Philosophical Studies

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 1–31 | Cite as

What Good are Counterexamples?

  • Brian Weatherson


Intuitively, Gettier cases are instances of justified true beliefsthat are not cases of knowledge. Should we therefore conclude thatknowledge is not justified true belief? Only if we have reason totrust intuition here. But intuitions are unreliable in a wide rangeof cases. And it can be argued that the Gettier intuitions have agreater resemblance to unreliable intuitions than to reliableintuitions. What’s distinctive about the faulty intuitions, Iargue, is that respecting them would mean abandoning a simple,systematic and largely successful theory in favour of a complicated,disjunctive and idiosyncratic theory. So maybe respecting theGettier intuitions was the wrong reaction, we should instead havebeen explaining why we are all so easily misled by these kinds ofcases.


True Belief Successful Theory Gettier Case Justify True Belief Wrong Reaction 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Weatherson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA (E-mail

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