Dutch Book Arguments

A mural of Dutch books on a building in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Author: Daniel Peterson Categories: Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Logic and Reasoning Word Count: 1000 Philosophers looking to support a position about how certain we ought to be of some belief, given our other beliefs, sometimes take advantage of Dutch book arguments. These arguments show that alternative positions lead to accepting a series of bets, each … Continue reading Dutch Book Arguments

Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am”

"The Matrix" film

Author: Charles Miceli Category: Historical Philosophy, Epistemology Word Count: 994 If you are reading this, then you are probably looking at a screen or a piece of paper. Think to yourself: “I have some paper in my hand,” “I am in front of a computer” or whatever fits. Is your belief here certain? Is there … Continue reading Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am”

Descartes’ Meditations 4-6

Author: Marc Bobro Categories: Historical Philosophy, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind and Language, Philosophy of Religion Word Count: 999 Editor’s Note: This essay is the second in a two-part series on Descartes’ Meditations. The first essay is here.  4. Meditation 4: The Source of Human Error Descartes argued in Meditation 3 that since God exists, … Continue reading Descartes’ Meditations 4-6

Descartes’ Meditations 1-3

Author: Marc Bobro Categories: Historical Philosophy, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind and Language, Philosophy of Religion Word Count: 998 Editor’s Note: This essay is the first in a two-part series on Descartes’ Meditations. The second essay is here. In an era of great debate over the fundamental facts of nature—e.g., about the Earth’s place in … Continue reading Descartes’ Meditations 1-3

Interpretations of Probability

"So you're telling me there's a chance?" From Dumb and Dumber

Author: Thomas Metcalf Categories: Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Logic and Reasoning Word count: 996 Consider this exchange from the 1994 American film Dumb and Dumber: Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me ending up together? … Mary: Not good. Lloyd: You mean, not good like … Continue reading Interpretations of Probability

The Epistemology of Disagreement

A Gathering Of Doctors, Disagreeing Over their Diagnoses : 18th century

Author: Jonathan Matheson Category: Epistemology Word Count: 998 People tend to care deeply about their political, religious, ethical, and philosophical beliefs. For many of these beliefs, however, you know of people who disagree with you and are roughly as intelligent, informed, and open-minded as you are. How should you respond when you recognize this fact? Should … Continue reading The Epistemology of Disagreement

Modal Epistemology: Knowledge of Possibility & Necessity

"Imagine The Possibilities" by Carol Groenen

Author: Bob Fischer Categories: Epistemology, Metaphysics Word Count: 998 Alice hits Betty, and Betty gets mad. Is her anger justified? Betty thinks so. After all, Alice didn’t need to hit her; Alice could have controlled her temper. This justification for Betty’s anger seems reasonable. However, it isn’t reasonable unless we know that Alice could have behaved differently, and we don’t know that … Continue reading Modal Epistemology: Knowledge of Possibility & Necessity