Gettier Problem, Doxa, and Episteme

The Ancient (and modern) philosophers make the distinction between beliefs that are merely opinions of individuals and beliefs that are knowledge claims. Today, when modern philosophers speak of ‘doxastic coherence’ about the Greek thinkers, they do not merely mean that there should be a coherence in beliefs but also that Ancient philosophers have not produced knowledge but merely express opinions. Some also believe that all philosophy is mere ‘doxa’ but not ‘episteme’. The problem is this: what distinguishes a ‘doxastic’ sentence from an ‘epistemic’ sentence? One possibility was to say that ‘episteme’ was ‘justified true belief’ and not just a ‘mere belief’. This collapsed following the Gettier paradox which shows that this definition of ‘knowledge’ does not distinguish between mere opinion and knowledge. Today, one uses ‘doxastic coherence’ not as a technical term but as a judgement either about knowledge or about Greek thinkers or both or to signal that one thinks everything is an opinion. If one does not signal any of these, it is jargon.

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