Friday, March 30, 2007

Preach it Brother Kaplan!

A be-EU-tiful quote from Mark Kaplan's 1985 piece "It's not what you know that counts". Sadly, with two "revise and resubmits" two MS reviews, comps, and my writing seminar (and squeezing in last-minute skiing (how can you resist skiing in shorts and a T-shirt?)) I can't post much more than this, though I'd be happy to defend it.

"Since we are saddled with a psychology that (rightly) does not admit special states of knowing that are, from the agent's point of view, discernibly different from states of justified belief, a contemporary call to attend to what you know-as opposed to what you merely believe with justification-would simply be confused. Given our conception of knowledge, all we can do by way of seeking knowledge is seek justified belief and hope that this justified belief will satisfy whatever other conditions a justified belief must satisfy in order to qualify as knowledge. This being so, it is not hard to see why the enterprise of specifying what those conditions are looks so purposeless. For if all we can do by way of seeking knowledge is seek justified belief, then, to secure agreement on how rational inquiry is to be conducted, we need only secure agreement on the canons of justification- it does not matter whether we agree or not on what knowledge is. It is thus a feature peculiar to our conception of knowledge that knowledge is indistinguishable from the agent's point of view from merely justified belief-which dooms the analysis of knowledge to irrevelance in helping us to understand and advance the proper conduct of inquiry" (361).

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