Saturday, September 29, 2007

"going away to college"

..there are two things that I should establish before I start here.

Firstly, I’m not the sort of person that cries at the sorts of things that most people cry at, but as I write this I am “unabashedly bawling” my eyes out, as I have been for the last twenty minutes. And secondly, due to various defense mechanisms, I rarely get attached to people; since age seven I’ve been able to like people a lot but be fine about leaving without a trace.

Yet here I am, weeping like a child over someone who I’ve only known for a year.

It is not very often that you meet a truly good, honest, beautiful person, especially one who will put up with someone like me. But that’s exactly what Sandy is. When I first met him, I didn’t even think we’d be able to be civil to eachother considering how hugely we differ in views and beliefs. He’s now one of my favorite people in the world, and I’m not even sure how it happened. I realize that I probably sound slightly ridiculous.. posting this might not be smart haha.. but I’ve never had anyone in my life before who made everything seem ok just by being there, who you knew you could rely on any time, who could make you feel like you were worthwhile and loved even when you doubted you could love yourself, who was so perfect, but somehow never made you feel lower than him even really though you were. He walked into our group of friends, and he made everything glow with his warmth and light and love.

I hope that, however far apart we are, he will always be one of my closest friends. And I am going to miss having him there every day like I miss being young enough to fall asleep in the car at night without fear of a crash.

I love you sweetheart, speak soon!


p.s. HAVE FUN! ..but don't make any cool new friends =P

p.p.s. THQUIRREL!!! :{D

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Assess the view that justified true belief is not the same as knowledge."

The view that knowledge is ‘justified true belief’ is Plato’s Tripartite Theory of Knowledge. Having accepted that knowledge is more than just true belief, Plato goes on to realise that the condition which separates the two is justification. For example, if you have the belief that ‘the cat is on the mat’, and you are justified in this belief because you can see the cat on the mat, if it turns out that your belief is true; if factors from the external world correspond with your belief; then you have knowledge. The problem with this theory, as outlined by Gettier, is that there are exceptions to this rule. To have knowledge, you must have both the necessary & the sufficient conditions fulfilled; just as if you intended to make a pie, you would require the necessary conditions (your ingredients, oven, etc.) as well as the sufficient condition of actually having the pie in front of you, made & ready to enjoy. We can easily say that the conditions which Plato includes are individually necessary, but issues arise when we attempt to show that the conditions are jointly sufficient. Gettier recognised this flaw in Plato’s theory, & illustrated it in his ‘Is Justified, True Belief Knowledge?’ paper through examples in which all the conditions are fulfilled, but the person cannot be said to have true knowledge. ‘Gettier-Type Counter Examples’ show that the condition which causes trouble is the ‘justification’ condition. For example, say a university student comes in one day looking for a professor he desperately needs to talk to regarding some work. On walking towards the professor’s office, the student passes through the staff car park, and, on the knowledge that his professor drives a purple Porsche, sees such a vehicle parked in the professor’s spot and deduces from this that the professor is in, and his trip to visit her will not be in vain. Now, let’s say that the professor is in on the day in question, but she did not drive in with her car, she skated in. And it just so happens that some other fortunate owner of a purple Porsche drove in using their Porsche, and sneakily parked in our professor’s spot. The justification which the student used to gain the knowledge of the professor being in was in fact nothing to do with whether or not she was, there was no ‘causal connection’ between the two, so does the student have knowledge? According to Plato’s tripartite theory he does, but most people would disagree because the student’s justification was open to question. Although we must take into consideration that the Gettier counter examples rely heavily on coincidence, the issue which Gettier raises is very valid, and allows us to form a further, reviewed version of the tripartite theory. In this theory, the three conditions remain the same, but with the addition of a fourth condition, or ‘extra condition’, which includes an extra justification in order to authenticate the knowledge, for example a ‘causal connection’ condition, which states that there must be a relevant connection between the piece of potential knowledge and the justification. This type of ‘extra condition’ would be suitable in our Porsche example if, for instance, the student’s justification for his professor being in was that as he could see her working through her office window as he was walking towards the building. Having this extra condition, along with the other three conditions, would mean that the student has knowledge of the fact that his professor is in, however, without this last condition, he doesn’t, even though he has a justified, true belief. Therefore, it is clear that, although it is valid, and the revised version would have been impossible without it, Plato’s idea that justified, true belief is knowledge is not always reliable.

(just thought I'd let you in on some of my Philosophy things, seeing as it's such a substantial part of my life these days).

vivamus atque amemus! (my new motto =) look it up..)