The following guest post was submitted to us by DavidF:
Suppose you are sitting at home reading a book. You glance at your watch. It reads 5:23. So you go back to reading now knowing the time. But unbeknownst to you, the battery in your watch died yesterday. By sheer coincidence it stopped at 5:23. It turns out your belief that it’s 5:23 is correct, but only by accident.
This is a Gettier problem. Gettier invented problems like this one to challenge the foundational claims of epistemology, that knowledge is justified true belief. In this scenario, the watch-reader would have a true belief and think it is justified. In reality, the justification is wrong, but the belief is still true. Gettier came up with the first problems in 1963; they vex epistomologists to this day. Gettier’s paradoxes are interesting in their own right. But what happens when you turn an epistemological paradox into a moral one? And what happens when you make it a specifically Mormon one? Let’s see. (more…)