Philosophy | TOPICS IN THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE
P312 | 13070 | Kaplan, Mark


"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 ought to believe, what we 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 justified belief and
knowledge.

Texts
René Descartes, SELECTED PHILOSOPHICAL WRITINGS (John Cottingham,
Robert
Stoothoff and Dugald Murdoch trans).  Cambridge University Press.
1988.

Ernest Sosa, Jaegwon Kim, Jermey Fantl, Matthew McGrath (eds),
EPISTEMOLOGY: AN ANTHOLOGY, 2nd edition (S&K).  Blackwell
Publishers.  2008.