Linda Zagzebski: A Virtue Based Definition of Knowledge Essay

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The philosopher, Linda Zagzebski, offers a virtue based definition of knowledge. She arrives at this definition by presenting numerous accounts of knowledge definitions that fail, explore why they fail, then shows how her theory satisfies knowledge criteria. Zagzebski defines knowledge by expressing the relationship between the subject and the truth proposition. A truth claim becomes knowledge when your state of belief makes cognitive contact with reality. What it is to know that you understand something is different from having a relationship with something. Propositional knowledge, that can be known or believed, is her focus due to simplicity. The criteria required for belief is to have a thought, followed by augmentation …show more content…
It shows the gap between truth and the component of knowledge. This is demonstrated with the Gettier example. Despite Howard-Synders’ attempt to correct the accidental knowledge by offering the non-accidental clause, we still arrive to a false belief being true. The definition must satisfy the condition of being achieved noncontingent on counter-examples for future Gettier defeaters, but must intrinsically be tied to the cognitive faculties used to obtain the definition. The JTB method that the Gettier case attacked should be altered to do so. For a definition of knowledge to be good, it must satisfy two conditions; it must lead to the truth, and it must do so not accidently. The definition of knowledge proposed is contingent upon who is asking. 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

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