Is knowledge also a belief?

Also from the SEP on knowledge:

1.2 The Belief Condition
The belief condition is slightly more controversial than the truth condition, although it is certainly accepted by orthodoxy.

Although initially it might seem obvious that knowing that p requires believing that p, some philosophers have argued that knowledge without belief is indeed possible. Suppose Walter comes home after work to find out that his house has burned down. He says: “I don’t believe it.” Critics of the belief condition might argue that Walter knows that his house has burned down (he sees that it has), but, as his words indicate, he does not believe that his house has burned down. Therefore, there is knowledge without belief. The dominant view, however, is that Walter’s avowal of disbelief is not, strictly speaking, literally true; what Walter wishes to convey by saying “I don’t believe it” is not that he really does not believe that his house has burned down, but rather that he finds it hard to come to terms with what he sees. If he didn’t genuinely believe it, some of his subsequent actions, such as phoning his insurance company, would be rather mysterious.

A more serious counterexample has been suggested by Colin Radford (1966). Suppose Albert is quizzed on English history. One of the questions is: “When did Queen Elizabeth die?” Albert doesn’t think he knows, but answers the question correctly. Moreover, he gives correct answers to many other questions to which he didn’t think he knew the answer. Let us focus on Albert’s answer to the question about Elizabeth:

Elizabeth died in 1603.
Radford makes the following two claims about this example:

Albert does not believe (E).
Albert knows (E).
Radford’s intuitions about cases like these do not seem to be idiosyncratic; Myers-Schutz & Schwitzgebel (forthcoming) find evidence suggesting that many ordinary speakers tend to react in the way Radford suggests.[3]

In support of (a), Radford emphasizes that Albert thinks he doesn’t know the answer to the question. He doesn’t trust his answer because he takes it to be a mere guess. In support of (b), Radford argues that Albert’s answer is not at all just a lucky guess. The fact that he answers most of the questions correctly indicates that he has actually learned, and never forgotten, the basic facts of English history.

Since he takes (a) and (b) to be true, Radford would argue that knowledge without belief is indeed possible. But either of (a) and (b) might be resisted. Those who think that belief is necessary for knowledge could deny (a), arguing that Albert does have a tacit belief that (E), even though it’s not one that he thinks amounts to knowledge. Alternatively, one might deny (b), arguing that Albert’s correct answer is not an expression of knowledge, perhaps because, given his subjective position, he does not have justification for believing (E). This reply anticipates the next section, involving the necessity of the justification condition.

At least the SEP grants room for change non this issue, unlike you Uccisore

But no, orthodoxy says so :slight_smile:

WWIII, please respond to my previous post.

Also, could we not say knowledge is filled with its own ego, biases, prejudices, and assumptions?

This requires a lot of belief and believing even without a hundred percent certainty or clarification.

So that’s what you chose to post instead of interacting with my argument? The argument you specifically asked me to provide you, I must add.


Did you notice that the SEP gives refutations of both alleged instances of knowledge without belief, or did you just paste that up there without actually reading the whole thing, in a similar manner to how you treat my posts?

Are you aware that posting examples from the SEP of epistemologists questioning the ‘belief’ criteria for knowledge refutes your oft made assertion that the belief criteria for knowledge hasn’t been sufficiently examined by epistemologists? Why would you refute your own position like that?

Oh, yes, I did (with other words, of course), but you did not understand it.

Do you understand your own words?


Are you sure that you agree?

That is - again - not true. I gave you an advice (“you should not always confuse all living beings with human beings!”) but did not say that you stated this or that. Giving an advice does not necessarily mean that a statement was given in a text (in your case: your text in your posts) but that in could be in your thoughts. Note the subjunctive - “should”, “could” - in my sentences.

I think that you are confusing all living beings with human beings in your thoughts, not necessarily in your posted statements. Do you know the distinction (difference) of your thoughts and your posted statements? I am trying to understand why you are writing so much nonsense. Now my conlusion is: Your statements or your thoughts or both your statements and your thoughts are false - but never none of them.

