Justification and False Belief: Gettier’s First Point
Appearances notwithstanding, in this paper we do not discuss the Gettier problem. The question at issue is whether one can be justified in believing a false proposition. So, what is at stake is the relation between justified belief and falseness. In his famous paper, Gettier presupposes explicitly that one can be justified in believing a false proposition (Gettier’s “first point”). He makes essential use of this point in arguing for his well-known Gettier cases. I will prove that this point, in Gettier’s robust reading, is untenable since it leads to incompatible or contradictory consequences. It is only in a much weaker sense than we find in Gettier’s paper that it seems possible to be justified in believing a false proposition.