Knowledge and justification

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What is propositional knowledge?

Knowledge can be split into various sections, depending on what they are trying to achieve, most modern philosophers have split knowledge into three types:

  • Knowledge by acquaintance -  this is the knowledge of something 
  • Knowledge by ability - This is the knowledge of how to do something
  • Propositional knowledge - This is knowledge that something is factually sound.


Plato wrote about the distinction between knowledge and belief, the most in depth examination was found in his dialogue Theaetetus. Plato thought that knowledge was a true belief with an account

The modern formulation of this is known as the tripartite definition and the formula is written like this:

  • S believes that P
  • P is true
  • S's belief that p, is justified

These three conditions are said to to constitute the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge. Therefore, the tripartite definition is composed of three conditions the justification condition, truth condition and the belief condition. However, using JTB as the conditions for knowledge propose problems, one being that unjustified true beliefs count


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