Opinion, Belief and Knowledge: Realism and Idealism

September 18, 2018 - September 23, 2018
University of Freiburg


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Universität Heidelberg
University of Freiburg (PhD)

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Our propositional claims about the surrounding world can roughly and heuristically be divided into three different types of expression: expressing an opinion, a belief and knowledge. The idea of subject and object are vital with respect to all three types of expressions, for we may assert that our claims qualified as opinion, belief or knowledge essentially dependent on whether and to what extend reasons for the truth of the statement can be given either 1) with regard to our conceptual understanding or 2) with reference to an objective state of affairs. The aforementioned theoretical assertion gives rise, of course, to a controversial dispute that points to an age-old philosophical debate between idealism and realism. With reference to both philosophical positions one may ask whether propositional truth is primarily guaranteed by conceptual thinking or by objective instances alone. In contrast to an extreme point of view, which highlights one extreme and neglects the other, it seems more judicious to pursue a moderate approach of mediation, since truth claims are uttered by the subject in relation to an objective state of affairs, hence encompass both extremes. The question, however, of how exactly the idealistic aspect of truth, pronounced by the subject, can be assimilated with its realistic aspect, pronounced by the object, and of how internalism equals externalism (and vice versa) is highly complex and motivates our urge for closer examination. Hence, the main focus of the workshop is to examine the relationship between opinion, belief and knowledge with regard to idealism and realism. The workshop will give advanced philosophers (PhD-students and more advanced scholars) the opportunity to present and to elaborate their ideas within the aforementioned area of interest.

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August 15, 2018, 2:00pm CET

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Oliver Hoffmann

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