Student Material

Chapter 8: Truth, knowledge and belief

Students’ material: solutions

1 true; 2 false; 3 false; 4 false; 5 false; 6 true; 7 true; 8 true; 9 true; 10 true

1 implicitly speaker relative; 2 implicitly speaker relative; 3 neither; 4 implicitly speaker relative; 5 neither; 6 indexical; 7 indexical; 8 neither; 9 indexical; 10 implicitly speaker relative

1 a) no; b) no; c) no
2 a) yes; b) no; c) yes; d) yes
3 a) yes; b) yes*; c) unsure**

* It would not be wrong to answer ‘no’ here, if you think that Jock’s belief that ‘a woman will win the seat’ is different depending on which woman the proposition refers to – that is, if you think it is a belief about a different woman.
** The case is deliberately set up to make us unsure about whether or not Jock counts as knowing here. All of the elements of the tripartite account of knowledge are in place: Jock has a true belief and he is justified in holding that belief, but we may not feel that he counts as knowing that a woman will win the seat, because his true belief seems to track the wrong fact – it tracks a fact about Marjory, rather than a fact about Yvonne. Such cases are known as Gettier Cases, after the American philosopher Edmund Gettier introduced them in a 1963 article called ‘Is justified true belief knowledge’, in which he challenged the classic, tripartite account of knowledge.

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