Philosophy | Topics in Theory of Knowledge
P312 | 14464 | Kaplan


"Aristotle said it is so; therefore it must be so."  To a significant
portion of established academia in early seventeenth century Europe,
this was a decisive form of argument.  But Rene Descartes held that
this argument consists is nothing more than a blind appeal to
authority.  He maintained that it could not establish the truth of
any claim; it could not justify our believing any claim; it could not
secure us knowledge of any claim.  He undertook to provide us with
the wherewithal to determine what is true, what we can justifiably
believe, what we can know.  In so doing he profoundly influenced the
way we have thought about these matters ever since. Beginning with an
assessment of Descartes’ efforts, this course will explore what it
takes to have true belief, justified belief and knowledge.