Theory Matters

Larval Subjects .

In my intro philosophy courses I would say that one of my main priorities is to persuade my students that ideas matter.  The argument is drawn from Plato and is very simple.  Many actions– I say many, not all because any number of things can lead us to act –are based on our beliefs.  A belief is simply any statement that can be true or false.  Knowledge, if it exists, is one variety or species of belief; whereas opinion is another species of belief.  I keep it basic at this point.  “Opinion” is not synonymous with “subjective”, but is rather a conviction or belief that we hold to be true without knowing the demonstration for that belief.  In short, as problematic as it is, I take Plato’s thesis from Theatetus that knowledge is “justified true belief” when introducing this claim.  Thus, for example, I have the opinion that the…

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