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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

Philosophy Cafe Event

Time:
13:00 - 14:00
Date:
10 December 2015
Venue:
John Hansard Gallery Highfield Campus

For more information regarding this event, please email Lifelong Learning at lifelonglearning@southampton.ac.uk .

Event details

'The Problem of the Criterion: Is Knowledge too Hard or too Easy?' We acquire knowledge through methods such as perception and reasoning and, according to an intuitively plausible principle, acquiring knowledge through such a method requires us first to know that this method is reliable. But it has long been recognized that this seems to give rise to a vicious regress, making knowledge impossible. Rejecting the principle, on the other hand, seems to make knowledge too easy: we could come to know that a method is reliable by using that very method! So how might we solve this ancient puzzle?

We acquire knowledge through methods such as perception and reasoning and, according to an intuitively plausible principle, acquiring knowledge through such a method requires us first to know that this method is reliable. But it has long been recognized that this seems to give rise to a vicious regress, making knowledge impossible. Rejecting the principle, on the other hand, seems to make knowledge too easy: we could come to know that a method is reliable by using that very method! So how might we solve this ancient puzzle?

Speaker information

Dr Conor McHugh,Before taking up his post at Southampton in 2011, Conor was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institut Jean Nicod in Paris. Before that he was a PhD student and then a non-stipendiary lecturer at Edinburgh University. He comes from Drogheda.

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