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  • Week of: 
    August 31, 2014
    What is it: 

    Turns out that Galileo was right and Aristotle was wrong: in a vacuum, a feather and a bowling ball will fall from a tall building at exactly the same speed. This is not to say that Aristotle wasn’t a brilliant thinker; empirical evidence shows he just had a wrong intuition. Even the most powerful intuitions we have can be misleading. Why is it, then, that many philosophers treat them as crucial when arguing for a conclusion? Can intuitions lead us to important truths about the world, or do they merely teach us about ourselves? John and Ken trust their instincts with Alvin Goldman from Rutgers University, author of Knowledge in a Social World.

    Alvin I. Goldman, Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Rutgers University

  • Week of: 
    August 24, 2014
    First Aired: 
    June 10, 2012
    What is it: 

    When we make claims about things that could have been—what philosophers call counterfactual statements—we are, in some sense, sliding between different worlds. We all use counterfactual statements frequently. But what would make our speculations about what might have been in a different scenario true or false? When I say things could have gone differently than they did, I am speaking of a possible world in which things did, in fact, go differently. But how do we make sense of this talk of possible worlds? How can there be facts other than facts about the actual world? John and Ken consider the possibilities with Laurie Paul from UNC Chapel Hill, co-author of Causation: A User's Guide.

    Laurie A. Paul, Professor of Philosophy, UNC Chapel Hill

John Perry and Ken Taylor

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