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Episteme Contextualism: A Solution to the Gettier Problem
  • Khanh Trinh
Khanh Trinh
De La Salle

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What is knowledge? What makes knowledge possible? What if we are wrong about everything we think we know? Can we be sure that the things we believe are true? Philosophers have spent years trying to answer these questions. One answer is that Plato’s preoccupation is the traditional epistemology with the search for the necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge. The assumption is that traditional epistemologists see knowledge as justified true belief (J.T.B). In other words, once these conditions or criteria (i.e., truth, belief, and justification) are met, knowledge is gained or attained. However, these conditions have a severe problem, which Edmund Gettier pointed out and challenged in his three-page articles about the traditional analysis of knowledge in 1963. These problems led some epistemologists to look for an alternative view that could solve these issues. One of the solutions that many philosophers propose is contextualism as an alternative view to solve the problems in Gettier’s cases. In this paper, I will attempt to investigate whether contextualism can offer a satisfactory explanation of Gettier’s scenarios. This argument will focus on David Lewis’s contextualism. To avoid Gettier problem, Lewis chooses a nuanced infallibilism. The author provides these guidelines to achieve this goal. In conclusion, I assert that Lewis’s contextualism can partially solve the Gettier dilemma by pointing out some flaws in his account.