This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Does The Fact That We Might Be Deceived By An Evil Demon Mean That We Actually Do Not Know Anything?

1856 words - 7 pages

It is the main task of epistemology to deal with some of the most fundamental and difficult questions of philosophy, namely those concerning the problem of knowledge. What, if anything, can we know and how can we justify this knowledge as being actual knowledge? In attempting to give answers to these questions, epistemology finds itself in a permanent battle with scepticism which often rejects possible solutions on the grounds of not being satisfactory. "The sceptic", as Nozick puts it, "argues that we do not know what we think we do. Even when he leaves us unconverted, he leaves us confused. Granting that we do know, how can we? Given these possibilities he poses, how is knowledge possible?" (1)The sceptic's reasoning is underpinned by a number of powerful arguments often based on various hypothetical situations. We could imagine, for instance, that "there is someone who is extremely powerful and ... malicious and cunning, who employs all his efforts and industry to deceive [us]." (2) It is also perfectly reasonable that we are only dreaming our whole life, since there is no way for us to tell whether we are awake or asleep and only dreaming we are awake. In all of these cases we would then have no guarantee that what we believe to be knowledge is actual knowledge, or that we are justified in knowing something.It seems, however, that we still can have certain knowledge without being set right by the sceptic. But before examining this possibility, a definition of knowledge has to be given. Furthermore, a distinction between two different types of knowledge has to be drawn, whereby each will undergo the test of whether it is actual knowledge.The traditional conception of knowledge is a tripartite one. In order for someone S to 'know that p', three conditions have to be satisfied. First, p must be true, for it is not possible to know something which is not true. This would be a false assumption and not a case of knowledge. Second, S must believe that p. This condition is just as obvious as the first one since knowing something recquires believing it. Finally, S has to be justified in believing that p, meaning that a 'lucky guess' would not count as knowledge. So, using A.J. Ayer's words, "the necessary and sufficient conditions for knowing that something is the case are first that what one is said to know is true, secondly that one be sure of it, and thirdly that one should have the right to be sure."(3)Although this conception seems to be a reasonable one, it was claimed by E. Gettier that justified belief of a true proposition is not sufficient for having knowledge about the proposition in question. In his famous counter-examples (4) he showed that even if all three conditions are met, it can still be the case that S does not actually know that p. The reason for this lies in the third condition, as it is difficult to define 'to be justified in believing that p'. S, for instance, sees T buying a precious painting and therefore believes that T is...

Find Another Essay On Does the fact that we might be deceived by an evil demon mean that we actually do not know anything?

It can be argued that Australia is not an egalitarian society because of the fact that it does not provide a fair go to everyone. This essay talks about inequality in Australia

578 words - 2 pages It can be argued that Australia is not an egalitarian society because of the fact that it does not provide a fair go to everyone. The famous fair go idea is nothing but your average democracies responsibilities and this does not even apply to all. Examples of inequality and injustice are shown in Australia's past to non Anglo Saxon citizens, towards asylum seekers and homosexuals.The White Australian policy is a reflection of how the Australian

How Do We Achieve that Vision and OVercome the Obstacles

2856 words - 12 pages trainings administered. Researchers suggest that trainings and workshops do not have an impactful influence on the strategies used in practice by teachers unless there is ongoing support after such trainings. The best way to do so would be for the principal and potentially other administrative staff to be trained as well and to act as a support for teachers once trainings have been completed or a liaison between the teachers in need of support and the

Occasionally, we all feel lost and do not know how

1271 words - 5 pages strange is going to happen. Buddha says that we cannot be truly enlightened until we do not expect anything to happen. Figuring is a very dangerous part of life, and Buddha wanted to never figure that anything was going to happen because he knew that we are not supposed to know what is going to happen. Alice soon learned that one should never expect anything in life when she all of a sudden grew to be about nine feet tall.Now that Alice is so tall she

What do we mean by 'Radicalism', in feminism?

986 words - 4 pages were university students forced to live and work in cramped conditions? Why should the Third World be subjected to a continuous rape by the First?” These questions, in different forms, were being asked far and wide, though not by everyone. It was the failure of traditional politicians and establishment to provide an adequate response that led the people turning to radicalism.The civil rights movement was at the forefront of the radical

Othello describes himself as "one that loved not wisely, but too well." Is this how we might judge him?

696 words - 3 pages , serves to provide evidence for the fact that Othello, did not love "wisely."Othello himself is deluding himself by constructing an image for him to be remembered as, with an inescapable conflict between self-deception and self-awareness, which is evidence of his incapacity to love "well." Othello "Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men," shows love to the state, "the story of my life….the battles, sieges and fortunes that I have pass'd

How Do We Know and What We Know?

