PHL232H1 Lecture 1: 232 (1) Introduction.docx

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Published on 2 Feb 2015
PHL232 (1) Introduction: Arguments for Scepticism from Sceptical Hypotheses
Epistemology—branch of philosophy concerned w/ nature + scope of knowledge
Study of nature, origin + limits of human knowledge
Theory of knowledge
What is knowledge + how do we know?
Concerned w/ what we believe
Belief—expression of faith/trust in power, power or other entity
oWhether someone’s belief is true isn’t a pre-requisite for its belief
Truth—if something is actually known, it categorically can’t be false
Justification—good reason to believe that a proposition is true
oTheory of knowledge as justified true belief (JTB)
Scepticism—view that “S knows that p” is always false
p = statement in the case
S = thinking subject
Attitude of doubting knowledge claims set forth in various areas
Attempts to cast doubt on every member of class of propositions that we think
falls w/I our knowledge
Questions whether justification condition an be fulfilled
oSceptics claim that it’s not possible to have adequate justification
Provides challenge to philosophers that an adequate account of knowledge must
Interesting concept for those interested in nature of knowledge
External World Scepticism
Scepticism a/b world outside the mind
Can have no knowledge a/b existence + nature of things outside our own minds
All we can know is facts a/b way things seem/appear to us
Ex. Of false propositions
o ‘I know that the sun will come up tomorrow’
o‘You now that you are reading these words on a piece of paper’
o‘Einstein knew that e=mc2’
Form of argument:
P1: I know that q only if I know that p
P2: But I don’t know that p
C: I don’t know that q
Arguments for Scepticism
Sceptical hypothesis—hypothesis whose truth entails truth of scepticism a/b
some class of propositions
oImportant sceptical hypotheses:
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