Amanda was wrong by the Graysons. She switched identity with someone named Emily, so she could come back and plot revenge against the wealthy Graysons. Amanda now goes by the name Emily, and she has become independently wealthy. Amanda bought the beach house next to the Graysons to plot revenge.


After several months the Grayson son Daniel fell in love with Amanda, and they get engaged. Meanwhile, Emily has come to town raising hell (posed as Amanda), and the Graysons are worried that she is out for revenge. At the engagement party, Daniel is shot. The Graysons believe (reasonably) that Amanda might have something to do with it (or was at least on the beach) the night Daniel was shot. They were even right about the person they thought was Amanda. She was on the beach. But they were also accidentally right about Amanda Clarke being on the beach that night, because she was posing as Emily.

So this looks like a case of justified true belief that Amanda was on the beach, but it’s not knowledge. Now I have to think about whether this has any interesting consequences for candidate attempts to solve the Gettier problem. I have some thoughts but I’m going to sit on them for a minute and think about this more.

One Response to “Gettier Case in Revenge”

  1. Bruce Russell

    I thought I’d tell you about an actual case that one of my students gave me. She (Anna) and her boyfriend got a tattoo, and she knew that her mother would not approve. So she threw away the receipt for the tattoo. However, her boyfriend put his receipt in the glove compartment of Anna’s car. It had a price but no name on it. Her mother found the receipt and accused Anna of getting a tattoo! So her mother had a justified true belief but not knowledge.
    Gettier was at Wayne State when he wrote his famous essay in 1963. There are pictures of him and the other faculty members on the wall in our commons room. I joke that the person you think is Gettier is not really Gettier but an actor made up to look like him. He is in the picture, but is made up to look like Keith Lehrer (who was also at Wayne back then). So looking at the picture you’d have a justified true belief that Gettier is in it but not knowledge! 🙂



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