preview

The Theory Of The Tracking Theory

Good Essays
I will now prove that the current formulation of the tracking theory fails to track knowledge in all cases. I will do this by way of a counterexample which Nozick himself raises. Imagine a case in which a grandmother knows that her grandson is well by seeing him. Furthermore, even if the grandson was not well, other family members would still tell the grandmother that he was well to spare her from emotional distress. This clearly violates condition (3) of the tracking theory because in close possible worlds where the grandson is not well, she wouldn 't believe that he is not well. Rather, she would believe that he is well due to the testimony of family members. Nonetheless, the original proposition, “that grandmother knows that her…show more content…
While implementing restrictions of the belief forming method allows the theory to overcome cases like the one above, it does not allow the theory to successfully track knowledge in all cases. To show that this is the case, I will present several counterexamples to the revised theory. Tristan Haze formulated two new counterexamples to Nozick’s theory in 2015, I will begin by presenting one of these new counterexamples. Suppose that I have a counterfactually robust delusional belief that my neighbor is some sort of divine oracle. In actuality, my neighbor is just a reliable and truthful tax lawyer. Now suppose that my neighbor wishes to tell me some point about tax law, P. At some point, my neighbor tells me P and I believe him because I believe he is a divine oracle. Had I believed that he was a lawyer, I would not have believed P because of my inherent distrust of lawyers. Intuitively, it seems as though I do not know P because my belief rests on a delusion. Nonetheless, Nozick’s theory posits that I do know P as it meets all the conditions. Conditions (1) and (2) are naturally met as it is true and I believe it. Condition (3) seems to hold because if P were not true, my truthful and reliable neighbor would not have told me P, thus I wouldn 't believe it. Lastly, condition (4) holds; if it were true, I would believe P because my neighbor would have told me
Get Access