The Perception Of Knowledge In Timothy Williamson's Knowledge And Belief

834 Words 4 Pages
In Timothy Williamson’s piece, “Knowledge and Belief”, he introduces a view called “knowledge first” which implies that belief and knowledge are two distinct entities. In other words, knowledge is simply a factive mental state that is “irreducible to belief” meaning that they cannot define one another (Williamson 124). Knowledge can include remembering, seeing, this is because he believes that belief can be either true or false, whereas knowledge can only be true. Although there is a possibility that you can possess both knowledge and belief at the same time, belief cannot imply knowledge since it has the potential of being wrong. However, knowledge can justify belief since it is ultimately based off of pure success rather than a neutral state …show more content…
Consequently, knowledge is entirely sensitive to our environment and the outside world. In order to know something we must know what is not. For example, we must know how something malfunctions in order to know the correct functioning of it. Therefore, if one did not experience it, it cannot be used as knowledge because there is no way to distinguish what is right from wrong. That is why it’s critical to have a pure mental state when determining what composes knowledge. He defends his argument by arguing against the “internalist conception of mind” (Williamson 127). Internalism states that what goes on in your head completely determines your experience as whole, without addressing any potential environmental factors. However, knowledge must be inclusive towards any external stimuli which is why Williamson rejects this theory and supports a more externalist point of view. Externalism is portrayed as more natural since it has “world-involving contents”, which makes knowledge more central to the mind since it is directly involved with our perceptions and our memories. Whereas, internalists believe that there can be duplicate instances of a situation that can account for knowledge. An example would include a brain in …show more content…
Williamson is credible when he states that our knowledge is sensitive towards our external surroundings, but he does not account for instances where knowledge becomes revised over time because of the introduction of new theories and ideas. Knowledge is subject to change due to finding other plausible thoughts for justification and exposure to new evidence. For it to be more reliable, it is open to interrogation and constant questioning which allows it to be more inclusive towards numerous perspectives. All of which characterizes skepticism. Although our real life experiences may give us a true, factive mental state in the moment, there is always a possibility that in the future new findings may cause our theory of knowledge to change over time. Having a sense of skepticism allows us to constantly question, test and have the will to revise our answers to find a difference in our current thoughts. Through the alteration of information and new discoveries, the credibility and accuracy of knowledge is enhanced. Although Williamson’s perspective is inclusive towards present day environmental stimuli, it does not account for the possibility of change in future events within our

Related Documents