A proper analysis of knowledge should at least be a necessary truth.
Consequently, hypothetical thought experiments provide appropriate test cases for various analyses, as we shall see below.
Much of the twentieth-century literature on the analysis of knowledge took the JTB analysis as its starting-point.
It became something of a convenient fiction to suppose that this analysis was widely accepted throughout much of the history of philosophy.
A proposed analysis consists of a statement of the following form: S knows that p if and only if j, where j indicates the analysans: paradigmatically, a list of conditions that are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for S to have knowledge that p.
It is not enough merely to pick out the actual extension of knowledge.
As we shall see, many theories have been defended and, especially, refuted, on those terms.
The attempt to analyze knowledge has received a considerable amount of attention from epistemologists, particularly in the late 20 The tripartite analysis of knowledge is often abbreviated as the “JTB” analysis, for “justified true belief”.
In fact, however, the JTB analysis was first articulated in the twentieth century by its attackers.
Before turning to influential twentieth-century arguments against the JTB theory, let us briefly consider the three traditional components of knowledge in turn.