The Characteristics Of Zagzebski's Definition Of Knowledge

Register to read the introduction… This prioritizes the essential characteristics offered in the definition. The presupposition is that the definition of must be true for it to be good. It follows that the property of a belief and/or the justification of it cannot make it true. Properties are determinants of the truth value. We therefore require an intrinsic connection to truth. If we accept that most intellectual virtues have truth as their ultimate end; then it follows that our disposition in arriving at true knowledge is truth-driven. Zagzebski defines knowledge as, “cognitive contact with reality arising out of acts of intellectual virtue.” Arriving to moral and intellectual virtues is based on circumstance and motivation. Virtues are properties that add to the characteristics of a person. Virtuous motivation that results with an act can result from epistemic motives. The motivational component of the act must entail the virtue for it to be virtuous. Intellectual and moral virtues are defined within ethics. Ethics is the background in which Zagzebski’s definition is based. Zagzebski’s definition satisfies the desiderata within the scope of knowledge, which ranges from low to high-end epistemology. The Gettier problem is satisfied because the arrival to the truth is not accidental. The method of arriving to the truth is virtue based which eliminates luck. By definition, an act of intellectual virtue entails truth. She later offers a critique of her definition being too weak because it does not guarantee the repetition of the virtuous act by a non-virtuous agent. It could also be too weak because it lacks sufficient requirements for the motivational aspect of the agent. There are situations where the definition could be too strong, given the agents motivation could be based on something other than the virtue. Zagzebski’s response is that the motivation does not affect the truth. These differences are based upon the …show more content…
This connection is rather implied by her statement on how virtues entail truth. When we look at the parallel between justification and virtue then we understand that justification for an act can be flawed by the Gettier case; however a virtue-based act cannot because of the assumption that the act itself contains truth. The problem is she does not specify how here definition satisfies this, and if it does then it seems to be ad hoc. Considering that she even states that, “her definition is not guaranteed to fail,” we must understand that saying a definition is not guaranteed to fail is different from saying it satisfies the criteria for always working. Given a situation where the agent utilizes double luck to acquire knowledge when a virtue-based act replaces justification makes us dissect the aspect of arrival. If the agent arrived to the truth and the motivation for doing so was not virtuous, then the same double-luck example could occur, the truth could be arrived and the knowledge acquired could not be good true knowledge. This is because the component of arrival does not entail the virtue. Therefore, there is no truth involved, but just luck. In this account her definition seems incomplete. If the truth of knowledge is virtue-based and all people are not virtuous agents, then how to we account for the knowledge of the

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