POLS 209 Chapter Outlines 8

POLS 209 Chapter Outlines 8 - can we have knowledge of...

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Empiricism: David Hume (1711-1776) Our knowledge of the world is based on sense impressions. Such “matters of fact” are based on experience (i.e., a posteriori ), and their truth is synthetic (the predicate is not contained in the subject); they can be denied without contradiction Relations of ideas (e.g., “triangles have three sides”) are known a priori: they cannot be denied without contradiction, and their truth is analytic
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Hume The proposition “every event has a cause” can be denied without contradiction, so it is not known a priori ; and it is not known a posteriori because we have not experienced all events (especially those outside our experience) Problem: since our knowledge of causality is based solely on the regular associations of our experiences, how do we know that our impressions are anything like the things in the world that supposedly “cause” them? That is, how
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Unformatted text preview: can we have knowledge of matters of fact beyond immediate sensations and memory? Humes Answer: Skepticism about the External World The existence of things apart from our experience cannot be known , for we cannot compare our experience with anything outside it as its supposed cause Problem of induction: we cannot say that something is probable without assuming that the future will resemble the past Knowledge of the world, like knowledge of causality, is based on habit/natural inclination The Alternative to Foundationalist Epistemology Knowledge is not based on insights into indubitable principles about things in the world or sense experiences of the world Rather, our knowledge is an interlocking web of beliefs in terms of which we agree to speak in ways that we acknowledge are open to later revision...
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POLS 209 Chapter Outlines 8 - can we have knowledge of...

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