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Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

Yartsev Rustem
This article focuses on the discussion of the Gettier problem, which has remained an unresolved epistemological puzzle for more than half a century. Counterexamples proposed by E. Gettier highlight the need for auditing the classical triple definition of knowledge aimed at eliminating the ambiguity of the interpretation of the truth using this definition. It shows the fallacy of the most ways to solve the problem, which only narrow the “gap” between the “objective” truth and the “truth of the subject” in the definition, without saving it from new, more sophisticated counterexamples. The correct solution path is substantiated, which consists in freeing the classical definition from the requirement of knowledge intersubjectivity, the implementation of which is impossible in real cognitive practices. A new solution is proposed in this direction, the basis of which is the author’s concept of rational skepticism, combining the following aspects of scientific knowledge: 1) universal skepticism of the thesis “I know that I know nothing”; 2) local skepticism, limited by accepted premises and overcome in effective scientific research; 3) universal scientific method that normalizes each scientific research as a sequence of stages of posing a question, putting forward hypotheses, testing hypotheses and synthesizing answer, skeptical reflection on the answer. The proposed solution defines knowledge as a justified belief of the cognizing subject, which is not true in the intersubjective sense, but is accepted as true only by the given subject, who is also convinced of the truth of the justification and its prerequisites. Due to this, rational cognitive practices legalize the revision of knowledge by various subjects, which allows one to explain Gettier's paradoxes, having discovered under the guise of “objective” truth, refuting anyone’s justified beliefs as knowledge, nothing but the truth of the subject who revises them. The effectiveness of the proposed solution is illustrated for amateur scientific knowledge on such well-known examples as “a cow in the meadow”, “Smith getting a job”, “Deceiving a girl upon meeting”. The theoretical and practical significance of the problem is revealed.
Keywords: Gettier's problem; knowledge; truth; revision; rational skepticism; scientific method.
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