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GCC PHI 100 - Philosophy Notes Week 3

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Philosophy NotesWeek 3This week we will read, watch and discuss the branch of philosophy knowns asEpistemology: the theory of knowledge. How do we know what we know? Do weknow? What is "knowledge" or "skepticism"? What are Descartes' "Methods of Doubt"?What is the basis of Kant's "Categorical Imperative" and is it livable? We will watch,read, learn and discuss.Things to knowReasons to care about knowledge:Central Question:Four Areas of KnowledgeDefinition of EpistemologyPropositional KnowledgeAbility KnowledgePlato’s definition/formula for truthGettier’s ExceptionsRadical SkepticismBrain in a VatRationalismEmpiricismDescartes ideas about senses/ball of wax/thinking3 Tests of TruthRussell’s notions about beliefs/truth/falsehoods/mindsA priori knowledgeKant, Critique of Pure Reason (Week 3 part 2 for further knowledge)The difference between Pure and Empirical KnowledgeThe Human Intellect, even in an Unphilosophic State, is in Possession of Certain Cognitions“a priori”Philosophy needs a Science which shall Determine the Possibility, Principles, and Extent ofHuman Knowledge “a priori”----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Unlike our knowledge of things, has an opposite, namely error. So far as things areconcerned, we may know them or not know them, but there is no positive state of mindwhich can be described as erroneous knowledge of things, so long, at any rate, as we confineourselves to knowledge by acquaintance. Whatever we are acquainted with must besomething. But as regards knowledge of truths, there is a dualism. We may believe what isfalse as well as what is true. We know that on very many subjects different people holddifferent and incompatible opinions: hence some beliefs must be erroneous. Since erroneousbeliefs are often held just as strongly as true beliefs. What do we mean by truth andfalsehood? It is this preliminary question which is to be considered in this chapter. In thischapter we are not asking how we can know whether a belief is true or false: we are askingwhat is meant by the question whether a belief is true or false. (Week 3 part 3 more

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