Revision for Epistemology NAB

Revision for Epistemology NAB
Exemplar Answer
1a) The Tripartite theory of knowledge is the theory that knowledge can be
understood as comprising three different elements: justification, truth and
belief. You can count something as knowledge if it fulfils all three elements.
You must be able to justify your knowledge claim for example with empiricism
or rationalism or by authority. Secondly, you must believe the claim to be true
and finally the claim has to be true.
1b) Two ways in which the Tripartite theory may be criticised are firstly the
problems associated with sense perception. When attempting to justify
knowledge one might use empiricism as a means to justify our claim. There
are however, problems with empiricism in that our senses may, in fact be
fooled. We might experience optical illusions and believe something to be the
case which is not in fact true. We may also suffer from hallucinations and
again appearance might be in fact be very different from reality. Another
criticism levelled at the Tripartite theory is that given by Gettier. He pointed
out that it might be possible for someone to arrive at knowledge by accident.
One could accidently believe something to be true which is in fact true but
only think this by an accident.
1c) The infinite regress argument says that knowledge can never be justified
and that each justification for a knowledge claim rests on another claim which
itself needs to be justified. Rationalism attempts to provide a foundation for
justification by claiming that knowledge can be located in the mind.
Rationalism points out that empiricism, the use of sense perception can be
unreliable and reason is the most reliable source of knowledge about the
world. Within our mind are innate ideas which can be understood without
reference to the senses. These innate ideas and a priori truths are
understood using reason and can provide a foundation for knowledge.
2a) The Trademark argument is used by Descartes as a means to
demonstrate the existence of God. Descartes argues that we have