In this essay I shall discuss one attempt to avoid the Gettier counterexamples proposed by Nicholas Everitt and Alec Fisher and demonstrate that their efforts are unsuccessful (as they themselves acknowledge). However I will argue that their endeavor is still more productive than that of Robert G. Meyers and Kenneth Stern with who make no progress on this issue in the seemingly endless epistemological struggle to define Knowledge. Alan Goldman neatly summarizes Gettier counterexamples in his book Empirical Knowledge:
By showing that a person could be justified in inferring a true belief from a false but justified belief as a premise, he [Gettier] showed that the standard analysis of knowledge as justified true belief is faulty. (Goldman 1991, 42)
To explain this I will provide my own Gettier counterexample. Michael Fish regularly checks his Blackberry mobile for the temperature displayed on its homepage. However unbeknownst to Michael his mobile had frozen for the first time ever. Michael charged his mobile the night before and he knows that his mobile should update the temperature automatically and regularly.
The temperature displayed on his screen indicated a warm atmosphere and he can justify this fact fairly precisely as he feels the warmth of the sun on his back whilst he walks to the BBC news studio where he works. It just so happened that the temperature at that very moment that he was looking at his mobile was exactly the same as the temperature at the point when the mobile stopped working the day before.
Hence as Goldman explains Michael Fish has a justified true belief when looking at the temperature on his mobile, yet we wouldn't want to say that he has knowledge of this fact.
[...] I will now lay out the issues with one of the numerous attempts to avoid Gettier counterexamples. In their book “Modern Epistemology: A New Introduction” Everitt and Fisher point out that one response to a Gettier counterexample, such as the one I demonstrated previously, is “that the requirement of a good justification is too weak…What is needed…is complete justification” (Everitt and Fisher 1994, 24). That is, that the grounds upon which an ideal response to Gettier is based should, as Keith Lehrer neatly puts it, “[not be] due to good fortune [rather] than good justification” (Lehrer 2000, 19). [...]
[...] Meyers and Stern haven't sufficiently avoided the Gettier counterexamples. Without going into too much detail Feldman shows that appropriately altered Gettier counterexamples don't “turn on the principle that someone can be justified in accepting a certain proposition…even though (his evidence)…is false.” (Feldman as quoted by Moser and Vander Nat 1995, 307). To briefly summarize, Feldman says that the agent: Reasoned from the proposition m, which he knew to be true, to the proposition n, which he also knew, to the truth h; yet he still did not know h. [...]
using our reader.