Brian Weatherson has a new argument on his blog for why gettier cases are cases of knowledge. His first argument was something like this: an analysis of knowledge ought to be relatively simple, and gettier cases, if they are not cases of knowledge, conflict with this point. He now has given up on this argument, and uses three others in its place. The three arguments rely on the following claims:
1. Knowledge is a norm of belief.
2. Knowledge is central to practical reasoning, in the sense that if you reason using something you don’t know to be true, you’ve done something wrong.
3. Knowledge is the norm of assertion.
I won’t comment on these three premises further; I’ve already said a number of things here about each of them. But in a recent post, Weatherson adds another argument.
It begins by assuming that one can be happy about the truth in question in a gettier situation: you can be happy, for example, that someone in the room has ten coins in their pocket. The argument then relies on the following claim: if I’m happy that p, then I know that p. The plausibility of the argument from this claim is Williamson’s idea that knowledge is the most general factive mental state, so that if you are in some factive mental state, it follows that you know. Since being happy that p is a factive mental state, one can infer that knowledge that p underlies this state.
I feel outSmarted: isn’t this just embracing an obvious counterexample to the claim that knowledge is the most general factive mental state? It reminds me of reading Nozick when he claims that knowledge is not closed under conjunction elimination.