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Sarah Moss Wins Sanders Epistemology Prize

Sarah Moss, professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan, has won the 2019 Sanders Prize in Epistemology. The Sanders Prize in Epistemology is awarded for the best submitted essay of original research in epistemology by either a scholar who is within fifteen years of receiving a Ph.D. or a current graduate student. Professor Moss won the prize for her essay, “Knowledge and Legal Proof.” Here’s the paper’s abstract: Contemporary legal scholarship on evidence and proof addresses a host of apparently disparate questions: What does it take to prove a fact beyond a reasonable doubt? Why is the reasonable doubt standard notoriously elusive, even sometimes considered by courts to be impossible to define? Can the standard of proof by a preponderance of the evidence be defined in terms of probability thresholds? Why is merely statistical evidence often insufficient to meet the burden of proof? This paper defends an account of proof that addresses each of these questions. Where existing theories take a piecemeal approach to these puzzles, my theory develops a core insight that unifies them—namely, the thesis that legal proof requires knowledge. Although this thesis may seem radical at first, I argue that it is in fact highly intuitive; in fact, the knowledge account of legal proof does better than several competing accounts when it comes to making sense of our intuitive judgments about what legal proof requires. The prize is $5,000 and [More]

Henchpersons and the Problem of Induction

by Patrick Miller The Venture Brothers, a long-running Cartoon Network series, often plays on tropes and themes common in action shows and comics. In the clip, from the episode titled “The Lepidopterists,” Henchman #21 and Henchman #24 are discussing their experience working for a villain. Three seasons into the series and countless fellow minions have [More]

What is Skepticism?

Dr. Joseph Shieber explores skepticism--a theory and approach to truth-gathering that has a long and sometimes less-than-favorable reputation. Dr. Shieber walks us through the history of skepticism, explores modern versions and possible refutations, then offers guidance on how to use a skeptical stance to get closer to the truth. With the constant barrage of the fake news, conflicting scientific claims, and social media demagoguery we're exposed to on a daily basis, this article is a must read! [More]

What is Truth?

In this article, we look at a definition of truth and how various systems of philosophy define truth, how to determine what is true, how the question 'what is truth' differs from the question 'what is knowledge', and how facts and reality relate to the question of truth. [More]

The Ties That Bind . . . are Tribal

When we're confronted with new ideas, we have a strong tendency to retreat to the beliefs we're comfortable with. This cognitive bias keeps us safe but also prevents us from seeing the errors in our own thinking and makes our world smaller than it should be. It's time to leave the cave of tribalism and embrace the unknown. It's risky and potentially painful but absolutely necessary. [More]

The Third Man Argument: Part 2

What is the difference between myself and the desk at which I sit? Neither are anything but a simple assembly of atoms, floating about a universe of others. Where do I cease, in wake of something else? The aim of this essay is to defend the Theory of the Forms, and argue against the Third Man Argument’s criticisms—to effectively defend Plato from both himself and those who took up arms provided by the arguments posed by the Parmenides. [More]

The Third Man Argument: Part 1

What is the difference between myself and the desk at which I sit? Neither are anything but a simple assembly of atoms, floating about a universe of others. Where do I cease, in wake of something else? The aim of this essay is to defend the Theory of the Forms, and argue against the Third Man Argument’s criticisms—to effectively defend Plato from both himself and those who took up arms provided by the arguments posed by the Parmenides. [More]

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Dr. Robert McKim
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  • Professor of Religion and Professor of Philosophy
  • Focuses on Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

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Dr. Alvin Plantinga
  • on Where the Conflict Really Lies
  • Emeritus Professor of Philosophy (UND)
  • Focuses on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion
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Dr. Peter Boghossian
  • on faith as a cognitive sickness
  • Teaches Philosophy at Portland State University (Oregon)
  • Focuses on atheism and critical thinking
  • Has a passion for teaching in prisons
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