Philosophy: Knowledge, Truth, and Relativism

Philosophy: Knowledge, Truth, and Relativism

Philosophy: Knowledge, Truth, and Relativism

Our current reading and discussion is focused on the the debate between Rationalists and Empiricists about true knowledge and its source. Are we are born with innate ideas, can we be certain only about knowledge a priori (prior to experience), or are we born with a blank slate, such that true knowledge comes only a posteriori (after experience) and while not certain, is probably true? Each camp has the duty to

• Define ‘knowledge,’ and the problem of knowledge,

• Demonstrate how their solution to the problem is best, • Support their conclusions using consistent and rational or empirical premises, • Anticipate problems or weaknesses in their own ideas, • Respond to criticism of those weaknesses, using reason. Consequently, we must each examine our own beliefs for possible weaknesses and not to assent to believe what we cannot consider absolutely certain or very probably true, and to eliminate or suspend our judgments on the rest until we have better empirical evidence or deductive proofs. Your assignment:

• Select a reading from the Knowledge, Truth, and Relativity chapters of your textbook. • Reflect on and examine a specific aspect of your own knowledge as though the philosopher has taken it as an example. What questions does the philosopher ask you to think about what you claim to know? Given the differences in your experience and thinking, your personal reflection will be very different. However, the philosopher has made a specific argument regarding either the possibility of rational knowledge or empirical knowledge. Apply this argument to your own knowledge claims in a dialogue with this philosopher

• In ~500-750 words, this dialogue must: o Explain the philosophical problem of knowledge that the philosopher tried to solve, o Show accurate understanding of this philosopher’s argument and solution. o Apply the philosopher’s knowledge argument to your own item of knowledge, o Point out a ‘problem’ with your own view, (unexplained mind, unexplained body, or interaction problem), and solve it, admit you don’t know, or change your mind. It might be easier if you apply a specific area of conflict between two philosophers to your dialogue. Maybe René Descartes is doing a critique of your Platonic ideas, or John Locke is doing a critique of your Cartesian ideas, or George Berkeley is doing a critique of your Lockean ideas, or David Hume is doing a critique of your inductive reasoning, or Blanshard, Pierce, James, Tarski, Kant, Hegel, Husserl, Nietzsche, Rorty, Nagami, Russell, Quine, Grosz, or Narayan is showing you how you have gone wrong somehow. Your paper must be carefully reasoned, and rooted in a philosopher’s text. Somehow, someway, you should have access to the the book: ″Introducing Philosophy: A Text with Integrated readings″ (11th Edition) by Robert Solomon. You need to have superior critical thinking skills to competently perform this work. Make sure you are competent and knowledgeable about Philosophy, and the branch of Epistemology. You need to know what your doing with this project, about philosophy, know the philosophical Dialogues, etc.

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