Is knowledge a matter of being causally connected to the world in the right way? In this Wireless Philosophy video, Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto) examines the causal theory of knowledge proposed by Alvin Goldman in 1967, and then discusses the problems with the causal theory that led Goldman to formulate his influential reliabilist theory of knowledge.
If we can’t analyze knowledge simply as justified true belief, can we add one more ingredient to produce a successful analysis? In this Wireless Philosophy video, Jennifer Nagel examines two ‘extra ingredient’ analyses of knowledge: Michael Clark’s ‘no false lemma’ analysis, and the fancier ‘no undefeated defeaters’ analysis of Keith Lehrer and Thomas Paxson.
Is knowledge the same as justified true belief? In this Wireless Philosophy video, Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto) discusses a Gettier case, a scenario in which someone has justified true belief but not knowledge. We’ll look at a Gettier case from Edmund Gettier’s famous 1963 paper on this topic, and a structurally similar case from 8th century Classical Indian philosophy.
How do contemporary philosophers respond to the threat of skepticism? In this Wireless Philosophy video, Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto) reviews the semantic (or meaning-based) theories of Hilary Putnam and David Chalmers, according to which skepticism either self-destructs, or isn’t as scary as you might think. She then examines the defensive approach of Timothy Williamson, an approach whose goal is not to convert you from being a skeptic back into believing in knowledge, but rather to protect you from becoming a skeptic in the first place.
In this Wireless Philosophy video, Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto) looks at three historically influential responses to the challenge of skepticism. We start with René Descartes’s efforts to prove that God would not let us be chronically deceived. Next, we examine Bertrand Russell’s efforts to disprove the skeptic through a strategy called ‘inference to the best explanation’, and we finish with G. E. Moore’s common sense approach.
Is knowledge humanly possible? In this video, Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto) looks at skeptical arguments, starting with Ancient Greek and Chinese philosophy, and moving forward into contemporary brain-in-a-vat scenarios. We’ll review a variety of reasons to worry that knowledge might be impossible, and we’ll examine the difference between global and local forms of skepticism.
In this video, Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto) launches our Theory of Knowledge series. We look at the line between knowing and just believing something, focusing on factors like truth and confidence.
In this video, Elizabeth Brake (Arizona State University) discusses Care Ethics, a normative ethical view that has been ignored in much of moral philosophy. After introducing Care Ethics, she discusses its application to marriage and political rights. This is the 5th and final part of the series on Government and Marriage.
In this video, Elizabeth Brake (Arizona State University) discusses polyamory, the practice of having more than one sex and love partners, and its moral and legal considerations. This is part 4 of a series on Government and Marriage.
In the first of a four part series, “Racial Ontology: A Guide for the Perplexed,” David Miguel Gray (Colgate University) introduces general problems philosophers face when they ask the question “What kind of thing is Race?”. In particular, what fields of inquiry should study race, if there can be racial ‘experts’, and what an account of race should look like if it is to capture the issues we care about.
Chris Surprenant (University of New Orleans) discusses the account of human well-being and the good life presented by Friedrich Nietzsche in his moral, political, and religious writings. He explains why Neitzsche believes that living a full human life requires rational reflection and taking a cautious attitude toward conventional moral categories. JP Messina (UC San Diego) assisted in the production of content for this video.
Often it can seem like the existence of evil is incompatible with a good and omnipotent God. This video present an argument for that claim put forward by J.L. Mackie, and it examines the different ways that Classical Theism and Theistic Personalism respond to a version of it that concludes that there is no God.
CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Equivocation [HD]
November 11, 2015
Joseph Wu (University of Cambridge) explains the fallacy of equivocation, the fallacy that occurs when the same term is used with different meanings in an argument. Along the way, he discusses whether Miley Cyrus is an exploding ball of gas.
If, as Classical Theists hold, we and all created things exist because God is good, what can evil be? This video presents the privation theory of evil--that evil is the absence of something that ought to exist--and shows how such evil is compatible with a good God.
People often say that God is good, and that God is just. But in what sense is God good and just? This video presents an argument from Classical Theism that God’s goodness and justice do not, as Theistic Personalists, think, count as *moral* goodness; rather, they follow from seeing God as the fullness of being.
What does it mean to say God *knows* things? This video examines two answers to that question. Theistic personalists hold that God knows things in the same sense in which we know things: by observing them. Classical Theists deny this account and hold rather that God knows things by causing their existence.


A Toolkit for Building a Better Mind.