Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Welcome to the class blog for Theory of Knowledge! You'll find some useful links under the brain in a vat.


Blogger Joel F said...

This is something I was thinking about: For the skeptic to refute the standard view, he must do so by means of the standard view. In other words, he must use his rationality to come up with arguments against it. However, if rationality (the means of the standard view) is not a reliable source of justification, then the arguments against the standard view are themselves not justified. So, one must use a different means to refute the standard view. It does not seem possible to refute something without using rationality, thus it is impossible to refute the standard view.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

Regarding our discussion in the last class about "All bachelors are unmarried male" I think we should note that:

The proposition " All bachelors are unmarried male ", is a kind of a priori conceptual truth which is true by its definition, i.e. its truth does not depend on the external world. So, for finding a counterexample for the analysis containing these kinds of analytic propositions we should not look at the world ( such as unmarried Hats, Robots, Monkeys, dead people and etc.), just as the proposition " 3+5=8" for which we do not need the experience to prove its truth or falsehood.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

I've never been quite sure how to respond to the fact that if your skeptic enough, you can't know skepticism, after all I don't see how it therefore must be false. That said, even if the argument is alright, you don't get the standard view out of it, because SV/Skepticism isn't as binary as you make it seem. For instance, later we'll hear an argument as to why induction based reasoning is invalid. Since alot of what's in the SV relies on induction, this is quite a skeptical argument. But notice that what we are left with isn't necessarily that we know nothing at all, so the argument won't self refute

9:53 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

I'm feel like what we were doing in class was basically a priori reasoning. It's not like we were finding things in the world and running bachelor experiments on them (many of the things we considered, in fact, presumably don't exist), rather, we were thinking of possible cases and using our reason based understanding of what a bachelor is, to try to understand what we mean when we say the word

9:58 AM  
Blogger Joel F said...

About the issue that we were talking about in class today (truth as a requisite for knowledge):
I think it is safe to say that an atheist is one who would claim that they know there is no God. (Because if they were unsure, they would be an agnostic). If someone was to press an atheist as to whether they were positive that there is no God, they would likely say that they are not 100% positive that there is no God, but that they think it is very unlikely. So, the atheist is almost certain that there is no God, but when pressed would state that there is still some, however small, possibility that there is a God. But does this mean that Atheists are actually agnostics? It does not seem so. It seems in this case that an atheist can claim to know there is no God without being 100% positive about it.

4:35 PM  

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