Week 4 The Search for Truth

Week 4 The Search for Truth - Week 4 The Search for Truth 1...

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Week 4: The Search for Truth 1 INTRODUCTION Imagine a virtual reality game in which the equipment accurately simulates sound, taste, smell, and touch when you wear it. Now, imagine being in this virtual environment many hours each day, many days in a row. After significant time in this nearly real virtual environment, would you be able to determine what "reality" is? Would you be willing to give up real-life interactions for virtual interactions? Philosophers have been trying to determine the differences between “reality” and “truth” for centuries and to answer the following questions: Can we ever really know anything? What is the difference between belief and knowledge? Is truth possible? Does truth evolve or is it unchanging? Can there be different truths for different people, or is truth the same for all? This week you will examine the nature of truth and consider how to determine what is real and what is not. LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this week, you should be able to: Examine the various theories of the nature of truth Detect the philosophical differences between belief and truth Readings Course Text: The Big Questions: A Short Introduction to Philosophy o Chapter 4, “The Nature of Reality” (pp. 107–143) o Chapter 5, “The Search for Truth” (pp. 145–181) o Appendix A, “Good Rules of Writing in Philosophy” (pp. 363–383) Bierce, A. (1890, 1988). An occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. Tales of soldiers and civilians. The Project Gutenberg. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/375/375-h/375-h.htm Supplemental Resources Web Sites Epistemology http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/P059 For more help with understanding contemporary theories of knowledge and justified true belief.
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Week 4: The Search for Truth 2 THE NATURE OF REALITY Artists of all cultures and art media have been exploring the most basic epistemological questions in their work: what human beings experience as reality, and how they know they are experiencing it. The visual arts through sight and touch, music via sound and hearing,
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