Something cool happened in our methodology seminar last week. Some people like to remark on real-world Gettier cases they find themselves in. I found myself last week in the presence of a real-life deviant Gettier case.
A deviant Gettier case (what Ben Jarvis and I have also called a 'bad Gettier case') is a situation in which the literal text used to describe a Gettier situation is satisfied, but in such a way so as to fail to provide a counterexample to JTB=K. Deviant Gettier cases play a central role in a disagreement Ben and I have with Timothy Williamson. What's cool about this deviant Gettier case is that (a) although I played a central role in producing it, I did so entirely without design, and (b) it's deviant with respect to one of the standard paradigms of Gettier cases.
Here's what happened. Herman was giving a presentation about intuitions; about halfway in, I turned around to look at the clock; the clock read 5:40, a time so implausible as to warrant immediate rejection of the assumption that the clock reflected the correct time. I checked my phone, saw that it was 3:05, stood up, took the clock down, and moved its hands to make it reflect the correct time. Then I put the clock back up.
Tom, sitting across the table from me, facing the clock, at this point looked at the clock, saw that it read 3:05, and formed the true and justified belief that it was 3:05. I think we should all agree that this belief constituted knowledge, even after I tell you the punchline: the clock was broken. Half an hour later, the clock still read 3:05.
Suppose someone gives this text in an attempt to elicit the Gettier intuition: "Somebody looked at a clock reading 3:05 and came to believe on that basis that it was 3:05. The clock, unbeknownst to the observer, was broken. However, in fact, it was 3:05."
Tom's situation vis-a-vis the clock I'd corrected matches that text, but in a deviant way. We were in an actual deviant Gettier case. (So the counterfactual, if the text were satisfied, then it'd be a counterexample to JTB=K, is false.)