941 words - 4 pages Knowledge may be socially constructed on the basis of language used to describe it. Knowledge has purpose beyond the more transfer of information or facts. Member of an army engaged in a war usually know that their cause is 'right' and that of the enemy is 'wrong'. "there cause are differ." Thus, knowledge can be perceived as true or false because of its source. Soldiers follow their officers, children follow their parents and citizens

We Must Control Facebook amd Make Certain that Facebook Does Not Control Us

2688 words - 11 pages (information) that those interactions would provide. Sherry Turkle said that we have found a way to keep others at arm’s length, we have distanced ourselves form others, and we interact with them whenever we desire to do so. Facebook should be used as a means to an end and not as the end in itself; the end goal being socializing, talking face-to-face. If used appropriately and moderately it becomes a powerful ally, a tool, a healthy extension of the self

Organizational Culture How Do We As Leaders Change An Environment That Appears To Be Detrimental To Allowing Our Soldiers To "Be All They Can Be"?

1031 words - 5 pages Organizational CultureHow do we as leaders change an environment that appears to be detrimental to allowing our soldiers to "be all they can be"? Making policies, issuing directives and establishing doctrine attempt to attack the issue, but what we really want to do is change the way the Army thinks. We want to change the Amy's culture. Organizational researcher Edgar Schein points out that an organization's culture is a pattern of assumptions

It is often said that 'we are ourselves because of others.' Consider how this might be true of the characters in Tsitsi Dangarembga's NERVOUS CONDITIONS

2057 words - 8 pages It is often said that 'we are ourselves because of others. Consider how this might be true of the characters in NERVOUS CONDITIONS.The main protagonist in Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga is Tambudzai or Tambu. The novel Nervous Conditions is set in colonial Rhodesia in the late 1960s.Nervous Conditions tracks a journey for Tambu which takes her from her rural family to a private school. In that journey she interacts with many different

Is It True That Justice Is A Good ? And If So, Does It Mean That We Have Good Reasons To Act Justly?

2228 words - 9 pages And if so, does it mean that we have good reasons to act justly? In formulating your answer, you should consider Thrasymachus's argument in Book I, and the story of Gyges's ring in Book II.BEING JUST OR UNJUSTJustice is one of the most important concept in people's life. It has been argued by many people and philosophers but however it is not exactly clear that what justice is and what the reality of injustice demand of us. Besides, In ''the

an essay abut why in today's scociety people believe that we do need television

1315 words - 5 pages depression is more common than satisfaction, we have an intense desire to escape ourselves, and our surroundings. "... All those things man does and all those artefacts he creates for their own sake, all that diverts his mind and body from the sad business of life." (Lancet xxii) Television has proved to be the perfect creation, and an ideal tool of diversion. It can effortlessly make hours pass like minutes without notice, and can hold one's attention

Similar Essays

How Do We Know Anything? Essay

630 words - 3 pages How Do We Know Anything? When one really thinks about it, the only thing we can be sure of is the existence of our minds. Whatever one believes is all perceived through senses, emotions, and thoughts such as sight or past experiences/knowledge. In actuality, anything we perceive cannot be believed as fact. On one end of the spectrum, extremists known as solipsists would argue that nothing exists but their minds, they make up the entirety of

Do We Perceive Reality Directly Through Our Senses? Is It Possible The Reality That We Experience Is Different To The One In Which We Actually Exist?

1113 words - 4 pages undermined in our search for truth, if we do not accept that it will exist in a reality outside that which we perceive directly? These questions arise from the debate as to whether the reality we experience is absolute or is in-fact a virtual- reality rendering as described above by Deutsch. In the following paragraphs I will attempt to provide a definition of virtual reality that includes the experiences we have through our every-day lives, and

Global Economic Freedom Is An Issue That We As Conscious Business People Should Be Aware Of. It Is Not Enough Just To Know The Rules And Laws That Govern The Economic System In One's Own Country

1751 words - 7 pages Global Economic Freedom is an issue that we as conscious business people should be aware of. It is not enough just to know the rules and laws that govern the economic system in one's own country. With the continued expansion in global business it is almost certain that a business dealing with foreign countries will need to have a general idea about the foreign countries economic system and the general rules and laws that govern that economic

How Do We Know? Essay

1566 words - 6 pages The relationship between thought and consciousness has intrigued human beings from the times of the earliest civilisations and forms the foundation of self-consciousness. Socrates expressed the unsettling idea that the only thing we can certainly know is that we know nothing. This was unsettling because our relationship to the world is determined by our knowledge of it: not being able to know anything has disastrous implications for our ability