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current students > seminars > spring 2012 schedule > seminar: Truth as Fiction


Honors Seminars Spring 2012

Truth as Fiction

HON 398 Sec:002  
1 hours  
GER Cat:
15:00 - 16:15  
Clark Hall 205  
Mr. Aaron J. Stoller
Lecturer/Assistant Director

Emerging from Enlightenment thinkers such as Descartes and Locke, Western culture has traditionally understood knowledge to be a state of certainty about core, fundamental truths. It has, reciprocally, understood belief to be a state of unknowing or uncertainty. This view is guided by the idea that the knower is a kind of spectator who, applying correct methods to the world, can produce knowledge that is stable, rational and certain. In doing so, method serves to remove us from the mire of cultural and historical presupposition, placing us on stable and neutral ground, as well as endowing us with the capacity to sort objective truth from 'mere' fiction.

In this course, we will investigate the validity of this picture of reality, as well as the commitments and assumptions which lie behind it through reading the philosophy of John Dewey. In doing so, we will not simply explore the line between truth and fiction, but ask whether that line is simply a figment of our imagination. In other words, could it be possible that truth is not something which is found, but something made - a product, a technology, a fiction.