Footnote to “Is Knowledge True Justified Belief?”

[1] My ulterior purpose here is to defend traditional philosophical theorizing from misguided objections stemming from the impossibility of completing a classic conceptual analysis. Gettier didn’t show that the whole project of a priori analysis (we can still use that word) is pointless; rather, he showed (arguably) that a certain conception of analysis can’t be vindicated for the case of knowledge. This should not be interpreted as entailing pessimism about traditional a priori philosophy; it should be interpreted as showing that such philosophy is not committed to a certain very strong conception of what it must look like. We could say that “weak analysis” does not require “strong analysis”, though in another sense the weak kind can be perfectly strong. It seems to me that TJB is an excellent analysis of knowledge, requiring no further supplementation (or subtraction). I leave open the question of whether it is possible to give a strong analysis of the intuitive concept of knowledge (in fact I think it is by invoking the idea of non-accidental true belief: see my Truth By Analysis, chapter 3).

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