Non Accidentality Theory Summary

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In this essay, I will first state the Gettier Problem for the Justified True Belief analysis of knowledge and explain Gettier’s assumptions. Next, I will explain the theory of the Non-accidentality Condition and argue in favor of this condition as a response to the Gettier problem. I will then present an objection by applying the counterexample given by Unger himself. Finally, I will defend the Non-accidentality condition from the objection. The Gettier Problem raises an issue with the theory of Justified True Belief Analysis of Knowledge. Gettier’s thesis says that the Justified True Belief theory is not sufficient for knowledge. Gettier makes two preliminary points about the justification of knowledge. The first is that it is possible for …show more content…
The Non-accidentality theory is compelling because it is able to effectively solve the classic Gettier problem of Jones and the Ford and is easily applicable to real world situations. Unger’s proposed analysis of factual knowledge is as follows: “at t, S knows that p if (at t) it is not at all accidental that S is right about it being the case that p” (158). There are exceptions to this Non-accidentality condition, however. Those exceptions are coined “irrelevant alternatives.” The first being, it is accidental that p. This would be like witnessing a plane crash. S can know that the plane crashed (p), despite the plane crash itself being an accident. The second is that coming to know p was accidental. An example of this would be S overhearing their parents say they will be grounded (p). Once S hears this, it is then not at all accidental that S is right about p. The third, and last, is it being accidental that the agent even exists. S sees a dog and knows there is a dog (p), even if it just so happened that an attempt by a hitman to kill S has just failed. S sees the dog, and because of this, it is not at all accidental that S is correct about …show more content…
As I have shown clearly in my reconstruction and summary of Unger’s argument of the Non-accidentality theory, the Gettier problem and example cases are solved through its condition that S knows that p if it is not at all accidental that S is right about its being the case that p. This analysis not only solves the Gettier problem, but is the most compelling because of its ability to be easily applied and seen in everyday, real world

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