knowledge is explained: the Gettier Problem. In addition to explaining how the Gettier Problem shows that the traditional account of knowledge is incomplete this chapter explores some promising responses to the Gettier Problem. Finally, the chapter concludes by noting that even without an answer to the Gettier Problem we can use the traditional account of knowledge as a framework for understanding scientific knowledge.


Perceptual Experience Visual Experience Justify Belief Fourth Condition Gettier Case 
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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin McCain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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