Theory of Knowledge

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Theoryof Knowledge

Epistemologyis the study of . However, the definition ofknowledge has never been found. Philosophers thus apply the theoryfor analyses as a working model and as a justified true belief.However, the tripartite theory has been refuted through Gettiercases. These cases show that some justified views do not constituteknowledge. Propositions have been made through competitive analyses,but no consensus has been reached to establish what knowledge is.Much of our knowledge comes from perception. Our experience about theworld is determined in part by us and in part by the world itself.Epistemology is based on how a society can understand the worldthrough perception and how the comprehension can have an impact onthe inhabitants and the surroundings (Smiragliaand van den Heuvel 360).


Thepaper will entail on analysis of the plausibility of the Theory ofKnowledge Thought experimental Gettier cases and how they contributeto the rejection of the theory.


Asmuch as many postulations are seeking to define knowledge, there is atradition that holds about three conditions that have to be satisfiedor fulfilled for someone to possess knowledge. The tripartite theoryof knowledge is used to analyze the concept of knowledge as justifiedperception. According to the hypothesis, if a person believessomething, with justification, and it’s correct, then they know itotherwise they do not (Smiragliaand van den Heuvel 364).

Thethree conditions are as follows:


Thefirst aspect stipulated according to tripartite theory. Unlesssomeone believes a thing, they cannot know it. Even where there issome truth about something, and there are excellent reasons towarrant one to believe it is logical, one cannot be able to know itif they do not believe it (Smiragliaand van den Heuvel, 367).


Thetripartite theory profiles truth as the second condition. Accordingto the theory, if someone knows a thing, then it must be accurate. Nomatter how sincere and well justified a particular is, if there isno truth in it, then it cannot constitute knowledge. In a case wherea long-held claim is found out to be false, then a concession will bethat the fact was not known. What is false can hardly be known.Knowledge must encompass of what is factual (Smiragliaand van den Heuvel, 368).


Justificationis the last condition of the tripartite theory. To know a thing, itisn’t adequate to just correctly believe it to be factual. One mustconsider a favorable reason for doing so Knowledge cannot be based onlucky guesses. We can only know what we have a good reason tobelieve.

Intuitively,the tripartite theory of knowledge is very plausible. Theapprobation, however, is threatened and weakened by Edmond Gettier’spostulations and critiques developed in the 60s. Thought experimentsreferred to as Gettier cases have led to the theory being ruled outor rejected. Nevertheless, the hypothesis is widely utilized byphilosophers as a working model (Smiragliaand van den Heuvel 370).

TheGettier Cases

TheGettier cases form a basis in which the three conditions under theknowledge theory are satisfied, that is, a person has a belief thatis justified, but there is no knowledge at all. Such cases exist todemonstrate that there is a little more to knowledge than what may betermed as the justified true belief and thus the tripartite theory isfalse.

Exampleof a Gettier Case

TheGoat in the Field

Aperson is standing outside on a field. He sees, in the distance andwithin the field what exactly looks like a goat. The instantconclusive judgment that occurs to him is that there is a goat in thefield. He is in fact right because there is a goat in the middle ofthe field, behind the hill. The person cannot see the goat, but hehas no direct evidence or proof of its existence. Moreover, what theperson is seeing is a dog, disguised as a goat. Therefore, the personhas a well justified true belief that there is the existence of agoat in the field. Then, that is not knowledge.

Accordingto the case above, it is possible to have justified claim, withoutactually having the knowledge. The tripartite theory holds thatknowledge and justified perception are precisely the same thing. Thepostulation is entirely false. There lacks sufficiency from theconditions as countered by the Gettier cases.


Theidea of knowledge is somehow an interesting discipline. Epistemologyhas shown that most of the knowledge we possess is based on ourperception and view of the world. Despite the lack of a concession ofwhat knowledge is, the tripartite theory of knowledge has been usedto expound about the existence. Questions still arise of whatknowledge is and whether we know anything at all. Based on the threeconditions (belief, truth, and justification) it provides a modelthat philosophers apply in epistemology. However, Gettier cases andthe postulations have been used to critique the theory`s plausibilityand eventually contributed to the theory being refuted. The justifiedview and general understanding are precisely not the same since onecan have a justified belief without necessarily having knowledge. TheTripartite is, therefore, false.


Smiraglia,Richard P. and Charles van den Heuvel. &quotClassifications AndConcepts: Towards An Elementary Theory Of KnowledgeInteraction&quot.&nbspJournalof Documentation&nbsp69.3(2013): 360-383. Web. 12 Oct. 2016.

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