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Best colleges for studying philosophy?

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Thanks for your response. A great deal here hinges on our definition of "certainty" and I'm sure you would agree that words like "certain" and "absolute" are tricky ones. That said, Peikoff's definition of certainty "...when the evidence in its favor is conclusive; i.e., when it has been logically validated. ...the total of the available evidence points in a single direction, and this evidence fulfills the standard of proof" seems to be a reasonable one to me, and given that definition then I would say that yes, we can be certain about things. However, even in that certainty, there should be caution. The certainty here is based on "the total of the available evidence" and we must admit that the evidence available today may not be the evidence available 100 years from now. In the moment, we can state a fact and be certain about it. But we have to acknowledge that our observations and the universe in which we make those observations are not static, and we may have to revise our certainties if the evidence changes. There is always a risk of seeing ourselves and our observations and our evidence today as the end-all-be-all, and that may be dangerous. I think Peikoff may go just a touch too far in this vein when he says, "there are no longer any grounds for doubt."

I will check out the Peikoff - sounds interesting.

And for your statement: "What is hard to attain is the discipline necessary to not make exciting but empirically unsupported claims."

I am no longer teaching, but this is at the heart of what I tried to convey so often to my students. They always seemed to be seeking Nobel Prize winning discoveries in the lab. (Hardly likely in AP Biology!) I wanted them to see the clarity, the elegance, and the truth in demonstrating a simple principle clearly, with real empirical support for their claims. This wasn't exciting to them, and I worked hard to make it so.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cindy, thanks for posting. I'm looking very seriously at attending St. John's, and your quote stuck out for me as well.

I'm taking a Physics class with a St. John's graduate, and given his approach I have come to appreciate the truth of the principle that I thought you were getting at, and I am glad to see through your clarification that I was essentially correct in my understanding.

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  • 3 years later...

A bit off the mark from the topic of the thread, however I'd like to ask if anyone has any knowledge (first-hand or otherwise) of any good universities in Europe that have an Objectivist-minded approach (even if not explicitly) when it comes to either a Philosophy or a Political Science department.

Edited by Xall
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