For the fourth topic in my How To series, we are going to discuss How to Be Like Gettier. Gettier is every lazy man's dream: Becoming famous for the least amount of work. Just three pages enshrined his name into the Philosophy books, and associates his name with Plato no less.
This How To is not designed for keener people who want to work hard. This How To is for lazy people who want to work smart. If you plan to become the 21st century's greatest philosopher this is NOT for you. If you plan to be a somewhat famous philosopher, whose reputaton rests on five pages or less, and your name will be included in philosophy anthologies, this is for you.
1. Never Underestimate Reflected Glory. Gettier's problem is a response to Plato's criteria for knowledge. It's not something from scratch. So, associate yourself with a philosopher; use Coles Notes or the Internet to grab the most important topics. And then have someone put it in point form for you to review.
2. Pick a topic by random. An easy way is to cover your eyes and point to the topic you want. For the purposes of this example, let's say you choose Kant's maxim: treat every person as an end, never as a means.
3. Design a counterexample or two from real life. Gettier uses coin and car examples. You can probably think of something better than that. For this example, let's say you have an b*tchy sister in law who causes you torment. There's no way in hell she ought to be included in Kant's maxim, right?
4. Use the counterexample to show how wrong the philosopher's thesis is. For this example, you respond by saying that Kant's maxim is flawed without this addition: treat some people as an end, never as a means; those other people who are jerks, can be screwed with.
5. Publish in a Philosophy Journal. Your fame is not complete without publishing in a journal. Probably should give it a simple title, like Gettier did with his paper. For this example, a good title would be "Is Kant's maxim insufficient?"
6. Sit back and enjoy your tenured professorship. That's right! If all goes well, the university will haved offered you a tenured professorship. Your name will be published alongside Kant; just as Gettier is alongside Plato. All you have to do now is go here to keep up your reputation: http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/
and you're set for life! You made it, baby! Congrats!!