The Meaning of Knowledge: Crash Course Philosophy #7


On today’s episode…CATS. Also: Hank talks about some philosophy stuff, like a few of the key concepts philosophers use when discussing belief and knowledge, such as what defines an assertion and a proposition, and that belief is a kind of propositional attitude. Hank also discusses forms of justification and the traditional definition of knowledge, which Edmund Gettier just totally messed with, using his Gettier cases.

Many thanks to Index the cat for his patience in the filming of this episode.

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  1. Is this right???
    1.) Assertion = A specific type of statement, one that you declare has a truth value.
    2.) Truth Value = A classification of a statement being one of these 3 things… True, False, Indeterminable.
    Example: Plato is a man. You are making a statement (obviously) that declares a truth value of whether or not the subject (Plato) is a man.

    3.) Proposition = My understanding is that a proposition in the traditional sense is… A specific type of statement, one that you PROPOSE has a truth value. The difference being here that you don't necessarily believe it yourself but are being open and unbiased about what the truth value of a statement could potentially be. However, this video says that a proposition is the underlying content of what your assertion is. That makes me think it is like the subject of your assertion. Which is kind of confusing… Is a proposition in philosophy terminology different than in English terminology?
    Example: You meet a man that you suspect could secretly be an alien. You propose to a friend that this man Socrates could be an alien. You are making a specific type of statement that has a truth value that Socrates could be an alien.
    Assertion= Is
    Proposition= Could be???

  2. I suspect this is due to the abridged nature of this show, but I come out of this episode thoroughly unpersuaded by the Gettier cases presented here as an argument against justified true belief as a definition of knowledge. After all, the core of these cases is that the justification is valid but unsound due to false premises. Recursively requiring knowledge of the premises disqualifies these examples. However, we don't have a clear way of acquiring any knowledge at all now. I don't personally accept either definition of knowledge, but it was kind of surprising not to see the obvious objection addressed in this video. Perhaps it will be in the next?

  3. Congrats. Easy to grasp content, but not watered down as majority of videos does with philosophy, and a good pace.

  4. It childishly simple; to "know" means to directly immediately personally apprehend (as directly immediately personally as pain) – anything short of that is not and cannot be knowledge.

    Unfortunately due to the influence of the disease religion modernism and various other harmful influences men (human beings are no longer capable of understanding the difference between knowledge and information such that if they have some information about something they think they know about it is obviously nonsense – or simply to misunderstand the meaning of the word to "know" or to understand what it means to "know". There are a number of remarkably obvious examples of the distinction between knowing and having information about. There is a childlike naivete supposition or belief that a man can know something by being t-o-l-d. something self-evidently absurd.

    It is also probably correct to say that a great many men (human beings do not understand the difference between knowledge and belief which is a psychological phenomenon which occurs as a general rule in default of knowledge

  5. This is the second time Hank Green used an actual cat as an example. Last time he used a cat was in Biology, Aw So Cute! I want to pet the cat. So cuddly and fluffy. meow

  6. What made you believe that the cat might pee on your desk? Because cats don't typically do that. Unless it was an educated guess because, say you knew the cat was incontinent? And if so, did it end up peeing on the carpet because it didn't get to spend enough time on the desk? To summarize, belief is the way my team and I go about answering the daily quiz. Our answers are combination of educated guesses, "pick a number between 1 and 4" and luck. Not that it stops some of us occasionally going "I knew it!" Did you? Did you really, Paul?

  7. Duh, if your justification is a false justification, then it is not a justification. This is a simple answer, silly philosophers.


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