Download Ancient Epistemology by Lloyd P. Gerson PDF

By Lloyd P. Gerson

This is often the 1st identify within the Key issues in historic Philosophy sequence, which supplies concise books, written through significant students and obtainable to non-specialists, on vital issues in historical philosophy which stay of philosophical curiosity this day. during this ebook, Professor Gerson explores old debts of the character of data and trust from the Presocratics as much as the Platonists of overdue antiquity. He argues that historical philosophers as a rule held a naturalistic view of data in addition to of trust. for this reason, wisdom used to be now not considered as a stipulated or semantically decided form of trust yet was once really a true or objectively determinable fulfillment. actually, its attainment was once exact with the top attainable cognitive fulfillment, specifically knowledge. It used to be this naturalistic view of information at which the traditional Skeptics took goal. The e-book concludes by means of evaluating the traditional naturalistic epistemology with a few modern models.

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The argument contends that knowledge and belief have different objects: knowledge has ‘that which is completely’ and belief has ‘that which is and is not’, midway between the first and ‘that which is not’ (477A6–7). We do not get further information about how to understand the vague expressions ‘that which is’ and ‘that which is not’ until stage (C). Yet, even before this, we get a 6 The Idea of the Good (504B–509C); the Divided Line (509C–511E); the Cave (514A–521D). 7 We might express the inerrancy of knowledge in this way.

The characterisation of the philosopher (and his counterfeits) is thus the fulcrum of the entire work, for it is he alone who is capable both of transforming the state and of the true happiness that coincides with the perfectly just life. The distinction between the philosopher and his counterfeits rests upon the distinction between knowledge and belief. In the pursuit of these is the métier of each to be found. This does not of course mean that the way that the Standard Analysis distinguishes knowledge and belief cannot be endorsed by Plato.

We believe the evidence when and only when it appears to us as evidence, that is, it appears to us to be true. If, however, knowledge is not a type of belief, and belief in the evidence is belief in appearances, there is no way to distinguish knowledge from belief – or even true belief – merely by attributing evidence to the former. From a Democritean perspective, the only way to stay within the confines of the Standard Analysis is to reject the identification of reality with what is intelligible as opposed to what is sensible.

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