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In order for knowledge to be knowledge, does it have to be true, or in other words, when something that everyone today believes to be true turns out to be wrong next year, was it not knowledge?

Thetraditional account of knowledge is that truth is one of three necessaryconditions for knowledge. The other two are belief and justification. On thisaccount, if X knows that p, then (1) X believes that p, (2) X is justified inbelieving p, and (3) p is true. Thus if a widely held justified beliefturned out to be false, then the belief would not count as knowledge. Of course there is much work to be done inspelling out what we are to understand by belief, justification, and truth. A great deal ofattention to this definition and the question of its adequacy followed EdmundGettier’s paper “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” ( Analysis 23 ( 1963): 121-123; available online at http://www.ditext.com/gettier/gettier.html )

A person with dementia is gradually losing the capacity to think and problem solve, remember, use language and behave as they once did. However, the person-centred approach to caring for people with dementia asserts that the 'personhood' of each person is present despite this decline in abilities. What is a person in the context of dementia and how do we understand the person who has dementia in philosophical terms?

The person centered approach to psychotherapy is a widelyused methodology. (See, for example, www.person-centered.org ) In contrast with some other methods, theperson centered approach leverages the patient’s own resources in therapy,rather than relying on the authority of the therapist. As your questionsuggests, this approach may seem problematic for patients with dementia. Suchpatients have diminished cognitive (and possibly affective) resources. To whatextent can such patients with contribute to their own psychotherapy? Clearly this is a matter of degree. As one’sabilities to reason, remember, and use language diminish, any form of therapywill be difficult to carry out. Person centered therapists who work with suchpatients are trained to take such limitations into account. In philosophy there is the synchronic problem of personhood,namely what makes someone a person at a time, and the diachronic problem ofpersonal identity, or what makes someone the same person at two differenttimes. ...

Richard Rorty is dead and I think philosophy is poorer for it. But I have found during my undergraduate philosophy studies that most Anglo-American academics are largely hostile towards most of what he has written. Perhaps some one or more members panel can confirm this widespread hostility and articulate the more common reasons behind it.

Richard Rorty had a long career during which his viewsevolved. He influenced a wide range of philosophers grappling with some of thekey directions philosophy was going in the second half of the 20 th century. A student of Wilfrid Sellars, in some of his early work in theepistemology and in the philosophy of mind, Rorty helped articulate the attackon foundationalism in epistemology, and on the idea that mental states areprivate and incorrigible. (See, for example, “Incorrigibility as a Mark of theMental”, Journal of Philosophy , v67,n12, 1970) He influenced the next generation of epistemologists andphilosophers of language, including Michael Williams ( Groundless Belief and UnnaturalDoubts ) and Robert Brandom ( Making itExplicit ). Rorty’s Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature is,in my view, an important work with an historical focus. While sweeping andperhaps somewhat grandiose, Rorty attempts to attack traditional epistemologyby taking it very seriously. There are analyses of key...

How should parents bring up their children in the cases of: 1) Parents with some religious faith or other 2) Parents who are atheist or agnostic 3) Parents who are familiar with critical thinking and who may or may not be religious 4) Parents thrown, maybe unintentionally, into parenthood without any advice on how to bring up a child. Parenthood is the greatest responsibility imaginable. What do philosophers do in such cases? Keep abreast of the latest child-rearing theories or follow their own agenda which would worry me in the case of 1), particularly?

As both a parent and philosopher, the question you raiseabout appropriate religious upbringing is one I thought about quite a bit as mychildren, now 19 and 22, grew up. The heart of your four-part question is this:How, if at all, should the parents’ religious convictions influence thereligious development of their children? While the influence of teachers, friends, and the general culture on achild’s religious outlook is very great, the religious (and here I includenon-religious) upbringing by parents or the primary caregivers, whetherintentional or not, is fundamental. Itcertainly warrants careful consideration by parents and prospective parents leadingup to and throughout the period of their children’s formative years, and evenbeyond. I would argue that if there is aright answer to your question, it is the same answer for all four of the scenarios you raise. The approach I’ve tried to follow is that one should educateone’s children about the whole range of religious beliefs,...

Can anyone recommend a good logic/critical thinking book? I majored in Philosophy in college and have kept sharp by getting into computer programming, however, there is a lot of stuff I forgot from those college days. I remember how quick my reasoning had become and I want to get there again. I was hoping for a textbook/book that comes with a workbook or exercises. Can you recommend some good readings? Recommendations from a beginner to advanced level are welcome. Thanks.

There are many good logic texts. At the introductory level, texts typically fall into one of three categories: (1) formal logic, (2) informal logic and critical reasoning, and (3) comprehensive texts which include both formal and informal logic. Introductory formal logic texts cover propositional logic and quantificational logic. Informal logic texs cover critical thinking skills, fallacies, and the like. Depending on what you wish to brush up on, I suggest Virginia Klenk's Understanding Symbolic Logic for the first category, and Merilee Salmon's Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking for the second. Both texts are well written and include lots of exercises, including answers to selected exercises. Both have extensive explanations of concepts and methods. Logic texts have become very expensive. One way to keep costs down is to buy something other than the current edition. Earlier editions are often not significantly different from the current one.

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