ESSAY PART 2 – THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE

For instance, if I may think that John owns a Subaru because I see him driving it yet I don’t exactly know if he owns the Subaru that he drives or a different Subaru. Similarly, unknown to me, I may assume Kelvin to be owning a Subaru although I lack any reason to think that way because I have never seen him driving one or I have on several occasions seen him taking a train for most of the commutations. Supposing p is the statement, “Either John or Kelvin owns a Subaru.” I believe p is true. I have tangible reasons to believe p, and I have access to the grounds. Therefore, according to the simple theory, I know… However, I may want to say I know p because coincidence forms the basis for my belief.

Nozick’s explanations tend to avoid Gettier problems despite the fact that the need to solve those problems was the motivation behind the theory (Hetherington, 2010). Conditions (1) and (2) of the argument are true belief supplements with other two subjective conditions (3) and (4). We can combine the simple theory with that of Nozick to meet Kripke’s objection and the problems from Gettier. Seeking conclusive reasons can result to a skeptic situation. Consequently, we may be left without knowing anything. This theory, however, may also not work. It only succeeds in evading Gettier problems but fail to satisfy Kripke. Consider the example below:

George is waiting outside Mr. Humphrey’s office to talk to Mr. Humphrey. He sees Mr. Humphrey’s identical twin enter the room and he mistakes him for Mr. Humphrey because he is not aware that Mr. Humphrey has a twin brother. Mr. Humphrey’s secretary informs George that Mr. Humphrey is in the office-not after seeing his twin brother enter the office but because she is sure Mr. Humphrey is in the office and she has the tendency of reporting correctly whatever she knows about the whereabouts of Mr. Humphrey. Suppose George has fallen in love with Mr. Humphrey’s secretary as he is seeing her for the first time, he may probably believe whatever she tells him. He also doesn’t know that she happens to be highly trustworthy when reporting the whereabouts of Mr. Humphrey.

In the above example, conditions (1) and (4) are satisfied: Mr. Humphrey is in the office, and George believes Mr. Humphrey is the office. George has genuine reasons to believe the presence of Mr. Humphrey in his office; he saw someone identical to Mr. Humphrey enter Mr. Humphrey’s office. If Mr. Humphrey weren’t in the office, his secretary would definitely tell George that Mr. Humphrey wasn’t in the office, and George would believe Mr. Humphrey wasn’t in his office. If Mr. Humphrey wasn’t in the office in other comparable circumstances, then George would again feel Mr. Humphrey was in the office. Although this theory is an improvement on that of Nozick as it needs a knowledge bearer to have access to genuine reasons to believe in particular circumstances. The theory still gives an allowance for the reasons to be wrong ones. In George’s case, his reason is that he saw Mr. Humphrey enters the office-it was a wrong idea.

Conclusion

The paper has discussed Nozick’s theory of knowledge and the various assumptions on its view of knowledge. From the theory, different conditions are drawn to determine the truthfulness or the wrongness of a situation. Numerous illustrations have been used to elaborate the arguments of the theory from skeptic viewpoints. The essay has also proceeded to look at some of the objections to Nozick’s response to sceptical arguments. DeRose’s was the first objection, and it argues that rejecting the principle of closure is a form of counter-intuition. According to this objection, it seems fair to adopt contextualism when responding to scepticism. DeRose might be right that contextualism offers a plausible response, although contextualism has not has had an in-depth consideration in this paper. The second objection is more general than being specific as put forward by Kripke. Kripke’s objections have a force, and it is not easy to identify the solution that it suggests. The paper has discussed how two immature theories failed in providing reasonable answers. It is feasible to say that the types of contextualism can offer much better solutions although a deeper investigation into the matter is of great importance to ascertain the feasibility.