Logos & Episteme

Volume 2, Issue 1, 2011

Michael Jenkins
Pages 51-66

The Origin of the ‘Gettier’ Problem: Socrates and The Theaetetus

This article discusses the origin of what has become known as the Gettier Problem. It examines the claim put forward, though not expounded or defended, by J. Angelo Corlett in Analyzing Social Knowledge that the basis for Edmund Gettier’s article “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” was originally argued for in Plato’s Theaetetus. In his article, Gettier argues that the Justified True Belief condition is not sufficient for knowledge. However, Corlett questions the originality of this argument. This article examines Gettier’s article followed by the Theatetus. After which, the two articles are compared, and the claim is shown to be correct in accusing Gettier of failing consider the full work of the Theaetetus. Socrates also argued that the Justified True Belief condition was not sufficient for knowledge. However, this article concludes by arguing that Socrates went further with his examination than Gettier did. Socrates not only put forward the claim that this condition was insufficient for knowledge, he also tried to supply answers to the problem.