The reverse is true. “Being informed” can but does not necessarily mean “understanding”. “Being informed” and “being in form” (it is like: “to live”) belong together, and this has primarily nothing to do with your interpretation of “understanding”. A cell does not need to humanly understand its information.

Remember: Your thread is about belief and knowledge. A cell does not have a belief and a knowledge in the sense that you mean. The “belief” and the “knowledge” of a cell are the same: information (coming in form, being in formed, being in form) in a primitive sense which means without understanding and all other mental processes an anthropocentric human being always hastily interprets into all living beings.

Being informed is not necessarily the same as understanding although it can be. What it does is provide one with information
But it says absolutely nothing about whether or not that information can be correctly processed or interpreted. If it can then
it is understood and if it cannot then it is not understood. Now to understand something is to know it. Since as I have already
said all knowledge is information but not all information is knowledge. And so knowledge is therefore a subset of information … n#p1939134

One of the main reasons why knowledge is best understood as a type of belief, in addition to what I’ve already given, is that knowledge is part of a continuum: there’s guesses and horrible reasoning and blind hopes on one end, and absolutely certain self-evident truths on the other, but there’s also every possible grade in between. Knowledge and believe are the same type of thing because there is clearly no hard break where one stops and the other begins. Whether or not information can be correctly processed is just one of those considerations- some knowledge doesn’t require much if any interpretation, some knowledge is an interpretation of some basic fact.

Knowledge is certainly part of a continuum with regard to science. This is because science is primarily an inductive discipline so deals
with what is probably true rather than what is definitely true. So it is an eternally self correcting system. For this is how it progresses

Yep. Science is one of those fields that if you plot it on the continuum of all of human knowledge, it would be somewhere in the middle- scientific claims are often very-well justified beliefs that don’t meet classic definitions for knowledge, since as you say they deal with probabilities. Fracturing belief and knowledge into two completely different things would leave us with no place to attribute scientific theories.

I agree with your last post - in that all knowledge is biased… That being that all knowledge is based on our subjective experience. That is why it shouldn’t have a truth essence as a requirement. It is very often truth I would say, but to consider knowledge truth gives us problems that need reconciliation. We can retroactively say, well our knowledge turned out to be a belief after all… because it was wrong. But what does that say about knowledge to begin with? The justification’s for why knowledge is knowledge are reasonable, but the end result of expecting truth may not be, that is my contention.

I think knowledge does not require believing it requires understanding. But understanding doesn’t mean truth. I would think that is a more coherent foundation for how things play out in our minds when compared to reality.

If we can just say knowledge is justified belief, there is of course a case for that. I do think that why this should be discarded as I have mentioned quite a bit in previous posts is that if belief is defined as accepting something true, and justified acceptance of something being true is knowledge, then we miss out on the understanding aspect of it, in that it should be knowledge is understanding something is true, not merely accepting that it is true. That has been my point in this discussion, in that acceptance of something is rather rudimentary and doesn’t imply understanding. Which is why I say the epistemological foundation of general consensus is lacking when it proclaims knowledge a type of belief.

As such, there is some argument for philosophical epistemology on the matter. Currently it is deemed that truth is in more contention on the aspect of knowledge than belief, and belief not being a part of knowledge being more controversial as well, and I think we can lay out of framework that includes both. Uccisore might say, “But epistemologists defined it that way, its fact!” And I shall merely laugh inside. :slight_smile:

I agree with everything except knowledge is a subset of information becasue information is very broad and goes beyond the mind. Knowledge does not go beyond the mind. We are talking about how the mind thinks with knowledge, but information exists whether our mind exists or not.

Yes this is a good question. Where is that line. How do you distinguish that. There is belief, possible belief? Knowledge, possible knowledge in people. People seem to be very confused as to what they think they know, what they think they believe, and what they actually know and what they actually believe.

