screen-shot-2011-12-11-at-9-03-25-pmHey guys it’s Saturday again so it’s time for another Philosophical Story Challenge. This week I want us to take a step away from the ethical challenges we’ve been dealing with and instead focus on Epistemology, or the theory of knowledge. Specifically I want us to focus on the Gettier problem. The Gettier problem comes from the Philosopher Edmund Gettier who published a short article called “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” Prior to the publishing of this work it was commonly accepted that if you had a justified true belief you had knowledge. What this means is that you hold a belief to be true which actually is true and you are justified in believing it to be true then you have real knowledge; Gettier, however, disagreed with this and posed two scenarios which challenged this idea. The easiest way to explain the problem involves a man with a broken watch. His watch stopped working at a certain time without his knowledge and 12 hours later exactly he decides to casually glance at his watch for the time. He believes his watch to still be working so he believes the time that it tells and he is justified in this belief, and it happens to be true–is this real knowledge? Gettier didn’t think so and most philosopher’s today don’t think so either. Your challenge today is to write your own short story that portrays the Gettier problem of a justified true belief being true by chance alone (making it really an unjustified true belief that is only thought to be a justified true belief). As always please try to keep your stories under 1,000 words if you want to post them on here; otherwise feel free to write more!

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