What is Truth? Audio

Today I had the privilege and opportunity to talk about the nature of Truth from a philosophical perspective at Paradise Valley Community College. We made an audio recording of the talk. I wish we had captured the question and answer period after the talk because of the quality of the student questions and the discussion it prompted. We really had a great conversation. You can hear the What is Truth? talk here.

Summer Productivity

Last year at Paradise Valley Community College we hosted eight lectures in our Public Philosophy Lecture Series. Out of that effort, a few philosophy professors and I developed the Public Philosophy Society (PPS), a professional organization for students, scholars, and patrons to further pursue discussion together. We have been meeting live, online, for two months and we are enjoying the dialogue.

In addition to starting the PPS, we also started the Journal of Public Philosophy (JPP). I am the General Editor for the JPP and had the delight of putting together the first issue this summer. There were challenges, mostly typographical, but I am proud to say that yesterday the JPP became available for the general public and may be purchased here. I hope readers will enjoy this issue as much as I enjoyed putting it together. We hope to publish a second issue this Winter.

What is the Public Philosophy Society?

I am one of the founding members of the Public Philosophy Society. It is a professional organization growing naturally out of the public lectures that have been held at PVCC and ASU West over the last two years. A group of like-minded philosophers in the Phoenix area wanted to keep the conversation going, so we created PPS. The society is for students, scholars, and the educated public.

Check out our Patreon page and a short video about what we do at the Public Philosophy Society. Patreon is where you can become a member of the Society.

Official meetings of the PPS take place live online using Zoom. A link to each meeting will be shared with members. Our first meeting of the Fall 2019 semester is Tuesday, August 13, 2019, at 5:00 pm Pacific time. Dr. Owen Anderson and Dr. Kelly Burton will discuss “What is Common Ground for Public Discourse?” Meetings will be video recorded for members of the society to view again later.

I would like to invite you and your friends to join the PPS and the conversation.

Reason and Proper Function: A Response to Alvin Plantinga

My new book, published by Public Philosophy Press, Reason and Proper Function: A Response to Alvin Plantinga, has been released. The book may be ordered on Amazon or from any book retailer. Here is a blurb from the back of the book.

Philosopher, Edmund Gettier, famously challenged the sufficiency of the justified true belief (JTB) formulation of knowledge with his 1963 paper “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?”. The “Gettier problem” has been a potential source of skepticism for many students of philosophy. Alvin Plantinga, seeking in part to address the fallout from the challenge Gettier poses to contemporary epistemology, proposes that there is an error with the way we have been envisioning what knowledge is.

Plantinga, in his three-volume set on Warrant, argues that justification is not necessary for knowledge. Instead, what he offers is warrant, where a true belief becomes knowledge by virtue of its being formed by cognitive faculties functioning properly in an appropriate environment and according to a good design plan. Plantinga’s new formulation of knowledge does not avoid skepticism.

Kelly Fitzsimmons Burton, in this small volume, provides critical analysis of the element of “proper function” in Plantinga’s reformulation of the definition of knowledge. She argues that reason in itself, as the laws of thought, cannot malfunction, nor can our cognitive faculties, or our use of reason. She argues that we should retain the original JTB account of knowledge with an added “carefulness criterion” to address some legitimate concerns raised by the Gettier problem.

 

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