Epistemology Blog

Beilby, James, and David Clark. Why Bother with Truth? ( Rzim Critical
Questions Booklet Series)
. Norcross, Ga: RZIM, 2000.

This particular text is written with the express purpose to lay forth the argument that the concept of truth can be known, and defended, within a society that breeds skepticism. The interest for this pursuit is that an alternative definition of knowledge is suggested.

DeWeese, Garrett J., and J.P. Moreland. Philosophy Made Slightly Less
Difficult: a Beginner’s Guide to Life’s Big Questions
. Downers Grove,
Ill.: IVP Academic, 2005.

This work is an introductory textbook that deals with the general principals and branches within the study of philosophy. However, a proposed solution is given to soften Gettier’s critique of the traditional definition of knowledge.

Gallagher, Kenneth T. Philosophy of Knowledge. New York: Fordham
University Press, USA, 1986

Properly speaking, this is the course text in which the intent is solely concerned with the study of epistemology as a discipline within philosophy. Of course, this being the course text, any possible insights, if any, to Gettier’s problem will be made known.

Geisler, Norman L., and Paul D. Feinberg. Introduction to Philosophy: a
Christian Perspective
. 2 ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic,          1987.

This work is another quality contribution by Christian philosophers/thinkers that introduce the large scope of philosophy, encompassing most sub-disciplines within its pages. Multiple theories of knowledge, its definition, and problems are addressed which may be beneficial in the area of justified true belief.

Gettier, Edmund. “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge.” ditext.com.
http://www.ditext.com/gettier/gettier.html (accessed July 8, 2013).

Though a very short essay, this is the particular piece of academic work that challenged the definition of knowledge that had been for held centuries. Quite naturally, the essay will explain and introduce the challenge to the view that knowledge should be defined as justified true belief.

Vignette 3

Humor me for a moment.

After eating lunch, I found myself on my mother’s porch. I was in the swing reading another philosophical treatise on whether or not God exists. And it was good. Minutes later my grandfather, a breathe away from ninety years old, came out onto the porch.

He sat in one of the rockers that had belonged to his own mother. Without my asking, he began an impromptu auto-biography of sorts. Its span covered his rural upbringing and education (or lack thereof), to loves gained and lost, money gained and lost, to the disclosing of horrific memories such as traveling the breadth of Hiroshima after “the bomb.” All things he could recall up until the moment on the porch. He in the rocker, and I in the swing.

Needless to say, we were there for a time. But what brought amazement was his simple, gentle and humble countenance the whole story through, and his every so oft referencing to Christ. I could tell that he was finished with his story, and asked if he wanted to pray.

I imagine that I have never had anyone hold my hand so tight.

He prayed for me and my children. He prayed for family members that have seemed to have lost their way. He prayed that we would see the value in each human being. He gave thanks for his wife of over sixty plus years (specifically that she washed his clothes, and gave him good food to eat). He prayed a few other things that I imagine I will keep between the only three that were there.

He ended with a very simple request that, “Lord, when I have gone the end of my way, please, if you’ll let me, I’d just like to hold Your hand.” My Grandfather then leaned over and kissed me on the check. I got up and left.

Thank you Papa for making tangible my philosophy, the things, no the One, I study for.

Vignette 2

Last evening, the band played for an unnamed fraternity event. Of course, as the evening wore on, the expected ‘freedom’ and ‘right’ to indulge in almost all forms of ancient Greek debauchery that would have made proud the most Epicurean of the Epicureans, was witnessed by myself as I pounded out recognizable rhythms via my Mapex drum kit.

But I know a secret that no fraternity boy or sorority girl knows.

During the course of events, it was found out that I was a man that not only had succumbed to the Sacred Institution, but also by which, I father two children. As the young fraternity leader lectured me on my mistake, while of course pointing to all of the young (very) flirtatious females, drinks, ‘dancing’, and general hedonism, I slowly began to tune out. I turned my gaze quietly down to my left hand and smiled. And then I thought about kisses from my little girls at bedtime, bath-time, a one year old asking for “daddy”. At that moment, it was my thought, my secret. And it had not crossed any of their minds. And I haste not the day I would ever trade.

Vignette one

It was dark when I was awakened by the sound of a few small cries from my youngest daughter.

Perhaps it was six-fifteen. 

I remained still for just a moment. I slowly turned to watch my wife and my oldest little girl sleep peacefully by my side, next to one another. Close to one another. Lily held her ‘doll’ close to her chin. 

The fan created its rhythmical popping sound. It is never turned off, therefore it is almost never heard. Though it was hard to see, my wife’s red-hair was gently moved by the fan’s breeze, and it was in contrast to the white pillow-case. Even still, it was hard to see in the still darkness. I quietly removed the covers, as not to wake the two sleeping girls, and I remember being cold.

I made my way into the room of my youngest. She had wiggled out from under her covers, and though sleep was pursuing her, she was cold. Her eyes were closed. I put my hands on her cool skin. I picked her up slowly. Her head fell easily on my chest as I made my way slowly, and softly, back to our room. I remember her thin, baby-like hair tickling my ear while she snuggled into my shoulder. It is blonde.

I lay her down, close to her sister. Her sister, by now, has curled up into her mother’s side. The bed has kept its warmth, and I lie back down. My youngest beside me. She beside her sister. She beside her mother. 

And I love them.

I listen to the fan twirl. And I listen to the little ones move towards one another. I watch the oldest stroke the blonde hair of my youngest. She succumbs to sleep. I remember feeling warm.

Is what I felt more than the desire to see my offspring produce further generations provided me by electrochemical patterns and neurological firings? Is what we feel more than a mechanism that has kept the species perpetuated? I believe that it was. I believe that it is. 

I believe in Love.

I believe in God.

And I believe in being Thankful for this morning.

Happy Thanksgiving.