Course Notes: Three Lectures on Knowledge

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ As readers of Course Notes will know, I created an entirely new Introduction to Philosophy course this year. Profound changes in the student population over the last several years, including an apparent inability to understand or even just read classics from the history of philosophy, as well as a troubling increase in the number of […]

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History and Knowledge

by Mark English From time to time over the past couple of years, I have expressed reservations about certain forms of history as constituting knowledge. My view can, I think, be very simply stated and defended. It involves distinguishing different kinds of narrative from one another. The boundary lines in question are necessarily fuzzy. All the key concepts here – […]

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Mini Symposium on Truth: Quid Est Veritas?

by E. John Winner ___ Most of what I know about logic I learned studying Aristotle, Kant, and Peirce.  However, I did take an introductory undergraduate course in symbolic logic.  The surprising take-away was that with a properly formed compound sentence, one could assert just about anything, and still hold the assertion, as a whole, to be true.  In short, […]

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Belief and Knowledge Reconsidered

E. John Winner How did we ever come to use such an expression as “I believe . . . “?  Did we at some time become aware of a phenomenon (of belief)?  Did we observe ourselves and other people and so discover belief? — Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations (1) §1. Recently, while reading Section 10 of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, Part […]

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Self-Expression, Knowledge and Value

by Mark English Attempts to express a comprehensive personal view of the world are doomed to failure. Each of us has a view of the world; some such views are more developed and plausible than others. But language (even supplemented with other modes of expression) is simply not equipped to articulate the complex and shifting set of values and beliefs […]

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Knowledge and Illusion

by Mark English Writer’s block it is not. The problem – if it is a problem – is more along the lines that the sorts of topics and themes I know best are not (for various reasons) all that interesting to me, or only in a negative way. And most of the topics that I am interested in exploring I […]

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