I blame poor philosophy on the matter to some extent and an ivory tower dilemma of sorts. People aren’t taught a very coherent understanding of knowledge, in so much as facts are well “believed”, in orthodoxy of epistemological philospohy, yet knowledge is also true in orthodoxy of epistemological philosophy if one considers that knowledge is acceptance of something being true, as is a belief. They know there’s a difference between knowledge and belief and epistemology muddles it through a confusing fashion that doesn’t really get to the core of how we think in ways I already mentioned, in that knowledge is not acceptance but understanding of something as true. So things get muddied between belief and knowledge. Does it mean anything really at times, when we know beliefs are very different from knowledge, but then anyone can just say all knowledge and science is just belief and argue down to some justification of why knowledge isn’t really justified.

But I contest that knowledge is known and understood because of the attitude of knowledge being very different from the attitude of belief. Knowledge isn’t acceptance of something as true, it is much more than that. So Plato has a reasonable sentiment that knowledge is justified true belief and we have come a long way since then and realize that is not true, that justification is very much so problematic in epistemology as a whole and that a concise clear philosophy of epistemology is lacking in so much as elitism from Plato’s term has built upon itself in a muddy way for the masses and its also a

Uccisore will say its not muddy because he understands it perfectly, and I would agree he does, but here we are with the masses of people saying knowledge is belief or that belief is knowledge and truth is neither, or truth is knowledge or that belief. All of this disagreement I suspect has its roots in inept academic elitism that compounds confusion through lack of clarity and brevity, so the people are not guided on how to think properly because it can’t be really explained in a coherent manner to many people. Something like Plato could easily relate to the masses. But academic epistemology has lacked in defining anything as coherent as that in so much as the broader stroke. It also doesn’t focus on the more important aspects of how knowledge isn’t so much of a belief as has been conveyed, or a belief at all- it instead focuses on how knowledge is a belief and builds off that, because, well, Plato. So how epistemology defines knowledge differs from how I presented the definition of knowledge. People see things as knowledge, then get disproven, people see things as belief and think its knowledge. Who are they to turn to, people that think knowledge is a belief for understanding? There is a better way and a more intelligent way and I contest it can come down to providing a different epistemological framework that discards JBT, discards truth as a requirement for knowledge and puts belief in some reptilian inept form of stupidity that it should be. Also lay it out in a very clear manner that doesn’t consist of overlapping of knowledge, belief, truth and opinion as it currently is in the field, all finding ways to find similarities just because they have already all been deemed similar with JTB, which doesn’t do us any good in parsing our own thoughts I contest.

I see it as simply easiest to think that:

Belief is not knowledge, anything can believe anything they want without any justification whatsoever. Anything can be believed to be true.

Knowledge is not belief, proper justification, reason and logic is required, it a state of understanding, comprehension. Most of it is likely truth, however our subjective experience cannot allow us to say all knowledge is truth.

Doubt is not a belief, but a state of uncertainty, neither belief or knowledge.

Opinion is not a belief, but an extension of our values.

Clear, concise, not muddied.

What science claims are that? Evolution maybe? Relativity? Just curious

Its best understood that knowledge is not truth but understanding, and knowledge is not belief. Then a logical understanding and categorization of belief, knowledge and truth can occur.

You say there is no hard break where one stops and one begins, because academic philosophers have been too busy focusing on JTB, thinking inside Plato’s box.

Categorizing the way the mind thinks is a matter of philosophy, not hard science and I provided reason why the categorization is flawed. How understanding things is not accepting things as true, and that is the crux. How knowledge may never be absolute to always show truth, so therefore losing the requirement of it being truth ought to be dropped.

It seems that you do not want any answer to your question of your thread: “Is knowledge also a belief?” It seems that you want a teatime and an answer to the question: “Do you like another cup of tea?”

Address my argument against your position.

Perhaps you didn’t understand what I wrote, I wrote the basic gist of it, more needs to be said at a later time, as I stated elsewhere in this thread.