Philosophy: the fundamentals 0

The Areas of Philosophy

The range of philosophy is large and basically unified. However, to clarify issues and build up expertise it divides its energies into areas of specialisation. There are two characteristics of these areas. One is...

The House That Philosophers Built 0

The House That Philosophers Built

Philosophy is rather like a house built on stilts in a river. In the house one can do all sorts of things – construct things, move things about – but one is always aware...

Philosophy 0

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is a great intellectual adventure while at the same time what it discusses is one of the most important things we can do with our lives. There is a standing joke among many...

Identity and Constitution 0

Identity and Constitution

In this section we will consider a famous metaphysical puzzle. Suppose there is a clay statue on an otherwise empty table before us. Let’s imagine that it’s a statue of a horse and rider....

The Structure of Knowledge 0

The Structure of Knowledge

In responding to the charge of circularity, we should note first that the argument defending inference to the best explanation does not beg the question against the sceptic in the way that it would...

The Scope of Knowledge 0

The Scope of Knowledge

In the first section we utilised intuitions about when knowledge is had in order to derive an account of its nature. This might seem to beg the question against the sceptic by guaranteeing that...

The Nature of Knowledge 0

The Nature of Knowledge

Knowledge is the goal of belief. It is what belief aims to be, or, more precisely, what we aim at in believing. There may be some types of belief, for example religious, for which...

melted tantalum 0

Uncovering Implicit Premises

Reasoners often leave parts of their reasoning unstated. Emilio left something unsaid when he argued that “If the stream were poisonous, everything in it would look dead. There are water spiders and plants in...

Deductively Valid and Inductively Strong 0

Deductively Valid and Inductively Strong

The primary goal in argumentation is for the conclusion to follow from its basic premises either with certainty or with high probability. Technically, this means the arguer desires the argument to be deductively valid...

Rewriting Arguments in Standard Form 0

Rewriting Arguments in Standard Form

Can you spot the conclusion and premises in this argument? All machines have a finite working lifetime, and even though that big tree doesn’t look like a typical machine it is really just a...