Beware of Safety:
Philosophers have suggested that a belief has to be 'safe' in order to qualify as knowledge. This means that in order to know something, one's belief need not only be true it, furthermore, needs to remain true in 'close-by possible worlds'. In other words, a belief, if true, is safely true, if it could not have easily been wrong. In my talk I argue against such views. I ague that a concern for the safety of our beliefs would get things 'the wrong way round'. This talk is of interest to those who want to know more about knowledge and about why philosophers tend to make mistakes (myself, of course, excepted.)
Next talk: 'The Limits of Scepticism' by Grant Bartley (Editor, Philosophy Now) 10 April 2018 - 7.30 pm - 9 pm
Next Talk: A Royal Institute of Philosophy Public Lecture: 'Fake News! Language, Power and the Politics of Knowledge' by Dr Yasemin J. Erden, 13 February 2018
Next talk: 'The Idea of a Social Science: Winch, Weber and Wittgenstein' by Chris Bainbridge 09 January 2018
People who study social phenomena, - the economy, politics, art, religion, family life, with their competing world views, have looked with envy at the natural sciences and sought to become more like them, with their hard, undisputed empirical facts and uninterrupted progress. But natural science isn’t quite as simple as that, and thinkers such as Peter Winch and Max Weber have said the fact that we’re participants in social life gives us a big advantage which we throw away if we just look at society from an outsider’s point of view as we do with natural phenomena. I will look at various concepts of what philosophy is to see what light they can throw epistemology’s key question – how do we know things?