29 November 2021

Do you know what time it is ?

Claire asks Tiffany "Do know what time it is?"
Tiffany looks around at an old-fashioned clock sitting on the sideboard which shows that the time is 6.56. 

"Yeah, it is four minutes to 7," says Tiffany.
Following Tiffany's glance, Claire says, "Oh, that clock doesn't work. It always shows 6.56. So you are mistaken."
Tiffany looks at her mobile phone and says "Oh yeah, well my mobile phone says it is in fact 6.56 at the moment. So I was not mistaken, and I did know the time."
(Adapted from Bertrand Russell, Human Knowledge: Its scope and limits, 1948)

Does Tiffany have a legitimate claim to "knowing" the time after viewing the stopped clock? 
If the time was 6.56, and Tiffany believed it was, and justified that belief by reading the clock, does she have knowledge? 
The notion that knowledge is 'justified, true belief' suggests that she does. Perhaps we ought to change the definition of knowledge? How would you change the definition?


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